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Planning the Term


Since using Ambleside Online one year (and it was one of our best learning years) I’ve fallen in love with 12-week terms.  They are just long enough to plan ahead without needing to make too many changes, and they allow an easy breakdown of our school year into its three seasons:

  • fall (harvest),
  • winter (lots of schoolwork),
  • spring (garden and outside life).


Today I want to finish planning the winter term’s school work.  We’re dropping a few things that did not work well last term, and adding a few others, including Rosetta Stone French and some wonderful review products.   There’s a fine line between challenging the children and overwhelming us all, so I need to discuss and prayerfully consider any changes.  I also want to be sure that we use the curriculum we have and don’t end up wasting resources because I’ve forgotten about them.  (Yes, that happens around here, and it’s so silly.  Sigh.)


For each resource that each child uses, I list weekly goals in Word tables that we use as check-off lists.  It is a bit tricky to determine ahead of time just what can be done, but each square is large enough for me to write in changes, if necessary.   Things do come up.  Last term, for example, two of our girls dropped most of their English to participate in NaNoWriMo, the national  novel writing month, and I think it was a great switch.


Here’s to common sense and wisdom as I get to work!


May you have a blessed day.


Annie Kate


For more ideas, check out Tuesday’s Toolbox at Homeschooling Hearts and Minds and Tightwad Tuesday with Canada Girl.



  1. LarabaK says:

    Organized yet flexible, I think that is a key point for a homeschooling parent. I don't feel organized enough on the planning side of things as I (so far) don't have a clear goal at the beginning of the year for each child. We always do enough, more than enough, so probably the biggest issue is my own stress and fear that we're NOT doing enough. When I do my summer assessments with a certified teacher, I'm always pleased and amazed with how much we accomplished.

    By the way, I put a link to your blog into my latest blog entry.


  2. CelticMom says:

    Hi Annie Kate~

    I've been doing a lot of thinking about our schooling lately. We had gotten away from Charlotte Mason, so this year I made a concerted effort to pull us back, and while a lot of things came together, a few still haven't. I'm going to be using some time this next week to study our plans for the rest of our term and see where we need to 'tweak.'

    I hope your 'tweaking' works well for you all! 🙂



  3. Susan says:

    Let's face it, 2 term years are designed for schools where they have set things they can put in the box for each day. They only have to make any real changes if there are snow days:-)

    I find that a 3 term or even 4 term scheme works better. 4 term when we "do school" during the summer. We didn't this past summer due to moving and wanting to go easy on the kids with the transition, and I really regret it—it's much less stressful for me when there's more days in the year to get things done and more productive for them when they have things to do besides playing and fighting with each other, sigh.

    Thank you for linking to Tuesday's Toolbox!

  4. Sunshineonmyshoulder says:

    Thanks for the reminder on terms, we have 4. We school year round but in the spring & summer things slow down inside and pick up outside. In the heat of summer (which is here by 9 AM) we head inside for a break and then some basic math, reading & spelling, just to keep up the skills. Enjoyed reading your post.

  5. solidrock says:

    Doing this myself over the break. Lots of wisdom here!

  6. AnnieKate says:

    Thank you, ladies, for your positive comments.

    It makes me realize I'm part of a huge group of moms, all busy planning their children's education, which is true. There are a lot of us, and it's neat to actually FEEL that!


    Annie Kate

  7. jenn4him says:

    I was so encouraged by this post and the comments you received. I am thinking about how to finish our school year strong. The past semester we used what we had and I feel it has been a rich one, although I have missed Sonlight a lot. I would love to use Ambleside, but don't know where to start. May your plans be blessed for the coming term.


  8. Canadagirl says:

    Sounds like you are doing well. Yes every couple of months (or more often) is good to do and reshape lesson plans. I am starting to think to have a general skeleton and then fill in plans each month might be I will do. I totally agree with you if you are not careful that you can easily forget things you have bought. I am making sure that I am doing my best to use up what I have before I buy anything new. [0=

    Blessings and ((HUGS))

    In Him<><


    PS: thank you so much for all your comments lately. I have been feeling real sick the last couple of weeks and haven't been getting around bloggyland very well.

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