Our choices, good and bad, as well as recommendations, what's working, and what's not.
Well, after much searching and some begging and pleading with well-known publishers of teacher planners, I still wasn't able to find (or have one created) a planner that met my specific needs or artistic desire for something pretty and functional. So, alright then. I set about and created my own. It is still not the perfect piece of professional quality that I would have loved, but it is colorful, creative, and, if I may say so myself, rather awesome. It is tailored to meet my (and The Monk's) needs for his learning and my record keeping. Everything is in a rather larger 3" binder, but at least everything is together and it is able to hold my spiral that I've used for my planning/pacing guide. I have all my records, weekly calendars, monthly planning pages, and family activities in one place. Like I said, it's not perfect, but I'm content and confident that this will see me through the year. I sure hope so with all the time, energy, and resources that went into creating this thing. Now onto the next homeschooling prep project - a resource binder for The Monk to use.
I still have not found that "perfect" planner. I have contacted Erin Condren (who makes AMAZING planners for teachers - just not for homeschoolers) to see if she and her crew would be willing to create a planner that I can really love using. So far, they are taking it under consideration. Hmm. Once again, I am left to my own devices to create something that I'm going to enjoy using and is also beautiful as well. The sad part is, I cannot afford the printer cartridges it's going to require for me to print all this off, as well as the binding process that would really make my planner to resemble something that was mass marketed. Ah well. Part of the process of homeschooling, I suppose, is letting go of the posh and stylized way things are done and rely on the more simplistic, homemade approach to the way of life. The city girl in me still has a hard time with this way of life sometimes (my father wants us to make our patio furniture out of pallets...my Crate and Barrel tastes have a hard time digesting something actually make out of a crate and barrel). I digress - back to the planner. I'm trying really hard to cope with the idea that I'm making my own planner and I'm trying to accept the fact that, although it is not as professional, it is still lovely - I think. Sigh...I don't know.
This is what they look like, but I'm thinking that I'm going to have to fix it. There's something that still isn't quite right...
I'm trying to remember that change is a natural occurrence and that impermanence is a way of life. So, I'm pretty sure that the majority of our curriculum is going to be a fluid thing that is going to be adjusted and fine-tuning over the weeks and months of our learning. I have begun working creating a planning/pacing guide that I can use to guide my instruction throughout the course of the year (you can take the teacher out of the classroom...), and I'm feeling pretty confident about the structure of the various subjects that I'm going to be teaching and how our days will be laid out (for the most part, again, I'm trying to keep in mind fluid instruction). I know that not everyday is going to follow what I have planned and laid out (despite my OCD desire for it to do so) and that there will be days when either the Monk or I just are feeling it, but I also know that as long as I have a game plan, then there is always a plan that I can use to guide us through what needs to be accomplished. And, although it is taking me FOREVER to get all the subjects mapped out and organized, I know that it will be the most helpful thing that I've done to prep myself for my new role as a homeschool teacher vs. a public one whose planning guide is typically figured out by a third party. I also feel as though it will make me more in touch with the exact needs of my son. And isn't that the whole point?