Homeschool Planning Part 1

Not going to lie, it feels like Christmas!

We got most of our curriculum in now, only missing our math.  Green Bubbles was just as excited as I was.  Well, maybe not.  But he did ask to start school almost right away just because he wanted to do those magic school bus kits!  If you haven’t tried them, you really should.  They are fun, follow the scientific method, and are perfect for hands on learning for the younger crowd.  I’m making him wait to do them when we hit that section in our science and he can’t wait.  I like having something for him to look forward to that he’s that excited about.

So what do you do when you get new books in?… Plan!  I’m delving into these books.  Many of these are new for us this year. There’s as many different methods for planning as there are homeschoolers.  Some plan out the entire year in detail, others go monthly, or weekly.  Some homeschoolers plan it out the day off and really just fly by the seat of their pants.  I have totally done all of the above methods before as well and may I recommend NOT doing the last one.  Scrambling the day off to put together supplies only to discover your missing something important (where’s the tape?!) is not fun.  Planning the entire year out doesn’t work well for us either because things always come up that get you behind track and then you feel the pressure to catch up the entire time which is a losing battle.

So, I’m trying a new method this year!  I still want to see things out pretty far in advance because I’m crazy like that.  But I don’t want to attach any of it to a specific date.  Donna Young is a great website to use if you want to make your own calendar.  Her forms, calendars, and planners are all free to download so it’s very budget friendly. She has everything you could ever need there from How to Plan for beginner homeschoolers to Household forms for chores, shopping lists, and housework.  There are even handwriting sheets, math worksheets, and pretty much a form for anything you can think of.  I highly encourage you to explore it for yourselves.

From there I downloaded her quarterly planner, one for each subject.  I pulled out the All About Reading book and wrote one lesson in each day on the planner.  Since it is a quarterly planner I am able to get 9 weeks planned out on one piece of paper (per subject of course).  Then, as we actually do the lesson, I will then write it in on a weekly planner that I also got from Donna Young to check it off our list.  I know that last step isn’t really needed and many people could skip it completely.  We have to turn in a learning log of what we covered every month and it is much easier to create these monthly logs when I  have a weekly lesson plan to look back on.  Or, I should say, an accurate weekly lesson plan that didn’t get behind because I was only writing in what we ACTUALLY did that week.

I put all of these into a 3 ring binder for myself.  I divide the quarterly forms under different dividers by subject.  I put a school calendar at the very front of my binder with all holidays and vacation days marked for quick review.  There are also dividers for field trips, unit studies, notes, weekly schedule that I fill in as we go, and a weekly calendar that includes lists for library books needed that week and supplies we need for our history activities or science experiments.

Of course, these are all paper planner resources. Check back tomorrow for part two in my homeschool planning post all about online planners.

Note: These are my honest opinions.  I was not given anything, or even asked to write these reviews. Nor do I receive anything if you follow the links.  I just like it and wanted to let others know about them.

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