I know I’ve said this before but I love planning. I make Bible study plans, life plans, budget plans, cleaning plans, and homeschool plans. I am a planner!
I’ll never forget when I first had to plan for our homeschool year. I was so overwhelmed! I had no idea where or how to start. I had all of these books and objectives but wasn’t sure how to develop a clear plan.
Here are some tips for how I take the “overwhelm” out of planning for a new homeschool year.Check out these tips to take the overwhelm out of planning for a new #homeschool year. Click To Tweet
God is the principal of our homeschool. I always pray before I embark on a session of homeschool planning.
Outline the year.
Get out your calendar for the year and block out all of your holidays and non-school days.
Review your objectives.
Before I get into the planning portion of things, I like to take a close look at the learning objectives we’ve set for the year. I also review the quarterly goals that I’ve determined for each of my children. My planning is more meaningful when I approach it with learning objectives fresh in my mind.
Decide how often you’ll plan.
My planning sessions take place once every four weeks. We have a year-round homeschool schedule with 4 weeks on and 1 week off. Planning for 4 weeks fits best with our schedule but you may want to determine what’s best for you… weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Assess curriculum & resources.
One of the first things I do is gather all of my resources, textbooks, and curriculum. I take some time to assess how to divide the curriculum up in order to accomplish our learning goals for the year. I use sticky notes as bookmarks in the textbooks, and write a date on them so I have a rough idea of whether we’re on target or not.
That being said, I try not to let the curriculum rule over our homeschool. I allow for flexibility, buffer days, and unexpected events. Also, throughout the year, I may skip pages if my daughter knows a concept. On the other hand, if she’s struggling with things, I may slow everything down to focus on teaching important concepts.
Decide on how many days per week you’ll do each subject. We do bible studies, math, language arts, and physical education daily. Science and art are three times per week. Social studies and our SQUILT music lessons are twice a week. We only do a focused health activity once a week (because health is built into our everyday living).
I like to plan subject-by-subject whereas other homeschoolers may prefer to plan day-by-day. I prefer to plan one subject all at once for a few reasons:
- So I’m able to keep a rhythm of compounding learning within my homeschool schedule.
- I have less books on the table, so it’s easier to look over materials.
Try to jot down activities and plans into each day of your plan. Also, plan intense learning activities for times when your children are most alert and receptive. For some children, that’s first thing in the morning, for other children, that may be in the afternoon.
Also consider alternating the subjects by their “intensity”. For instance, I never do language arts and math back-to-back.
I will often keep notes of all the books and materials I will need. I use one notekeeping sheet per week of planning. I find this keeps me organized and it’s also a good reference for when I’m preparing on a Sunday evening before a new homeschool week.
Make a to-do list.
I also make a to-do list for each week that I’ve planned. I record books I may need to borrow from the library, shopping trips to specific stores, and photocopying or prep work that’s needed for every week.
I place all of my planning sheets into my homeschool binder. The binder is organized into various sections so that my documentation can be quickly referenced. My planner is actually my pride and joy. I love using it… and it’s pretty to look at too!
Do you use a homeschool planner? If you would like to get a better look at the one I designed, you can check it out on this page.
That’s what a planning session looks like for us. Now it’s your turn….
What does your homeschool planning process look like? I invite you to tell me all about it in the comment section below, then share this post with your homeschool communities.