I've probably written more blog posts over the years about planning than I have about anything else homeschool related. I am one of those people who really enjoys having a plan and being organized. The homeschool planning I do has evolved over the years. It looks a lot different now planning for a 4th grader and a 7th grader than it did planning for one Kindergarten kid! A couple of years ago I really thought I'd found the perfect formula for planning each school year but like most things in life it has changed.
I've mentioned a few times that I selected our curriculum this year based mostly on what we already had on the shelves or already had access to. Many of them are items I've purchased over the years, we've used in the past, or we've received for review but didn't finish. Reviewing curriculum is one of the things that has changed my iron clad planning process. Now I know I need to leave some room in our schedule for new things to come and go through out the year. I still need a core group of subjects and plans for them to follow though.
One change we have this year is that both kids are going to be involved in some outside classes. That means less planning for me as far as lessons, but they will both need some school time to work on assignments for those classes. Another thing I'm doing is working hard on keeping grade records this year. I want to encourage them to do their best on their work the first time. Both kids did a good amount of work over the summer that will count towards the 2016-2017 school year.
I sat down first with my planner and mapped out the remainder of their 180 days. Then I marked in the days/ times that they will be out of the house in classes. Then I started filling in their daily work based on the number of lessons they have left and the number of days they would be working on that subject. Both kids now have Chromebooks which will help greatly as they both have several subjects that they are doing online. Since Apple is getting older, there are a few subjects that I will just give her a weekly amount of assignments and it will be up to her to complete in her own time.
Their schedules are much less strenuous than they have been at times in the past, but we've already had some struggles to get everything completed. My planning is much more fluid this time as I'm already looking for ways to tweak their daily work so that it can be accomplished in a reasonable time frame.
We need this to be a good, solid school year. I want them to have many successes to celebrate, and I want to enjoy school time with them. It seems like we try a few new things each year and some work and some don't. One of the things I personally find most difficult about homeschool is I never really know if we are doing too much or too little. Actually when I'm being realistic I realize both of them are on or beyond target in just about every subject. I have difficulty ever feeling like it's enough though.
Aside from all that, my #1 homeschool planning tip is WRITE IN PENCIL! Things will change even if you have the best laid plans. Write it in pencil and leave some days for "makeup" work. You'll be glad you did!
Want to find hear more about planning? Check out the Crew's special Blog Hop on Planning: