I had a question as to how I go about planning out our homeschool schedule and thought it might be of more general interest. I was asked if I planned things day by day or weekly or what. The short answer is yes... to all of these things. Here's how it all sorts itself out.
This year I was planning three high school schedules, two 6th grade schedules, and have four people who aren't ready for independent work. Plus, the 6th graders will join with the others to do our unit studies; the high schoolers are completely on their own.
For the high schoolers, I do weekly schedules. I talk to them about what they are interested in learning and I add in the things I know they need for a college transcript. I also ask if they want week-by-week or more detailed schedules. All three chose week-by-week. So, I go through each subject and assign what they need to do each week to finish by the end of the year. Sometimes the weeks are pretty detailed with chapter numbers assigned and other times all I need to say is do one lesson of math each day. This is the easiest of the planning as it is so straight forward. The part that takes the longest is finding the resources for the unusual classes my children are interested in. History of Police Work? That took a little time to research and gather the books.
For the 6th graders, things are a little different. They do a combination of independent and directed work. I use the independent work to help them learn how to schedule their time and learn the hard lessons of what happens when you put things off. (Putting things off always happens.) One boy just wanted me to tell him which subjects to do everyday and he could take it from there. The other boy wanted it much more detailed... exactly which lesson in each book was he to do. Then for one subject, usually something of special interest, I assign weekly work. It's usually not too much, but it gives them that practice and experience that is helpful to have before the more independent learning in high school comes along.
The unit studies and the earlier grades I plan at the same time and it is the schedule I use throughout the year. this I make very, very detailed. What I'm planning on doing with each person when I work with them individually, exactly what we are reading and doing for our unit studies, which craft/art projects we'll be doing and what supplies I need, down to which coloring page I will be copying for them to do while I read. I have found that I need to do this because during the school year it is easy for me to loose track of my overall plan. There is so much else to focus on that I don't have a lot of brain space in the morning to try to think back and recreate all of my great ideas. If I write it all out, it's right there where I can see it, then I don't have to be able to think and we still do all my great ideas. I may not follow them exactly, but all of my initial thinking is there to play with as we come to each thing.
One other thing I've come to realize as I do my planning is that life happens and never does the school year go as it did in my nice, tidy imagination. There are doctor's appointments, people sick, emergencies of other natures, unexpected opportunities to do or see things. In order to account for this, I plan in days where I haven't planned anything. Sometimes we need these days to catch-up with things we got behind on, other times we use these free days for a family game day. I also leave a couple of weeks at the end of each semester free as well for the very same reason. Knowing I have some leeway in the schedule allows me to be more relaxed when life happens.