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.Planning your homeschool year all at once allows you to develop: clear objectives, specific goals for your children, and planned learning experiences. You can be certain your kids will learn the skills they'll need for the future.Click To Tweet
Make a Homeschool Schedule
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.
Why You Should Make a Homeschool Schedule for the Entire Year
Planning my homeschooling schedule for the year (or the quarter) is a huge benefit to me. It will be for you as well. Let’s talk about some of the things that occur if you don’t plan out your homeschool daily schedule.
When you don’t plan, you:
- Don’t know what your goals are.
- Lose track of your objectives.
- Wonder if your doing the right thing with your day.
- React to the concerns of the day rather than staying on track for the week.
- Feel out-of-control.
- Are not able to take breaks without a feeling of guilt.
- Don’t teach half the information you’d like to.
- Have no backup when you’re not on top of my game.
Plan your homeschool objectives, your subjects and curriculum, and your weekly and daily schedules with the My Homeschool Planning Journal.
If you use Thinking Kids Press’ My Homeschool Planning Journal, you’ll find fifty weekly homeschool schedules and fifty daily homeschool schedules.
How to Work on a Homeschool Schedule
Planning the school year takes me about two weeks (adjusted for a board game and trip to the science museum here or there). For me, it’s time well-spent. I gather and organize my materials and plans for the year in advance.
While I may adjust the plan 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.
You’ll find plenty of structured worksheets to help you with your weekly and daily homeschool planning in the My Homeschool Planning Journal, along with sections on planning your homeschool objectives, and your homeschool curriculum.
1) Schedule Weekly Work for Each Class
I take each curriculum I’m using and schedule the work throughout the weeks on my homeschool planner. Many curricula, like Bible Road Trip™, will give you the work load broken into weekly chunks. I write the reading and writing assignments for that week on the weekly homeschool schedule.
Once I’ve scheduled one class, I’ll go back to week one and schedule the next class. If I’m creating the class, this is a good opportunity for me to make sure the work is evenly distributed so my kids don’t get overwhelmed.
2) Schedule Daily Work
I usually let my kids schedule their daily work now that they’re older. They know their are classes they must do each day, like Bible Road Trip™ and math. Beyond that, they can choose what they’d like to read for the day.
I do find that I must schedule papers, labs, and tests onto particular days. It really doesn’t work for us if we try to save these big, taxing assignments for Friday. It helps if I spread them out over a number of days during the week.
3) Write the week numbers on the calendar
Lastly, you’ll want to go through your calendar and write in the week numbers. For instance, if you plan to start week one of the school year on the first full week in September, simply write “Week 1” on that Sunday. On the next Sunday, write “Week 2”.
Be sure to take weeks off at regular intervals.
We follow a 36 week school schedule. We take a week off for Thanksgiving and Spring, and two weeks off for Christmas. We take a full summer break, because in our coastal climate it makes sense to get outside when it’s actually sunny.
If you follow a year round schedule, you’ll want to develop a rhythm that works for you. I know many families work six weeks on and one week off.
Writing the week numbers on your calendar will help you see what you’re doing. When real life gets bumpy (and it will), you can spread a week of homeschool over two weeks or simply shift the weeks around without having to rewrite your whole plan.
Ok, I’ve made the case for making a whole year’s homeschool schedule at once.
What do you think? Will you try it? Do you already do this?
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