Making a plan, organizing it and putting it into practice is the key to successful homeschooling. So many of my homeschooling friends have suffered through burn out, stress, and myriads of other issues simply because they failed to make an organized plan for their homeschool. I love how the summer time affords me the opportunity to rest, recuperate, and revamp my homeschool. From kindergarten online homeschool to printable worksheets whatever type of schooling you use… you still need to plan. As I take the time to make my homeschooling plan I typically follow these six steps…
1) Set goals. This is by far one of the most important things you can do to keep your homeschooling running efficiently. As with any endeavor if we know where we are headed… we are bound to get there. Review your curriculum’s scope and sequence or determine what major areas of study you want to cover. Then write a simple goal for the whole year. I like to break this LARGE goal down into a monthly smaller goal. If you school for 9 months, you can break up that large goal into 9 smaller goals that you will cover each month.
2) Review the past. Hindsight is 20/20 isn’t it? So, looking back and determining what things worked well and which were… uhmmm… not so great is a super way to make sure the future is better. I like to make notes at the end of the year while things are still fresh – to help me remember what subjects/methods the kids really did well with and which seemed to be a struggle. This helps me plan better when ordering and making curriculum.
3) Make a schedule. Everyone is different in this area, but having a routine of some sort will help maximize your children’s learning. Whether you have a very detailed schedule or just a general outline of what happens each day… your homeschool will benefit!
4) Put meat on the bones… now that you have a basic schedule it’s time to determine the course of study. Once you have your curriculum, review it and determine how many lessons it will take to complete it. Then divide that into how many months/days of school you have. This will help you see how frequently you need to include the course in your schedule. There have been some classes that we do twice a week while others we do every day. Make sure that your lessons support your monthly goals…
5) Put it together, with a planner. Yes, I know that sounds redundant… but truly some sort of organizational tool can be a life saver. I started with printed planners, but since I do most of my work online I have switched to spreadsheets in the past year. This year I developed a schedule for each of my kiddos and then put in weekly/monthly assignments in a Google Doc which I shared with them. I left blank boxes between each assignment so that my children could X each assignment as they completed it.
6) Organize your school area and stock up! Yep, the final activity before school begins. I love going through the whole school room and reorganizing it to be the most conducive to learning. Each year I try to improve how we store our curriculum, how I keep grades, and how we conduct each day. I also take inventory of what supplies I have, and then estimate how much I will need to last me till May. Then I head off to the store and take advantage of the “back-to-school” sales!