Planning out your homeschooling in some shape or form is absolutely essential for a successful year. However, planning for homeschooling isn’t just about planning for success. You have to plan to fail, too. That is, you have to accept that your plans might suddenly evaporate in thin air because the kids think looking at dog hair under the microscope is more interesting, or your daughter suddenly is on a roll on an epic story and can’t possibly stop writing now! Plans that look so beautiful on paper often meet resistance when implemented , or just don’t work when you add in all the other details of day to day life. Failing (that is, not meeting your own expectations, which were maybe too high to begin with) is okay because homeschooling does involve some aspect of trial and error, especially as you first embark on your journey.
Planning – What Method of Homeschooling Will You Use?
Why is planning so essential? Without planning, homeschooling is chaos. That’d be like taking a trip, but not knowing your destination or your route. If you have a general flight plan, you are more inclined to get to where you want to go. Planning, if you are brand new to homeschooling, involves a bit of research because there are so many options and you’ll need to select that flight plan. Will it be Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Classical, traditional, unschooling, unit studies, or a mix of some or everything (called “eclectic” among the homeschool crowd)?
Did that list overwhelm you? Don’t let it. I learned about these as I went. There’s no need to cram before the test because 1. there is no test, and 2. you can change the way you homeschool as you homeschool. You can start with one method and end up with another. Even for you type-A people (me, myself, and I!), it’s really A-okay. I did say a “general” flight plan. You can ask the pilot to change your destination; at least, you can for the sake of this analogy. We started our journey with Montessori, dabbled a bit in unit/theme studies, and then moved on to Classical, though part of me wishes to infuse it with some Charlotte Mason. Give yourself permission to encounter storms and turbulence – little or big hiccups along the way.
Planning – What Curriculum to Use, if any?
Now that you’ve decided on a method, select your curriculum. Again, there are so many choices. Too many! You can see what we use. Is it the best for your family? Not necessarily. Even I have had curriculum misses, but that’s for another post. Again, it’s okay to change it up if something you choose doesn’t end up being a good fit (more on that tomorrow).
Planning – The Day-to-Day
Next comes planning what you will do each day. How will you get that curriculum done? This can be on a micro or macro level, depending on your personality type. I like things micromanaged so I overplan, which ultimately leads to failure. Thankfully, I adapt easily.
You also need to know what and when you will need x and y supplies. Planning takes care of that.
I don’t know the best planning system for you. You may already have something that works wonderfully. Sarah uses looping, something I have just discovered and want to try. I have used this planner, and made my own. I have also made checklists galore. When you find what works for you, come back and leave me a comment; maybe it will work for me, too.
Being organized is something I aspire to be. I try very hard, but my planned systems often fail. However, schooling happens much more fluidly and easily when I get my act together and am organized. If I want to ensure that the hands-on, fun projects get done, I have to be planned, otherwise, those workbooks and that scripted curriculum are just too tempting! Thankfully, there is plenty of grace in homeschooling.
This post is part of the Homeschool Essentials blog hop. Below are 9 of the 89 linked up. Visit one, or visit all; I am sure you will learn a lot!
Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Nicole @ Journey to Excellence
Adriana @ Homeschool Ways
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Meg @ Adventures with Jude
Sarah @ Delivering Grace