Thank you to Intentional By Grace for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own!
Maybe you’re a brand new homeschooler and you don’t know where to begin, or maybe you’ve been doing this homeschool thing for a few years but still feel lost. Wherever you are in your homeschool journey, a new homeschool year brings a new opportunity to evaluate and change things in your homeschool. Today I’m going to show you how to plan your homeschool year in a way that is sure to set your homeschool up for success!
How To Plan Your Homeschool Year
Evaluate Your Previous Homeschool Year
The first thing you’re going to want to do is look back at your last homeschool year. Now, if this is your first year, you won’t have that to look at, but if it’s not, now is an excellent time to really think about what worked and what didn’t. I’m currently using the Your Intentional Family Homeschool Planning Guide to help me uncover the areas that didn’t work well at all last year.
I love how this homeschool planning guide asks me questions I would never think to ask myself such as, “In what areas do you need to improve as a home educator? What do your children need more help with?”
This particular planning guide has a section called, “Gaining Clarity,” that is excellent for putting together the big picture of your homeschool. I sat down with these homeschool planning sheets and thought about my relationship with the Lord, my relationship with my husband, and my relationships with my kids. I especially enjoyed the children interviews. I was able to clearly assess each of my children and ask them what they enjoy in school, what they want to learn, what they don’t enjoy, and what they want to learn more about.
Create Guiding Principles for Your Homeschool using a Homeschool Planning Guide
Once you’ve figured out what worked well for your homeschool and what didn’t, it’s time to put the plan together. Our family created six principles for our homeschool from what we learned by evaluating our previous year.
- Develop a love of literature and read excellent books.
- Spend time outdoors and learn about the world around us.
- Memorize God’s Word and learn the stories of the Bible.
- Create meaningful work through handicrafts.
- Encounter beauty through art and music.
- Learn to serve and love each other well.
Make Goals and Choose Curriculum
I have found that once we get our guiding principles nailed down, it’s much easier to choose our curriculum. For example, I want my kids to develop a love of reading, so I’m going to choose a language arts curriculum that is rich in good books. I want us to memorize God’s word and really dig into the Bible, so I’m going to choose a curriculum that does those things.
Put Your Plan Together
The Your Intentional Family Homeschool Planning Guide includes homeschool planning pages to help you set up your year-at-glance and your course of study.
Here in Alabama, we aim to school 180 days of the year. I use my year-at-a-glance sheet to mark all of the days that I plan to do school. We use a Sabbath homeschool schedule so I aim to do six weeks of school and then take a one week break. This gets a little choppy around the holidays, so my year-at-a-glance page really helps me sort that out.
I us the Course of Study page to write down which curricula and resources we plan to use for each subject.
How To Organize Your Homeschool Day
I absolutely love the Routines page from the Homeschool Planning Guide. Our homeschool day is not set up with a rigid schedule. I have six children here in my “one room schoolhouse” and they all have a mind of their own. I tend to try to do things at certain points of the day. So in the morning we do our morning time subjects. We go over our Bible work for the day, do any copywork or vocabulary, and then do either our artist study or composer study.
After that we move into our individual subjects. I do try to do lunch around 12. After lunch, kids are to finish their independent work and then work on their afternoon occupations. We tend to rotate these between nature study, artwork, and handicrafts. We always use Friday to catch up on any work that didn’t get done during the week and to get out of the house for a bit.
So, that’s it! With careful reflection, planning your new homeschool year can be a wonderful process. I’m really impressed with the Your Intentional Family Homeschool Planning Guide and how it helps me through that process. Plus, I can print the sheets and keep them in my Happy Planner to refer to when I do my weekly homeschool planning!
More Homeschool Planning Posts