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.
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Image: The Library at Dingestow, 1840s, Charlotte Bosanquet (1790 – 1852), Public Domain
~ 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.