Yes, in order to set up your homeschooling year on the right foot, you’ll first need to make the time to plan. We’re still going strong with my 31 Days to a Better Planned Homeschool series. I received an email from a reader who asked how can she find the time to plan with a newborn of 6 weeks, preschooler, kindergartner and a gift student? As she wrote the email she stated that her kids were currently on electronics and that she was trying to get the baby to sleep. Her biggest fear was that she’d start the school year with nothing planned with kids stuck on their electronics.
My first advice is to start small. Start with one subject or start with just one child. For me, for some reason I come up with the best ideas when I’m on my phone. So I’ll start planning in Evernote, I list my children and subjects and fill this in as I go. Evernote syncs to all of my devices and the computer. So when I get on my computer to sit down I have a pretty good what I need to research. I particular subject or curriculum that I’d like to look into. So when I get the chance to sit down and research curriculum, I have a plan and I’m not wondering around aimlessly and losing myself on homeschooling sites or book stores.
When should you start planning for the next year?
In the spring
For those that are already homeschooling, the best time to start homeschool planning is in the spring. By now you are half way through the year and should already have a good idea of what is working or not working in your homeschool. If it’s working then it’s likely that you’ll use the next level in the book for the next year. If it’s not then you have some research to do.
This is the best time because spring is when homeschooling conference season may be starting in your area. My local conference is always at the end of April. If you’re planning on going it’s always a great idea to plan ahead and know what to be on the lookout for. This is also the best way to peruse the vendor tables, if you know what you going to look for and check out, you don’t end up with expensive impulse purchases.
If you’re like me we homeschool year round so I don’t have to get things ready until September so I do my planning in August. We officially start the next school year in September but if we’re ahead in our program we’ll just continue on in the summer, there’s no reason to wait. I like to enjoy my short break in July and my lighter homeschool schedule so that the boys have lots of outdoor time. However, in August I’m in full planning mode and look to have things ordered so they’ll arrive by the first week of September.
Plan as you go
Start small don’t feel as through you have to plan out the entire year. Go a month or a term (4 months). Things may change and curriculum may get tossed. You only need to be a week ahead of your child. If you’re not a planner or scared at the whole concept of planning go this route and see if it eases your fears. You just need to get started. Book lists help yous stay organized for those library visits so planning does help but it shouldn’t be overwhelming.
We’re mothers and we’re all busy, but if you have time to watch TV, or read or exercise, make some time to plan for your homeschool and it doesn’t have to be the whole shebang. Start small and add to it as you can. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it will help you progress through the year so you can see if you’re on track or if you need to pick things up.
Follow along in my 31 Days to a Better Planned Homeschool series.