A Visual 12 Year Plan

I have been using the SCM book called Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education for the last few years to individually plan for each child’s needs and streamline our course of studies in our family.  In this book, Sonya Shafer has us do an evaluation of all the various subjects that we can teach and rate them according to our desires to include them in our children’s education. Next she has a subjects/year graph that you fill out according to your rating chart – paying strict attention to what you are required to teach in your state as well.

I did that. I had a plan of subjects I was going to teach from Kindergarten to 12th Grade. It was a great feeling!

It is amazing what a broad feast of ideas you can place before your children with a basic plan!  😉

This year, as I have continued to organize our library , full of books from kind friends who share their materials as they outgrow them, and and take advantage of curriculum sales and to accumulate the books that I have researched and decided would fit our family’s needs, I realized that it is so easy to buy the same type of thing over and over if I am not careful. 

I decided that I could make a large version of my 12 Year Plan and hang it on the wall by my library or computer desk where I can see at a glance what materials I have already got for each subject! It is so helpful to me now.  

I only wish that I had thought of this sooner. 🙂  

Supplies Needed:


2 – 20″x30″ foam boards

Packing tape


Yard Stick

Sharpies in 8 colors package

Post-It Note Roll (white color)

Large flat surface (tabletop or floor)

To Make:


Step 1:  Tape the two long sides (30″) of the boards together in the back only (after you finish making the grid lines you will wrap the tape in the front for stability).  The board will now measure 30″x 40″. The 30″ side is the top.

Step 2:  Decide how many rows you need for subjects and how many columns you will need for your years. I made 26 rows and 14 columns. 

Step 3:  I decided I wanted to title my board, so I laid my board on table (so it wouldn’t bend as I moved it about). Then on top of my board (30″ side) I measured down 2″  on both ends and using my pencil, drew my line.

Step 4:  Time for the grid.  I decided the I wanted to be able to use Post-It Notes in my boxes as I adjusted the materials to fit our needs, so I made the rolls large enough to hold a 1″ post it note roll – the advantage of the roll is that I can cut the Post-It to the right length every time!

On the left side of my board I started measuring from my line and marked 26  1 1/4″ intervals.  Then I  marked it on the right sides of the boards.  Next, I drew my lines in across the board.

Step 5:  Now it is time for the columns.  I needed 14 columns.  On the top line I measured over 4″ once for my subjects.  Then I measured the other 13 Year lines at 2 inches.  I did the same thing on the bottom line.  Lining up my measurements, I marked the lines from the top line to the bottom line.

(I left empty spaces above and below my lines. )

Step 6:  Now I went back over it with my black sharpie so it is straight, tidy and permanent.

Step 7: I penciled in my title (Heritage Haven Academy Curriculum Plan) and then traced that with my blue sharpie.

Step 8:  In the first row under my title, I labeled my columns. The first one says Subjects. The second starts as Yr. K, the third one is Yr. 1, and so on through Yr. 12.

Step 9:  I wrote all my subjects in the 4″ line in green sharpie.  I tried to group all components of subjects together – for example:  History, Book of Centuries, and Geography were one after another.  Language Arts comprises Reading/Literature, Handwriting, Spelling, Composition, and Grammar.

Step 10: The Fun Part!

Transfer over the entire paper grid from Planning Your CM Education, marking X’s for each year you plan to teach the subject.  That is your basic plan.

This next part is where the “saving me time and money” comes in:

As I decide what I will use to teach that subject, cut off a piece of the Post-It note, write the name on the Post-It and place in it in the appropriate year.

(Note: my board is not complete yet, but I have most of it ready to be placed on there; for example we are using Math U See for our math, etc.)

Visual 12 Year Plan

Viola! A Visual 12 Year Plan!!

Do you have any tips or ideas that you use to keep yourself organized with planning? Leave a comment!   


9 thoughts on “A Visual 12 Year Plan

  1. WhereLearningAbounds

    Okay, I am getting my poster ready for this finally. I am so glad you posted picture and wrote about this. I am very visual. I was wondering if one posterboard was enough and I see you used two. Do you have any updates or tips to add to this since you wrote it? Thanks!

    1. sheraz2011 Post author

      I am still adding to this plan as we go along and I find things that work. I enjoy the over-all picture as I am looking at our next steps.

      One thing I am really grateful for is that I used removable Post-It tape to write my plan on in the squares. I have re-organized it several times as we flesh out plans and I realized that I need to re-adjust it to make the board “flow” better for me.

      I would also recommend writing the subjects on the Post-It tape so you can move them as needed.

  2. Leslie

    I love it! What if you are using different curricula for different children? Do you just add their names to the square?

    1. sheraz2011 Post author

      I type up a yearly plan for each girl based on her needs/levels and that is where we get our actual day to day work because this plan is not so much an actual to do list each year so much as it is a way to visually see my general 12 year plan (as figured out in Planning Your CM Education) and to help me keep track of curriculum purchased and on my shelf. The biggest help this has been for me is that IT KEEPS ME FROM RE-PURCHASING THE SAME CURRICULUM OVER AND OVER…language arts and history are BIG culprits for me. I don’t need the same curriculum (like Ancient Egypt) from 4 different publishers. ONE is sufficient! 😉 This doesn’t cut out research totally, but it helps with the planning and purchasing aspects. =)

      The girls are in various levels no matter their year, so I use it to help me keep track of what they are working on and where they are going next. Some things have to be independent due to the nature of the subject – like math, etc. For Bible, history, geography, science, etc. my older girls will use a certain curriculum and stay together, but I will use a younger version for the younger girls. Subjects like Shakespeare, poetry, picture study, hymns, music, and literature read-alouds are still done as a family.

  3. Pingback: Awesome Planning Poster! | Topsy Turvy Toile

  4. Pingback: 2014 – 2015 Curriculum Planning with Charlotte Mason, focus on Ancients | Where Learning Abounds

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