I recently discovered the Block Schedule. I know, where have I been? This is making my life so much easier (and also less boring).
Before I talk about my new schedule revolution, let me explain how I plan. I plan by the week. I have a grid with 4 rows-one for each week. At the top, I have a subject listed for each column. Then I simply put in what we need to complete for that subject for each week. I can’t plan by the day because I will always be changing my plans-some days we do more, some days less, some days we even finish most of what I had planned for one subject for that week. I don’t like those daily grids! They just make things too inflexible and make my days feel choppy. So, I plan by the week.
I also plan some breaks into my schedule. About every 6 weeks, I plan a review week. If we’ve survived the previous 6 weeks, we take a break during that week and read and do extra projects or unit studies or take some extra field trips. If we had a train wreck week, then I always know that there’s a review week coming soon where I can make up for lost time. No stress, right!?
But I was having trouble wrapping my brain around planning for Tapestry of Grace. What do you do for your first week? Why, Week 1 of course! But……….how? Where do you even start? Then I read some advice from a TOG mom who said she used a block schedule. That just simplified my planning!
I use my daily schedule and during our history time I use my little block schedule to know what we need to cover for history that day.
Monday: Vocabulary and History Reading
Tuesday: People and History In Depth
Wednesday: Mapwork and Literature
Thursday: Lapbook and Extra Resources
Friday: Narration and Projects
Of course, we usually end up reading most of the books nearly every day as my kids are loving our reading times. But with our block schedule I feel like we cover what we need to for each week, and it keeps each day a little different. I like the variety!
The block schedule is working so well with history that I’ve used it in a few other areas as well. Our Totschool has a block schedule:
Monday: Music/Circle Time
Wednesday: Ideas from Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready
Thursday: Hands On Ideas (playdoh, sensory tubs, etc)
Friday: PE (balls, parachute play, bowling down the hall, jumping on the couch) Can you tell that we’re usually a little crazy by Friday?
Block schedule for Art:
Monday: Art in the style of a famous artist (We use this series for reference.)
Tuesday: Art ideas from Preschool Art
Wednesday: Free art with music (we paint, we glue, we cut, we stamp, we get very messy!)
Thursday: Art ideas from Preschool Art
Friday: Artistic Pursuits
And I’m also using it for Curly’s workbook schedule:
Clearly, I’ve gone a little block schedule crazy but it is working so well for us. Variety!! Why did I not think of this sooner?