Do you ever get excited about the prospect of planning something, only to discover you’re completely lost and have no idea where to begin? This has definitely happened to me when trying to figure out planning for a homeschool day!
Just because you have a personality that gets all excited about planning and scheduling doesn’t automatically mean every planning venture is going to come naturally and easily to you. Sometimes, even in things you love, you still need a bit of training. That’s definitely true of homeschooling. Your job as a homeschool teacher requires a measure of training, just like any other job.
Training for the Homeschooler Who Loves to Plan
There are so many things to learn and explore when it comes to planning for a homeschool day. Every curriculum choice is going to produce a different planning opportunity, and each child or season of life will require something a little different. If you chat with a long-time homeschooler, you’ll probably discover that even decade-plus veterans still get excited when they learn a new planning trick!
Still, the starting points are pretty consistent, regardless of the curriculum or experience. The first key is to find a good planner that allows you to set goals, create benchmarks, and establish a rhythm-based schedule.
(Hint: Well Planned Gal’s homeschool planners walk you through this step-by-step.)
Once you have those things established, planning for a homeschool day is all about being intentional. Here are a few tips to help you along:
Planning for a Homeschool Day Requires Focus on the Basics
As you sit down to start planning for your first week, it’s tempting to try to put a lot of detail in the plan. Avoid that temptation!
Instead, focus on the basics of the assignments themselves, including page numbers and very basic instructions. If notes and further instructions can be found in the material, a page number is sufficient to direct you there. You can always make additional notes in the book or on lined sticky notes. But the daily plan itself just needs to include basic, directional information.
Focusing on the basics as you are planning for a homeschool day ensures that the time required to keep up with planning remains minimal and that your planner remains uncluttered, leaving space for jotting down grades and notes.
Keep It Simple When Planning for a Homeschool Day
Simplicity in planning for a homeschool day isn’t just about the lesson plans and daily assignments. It’s also about the framework that surrounds each homeschool day.
Keep all relevant family needs in one place by putting family activities, menus planning, etc. in the same planner as your lesson plans. That way you are more likely to be able to keep your whole day balanced and straight-forward.
Extended simplicity may involve you having a separate “mom” planner (such as On the Go) to keep your own personal to-do list and information separate. It might also be that you need a way to visibly posts schedules, chores, and routines for everyone to easily see.
The key to simplicity is less about where you put everything when planning for a homeschool day and more about how it’s recorded, ensuring that everything flows smoothly together and nothing falls through the cracks or gets double booked.
Planning for a Homeschool Day A Week at a Time
Planners love to plan big! But, avoid that temptation, at least on paper. If you want to get detailed about your planning for a semester or whole year, do so in a flexible online planner format. For paper planning, though, set 6-week benchmarks to keep you on track while keeping the immediate, more detailed plan limited to about a week. This allows for necessary flexibility and regular adjustment.
Plan with an Erasable Writing Instrument
Things change. This is why you limit detailed planning to a week, and it’s also why you plan in a way that allows you to make changes. Erasing and rewriting is a whole lot neater than scribbling and jotting in the margins — which means it’s a whole lot easier to avoid dropping the ball because of changes getting lost in the mess of a scribbled planner!
Practice Weekly Planning for a Homeschool Day
This seems obvious, especially since we’ve already talked about planning a week at a time. But it can be easy to forget to plan in time to plan.
Set aside time each week to review how the plan worked the previous week, make adjustments, and lay out the plan for the new week. Make sure to communicate plans well to the family each week, using a family calendar and/or a weekly planning “date” to discuss the upcoming week.
Would you like to know more about how your personality meshes with homeschooling? Take Planner Personality Quiz today!