Planner/Schedule etc.

We do child led interest learning (also called unschooling in some circles) and people always seem to assume that it means we don't do planners/schedules etc.  but I've found that if we (as a family) don't have a plan than we don't have time to do anything. That's going to be especially true this year!
So I've been asked a lot lately how exactly do I plan stuff and still call it "child led interests". In a nut shell this is what I do:

Every year I ask the kids "what do you want to learn this year?" they give me a list of stuff they are interested in. After talking about each thing and getting me on the same page as they are, we start talking about books, curriculum etc that they can use to learn the items on their list.Then I start my "master list" for, well, everything! Basically the idea is that if I was sick or couldn't help them for awhile, someone could pick up this notebook and basically just step in if needed. I usually use a notebook with the plastic cover on the front so I can slip in my cover sheet.

First page is always a "very rough draft" since I don't know exactly how the enrichment classes are going (we may go down to one a week instead of two), I don't know when the 4H groups will fall within the week day/time until Almost Sept. (and in the case of 4H it could be longer!) Some days I have other commitments and we will have to work around those as well. so as I said it's a really rough draft, just trying to give myself a "worse case scenario" so to say. LOL.

Then I start my materials and resources lists. first page tells what grades the kids are "technically" in, what subjects they are "taking" and what "electives" they have for the year.

after that is a list of the text resources on hand and *available* for them (key word: available). This means it's there, they may or may not use it. May use it front to back or jump around to the area that is most related to exactly what they are wanting to learn. Please realize if your new, not many people have curriculum just laying around, we've slowly built up more and more for all levels.

( I still need to add a list of reference books, video's and websites for the year)

Then the "book list" for fiction/non fiction reading (this list is NOT the final project)

Once I have those (mostly) completed we start breaking down into monthly and weekly goals.
I.e. this list for September for Science

Right now it's just a draft until the rest of our "new" stuff arrives Hopefully before the middle of August! I have a big part of their stuff already, but I need to see how the "old" stuff and the "new" stuff mesh together based on what each covers and in what order!
Then once that's sort of done, the kids take what is on their schedule for the week from each subject and start a todo list and then they can do it when and where they want to in their "focused learning" area in the weekly sheet at the beginning of the book.  They write down where everything falls each day (clubs, field trips, etc), any notes they want to make about something specific and notes of something that caught their attention and they want to look it up later and not get side tracked at the moment. Then as they finish stuff up they can just mark everything as done!
Now, that doesn't mean we get it all done in that week and I end up having to make adjustments here and there for different field trips, spur of the moment "hey! This is related to XYZ at ABC place, why don't we go to ABC instead and see it for ourselves" days. Some weeks will be very short and that's fine! maybe something in the lesson sparked a curiosity about something and off they go down a rabbit hole! That's fine too. I can add a sheet after each month, write changes down, etc. and make adjustments if needed on the next calendar week/month.


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