When it comes to homeschool planning, you can never know too much. I wrote an article call “How to Schedule A Homeschool Day,” with various schedules and information on how to accomplish a full day.
So, this article will add on to that one. Today, I am giving you six very descriptive tips to homeschool planning.
Do not plan too far ahead
I love to plan; everything is a planning opportunity for me in some fashion or another. Planning makes me feel like I have control. Most of the time, I only accomplish those things I love to do first, and everything else gets backlisted for another time. Anyone out there like that?
For this very reason, keeping track of my students grades can be backlisted. Why? I enjoy doing it, but it’s not the first thing I jump to. I have added a very good tip that helps me do this later in the article.
Why don’t you want to plan too far ahead? The first reason is that this creates more flexibility. Ever had school assignments and projects written down and you didn’t make it them, only to have even more things planned the next day? This can drive homeschool parents mad.
By only planning a week at a time, no more than a month at a time, you give yourself flexibility to pick up the next day, without being overwhelmed, and overwhelming your students. Never attempt to give your kids double the work because something was missed the previous day. Just pick up where you left off! This is the beauty of homeschool. The public-school systems attempt to load kids down with work; however, many students end up falling behind. We are in the business of helping our children learn, not watch them fail.
If you plan this way, whatever is missed that you really wanted to get into, can be picked up in next week’s planning or next month’s planning. Don’t plan more than you have too!
If you have older kids, try the bullet point planning discussed in the “How to Schedule A Homeschool Day.”
If you have sick days, Homeschool Late Start, will have tons of advice for you. Remember, if you need a break, take it! I hope to have an article about homeschool burnout soon! Be sure to join our newsletter to be notified.
No problem! When scheduling assignments, chapters, and review questions in a textbook, try to only plan sections per subject, no more than one chapter at time. Don’t overdo it. I am not a textbook homeschooler, but there is nothing wrong with using textbooks. Especially if your students love them. If they are learning, use it.
Plan these assignments based on how your students are doing academically. Some chapters can be very long. Therefore, you can find younger children, and some older children, becoming bored. If this is the case, Shorten the lessons, as advised to sections.
In “Homeschool Late Start,” I talked about record keeping and gave tips on keeping up with your records. But sometimes you need help, if you don’t have a system or PSP (Private Satellite School), who can help you stay on track, you need to develop a habit of tracking. If you do not, you will become overwhelmed when it is time to gather up those grades for your records, and it can throw your homeschool off track. You will need to take days or a week off, just to organize and fulfill record keeping, which is a requirement in homeschooling. Especially as your child advances to the next grade.
My best tip for recording keeping, is this tried and tested method, I began implementing last year: Have a week planned every month, where you are scanning in your students assignments, photos of projects, and recording test. Take this time to update their attendance as well. You will be amazed at how easy your year goes.Keep your records safe! This device backs up your files and comes with an emergency recovery plan.
When scanning and recording records, be honest with yourself. You are the teacher, what has your student(s) been slacking on? What are their greatest academic qualities? Scan the good, bad, and ugly into their records for yourself. This shows improvements across every subject. Even scan covers of books and curriculums you are using. Why? Maybe you all hated it and do not want to ever go back. A few years from now, maybe you will. I even scan the fronts of my students notebooks in notebooking.
Keep It New
Do not keep the same routine if you do not have too!
If you find that you or your kids are starting to become bored with the routine, change it up!
How? Create a new schedule. Find out what your kids like the most and build around those subjects.
For example, my girls love language arts, art, science, and social studies, the most. What does that leave out, besides their extracurricular activities? Math! So, we opt to do math class first. I take the time to start with my younger students in the beginning. This way, I can give them a break before the next subjects as I am teaching my fifth graders math.
Math is one of those subjects you really can’t teach with all your students. This is because there are different levels and therefore, everyone has their own.
After that, I can group my children together for the other subjects, or if I want a mommy-teacher break, they can grab a workbook and get started with any subject they desire. The hard part is done. Only you know your students strengths and weaknesses.
Keep it new by grouping and planning to what makes your own homeschool family happy. Again, this is the beauty of homeschooling.
Get It Done
If your kids are independent, create a “Get It Done” basket, or as some has called this, the “morning basket.” These are things your kids or students can do on their own and can start whenever they want. For instance, if you sleep in one morning, they know to grab their baskets and get that work done.
In our “Get It Done” basket, I have cursive, reading comprehension, art books, and readers. Some parents of high school kids can add newspaper articles with current events around the world, even sketchbooks for drawing. Your homeschool, you decide!
No matter what, your kids know that this is what they can do with out you. If they are coming to you asking for help, remove these items from the basket. They should be distraction free to you. I do have a family vlog that shows our basket and how we homeschooled throughout the summer without “really” homeschooling. Something we do to help our kids not fall behind in the summer and that I will be implementing again, but this time, we can include outside activities!
Use What You Have, Not What You Don’t
Do not feel as if you need to go out and buy fancy planners or posters. They are nice at first, but as the homeschool year goes on, you might find that you need them less. If this is the case, make your own.
I have both made my own and purchased one from a store. The pros of making my own: it is made to meet my personal needs. The pros of purchasing one: It is beautiful, but too extra. I feel guilty for not utilizing it all.
Instead, opt to save time and money buy making your own with a notebook, or printing only what you need. In fact, we have created various choices you can use in your own homeschool here. Print away for free. Find some other things to print that you might like. A favorite of my is the complete teachers planner from our third party, Christianbook.com. Its free for you to print and you only print what you need. See some of our picks below.
I hope this article has helped you see that homeschool planning doesn’t have to take a lot of work, and with a little creativity, your homeschool will be efficient in whatever you plan! Please share these tips with your homeschool community or family, no family should be intimidated by homeschooling.
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