Getting organized for the beginning of the homeschool year is not an easy feat. It is not easy to stay organized and ahead of the game for the whole year, either. Homeschool planning overwhelm can easily set in!
I do things a little differently from some other homeschoolers when it comes to homeschool planning because I don’t look at the year as a whole so much. I like to look at the parts of the whole, and break it all down into easier, bite-sized pieces. Homeschool lesson planning is better done bit-by-bit for me, and for anyone who experiences homeschool planning overwhelm when thinking about the full year.
A Note on Organized Homeschool Planning
Over the last couple years I have had it a little easier in my lesson planning because of the curriculum that I have chosen to use. BookShark has the homeschool planning done for me, right down to each day of the week. If you have a curriculum like this, great!
For us, that is only for a few of our subjects — for the rest, I have to figure out how much we are going to be doing and when. For example, RightStart Math is one of those that I plan myself. X amount of lessons in total divided by the number of weeks of school we’ll be doing, in our case 36 weeks. This gives me an idea of how many lessons we need to cover each week, then each day.
I’ll be doing the same thing for other subjects or topics that we’ll be studying, and then I break the planning down further into manageble chunks. This eliminates homeschool planning overwhelm for me.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Homeschool lesson planning is better done bit-by-bit for me, and for anyone who experiences homeschool planning overwhelm when thinking about the full year.’ – Ashley of @ForgetfulMomma #readysethomeschool #allthehomeschoolthings #homeschooling” quote=”Homeschool lesson planning is better done bit-by-bit for me, and for anyone who experiences homeschool planning overwhelm when thinking about the full year.”]
Monthly Homeschool Planning
At the beginning of each month, I sit down and plan, in pencil, for that month.
- any photocopying that needs to be done
- writing out what pages or chapters we’ll be reading in which books (I make sure those books haven’t run off, too, because searching for them definitely kills the “get up and go” for getting work done in the morning!)
- switching up our binders
What I mean by switching up our binders is that I have a binder for each of us with a month’s worth of work in them. Just several pages in each of their binders looks a lot less intimating than a year’s worth. Plus, the pages aren’t getting torn as they flip through looking for the next page that we are going to be working on.
My binder has the instruction guides for four weeks of language arts, science and history.
When I’m switching things over I’m also looking over the plans, seeing if there are things that I need to buy for any art or craft projects or science experiments. In particular, I like to look through our history books for things that we might want to try our hand at, like this hieroglyphs craft that we did last year. They still remember that history lesson, so I like to plan at least one of these extras a month.
Weekly Homeschool Plans
There are things that we incorporate each week, like Story Time or the Afterschool Program at our library that we try to attend. They are not every week so I write them in weekly.
Once a week we plan to spend time in the kitchen cooking or baking also. I can decide what exactly we will be doing at the beginning of each week; that way it will fit right in with other things we’ve been doing.
Beat Homeschool Planning Overwhelm with a Daily Double-Check
Each morning, I take a quick glance of the day’s plans so I can make sure that I have everything we need to get the work done. It helps to check that I know exactly what the plans are so I can move from one subject or child to the next without searching for my planner or thinking we’re done for the day and then trying to get my kids back into the work (we have all been there!)
Some days we’re not feeling the work planned and just need to take a break and relax, or find a different way to learn the subject topic. Watching documentaries or heading to the library to find new books on that topic are some of our favorite ways to learn without doing schoolwork. It gives us a little break, changes the learning medium, and can just be plain fun.
Ashley is a secular homeschool blogger in Canada homeschooling her three elementary aged children. You can find tips on homeschooling, curriculum, and some great family-friendly and easy-to-make recipes on Forgetful Momma.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out the other posts in this series!