Creating a Unit Part Two: Planning Your Time

I know you’re all on the edge of your seats–you’ve picked your topic and you’re ready.

So you need to plan your time. First, you need to figure out how long you want to cover your topic. Anywhere from a week to two weeks is plenty for most things. I usually plan a week and then life gets in the way and things stretch out a little longer than that. Happens like that in the regular classroom too. If you’re covering something huge, you know, like the bildungsroman in American literature, maybe plan for three weeks, but small children? A week is often good.

Now, you have to plan that week. At the very minimum, you want to introduce your child to the new information fifteen times throughout the week. For me, this means that we review his flashcards three times a day for five days. I won’t go on and on about flashcards here–they work for us, but books, discussion, songs, vidoes, and playtime activities all convey information. Just be sure to get it in a LOT! We also do one activity a day and read one story related to our theme each day.
I also try to review things we’ve covered other weeks–either by bringing them into our activities or by reviewing previous note cards. A perfect example is fish–we started them during our unit on pond animals, but they also came up during ocean.

So that’s it! Plan in place time-wise. Up next, choosing materials and activities (my favorite part–it’s a lot like shopping).

Here is Charlie doing a sorting activity using toy cars. This week we’re on transportation, but this activity also helps review colors. I got the idea from a sensory activity from No Time for Flashcards, but adapted it for my purposes. I have no idea why he looks so spacey–must be the illness. Just a head cold, by the way.

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  1. So…I just ranted and linked you. 😉

  2. Thanks for the info, Katy. I plan to start doing this seriously with Faith, especially when we start school. I think this is right up her alley….maybe a series on horses in ernest! LOL!

  3. You are amazing and are making me feel lazier by the day!

  4. TheRextras says:

    Anything that Katy recommends can be done in a variety of positions – positions that are therapeutic or helping the child to develop physically. Once a child can work in a particular position for a time – even as short as 20 minutes – lots of teaching can happen during 20 minutes.

  5. Absolutely, Barbara. Some thing Charlie will only tolerate while lying flat on his back because that's the best way for him to use his vision. It definitely takes some time to figure all these things out.

  6. twoboyzzz says:

    Thank you for the great ideas! My son Christopher 7 goes to a special needs school. We love it for now. We really lucked out. The teacher is awesome and uses units as wel1! You just inspired me to do the unit he is working on at home at least 15 time weekly. He has done many of the units you mentioned. They add sign language and songs to each unit as well. Again thanks for the push!
    I hope you do not mind that I added your blog to my new blog for Christopher.
    P.S. Love your art! I am an artist as well.