Sunday, January 29, 2012

Loop Scheduling

I wish I had heard of loop scheduling earlier in our home schooling journey. It makes so much sense that I'm amazed I've gone this long without figuring it out!

The basics: make a list of all the subjects you want to cover during your school year. Then determine how often you want to cover them. This is what our community loop schedule looks like. The community loop is for the subjects that all (or some) of the kids do together.

We start each day with Bible reading and prayer so I put that at the top of the list. Our state study is done irregularly (2-3 times a month) so I put that in the middle. My aim was to get through the schedule once a week. (It doesn't always work out that way but that is the great thing about loop scheduling. We quit missing subjects!) You can see that I've scheduled Zoology twice on the loop since we need to do that more often to cover the material.

Our day works like this: We start at 8 a.m. We all meet at the table at do our Bible reading (we are reading through the Psalms this year) and have prayer together. Then whoever is part of the community subject for that day stays. (Usually it is the older two boys. My second grader does independent reading during this time and my 5-year-old will read or play on Starfall if they are not part of the subject.) We work together until about 9 or 9:30. From there the older two start on their independent schedules while I work with the younger two girls. The idea is to work for a set amount of time and then move on. The next day, just pick up where you left off. Sometimes we make it through the schedule in a week and sometimes we don't. Before I would assign subject to days. For example, geography was slated for Thursdays. If we had a field trip on a Thursday or took the day off, geography wouldn't get done.

After making a community schedule and an independent schedule for each child, I used this form from Donna Young to make a checklist for each child. These checklists are mine and each child also got one (listing both community and independent subjects) for their notebooks. It makes it easy to see at a glance where we left off.

This way of scheduling has been so great for us! Too often at the end of the week we were trying to catch up so subjects like art and classical music were allowed to slide. I never feel behind anymore and we are consistently covering all subjects. Link

1 comment:

mshel333 said...

May want to check this out:

http://thecurriculumchoice.com/2012/02/nature-study-through-the-holidays-a-mini-book-of-nature-studies-for-easter-giveaway/