loop plans, planning, schedules

Planning Realistically

Free screensaver (It just makes me happy to look at it)

You would think that after seven years homeschooling I should know how to plan,

…but I don’t.

I always have planned with a good ideal at the forefront. Nothing wrong with that, but I should have known earlier that the guidelines I had were not realistic. This year I’m committed to simple plans that would hopefully be meaningful and bring joy and growth to all.

I was reluctant to share this, because what every family does can vary so much, and what’s little and not adequate for one family, it’s right on the spot for another one, and an overload for a third. In the end, I decided to share because I believe that if we look at different examples, we may feel confident to find the plans that fit our children and resist making our children to be the ones to fit our plans. I want to inspire my daughters to grow and learn, I want to guide them with joy and consistency, respecting them as persons in the process.

I understand that there has to be a schedule and some good habits in place.

I also understand there has to be flexibility and grace in our days.

I’ve learned that, as Sarah Mackenzie says in Teaching from Rest, we should know ourselves as teachers, know our strengths and our weaknesses. Build up on the first, and address the last. I’ve tried to be who I wasn’t for long. Now it’s time to be honest with my limitations, and specially, to profit from my qualities.

We took our summer off. For the first time, we are enjoying it without any guilty feelings on my part. We still do our Bible reading and our family reading, but no lessons 😉

In order to prepare for next year, I read

I prayed (I still do),

I looked at what the girls accomplished in the past for reference,

I also looked at the resources around me,

And I came up with this: (and the plans are the same for both girls, they have different math and work at different pace and ability. My daughters will be in sixth and fourth grade respectively).



The Adventures of Achilles
The Adventures of Odysseus
• The Bronze Bow


• one Shakespeare (or continue with our second one for this year).
• Maybe Julius Caesar.


• Poetry for Young People, Carl Sandburg (I may add some Robert Frost)
• Fábulas de Samaniego
• Juan Ramon Jimenez, Canta pájaro lejano


• Volume 2 (Greece and Rome) of The Story of Mankind, by Olive Beaupre Miller
• Augustus Caesar’s World, by Foster


For Science:
• Arquimedes and the Door of Science
• The Elements, by Theodore Gray
• The Mystery of the Periodic Table

For Natural Science:
Continue with The Young Naturalist (it’s for the Texas area)
Continue with Naming Nature
• It Couldn’t Just Happen (it’s possible we take two years with this book)
• The Sea Around Us


(From the wonderful guides by Anne White)
• Philopoemen


BIBLE devotional/lesson every morning
MATH 3x a week (We alternate between MEP and Life of Fred)
WRITTEN NARRATION 1 or 2x a week (Dictation)
(Tuesday Mornings Co-op classes)


ARTIST STUDY (We will study Ancient Art, and Whistler -the last painter in the AO rotation)

COMPOSER STUDY. We’ll listen to Antonin Dvorak and Spanish Classic music.

HYMN/FOLK SONG. From the AO youtube list plus a few of my own selections.

• Grammar we’ll continue our oral Simple Grammar. And maybe we read Grammarland
Latin we’ll restart our Getting Started with Latin



FREE WRITING TIME (letters, emails, etc.)


*Loop indicates one or two of those will happen each morning, and next morning we’ll pick up the next item -Tuesday mornings, for example, no item from the loop or block will be done since we have co-op.

*Block indicates most -ideally all, of the items are done every morning or afternoon.

I have some printing to do, and we have some notebooks to buy. I’m aiming at mid August to resume our lessons, a month or so from now, after our expected visitors have left.

Have you started to think about the upcoming year? If that’s the case, know that I’m praying for all of us, teachers and moms, for a good next year, a year for His glory.

Isaiah 40:31 
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


12 thoughts on “Planning Realistically”

  1. Good to read about your plans, Silvia. I'd love to see your Spanish Classics list. We' listened to some Spanish composers over a few months – Rodrigo, Albeniz. I'd be happy to do it again some time. It's wonderful music.


  2. Thanks Silvia! I notice you have the cellist Luka Sulic on your playlist. I love just watching him play.I have videos all over the place at my blog & saved on an ipad but I should put them on a playlist. Enjoy your year, Silvia. BTW I just found out that our library has the Flavia de Luce series your girls like so much!


  3. Carol, please, put all those videos by Luka Sulic, I need to find you on youtube and follow you.

    Thanks for your support and wishes of a nice year. I'm very excited this year. I think I'm finally ready to enjoy our homeschool, and not to feel guilty or constantly behind, or trying so badly to fulfill so much. I'm ready to take off with a simple yet meaningful year, and hey! I'm always ready to add more.

    It's a simple year 6, and I have in mind a year 7 for WWI and WWII, unless the girls go faster through next year and I decide to start with WWI before the end of the school year.

    We are at book 4, “I'm half sick of shadows”, in the Flavia de Luce series. My girls do love it, and I do too! lol.


  4. Looks like a very good, very doable schedule. I'd love to come sit in the corner and listen!

    I loved school planning…loved, loved, loved it. But rarely ever did I accomplish everything on my list. I used to say my plans were lightened lite years (the HEO years) and they most certainly were. Back in my AO days there wasn't a “lite” AO so I made my own!

    More isn't necessarily better and less isn't necessarily bad. Reasonable is best and every family has to find their own reasonable. It looks like you have found yours.

    I hope your upcoming school year is the best ever!


  5. Love that yellow smiley face! 🙂

    Teaching from Rest is such a great book. I still need to go and re-read it. I was thinking I would re-read it this summer, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I've been reading lots of other books….. Time sure does fly, doesn't it! I can't believe it's the middle of July already. Right now, my tentative plan is to start school the first week of August. Like you, I have a good bit of printing to do before we start. 🙂


  6. Linda, I do appreciate your comment immensely. Your words are very wise. If you saw all my other planning, you would notice a huge difference. I am very confident that this is our reasonable.
    I am trying an idea from Karen, I will have a spiral notebook for each girl, and write easy to do tasks as we get familiar with the schedule and the work. I always wanted them to be more independent, but they can't with such a difficult load for them. I also have feared being the judge of what's reasonable, but not anymore.
    Your example and encouragement have been a life saver to me, Linda.


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