It’s ironic, really, considering I make to-do lists and schedules for fun, but planning has always been my Achilles’ heel as a homeschool mom.
I’ve tried a variety of different methods over the years, but even when I plan out assignments just one week at a time, something inevitably pops up and we get off track, which leaves me discouraged as I transfer unfinished assignments to the next week.
Last year, I finally admitted that taking the time to plan out our homeschool week down to the lesson and page number just wasn’t working for us. At that time, I moved to a checklist system instead.
I would make a simple list of what we needed to cover and add the page numbers after we finished them, reviewing it at the end of the week to make a plan for the next week.
But honestly, this still felt a bit tedious as I gathered various items from around the house for the week — books and notebooking pages and supplies for activities. I was spending several hours each weekend preparing for the next week…and we still weren’t sticking to the plan!
So this year I decided to plan in 6-week terms instead, and I think I’ve finally found the system that works best for us.
How It Works
Before each 6-week term, I prepare and gather the following:
- Weekly checklists showing their general assignments for each day (see the example above)
- Copies of the Spanish & Latin worksheets for the upcoming term
- Classical Conversations notebooking pages
- Books to go along with our CC memory work
I keep all of the worksheets in an expanding file folder so that I can just pull out the ones we need at the start of each week. The books for the full six weeks sit on a shelf in our main living area so that the girls can select and read the ones that interest them.
I also review our progress in math and language arts to make sure we’re on track.
Planning this way — without defining the specifics of what we’ll get done each day or week — gives us flexibility without leaving us wandering aimlessly. It allows us to take a day — or even a week — off without needing to replan our schedule. It takes away the stress of not getting done what we’d planned and allows us to work at our own speed without feeling like we’re falling behind.
This, combined with independent work and schooling year-round, truly give us the flexibility to take advantage of all of the benefits of homeschooling while also giving us enough structure to feel like we’re doing what needs to be done!
What does your homeschool planning process look like?