Homeschool Planning 101 {A 7-step guide to planning your year}

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I have been asked several times about my homeschool planning process for a new year. I must tell you, it’s a work in progress. I’ve changed the way I plan our homeschool year a few times, but the way I’ve planned the past two years has seemed to work best for us.

I’m happy to share my 7-step planning process with you, but like anything else homeschool-related, this is only what works for my family. It may not work for yours and it might need to be tweaked, but that’s okay. Take the aspects that are valuable to you and leave the rest. Flexibility is the beauty of homeschooling {and planning!}

Just one disclaimer before we get started…always write in pencil. I’m an old fashioned pencil and paper type of girl, but I’ve made the horrible mistake of writing my lesson plans in pen before {not a good idea!}. Computer-based planning doesn’t work well for me either. But this plan can be used just as easily for computer-based planning as it can for pencil and paper planning!

Step 1: Pray. This is essential to the success of your year. Ask God for His guidance as you begin planning.

Step 2: Determine how many days of schooling you will complete. From there, determine how many days/week you’ll have school. Will you school year-round? When will you take breaks? Map all of this out first.

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Step 3: Determine how many days per week you’ll do each subject.  For instance, we do math, language arts and Bible every day. Science is three times per week and history and art are twice a week.

Step 4: At this point, I take each individual subject and determine {based upon how many days/week we cover each subject} how many lessons/activities we’ll do each day. **Don’t get overwhelmed here. If you determine that it will take you longer than one school year to complete a book/curriculum, that’s okay!!**

Step 5: After I’ve determined how many lessons/activities we’ll do each day, I begin making specific lesson plans for each subject.  For example, “Week 1: Monday- Spelling, introduce new words, complete pages 30 & 31 in workbook. Tuesday- Review words, complete page 32 in workbook.” And so on…By writing out my plans in this way, I am able to add to the lessons or take away as needed. This is where I also schedule field trips/enrichment activities. Also- note here that I write these lesson plans by week number and not specific dates. That allows flexibility and doesn’t throw off all of my nicely written lesson plans when life happens!

Step 6: Find a planner that you love and block off any special days/holidays that you will not be having school. Having a “year at a glance” section is a great tool! My new Homeschool Mom Life Binder is perfect! Not only does it allow you to organize your entire homeschooling year, it also helps you to organize the other areas of your busy life! It contains over 100 printable forms to help you become organized in the following areas: household management, financial management, personal planning, homeschool management, fitness, prayer life, and more! The Homeschool Mom Life Binder is on sale at a super low price for the next week! Get yours now!
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Step 7: Now you’re ready to start putting your weekly plans together! Write down all of your subjects and begin plugging in those pretty lesson plans you’ve already created. **Remember, use pencil!! Life happens, revisions will need to be made at some point.** I make note during this step regarding any special equipment or supplies I will need for that particular week. That way I’m not running out at the last minute or forgoing a fun project because I didn’t have the necessary supplies.

So there you have it! That is the homeschool planning method that works for me! How do you plan your homeschool year?


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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Since I am a working mom as well as my husband works outside the home and we have a wacky schedule, we use a curriculum that’s pretty much spelled out for us. It allows us to both teach with the help of another helper and keeps us all on the same page. But I have to plan our the school calender, the weekly goals and all that I put in a big notebook. Then every Sunday, I print out/copy and list what goes in the kids workboxes on which day of the week. That way my husband or our helper will no what to expect if I’m not teaching on those days. If I didn’t plan I’d go crazy. I did add some classes external to the purchased boxed curriculum we use and that is completely computer based which makes it easy since the computer lessons are tracked by the computer.

  2. I may be going from a job of babysitting to a weekend job, but it’s still up in the air. Planning will be essential either way for us as the children get older and need a little more structure in their schooling. Thank you for sharing what works for you, it’ll give a place to start!

  3. Thank you for this simple, yet straightforward post. I needed something uncomplicated as a first-time homeschooler who tends to get bogged down in the details. Thanks for making the planning process look easy!

    Sharing this on Facebook & pinning.


  4. GREAT planning techniques – especially with prayer.

  5. Thank you for sharing this! This is my first year planning without a full boxed curriculum. I am so excited, but it also can seem very overwhelming at times. I appreciate the advice, and I truly hope it works as well for me as it does for you. Thanks!!

  6. Thank you for this! I haven’t nailed down if we are homeschooling this year yet or not, but I have been prayerfully considering it. I do like our public school, but I also know that I’d like to be more involved in my children’s education, which doesn’t fit well with the public school system when I have toddlers/babies at home. So again, thank you! I might play with planning a year to see if I think this will work for us.

    1. Good luck to you!!! Homeschooling is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family! (Hugs)

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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