Ah, homeschool planning. You either love it, or you hate, am I right?
Me? I’ve always loved it – perhaps a little too much. I enjoyed doing it so much that I would often go overboard. I’d plan too far ahead. I’d get too specific, and I would get too ambitious about what days we’d be doing what activity…even six months down the road!
Lord, I don’t miss those days. Since then I’ve learned that when it comes to homeschool planning, it needs to follow in the footsteps of my homeschool philosophy: keeping things simple.
Here are the five most important things I’ve learned about planning a homeschool schedule. I hope it helps some of you!
5 Sanity-Saving Homeschool Planning Hacks
1. Skip the fancy planners.
I know, I know. They’re pretty. They’re colorful. They’re fun to shop for. And, yes. I fully understand that they really do bring joy to many a homeschool mom. If you’re one of those moms, have at it!
But…if you’re finding that the colorful pens and washi tape are no longer bringing you joy and are only bringing you anxiety, use a spiral notebook, instead. They’re inexpensive, they’re flexible, and they’re honestly all you need.
2. Don’t plan too far ahead.
I know what you’re thinking. I totally get it. Sometimes, you just get in the mood to plan, and a blink of an eye later, you’ve got two full years planned out.
Or is that just me?
As much of an accomplishment as that might feel like, you’ll live to regret it. Life never goes the way you think it will. If you plan too many weeks (or months) ahead, you’re bound to get stressed when you see day after day of your schedule being rearranged.
My advice? Stick to planning from one to four weeks ahead.
You’ll be thankful you did.
3. Keep your plans basic.
It can be mighty tempting to assign page numbers for any textbooks or workbooks you’re using, but think about it. Is it really necessary?
Chances are, your kids will be doing those pages in order, and not skipping around from section to section. If that’s the case with your kids, wouldn’t it just be sufficient to write “Math” instead of “Math, pgs. 22-23”? Or how about just “Grammar” instead of “Grammar, Lesson 3, p. 29”?
Just tell your kids to pick up where they left off each day. Easy peasy!
4. Stop assigning specific days.
I mentioned this a little bit in #2, but I’m going to take it a bit further here.
Instead of planning two weeks worth of lessons and assigning a specific date to each one, just label them “Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc.” For some reason, it’s way less anxiety-inducing to change the day number than a specific date.
5. Use your plans as your homeschool records.
Some states require parents to keep homeschool records. Some parents choose to keep them by choice. What often ends up happening is that parents will keep these records in addition to their written lesson plans.
If your homeschool plans remain basic enough that you can easily stick to them (for the most part), there’s no reason they can’t double as homeschool records. If you’re in a state that requires you to keep an attendance log, labeling your days like I mentioned in #4 makes it a cinch to do that.
When using your plans as your records, just use a simple check mark to show the day was completed (or something else of your choosing), and you are DONE.
Your turn! Do you have any homeschool planning hacks you’d like to add? Leave a comment!