Homeschool Planning!

We are on Day 3 of our blog hop and today’s topic is: Homeschool Planning!! I must admit, planning is one of my favorite things to do. I love looking at our curriculum and deciding what we are going to do next. I always get excited at the start of the school year when I start thinking about our goals and mapping out a curriculum plan.

So, how do I go about planning for our homeschool? Well, I find it is helpful to start by reflecting on the previous year. As I am packing up our homeschool stuff from the last school year, I take some time to go through my kids porfolios and get a picture of where they did (and perhaps) did not grow, and what we need to work on for the next year. I use these ideas to help me when I’m looking for curriculum (I am paying particular attention to the area of writing for my younger son) and also to set goals for the next school year.

In the week or two before school starts, I spend some time making lists of overall goals for my kids for the year. These can be academic (last year, for my younger son one of my goals was for him to achieve mastery of all of his math facts, which he did!), artistic (for my older son, to learn some new songs on his guitar) or related to character training (you will NOT call your brother a name every time you get mad…even if you want to!!). By doing this, I know I have at least some general direction in each area for the coming school year.

I generally plan our day-to-day schedule each week (usually on Friday after we have finished for the day). Yes, I like having a written plan for our schooling each week (I think it’s just second nature from being in the classroom). I am the kind of person who can sometimes be easily distracted, therefore I find that having a written plan helps to keep me on track. That does not mean I am opposed to hopping down a rabbit trail, or exploring some topic more deeply if the occasion arises. We do this fairly often, which is why I write my plans in pencil! I love the flexibility of homeschooling because if an unexpected learning opportunity presents itself, you can simply change your plan for the day!! At times like that, I simply use a sticky note to write down what changed, and when I am making my plans for the next week, I add in whatever did not get finished.

We all know some days DO NOT go according to plan, but that is a part of life, and I want my kids to learn how to adapt when they need to. For me, a written plan is a guide for the week, not a “set in stone” list of things we must do. I find my weekly plans are helpful if something comes up (like mom actually being the one to get sick!), because then my kids and my hubby can actually follow the plan and school will still get done. But, if we have days where something does come up, and we miss a lot of things on our list for the day, I know that’s okay, because we can do them tomorrow!!

Some tools I find useful in my planning are, the TOS Schoolhouse Planners, which are loaded with excellent sheets for planning, goal setting, record keeping etc. You can check them out here:

http://schoolhouseteachers.com/2012/07/purchase-the-2012-2013-schoolhouse-planners/

And, if you are looking for something free to get you started, check out Donna Young’s website which is also loaded with tons of useful homeschool forms that you can download and print!

http://donnayoung.org/index.htm

To see what other members of the crew had to say on this topic click here:

BacktoHomeschool

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