I have been stumped, and winging it every day, because I couldn't figure out how to schedule everything in school, accounting for all the different subjects, grade levels, and abilities represented.
But thanks to the recent solitude and extra focus that God has granted me, I finally got somewhere!
I pulled out a whiteboard and some colored markers and got scribbling!
It's amazing how just having a tangible thing in your hand like a marker frees the brain to think. All the areas where I was stuck when I was staring at my computer screen just seemed to magically come to life.
One of the main challenges to putting together a schedule was this:
How do I work with one group and not with another? What are the other groups doing while I'm not working with them?
I identified four different grade levels that I have in the school. If I staggered them so that each one worked with me, then I would have to find three separate independent activities that each class could do while they were waiting for me. The only independent activity I could think of was writing. So I was stuck.
Part of the answer came to me the other day: "I have to train them to study!" But still, the question was, "Study what?" What can I prepare for them to keep them profitably occupied, that's simple enough to prevent all of them from constantly interrupting me, and yet educational enough for them to be advancing in their understanding while they do it?
So the day I sat there with the markers, somehow it all came together.
I would split them up into only two groups, not four. While the groups are working independently, I can give them different levels of work. While they are receiving instruction, they can either split their time with me or all receive the same instruction. Then I can schedule writing as one independent activity, and...aha!...a math worksheet for the other independent activity.
There. It's in Excel. Doesn't it look official?
I don't know if this schedule will work, but at least I finally HAVE ONE. If it doesn't work, I can always tweak the parts that don't work. But now I can actually use that as a base, and I can take off and fly.
This is a schedule, not a lesson plan. Now it's on to planning out those classes over the course of the school year that I'm here. Ahhh... the interesting part begins!