I've been using Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education , published by Simply Charlotte Mason, to plan our lessons for next year.
This set consists of a DVD with a companion notebook. You have a choice of either a printed, spiral-bound book or a downloadable e-book. I chose to download and print the e-book so I could make additions to my notebook if necessary. As a side note, if one purchases the spiral book,
Simply Charlotte Mason includes a pdf. file of the charts and forms that one can print off as needed.
The DVD is of a live seminar that Sonya Shafer taught on planning the Charlotte Mason way. She walks you through the 5 steps of planning:
- Big Picture
- Your Year
- Your Term
- Your Week
- Your Day
At certain points, she has you pause the DVD to complete a step. It's as if Sonya is in your living room, helping you plan! I've discovered how beneficial it is to go through each step, rather than just leaping to the end result.
Bear in mind, this is not a lesson in exactly what to teach and when to teach it. It deals with taking what you want to teach and scheduling it in a way to fit your family. Sonya gives some excellent tips on scheduling, such as what subjects can be done together with all grade levels.
Various lists are included in the notebook to aid in the planning process: possible topics, artists, handicraft ideas, life skills, composers, Shakespeare plays and history rotations.
Sonya has you put your homeschooling goals on paper and rate which subjects are most important to you, for your homeschool. She includes a description of CM methods and a short how-to on implementing them.
A few pages of ideas of how to school with preschoolers in the mix is pretty handy for those with little ones.
The notebook is rounded out by tons of charts, worksheets, and examples, including schedules from Ms. Mason's schools.
I have been able to complete my plans for next year one step at a time, and am now prepared to input my daily schedule for each child into my computer, since they like to have the printed checklist to work off of.
I have tried other teacher planners, homeschool planners, forms, etc., and this is the most thorough planning guide I've come across. I will continue to use it through the remainder of my homeschooling years.