How do I plan for our Secondary subjects

This seems to be quite a common question so I thought I would try and explain my planning process in a post. This is how I have planned for our Secondary years (so KS3 and now our GCSE years) and NOT how I did it for younger years. For the younger years of home education I really don’t think you need to do such detailed planning and in all honesty I only really started doing this level of detail once we knew our daughter was going to write her exams and I wanted to make sure we laid a good foundation in her KS3 years and now in her year 10 my planning has become more detailed as we are working to an exam deadline.

I plan in a Top-Down manner for her subjects. So we always start with which subjects we are going to cover. Then we work out what is the content and how what is our time frame. So for example in her Year 9 we had a History book that we wanted to work though so it was the content of that book split over 1 year. However in her Year 10 a lot of the books that we have actually contain the content for Year 10 and Year 11 so we have now split that over 2 years (well actually over 18 months as I have planned for us to finish everything and early so we can include revision).

We like to work in 6 week cycles. Honestly it is just something that we have discovered works well for us. We tend to do 6 weeks of work and then have a week or 2 week break and then do another 6 weeks. The fact that we choose 6 weeks is our personal preference so you can choose whatever time period you want. I just find after 6 weeks both the kids and I need a break. So I then tend to take the total content that I want to cover over our year and split it between 6 sets of 6 week cycles. This means I now have a rough idea of what we need to cover in a 6 week cycle. This helps me a lot. I like to break everything down into smaller chunks. I actually write out a small very high level summary of what I want to cover in every 6 weeks

eg Biology – Ecosystems and revision of nutrition

Very High level but it helps me to write it all out

Okay so lots of people would just be happy with that amount of detail – the fact that they want to cover topic x over the 6 weeks and leave it like that.

But now that I have one kid in year 10 and my other kid already thinking about writing his exams early I feel like I need more detail that just topic x over 6 weeks. So I have a very simple spreadsheet which I set up with a tab per week.

It is very simple but it allows me to split our 6 weeks into what we want to do each week and each day. And in case you are wondering – no we do not always stick to it, it is a guide, I will often move things around. Also I know that on certain days we have other activities on so on those days I tend to plan less and then plan more on our “home-days”. But really it is my guide and I often juggle and move around as we are working. (and in case you are wondering the photo was taken while I was still planning so I had not included Maths and English yet or any of my 2nd kiddos stuff)

I have include the plan for both kids on the same tab – I just find it easier to see everything on one tab at one go.

I hope that answers some of the questions. But I do want to stress that just because you create a plan does not mean you need to stick to it. For me a plan makes me feel like I am in control and helps me to not get overwhelmed. But if something comes up and we want to go out to do a fun activity which is not in my plan, I change it, I don’t let the plan control us.

About ofamily

Home educating family based in the UK. We try to make learning fun
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