Planning: Our 7th and 4th Grade Blocks

IMG_5117It’s that time of year! Carrie has a new planning post up along with links to other posts she has written on planning. I wrote about the way I plan a few years ago in this post. My basic technique remains the same, but I thought I’d share a few changes I’ve made along the way.

As the very first step, I still print out our local school district calendar. Like I mentioned before, it’s nicely done and the weeks and holidays are all marked for me! I also tend to keep our schedule very similar to the public school system. This allows my children to be available to play when their neighborhood peers are.

My second step is still folding a paper into twelve parts and writing down the months, the beginning dates of each week, and any birthdays, festivals and holidays. In the past, I have made a list of the blocks I wanted to cover along with how many weeks they will cover and started scribbling, erasing, moving and changing them until I was satisfied with where they fell. This year I got smart! I wrote the names of the blocks and how many weeks I planned for each onto strips of paper that I could just slide around. Wow! Not only does my big sheet look neater, it saved time. (I know you probably already do this, so don’t laugh!) Now that my blocks are laid out, I begin the tough stuff! I spend a good portion of the summer reading material, planning what to cover, how to cover it, what art to do, which projects, etc.

The way I record my plans has undergone revision over the years. One year, I typed out most of my plans day by day! Below you can see an example of some days from Teal’s Norse Myths block.

IMG_5130That was a lot of work and a LOT of time at the computer (BUT how glad I am to have those neat and detailed plans for fourth grade this year!) The following year, to avoid being chained to the computer every time I planned, I switched to recording our plans in a generic teacher’s planning book. That worked well, but this past year I switched to an even simpler method of printing out monthly templates here and filling them in! Below you can see an example of our November for third grade. Along the right side, I list things we will be doing daily as part of our main lesson, and what they will be doing independently. I keep them together with a paper clamp.

IMG_5131Without further ado, here’s what our 7th and 4th grade year will look like:

7th Grade

  • Perspective Drawing and Math Review
  • History – Magna Carta to Magellan (including Central and South American geography)
  • Intro to Algebra
  • Physics II
  • Renaissance

Christmas Break

  • Astronomy
  • Physiology
  • Wish, Wonder, Surprise (Creative Writing)
  • Chemistry
  • Geometry
  • History to get up to where I want to be to start Revolutions and U.S. History

4th Grade

  • Form Drawing and Math Review
  • Norse Myths (LA)
  • Math I; Fractions
  • Man & Animal
  • Math II; Addition & Subtraction of Fractions

Christmas Break

  • Norse Myths (LA)
  • Math III; Multiplying and Dividing Fractions
  • Local Geography & History
  • Man & Animal II

Wigeon’s plans are being worked out, too! I’d love to hear how your plans are coming!

5 thoughts on “Planning: Our 7th and 4th Grade Blocks

  1. lakenormanprep

    I am working on my plans now! I have a second, fourth and sixth grader. Looks like we have similar methods (or we both use Carrie as an example). I do not usually plan out daily activities because as soon as we get off of the schedule, I get stressed out (my own issues). Now I do a general weekly plan so that we can plan on the Sunday before. This way, I can schedule in field trips, doctor’s appointments, etc.

    1. Mrs. Mallard Post author

      Hi! I completely understand how stressful it is to see a day’s plans get tossed because of illness, etc., so a weekly general plan makes so much sense (especially with multiple main lessons!) My really detailed daily planning occurs closer to our blocks during the school year, but during the summer I do try to have the general concepts written out per day along with the arts that support the block (poems, songs, art, crafts). Also, the longer I homeschool, it seems the less I plan in advance. (Hence the diminishing planning pages?) I find that there can be a lot of beauty and success in ideas that arise spontaneously throughout our blocks. I guess what I’m arriving at is: You have to plan enough to know what you’re covering, but be flexible to allow for great ideas or other things that pop up. Thanks for helping me get there. Best, Rachel

      1. lakenormanprep

        “You have to plan enough to know what you’re covering, but be flexible to allow for great ideas or other things that pop up”
        Wow! Perfectly stated! 🙂

  2. Kim Corrigan-Oliver

    Hello there! Thanks for stopping by my space.

    Thanks for sharing your planning process. We are homeschoolers too, in our first year of kindergarten. I still have one more year of kindergarten to go before I have to start the big planning as you do, but it is really nice to see how you do it and to get a feel of how to do things.


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