The Importance of Homeschool Planning
While complete unschooling and winging it can work great for some, I am the type of person who thrives with structure and a plan in hand.
That is why I consider these homeschool planning tips a must in our home.
3 Homeschool Planning Tips
Whether you are a homeschool newbie preparing for your first homeschool year or you are a homeschool veteran preparing to homeschool for the 10th time, taking the time and effort to plan can give that smooth start to the homeschool week we all crave.
With that said, if you are constantly feeling unprepared and struggling to get through the homeschool week, this one is for you!
Check out how I get our homeschool back on track in 3 easy steps!
Step One – Practice Advanced Prepping
While prepping things in advance can be annoying at first, you will definitely be thankful for it later.
Trust me on this one, you guys!
With that said, I typically spend about 2 weeks over the summer prepping for our upcoming school year and it seriously makes all the difference.
First, I make sure all of our curriculum is ordered early, then spend lots of quality time looking through it thoroughly.
Then, I begin the planning process.
Finally, our homeschool year starts with the first 6 weeks thoroughly planned out.
I have our supply lists completed, extras purchased, and activities prepped.
Doing this simply guarantees a smoother start to our homeschool year.
While this method isn’t perfect, it does help keep things smooth and in order when I’m consistent.
You can check out my full breakdown of this method below!
2 Weeks of Prep
First, I start the planning process with 2 solid weeks of homeschool prep.
I typically use this time to get familiarized with our new curriculum followed by planning out the first several weeks of our homeschool year.
Not only does this help me understand how much parental involvement will be included in each course, but I can also dig deeper into lesson formats, allowing me to gauge just how much time we might need for each course.
After looking through our curriculum I start the process of planning out our first 6 weeks of lessons.
When spread out, this can take me about 10 of the 14 days I set aside for homeschool prep.
6 Weeks Planned
Then, I thoroughly plan out our first 6 weeks of school.
This means 6 weeks’ worth of supplies are purchased, prepped, and ready to go!
I personally chose the 6-week mark because those first 6 weeks of the year can make or break your homeschool.
Not only can they be filled with high expectations, overwhelming frustrations, and lots of bumps in the road.
It takes a good 6 weeks to settle into a routine and figure out all the kinks when starting something new — like homeschooling.
With that said, those first 6 weeks could either be the hardest 6 weeks of the year, especially when it’s your first time or you’re swapping curricula.
Or, if you’re like me, they can be the smoothest 6 weeks of your entire homeschool year because everything goes downhill from there.
I tend to do a really great job those first 6 weeks and then my motivation tapers off and things begin to slip.
This is why I quickly added the final step in my planning process.
1 Extra Week
Finally, to keep my motivation going, I look over and fully plan 1 extra week each week going forward.
Setting a goal for yourself to continue prepping 1 full week’s worth of lessons every weekend will provide a safety net for your sanity!
If you start your year out with 6 weeks prepped and continue adding 1 prepped week consistently, you will always be prepared and ready for 6 full weeks.
I personally keep this safety net in place in our homeschool because I know there are bound to be hectic weeks ahead where I put the planning and prepping on the back burner.
When those weeks arise, skipping a week of prep means I still have the next 5 full weeks fully prepped!
So, if I get to the point where I no longer have extra weeks fully prepped and thoroughly looked over, I do still have the advanced prep I took care of over the summer months to fall back on!
Step TWO – Look Over All Lessons For the Week
While this may sound redundant, looking over your upcoming plan for the week is a great way to start a brand new homeschool week on the right foot.
Especially if you are homeschooling multiple children.
Even if you have your homeschool planned for a full 6 weeks, 12 weeks, or even the entire year, you will still need simple reminders of what’s on the agenda for the current week.
Take a few moments every weekend or Monday to sit down and glance through your children’s upcoming lessons.
Sitting down with a hot cup of coffee to glance over our upcoming week is essential because sometimes there are things you simply can’t prep weeks in advance!
For example, our language arts curriculum includes recipes every now and then, and if I purchased those ingredients weeks ahead of time they would be eaten, missing, or spoiled by the time I need them.
Plus, if you truly do practice advanced prepping throughout the year, this time should be quick and simple.
Step Three – Keep Track of Supplies Needed
This is the final step to a truly planned and prep homeschool week.
As I mentioned above, sometimes there are supplies you can purchase ahead of time, and other times you simply have to gather things as time goes on.
Creating a supplies needed list for your upcoming homeschool week can help cut down on unexpected surprises.
This is something I consider a must in our home!
During your weekly lesson planning time, take a few moments to glance over individual lessons and jot down all the extras you need to lean on for the current week.
This process takes practically no time at all and is simply a continuation of steps 1 and 2.
More Homeschool Planning Tips
While this 3 step method works in our home, I have been known to switch things up over time.
Check out our entire homeschool planning page on the Life + Homeschool blog to get your hands on all of our homeschool planning tips.
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