There is a thread going on about Lesson Planning at Real Learning. I love seeing how others do things. The planning is as unique as the individual family.
I realize I tend to do a lot of my planning in mid-winter. Let me start that over. I start planning for the next year in mid-Spring, just around the time the nice weather arrives and the kids are restless anyway. The planning helps me revive my interest in a fading school year and get the last few things done that are really important in light of the big picture.
But January is when I am most often sitting there with my list of bigger goals, trying to decide if we're on the right track and where to course correct. Somehow this helps me get through the notorious February blues. February becomes a time to try out the new things.
August is when I am usually writing out specific lesson plans for the more consecutive subjects, in preparation to start in late August. We always try to have a burst of basic 3Rs in the early fall. It so fits into my patterning from all my 18 years of schooling.... new pencils and notebooks, all that. If we make good progress I feel OK about letting up a bit around Thanksgiving when the holiday season starts.
Even during more unschooly cycles in our lives, I realize I follow this cycle. It works for me IF I am conscious of it and plan for it. When I was just starting homeschooling, I felt like my homeschool fell apart about every 3 months. I would do the equivalent of an inexperienced driver on an icy road, trying to twist the car BACK instead of turning the wheel with the slide.
Yes, it is snowing outside right now -- and we are driving south tomorrow. Hmm, I could probably think up all sorts of snow and icy road metaphors right now!
The next part of this is about WHAT I plan.... the Big Picture, the view of the Spacious Place.