Planner

Would you like some help planning your homeschool?

I’d love to share some planning tips with you. I LOVE planning! I am the Type A personality. That means I love to organize and plan.

However, I’m somewhat reformed.

I’ve made many mistakes.

I’ve overhauled my homeschool planning method many times in the last 6 years of formally schooling my children.

Here are a few lessons from a slightly reformed obsessive planner.

You should plan your homeschool.

Oh, please make a simple homeschool plan. Don’t just aimlessly attack your days. You need some clear-cut goals. You need a basic plan.

  • Your plan should include a basic outline of your homeschool year. How many days will you school total? Will you have a 4 or 5 day homeschool? How many lessons of each subject will need to be completed weekly or daily?

I’ve created a simple planning method to help me create target goals for our homeschool year. I don’t even use a planner. See, I really am reformed!

  • This plan should also include a simple routine or even a schedule. How long is your homeschool day? How many subjects need to fit into your day? Write it out in timed increments to make sure your plan can match the reality of your limited time.

Should you have a schedule or routine? Well, I have a little bit of both. I create a schedule at the beginning of the year; however, I make sure it’s a flexible schedule. Within a few months, that schedule becomes a comfortable (and productive) homeschool routine.

  • Grace. Give yourself grace. Give your kids grace. Cover your homeschool with grace. There will be many mistakes and do-overs. Look at each instance as a learning experience. Make appropriate changes and keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

I figure that by the time my youngest child is a senior in high school, I’ll have a firm grasp of our homeschool plan and routine.

Planning your homeschool is not an exact science. You will need to find the method or style that works best for you.

Over-planning

I’ve crammed my homeschool day or year so full that I’ve experienced burn out.

Lesson learned: All homeschool plans must be realistic and doable. Time must be left for relaxing and other fun pursuits.

Under-planning

I’ve tried to fly by the seat of my pants by not planning our weeks and months. I accomplished a bunch of nothing as I wandered aimlessly through our days.

Lesson learned: Create a basic plan and have simple goals to help measure homeschool success.

Rigid Scheduling

When I first began homeschooling, I was determined to stick to my schedule perfectly. By the second day, I was crying in a closet because we were so “behind” the schedule that I felt we’d never catch up.

Lesson learned: Keep the schedule flexible. Allow time for all the interruptions that come with daily life.

Eschewing the Routine

Some days I say that we’ll just do school in a different way and a different order. We’ll just mix things up, right? Wrong. I end up forgetting subjects. My kids feel stressed because they don’t know what we’ll be doing next and they don’t know when they’ll have their usual playtime.

Lesson learned: Kids like to know what to expect. Having a simple routine allows us to complete our schoolwork in a timely manner and still have time for other activities.

Giving Up

There have been days that I’m so tired that I just give up. I call off school for that day because I feel like I need a break. Then my kids end up fighting, arguing, making a giant mess, and complaining that they are bored.

Lesson learned: While taking breaks can be vitally important, it can be helpful to view homeschooling as a job that needs to be completed. And the victory that is felt with a successful day is well worth the effort.

Daily Planning

I tried to write out daily lesson plans for our homeschool. I tried several varieties of popular planners that are marketed to homeschool moms. I ended up wasting many hours of my time when I threw my planners in the trash after about 3 weeks.

Lesson learned: It is time consuming to write out daily lesson plans. They don’t factor in the baby who was up all night or the toddler who comes down with the stomach virus. Plan weekly or monthly so that you have more flexibility. Don’t write daily lesson plans that will get derailed by Wednesday. If you have to track your progress, keep a homeschool log instead.

Peer-Influenced Planning

I’ve tried block scheduling. I’ve tried certain planners. I’ve tried workboxes. Y’all, I’ve been there, done that. If it’s a homeschool planning method, odds are that I’ve tried it. I’ve attempted to follow the plans of many of my homeschool friends or my homeschool mentors. I’ve let their styles dictate my methods.

Lesson learned: Find a method that works for you and put your blinders on. Don’t try to do what works for a friend or even a blogger (gasp!). Be confident in your unique planning method.

For more planning resources, visit my most popular planning posts.

How I Planned for My Homeschool Year
Our Homeschool Schedule
Why I Love Our Early Morning Start Time
Routines and Schedules
My Homeschool Planning Nights
4th Year Burnout
How Long is a Homeschool Day? 

I hope you’re inspired to start planning your unique homeschool journey!