Day 2: 5 Days of Homeschool 101
Homeschool planning. It seems daunting. At least it always has to me. There are so many different ways to plan for your homeschool. So many different planners available and curriculum choices. It’s enough to make you want to run away screaming.
I’d love to share with you how I have finally found myself in homeschool planning. I have a large family with several school aged children which makes homeschool planning even more of a challenge for me. Add in some of the kids having special needs when it comes to learning plus life on the farm and I’m liable to go crazy!
Some people plan out their whole year, some their month, others their week, and some even do it just day by day. My strategy incorporates a bit of all of those together. When we get ready to start our new year of homeschooling I look at the curriculum and find the halfway mark. I note that down in a notebook. That’s where I want to be mid year, so by January 1st I want us to be on that lesson or that page. Seems simple so far right?
Next I start out by choosing day 1. What will be the first day of our new school year? Most years we start on the first Monday of July since we tend to school year round. However some years, like this year we pushed our start date back. I needed a bit more time to recover from having a baby, which also adds a new dimension to homeschool planning!
Okay. So we’ve got our halfway mark, we’ve got our day 1. Now it’s time to do some planning. I plan out the first month all at once. That way we have a solid foundation to start with. We’re more likely to hold to our schedule and follow through if we know that we can’t get off track or we’ll be behind so soon. As we get to the end of the first month I start doing my planning by week. This way I allow room for our other activities and can plan around days we’re going to need to be out of the house.
One of the fun things with homeschooling is that if I know we’re going to be gone and have a lot of driving time I can plan accordingly. So, instead of doing workbooks or notebooking while driving we can listen to some history or science. We can take a short field trip. There are lots of ways to add in schooling hours and keep us learning without being in the books everyday.
What about homeschool planners you ask? I have tried a lot of them. I’ve tried online and in print. I prefer mine to be in print so I can write in them. I’m a pen and paper type of girl. Plus it gives the kids access to them as well. My current system involves using a weekly planning book for each child while also maintaining a large calendar for me which overviews what we’re doing daily. It may seem confusing but it works very well for us at this point in time.
I love homeschool planners, but most don’t have space for me to plan out for 7-8 children. Eventually I’ll need one that I can plan for ten(or more). There are printable options that I could customize to get to that point, but I don’t seem to have the time to do that either. Life is short, life is full, and I’m looking for an easy planning method so I don’t have to spend a full day every week planning.
That brings me to how I “cheat”. I love to find curriculum that all the kids can use together. Example is that for history we’re using Story of the World. All the kids can listen to me read and participate in the question and answer session. We then each have a notebook to record what they learned that day through drawings and writings. It’s simple for me to plan out and yet still very educational.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my short little view of my homeschool planning. As time allows I’m going to be giving you a visual of my monthly and weekly planning and what we use for each age and grade. I’m still bouncing around a bit with some of my children but for the most part we’ve found our groove.
In relation to our homeschool planning check out our home management as well. They go hand in hand.
All members of the TOS Crew who wish to are participating in this blog hop. Feel free to go to the Main Blog Post or check out some of the blogs on the linky below.