Friends, I am so excited to share with you a new series on planning your homeschool! This week and next, I’m going to share some planning ideas and thoughts with you. I love planning. We’ve been homeschooling for enough years now that I feel like I have a good system worked out for our family, and now I want to share it with yours. I’m not just going to share my thoughts, though. I’m giving you free printable planning journals to help you get your homeschool set up for next year!
In addition to this Homeschool Objectives Journal, you’ll also want to check out the Homeschool Planning Journal and Homeschool Scheduling Journals.
I’m making these journals completely free for subscribers! When you register, you’ll receive emails with resources, thoughts, and gifts to help you disciple your kids. Did you sign up? OK, let’s get on with setting objectives for your homeschool! You’ll find the link to download your journal at the bottom of the post. Just click on the big red title.
Let’s be honest; homeschooling isn’t always cupcakes and butterflies. Sometimes it involves character development, discipline, and trudging through the daily grind. When we homeschool, life events can really throw a wrench in our plans. It’s easy to get derailed.
What can we do to prepare for the unexpected?
I think we can identify and prioritize our purpose. We need to approach each homeschooling year knowing why we’re doing what we do. What’s the point? I think it’s also important to honestly assess where our kids are at, where we’d like them to be, and how we can help them get there.
Every family is going to have different goals and objectives in their own homeschool, and every child will have different needs. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about homeschooling—we are able to meet the needs of our children individually based on our own family values. I hope that spending a few minutes on the My Homeschool Objectives Journal will help solidify for you what your purpose in homeschooling is. I also hope it will help you identify the needs of your children. That way, when life goes sideways, you’ll have a good idea what’s truly important to you. You’ll know what subjects you can drop for a few weeks, and you’ll have a written reminder of why you do what you do.
The My Homeschool Objectives Journal is 20 pages including the cover. Every page is full of color, fine art, and planning goodness. Over the course of the next week, you can expect to see printable journals to help with planning curriculum, resources, supplies, schedules, and weekly assignment.
The “What We Value” page will help you clearly state your reasons for homeschooling, and give you a way to keep those reasons in front of you all year.
Why are we homeschooling? This will be a short statement of the most compelling reason you have to homeschool. If you have several, you can make bullet points.
What’s most important to us? What values are most important to you as a family? As parents, what do you want to communicate to your children in the short 18 years you have them as students?
If we could only teach one thing this year, what would it be? Of course you want to teach multiple subjects and values to your children. But what is the one thing that is non-negotiable in your home? When life happens (and it does happen), it’s important to know what you can let go of for a time—and what you won’t.
Guiding Scripture ~ OK, you have the reason you homeschool, your primary family values, and the one thing you must teach. What Scripture verses are you looking to in these decisions? What Scripture guides your values as a family? Write it out so you can reference it often!
I’ve also provided four pages of development pages for your homeschool planning. You’ll have the opportunity to set goals for each student in the following areas: spiritual development, physical and life skills development, academic development, and relational development. It’s really best to just choose one or two points to work on in each section. For instance, in math, you may just be working on long multiplication with your oldest daughter. You can add the goals for the year in order, or you can add another goal when she masters what you want her to work on. (I like to create a list for the year, knowing we may not complete it). But I like to plan for the entire school year.
I made these development objective sheets for Christian parents for a variety of ages. You may not use all of the bubbles. A preschool or Kindergarten student may not hear any history at all. That’s fine! Don’t feel pressure to have a goal listed in every area. These sheets are for your benefit as you plan for your coming homeschool year.
There are four sets of color-coded objective sheets. If you have fewer children, you can skip printing one of the sets. If you have more children, you can go ahead and print extra sets in the color of your choice.
I printed our journal pages back-to-back on 65-pound cardstock. This is my favorite: Neenah Premium Cardstock, 96 Brightness, 65 lb, Letter, Bright White, 250 Sheets per Pack (91904). This allows for color printing and writing in pen on both sides without significant bleed-through and makes the journals sturdy and portable. I always print on the “best” setting because the fine art looks so much prettier that way. You can either store the pages in a 3-ring binder, or you can take them to FedEx or somewhere similar to have them spiral-bound as I did. If you do that, you may want to print the coming journals this week and next and have them bound together. The download link is right at the bottom of this post.
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.