Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 Days of Homeschool 101: Planning (To Plan or Not To Plan? To Plan...Obviously)

Welcome to the second day of this year's Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, brought to you by the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

It is that time of year when my fellow Crew Mates and I share our thoughts on different subjects related to homeschool. This year we will all be sharing on the following topics on the specified days:
  • Monday: Curriculum
  • Tuesday: Planning
  • Wednesday: Home Management
  • Thursday: Traditions
  • Friday: Encouragement
Well, as I mentioned yesterday, part of the reason we didn't follow the plan I set for last year is because of my lack of planning. If you have been a follower of my blog for any amount of time, you may have seen me mention one time or another that I have problems with organization and planning. I also mentioned earlier this year, I know this needs to change. It is imperative that I get and stay organized now that we officially have to report to the school district. At the end of last school year, I was fumbling around to pull together information for Tabitha's portfolio, because I hadn't kept track well enough through the year. Now this year, I have two children who I have to file paperwork for. 

At one point I figured I could consider us relaxed homeschoolers, and then I realized then isn't really what we are. I need structure too much to keep myself in check and make sure the children are doing what they are supposed to be doing. What I have discovered is that I am lazy and very easily distracted. I need to have a plan to focus on to keep me on task. When I say I am lazy, I mean I can't be bothered to actually sit down and do the planning that is necessary. And yes, sometimes I just let the kids do whatever, which works well when the children want to have "Kid Teach Days." Because I am so easily distracted (and frankly forgetful), I find myself reaching the end of the week and realizing we didn't get to everything we were supposed to get to. I have accepted that I NEED to have a plan in place to keep us on track. 

As Leah Courtney mentions in her new ebook, Creating Homeschool Lesson Plans That Work, planning is important and as homeschool parents, we really should have a plan. If you need some direction in creating lesson plans, you may want to check out her book as she gives step-by-step instructions on how to set up lesson plans and even shares a link to her Google Sheets Planner as a bonus. 

Now personally, I am not one that can plan online or on a computer. I discovered that last year. So, I was so glad when I had a chance to review the new Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner earlier this year. For now, this is what I am using, and it is working for me. Three weeks in to summer school session and I have been using it daily to help keep me on task. Do we get to every assignment every day? No. However, because I have the assignment listed in the planner, I know what needs to be moved to the next week. 

Here is how I use this planner:

I put the days of the week across the top and the subjects down the left side of the page. There are books I want to make sure we read, so I list them and then remind myself that there are specific books I want our leader of the day to choose from for story time. A lot of our subjects are taught together. Even though My Father's World Adventures is for the older girls, I still read the books and other info to all the children. We all learn the same memory verses. The younger children even do science with us, or sometimes the science lesson will be out of our Kindergarten book and the older girls will join in. Math right now is being done on the computer using CTCMath, so the children will have their tasks assigned in their account, which means I just have to remind myself that they need their computer time. Now, for Language Arts (phonics, spelling, writing, etc) the children will have separate lessons, so I just use their initials in the box with their assignment. Right now, during our summer school session, the older girls don't really have any spelling or such. However, the younger two are working in the Jolly Literacy books, so they are scheduled in. 

I do need to remember to put little checks next to the completed work, just so I know it is completed later down the road. Currently, I am just scanning the previous week on the weekend when I set up the next week's pages to see what I need to move because it didn't get finished. 

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, it is nice to have a flexible planner, so I can change the subjects around when we get new review products. 

I have tried planning out for weeks in advance, only to fall behind and get discouraged. I am still trying to figure out how to have more general monthly plans while planning out a week at a time.

I recently received a copy of The Relaxed Mom Homeschool Planning System by Tauna Meyer of The Proverbial Homemaker. This includes a planner and an ecourse which takes you through the set up and use of the planner. The planner is quite flexible and it includes customizable pages. I am trying to go through this planner and get things like our homeschool vision, our goals, and the "big picture" of our homeschool figured out. She includes different types of pages for you to figure out what works for you. That is the benefit to having a planner you can print. I will be sharing a more lengthy post about this planner soon. It is already available for purchase, so I thought I would mention here. It is regularly priced at $25 but the introductory price is just $19 (through August 16th).

So, that is a quick look at how I am trying to get used to planning in our homeschool. How do you plan for your homeschool days? What is your favorite type of planner?

5 Days of Homeschool 101
It's a blog hop!

Don't forget to stop by to visit my fellow Crew Mates. We are all sharing Back to Homeschool from our own perspective, so enjoy the varied subjects and views this week. You will be able to find the posts linked up to each day's linky.


  1. Good luck with the new school year!

  2. I think we are fairly relaxed homeschoolers as well. I still have a plan, but I try to be flexible. Thank you for sharing the book!


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