It’s no secret… I love planning. It’s one of my favourite parts of homeschooling.
I love making the curriculum mingle and blend into an elaborate educational dance.
Often I’m asked how I keep so organized with my planning. Today I’m pulling back the curtain and letting you get a behind the scenes glimpse at my homeschool planning. In fact, I’m sharing some of my favourite homeschool planning secrets and hacks!Come get a behind the scenes glimpse at these homeschool planning secrets and hacks! #homeschoolplanning #homeschoolorganization #homeschoolmom Click To Tweet
HAVE A VISION
Before you even put a pen to paper, you need to have a clear vision of what you want for the year. I try to pick an overarching theme/focus for the year. For example, last year we studied pioneers all year. Many of our social studies, art, music, and language arts activities came from that common theme.
This year, I’m planning our year around an in-depth study of Canada’s provinces and territories. By having this common “theme” it’s easier for me to select the books we read, the artists we study, the videos we watch, and the recipes we make.
YOU NEED A PLANNER
I can’t emphasize this enough… you NEED a homeschool planner.
I spent my first couple of homeschool years looking for a homeschool planner that would meet my needs. After some disappointing purchases, I finally created one of my own. What I love about my homeschool planner is it’s undated and it has all the sheets I need to layout detailed activities for my children.
In addition, the planner also has many resource sheets that help me document my children’s learning. These include physical education trackers, an attendance sheet, reading logs, grade trackers, and much more.
SET ASIDE UNINTERRUPTED TIME TO PLAN
One of my most critical tips is to set aside uninterrupted planning time. I try to make my planning time like a retreat. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you have few interruptions! Here’s when you can get more information about creating a homeschool planning retreat.
A SYSTEM FOR GATHERING MATERIALS
As you plan your year, you’ll want to have a place to gather your materials.
I try to plan three months at a time. As I do my planning, I place the applicable books and worksheets into plastic bins which are labelled with the month they will be used. Also on the outside of the bins are quick reference cards so I know which topics we’ll be studying that month. This way, if I find a related resource I can quickly pop it into the correct bin.
In addition, each bin is a to-do list that relates to the month of planning. This to-do list contains the titles of all the books I need to borrow from the library, the supplies I need to purchase, and the items I may need to print out. I write these to-do lists as I do my planning.
A BACK-UP PLAN
Every year I select a complete Morning Time curriculum that I would like to follow. This Morning Time curriculum covers Bible, music, art, poetry, language arts, nature study, and geography. When paired with a writing and mathematics program, it’s very comprehensive.
I do this because we almost always go through a season where homeschooling and/or planning may be challenging. Whether it’s personal issues, illness, or simply a hectic period, it’s nice to have something comprehensive and premade to fall back on!
There are many morning time plans to enjoy such as:
- Ancient History
- Middle Ages
- Early Modern History
- Seasonal Plans (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
- and the brand new Morning Time plans, Classical Cycles Basket One
Benjamin Franklin once said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” I couldn’t agree more! By having organized homeschool plans, I’m certain you’ll encounter less stress, guilt, and frustration.
With these tips and hacks, I’m confident that you’ll have all the plans and materials you’ll need to make the year a success. There’s no last minute scrambling for materials or rushing to develop a lesson… everything is laid out ahead of time. You’re completely ready to teach!