I have a confession. I’m a little bit of a planning freak. Every December, I spend two weeks planning my blogging and writing for the year. Every June, I plan our homeschool year. I do it on paper, so that I can carry it around with me, cross things out, highlight, and take notes. I have a five year plan for writing, and a plan for homeschooling through high school.
See what I mean? I plan a lot. I also change the plan frequently. So… why plan if I’m just going to change things as I go? Let’s look at homeschooling in particular.
My husband and I have clear objectives we want to achieve in our homeschool. There are specific goals I want my children to reach during the coming year, and there are learning experiences I want them to have. I want to be certain my kids learn the skills they’ll need for the future, and there are truths I want to expose them to…..
I plan because achieving our objectives is only possible if I break the work down into weekly chores. Do I complete everything I plan to, when I plan to? No, I usually don’t. But I can easily move information around, and make clear decisions, knowing all of the information at once. If we’re sick for two weeks or we’re gifted with the presence of my husband for a few days, I’m able to make good choices on what to reschedule, and what to drop altogether.
When I don’t plan, I:
- don’t know what my goals are.
- lose track of my objectives.
- wonder if I’m doing the right thing with our day.
- react to the concerns of the day rather than staying on track for the week.
- feel out-of-control.
- am not able to take breaks without a feeling of guilt.
- don’t teach half the information I’d like to.
- have no backup when I’m not on top of my game.
Planning the school year takes me about two weeks (give or take a board game and trip to the science museum here or there). For me, it’s time well-spent. I gather my materials for the year and while I might adjust as we go along, I only need to spend about 15 minutes every Monday morning figuring out what I’m doing for the week.
One of the reasons this works for me is that I plan our school year by week, and then write the number of each week on my calendar. If I need to move the weeks, I can. On Mondays, I take a look at our week and decide what needs to be done on each day.
Would you like some in-depth instruction on how I plan? I’ve created journals to help you, which have detailed descriptive posts to go with them. I’ve linked those below in case you missed them a couple of months ago.
Do you use a different technique with your year? Feel free to share it with us!
Homeschool Planning Journals ~ Free to Thinking Kids Subscribers
Homeschool Objectives Journal ~ 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.
Homeschool Planning Journal ~ The My Homeschool Planning Journal is 24 pages including the cover and some information for you at the end. Every page is full of color, fine art, and planning goodness.
Homeschool Scheduling Journals – Teacher and Student ~ There are two versions of the My Teacher Planning Journal (Blank and With Subjects), and two different versions of the My Student Planning Journal (Raven or Librarian). Each journal is 45-47 pages long, with 40 weeks of planning schedules.
Even More Thinking Kids Subscriber Freebies
When you register to become a Thinking Kids subscriber, you are automatically included on the email newsletter list. You’ll get updates on godly parenting resources, homeschool ideas, Christian parenting posts, and you’ll have access to the growing list of Thinking Kids freebies including:
- Bible Road Trip ~ a 3 year Bible survey curriculum for preschool to high school with coordinating Notebooking Journals! Bible Road Trip is free for download by week, or available for purchase as a full-year PDF download.
- My Sermon Notebooking Journals ~ Two half-sized 119-page notebooking journals to take notes during sermons with a structured format, Bible verses, quotes from historical Christians and fine artwork.
- Two My Trips Notebooking Journals – Two half-sized 65-page notebooking field trip / vacation notebooking journals with quotes from historical Christians, charming travel murals, and space for scrapbooked souvenirs for grades 3-9.
- My Timeline Notebooking Journal ~ A 132-page timeline journal dated from 4000 BC to 2050 AD. You’ll find 29 full-color paintings from artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, and Renoir, ESV Bible quotations about time, seasons, and plans, and quotes from historic Christians such as Charles Spurgeon, Samuel Rutherford, and Hannah More.
- Fruit of the Spirit Scripture Memory Booklets ~ Don’t miss any of the monthly 2015 Scripture Memory booklets on the Fruit of the Spirit!
Image: The Library at Dingestow, 1840s, Charlotte Bosanquet (1790 – 1852), Public Domain
Join the newsletter
Get the Family Prayer Box Project FREE!
Teach your children to pray with this fun project that includes 7 printable sets!
~ 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.