We have had a pretty incredible fall. We spent a week in Nashville, a week in Williamsburg, VA and then I was in Washington DC for a conference. For a family who usually travels once or twice a year, all this travel was exciting and educational, but it has thrown our homeschool days completely off the rails.
I’m a planner. I have our google online calendar color coordinated with the wipe off monthly calendar in my kitchen, and then I have a personal planner that goes wherever I go. I have lists that color code to all the stuff on the calendar. I puffy heart sharpies and stickers and all that fru-fru stuff that Michaels sells. However, with all this travel my planning was out the window.
What Happens Without a Homeschool Plan
I don’t know about you, but when I don’t have a plan it’s not good. My girls are complaining because they don’t want to do school and why do we have to do school…you get the idea. My boys are bouncing off the walls because they know I don’t have a plan and I’m so overwhelmed trying to get a plan that I ignore what they are doing.
For me, homeschool without a plan is complete and utter chaos.
This weekend I finally sat down and planned out the next 3 weeks of weekly lessons. It should have been four, but my printer ran out of ink so I called it good. Having a solid plan makes for a happy homeschool mom and I’m ready for Monday. Finally. Planner bliss!
4 Tips for Homeschool Planning Success
- Grab a chunk of time, your planner and sit down. I always plan 4 weeks in advance, because I’m crazy like that, but if you can only do one week – just get it done.
- Go back to basics. Seriously. Now is not the time to start a long involved project that looked amazing on Pinterest but is guaranteed to make you lose your mind. Keep it simple.
- Don’t make up for lost time all at once. If your kids haven’t been on schedule, than it’s likely it will take a few days to ease them back into a homeschool schedule. That’s okay. Baby steps to success.
- If you aren’t sure where to start, start with reviewing what you’ve done so far. Whenever I go off the rails I always come back with a week of reviewing our CC memory work to get us back in the homeschool groove. Review basic math facts, spelling, do read alouds, puzzles and games. Make homeschool learning fun!
Now that you are back in the homeschool groove – make a plan to stay ahead! I grab some time on Saturday afternoons when everyone is quiet to plan ahead and keep us going. I’ve found that by planning this far ahead I’m able to add in field trips, library trips and keep up with weekly errands because I can work them into our homeschool week. Plus, if I schedule library visits then I’m likely to rack up overdue fines. Sigh.
Planning Items to Keep Close
- Your planner. Or, in my case all 3 of my planners.
- A calendar. It’s easier to plan your homeschool weeks when you can plan around field trips, doctor appointments, play dates, etc.
- Pens, pencils and Sharpie Markers – multiple colors if you color code like I do.
That’s all you need to make a successful homeschool plan. Keep it simple, easy and fun. Remember that a perk of homeschool is flexibility with your family schedule. Add in some fun field trips and those library visits. Before you know it, you’ll be a homeschool planning expert!
Ready? Set? Plan!