The perfect homeschool plan is not elusive. In fact it is easy to create the perfect plan for your family if you begin by considering the needs of your family, considering your limitations as a homeschool teacher, and avoiding common pitfalls.
Planning means following a series of prescribed steps that will ensure that you have a plan that is going to work.
It may seem time consuming, but none of these steps are particularly difficult to do and the payoff will be a homeschool that will run itself with only a little daily maintenance to keep it going through the year.
People ask me how much time I spend planning each week during the school year and the answer is – I don’t. Once the annual plan is in place, all I do is fill out spiral notebooks each day. That takes about five minutes per child. Really! My homeschool runs on autopilot and yours can too.
Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Step One: Create a Vision
Before you even begin thinking about the other steps of your plan consider what education even looks like at your house.
2. Step Two: Write Effective Goals
Now that you know what you want education to be, think about each of your children and what you would like each of them to learn this year. Do they need to master math facts, learn to read, learn to write a research paper or a persuasive essay? List those things here to keep you focused in your planning for the year.
3. Step Three: Determine a Course of Study
Once your goals are in place you can turn your attention to which subjects you are going to study this year. List those out per student and start thinking about the curriculum and resources you will buy to study each subject.
4. Step Four: Consider Your Scheduling Options
How many days does your school year need? Will you try year round schooling, tidal homeschooling, schooling that aligns with the calendar year? As homeschoolers, we have a number of options for an annual schedule.
5. Step Five: Plan a Week
Once you know your schedule you can begin to plan what a week looks like in your home. Consider your outside obligations. Will you school four or five days a week? Will you do specific subjects on specific days or follow a loop schedule?
6. Step Six: Build a Booklist
This may be your family read aloud booklist for the year, an individual reading list for each student, or a subject-specific booklist for a particular subject.
7. Step Seven: Evaluate and Purchase Resources
Finally, we get to shop! This is the point where you make final choices of purchased and free resources you can use to teach in your homeschool.
8. Step Eight: Organize Your Materials
Now is the time to put the finishing touches on your schoolroom organization and create a space where your family can learn and thrive. This doesn’t mean a Pinterest-perfect space, but instead a space that works for your unique needs.
This is the place where you make and file your copies for the entire year so that everything is at your fingertips when you need it. You can also stock up on sketch books, science experiment supplies, and books.
9. Step Nine: Keep Records
How will you keep your records for the school year? Which papers will you save? Do you have portfolio requirements to meet? How will you keep attendance? Thinking about these systems and putting them in place before the school year begins will help make your work easier on the other end of the school year.
10. Step Ten: Plan Your Day
Now we get down to the nitty gritty of what a day will look like. How early will you start? Will each subject have its own designated time-slot on the schedule or do you prefer to work in generous blocks of time instead? Which subjects will you do each day and how will you contend with challenges like the toddler, the co-op schedule, and getting to piano lessons on time?
The good news is, once you have considered and planned for each step listed above there is nothing left to do (except execute, of course). Even the execution is easier, though, with such a well-made plan. 🙂
To help you out I have a downloadable checklist of all ten steps. You can check off each one as you work, and put the perfect homeschool plan for your family in place to have a wonderful school year. Get yours now.