I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Today is the 2nd day of the 2016 5 Days of Homeschool 101 Series from the Schoolhouse Review Crew. The theme for today is Planning. Specifically, I am going to share my past, present and future ideas for how I tackle homeschool planning.
I’ve tried a variety of ways to tackle homeschool planning in the past. Being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I’ve had the opportunity to take several options for a test ride.
Homeschool Planning: The 1st year
During our first year, I was using Catholic Heritage Curricula for my 1st and 44th-gradeboys. They had a lovely 36-week planner with a spot to just check things off when you were done. For the most part, I followed their plan with the exception of math and adding on a small co-op for Story of the World Volume I.
For the most part, I followed their plan with the exception of math and adding on a small co-op for Story of the World Volume I.
Looking back, things seem SO simple then. I just had 2 big binders, one for each grade’s lesson plans. When we were done, we were done. And, I did not have to turn in official grades for the subjects. Although, I’ll admit that I was doing my best to keep track of where they would have been.
Instead, I had to keep work samples set aside for a certified teacher to do a portfolio review. That was the requirement for Ohio at the time.
Homeschool Planning: Adding Digital Planning to the Mix
Towards the end of my 1st year, I had begun to hear about Homeschool Tracker, a database program that allows you to manage everything. I started off with the free version and soon purchased the Pro option. (Read my thoughts on the program and how I have used it.)
Sadly, they no longer support the HST+ which lives ON your computer. That lifetime upgrade for the Pro was a huge selling feature. However, it still works for me at the moment.
What they have done is to move to a subscription-based approach. The upside is you can access it anytime you have an internet connection. And, those of us with the older HST+ can get our database imported to the online version at no extra charge. The downsides are that is is an annual expense and I can’t access it offline.
Homeschool Planning: Moving Towards a Mixed Approach
In the past few years, I have had the opportunity to review several planning systems. Some have been online and some have been print.
After my laptop went haywire this spring, I knew that I needed a multi-pronged approach to homeschool planning.
While I have my laptop fully functional again, I am seriously considering moving HST+ to the paid subscription. Although, the frugal homeschool mama in me is putting it off as I try to dig deeper into My School Year which I have until late in the Spring. My School Year added the ability to share lesson plans with your students, so if it works and I don’t want to spend extra $$ that’s where I’ll hop.
What I am doing is adding the use of the print Hey Mama Schoolhouse planner to my arsenal. (For my personal life, I am using other ones which I’ll share about in tomorrow’s home management themed post.)
I am mapping the entire year out digitally. For now, I am working in HST+ as I have lesson plans saved from previous runs through much of the same material. If I can find a way to easily copy it into My School Year, then I may do that.
Then, I am writing in shorthand the tasks each boy should be doing that day for each subject in the print planner.
I can then check off on both and add the grade to the print planner until I am ready to bulk add in the digital one. One thing I love about this approach is a spot to add our Schoolhouse Crew review items on the fly.
There you have it…my look at how to approach planning your time.
Look down below to find other Schoolhouse Crew members writing on the topic of curriculum today. If you are a curriculum junkie like me, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to pine over!