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One aspect of homeschooling that can often come back to haunt me is how to manage it all. This entails the need for planning your homeschool days. And, for someone like me who likes a bit of freedom to be spontaneous, I often fight against having a plan. But, I am seeing that there can be benefits to it.
I’ve shared quite a bit in the past about how I plan for our homeschool. I’ll share a brief recap here as well as add what I am either starting or considering starting.
Planning Your Homeschool Days: The School Year Game Plan
We’ve all heard that phrase “A failure to plan is a plan to fail.”
The same can be said for homeschooling. We need a plan. I start covered in prayer about what direction we should take for the upcoming year. That’s the first part of the Holy Spirit approach to homeschooling I shared about yesterday. But, I need to also seek guidance of what the boys should be studying for their learning adventures. (I’d love to fully embrace unschooling, but know that we need a plan for our charter school as well as our family.)
The upside for going through IDEA for our homeschooling is that they provide a loose idea of what to cover. By that, I mean giving you the basic areas for education (e.g. language arts which they split into reading and writing) and a more specific list of courses for high school. What I choose to do with each child withing the specific subject areas is up to me.
I’ve found that keeping the number of subjects more limited for the younger ages is a great way to proceed. Honestly, I feel like we’re getting somewhere if we are making progress in the process of learning to read and basic math. Add in some read aloud selections and the occasional educational video or nature exploration and I call it all good for the elementary years.
High school is a bit more structured with consideration given for each child’s strengths and plan of career path post high school. You can read my post specific to planning a high school course of study as well as one on selecting the best high school electives for your child.
With convention season upon many or coming soon, this is the perfect time to start considering what you’ll be doing for next year. I am incredibly grateful that our curriculum fair is pushed back to early May so I have the end of this school year in sight. It’s challenging to plan ahead when you can’t see the finish line for the current ‘race.’
Planning Your Homeschool Days: The Daily Grind
Every day, we have things that need to be accomplished. Some may prefer to block off a very specific time for each subject while others like to have a weekly checklist of what needs to be done. I’ve tried both and as much as it pains me to admit it, I think we are going to need a full switch to the daily time periods or at the least have a fixed start time with workboxing to guide each child’s day. Some subjects (e.g. reading and math) are daily while others like history or science can be block scheduled (so 2 days per week for a longer time frame.)
Laying out assignments has been done with Homeschool Tracker Plus. They are no longer updating the paid software which lives on an individual computer as they’ve adopted a subscription based platform. Currently, I am considering migrating to it so no one electronic device in my house is solely responsible for housing the information. I liked aspects of Homeschool Planet which is also an online platform, but can’t fathom the setup work needed when I already have a database with HST+.
With my laptop (housing HST+) on the fritz, I have reclaimed a pen and paper approach for now. For the boys work, I was able to print out the remaining assignments from HST+ and then write them out in my Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner from 2014 which I had only partially used. You can get the electronic files with a one-year membership to Schoolhouse Teachers right now. (We’ll be reviewing the NEW one soon!) I do love the layout of Debra Bell’s Ultimate Homeschool Planner as well. I just happened to grab the older one first when necessity struck.
They say the devil is in the details. I’d like to hijack that old saying and replace it with the idea that the devil will thwart your best-laid plans! Hence, the all important need to know when to set aside your plan and go with the flow. My challenge is always to get away from the fluid motion of life and find more structure.
This post is part of the 5 Days of Tips for Homeschool Parents Blog Hop with the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Here is another group of awesome homeschool bloggers sharing their tips. Hop on over to see what they are talking about this week!
Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy