When we began homeschooling the idea of planning the entire education for four little people was a little overwhelming. Okay, overwhelming may be an understatement in my case. My public school trained brain was having a hard time believing that one person could be in charge of such an undertaking. I set off in search of a “homeschool plan” that was achievable and would give my kids what they needed.
Anyone that homeschools or has thought about it for half a second know that the resources available to homeschoolers today are amazing. As in a person could read about pedagogy, philosophy, planning, and encouragement just for homeschoolers for literally hundreds of hours and not even touch the surface of what’s available.
(I surely didn’t do this. It was, ahem, a friend.)
No matter how much you read it’s hard to know just how homeschooling is going to work in your home until you jump off the cliff and try it. I was willing and excited about spending hours teaching and learning with my kids. However, spending my evenings and weekends planning and strategizing the following days lessons was not so appealing.
So, so many options…….
I read blog posts, books articles, etc. about specialty planners, box systems, drawer system, accordion files. You name it; it’s out there and it works for someone.
I am a planner at heart. Having my ducks in a row (or squirrels in a circus) makes my heart happy. A plan for the year ahead would put my former public school teacher mama at rest.
The irony of the above quote comparing the life work of Nelson Mandela to me creating a homeschool plan is not lost on me.
After banning myself from more reading I came up with a plan that works for us.
An easy plan, so easy I almost didn’t write about it.
When I’m planning our homeschool year we roughly follow our local school districts 36 week school calendar. I have kids that play sports within the district so this is an easy follow for us. Then I take our chosen curriculum and divide into 36 weeks. I know we need to get three history lessons, 1/2 a science unit, one writing lesson, and so on done each week.
When I think about the next week all I need to do is jot down on my kids planners what is on the agenda. My oldest son does his own planner and we look at it together to make sure he is on track. My middle son uses the planner that you see below. It outlines the entire week for him at a glance.
Work is NOT floated from week to week.
At my house this seems to be the key to staying on track. Work that isn’t done during the week has to be done on their own time. This means that our normally free Fridays get busy with school work; which no one likes! Free Fridays are a good incentive at my house!
A schedule with flexibility is key!
We do exercise some flexibility in our day to day schedule. Some kids love to work ahead. Some kids move work around to accommodate days that are busy or less busy. I can live with all of that so long as we get done in that week what is listed.
Now my yearly plan does NOT include all of our little rabbit holes and tangents. Our weekly homeschool plan is bare bones. If we get that and only that amount of work done we can stay on track. The other stuff, the fun stuff, we throw in whenever and wherever we can. Extra art, movies, field trips, etc are still a huge part of our homeschool experience they just aren’t carved in stone.
I spend about fifteen minutes online every week ordering up library resources to go along with our history and science for the week. I don’t record these as being on tap for a specific day. They are strewn around the house and tackled at a random hour when a kid takes interest! (Read about how strewing works with our homeschool plan!)
It’s easier for me and the kids tend to take more interest when they think its their idea!
Free weekly homeschool plan printable
Check out the planners I use with my kids. Notice they only have three lines for the kids to “check off.” At our house I try to keep to three subjects a day, in a rotating fashion. We may spend a little more time on each subject than if we did it every day. It wastes less time in transition and refocusing and it is more manageable to the kids. It works for us!
I don’t include times of day. Our days change constantly. I would need to buy stock in whiteout. While we do have a routine I would be hard pressed to say we have a schedule.
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The above planners are what I use for and with my kiddos. My own planner is even more stripped down than the above planner. I use my planner to keep track of lesson numbers, weeks of school, and housekeeping stuff.
I used to try to record every book we read, experiment we did, and enrichment activity. Until one day I realized that list was for me only.
No one else cared.
So, today my homeschool schedule won’t impress anyone. But it works for us, which is really the point, anyway. Right?
I hope you can use this homeschool plan to make your days a little easier. Take a deep breath and relax. Then… share this post!