Tuesday 9 August 2016

What about Homeschool Planning?

Thinking back to when I was researching home educating one of my biggest concerns was how will I know how much to do and when to do it ?  I was petrified I would not do enough and as it turned out I was doing far too much and overwhelming my six and four year olds. Homeschool planning is as individual as homeschool families.  There is no one perfect way to do it. Today the Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing their insights on homeschool planning.

To give you a little perspective on my approach to planning I would like to share a little background about our homeschool journey. Years ago when I was looking into Curriculum options there were a few available with planning sections semi-done for you.  One of my personal passions is literature and after months of prayer and searching we settled on using Sonlight Curriculum for our first year of home educating.   Two things swayed me towards using Sonlight.  The first was the wonderful literature which is the core of the program and the second was their instructor's guides!  It took all the stress of wondering what to do out of my day.  It was like having a veteran coach sitting with me and telling me exactly what to do next and how.  It was  my record book and activity guide all in one.  It set the pace and gave me samples of what to expect and equipped me the parent with all the information I needed.    We homeschooled for a few years using that then tried a few other options but to be honest the guidance I received from those guides has been my saving grace on more than one occasion and they still influence how I do things now 19 years later.

We have used many different types of home schooling over the last nearly two decades and at present we are pursuing a delight directed approach mixed with Charlotte Mason Philosphy/approach. I've become an eclectic homeschooler and do not follow a written plan. I do each day what we know and follow the same rhythm we have for the last few years.  We home educate year round and role onto the next thing on the list when we finish the thing we are currently on.

Things to consider
  • Find a planner that suits you. Some of us are natural planners and it's easy and for others its a journey of self discovery.  This is normal. There are a number of options from paper planners to digital support and planning. 
  • Research your local laws pertaining to homeschooling as this will influence how much detail you will need in your planning.
  • Your plan is your SERVANT.  It's there to serve you and help you homeschool your children successfully.  It should never be your task master.  
  • Decided what you need to do daily and set the list aside.  
  • Start SLOWLY!  Do one thing and then gradually add in one more thing until you have it all happening the way you want. I highly recommend Successful Homeschooling Made Easy eCourse to help you on your journey. 
  • Do NOT add in anything just because another family is doing it.  Remember to remain TRUE to yourself and who you and your family are. This is my number ONE RULE.  It's the true secret to freedom in your homeschool. 
  • Do not be afraid.  Fear will rob you of the joy of the wonderful years of home educating and enjoying your children fully as they grow. 
  • Schedule time out in your daily plan. 
  • Make regular time for Mother Culture in order to prevent burn out.

A word from my *Daughter Jane on Planning to Homeschool.

Take a deep breath and rest easy in the knowledge you are about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of your life.

Some days it's okay to just remember to take it at your own pace and to have patience with yourself. Often when you are weary, we are too. It's okay to take a day off to have a picnic.

Being home-schooled was one of the greatest blessings my mom has ever given me, and I am thankful every day. It enabled me to pursue the subjects that I was passionate about and helped me to work at my own pace.

I do believe you need to be willing to compromise and shape your curriculum to work around your family structure.

Make sure you remember to have fun, and it's okay to change things up!

Here on the blog
Over the years I have shared my thoughts on a number of different aspects of homeschool planning. Here are some of the posts I would encourage you to read: 
"Every lesson must have its own time, and no other time in this world is there for it. The sense of the preciousness of time, of the irreparable loss when a ten minutes' lesson is thrown away must be brought home." - Charlotte Mason Companion page 93

Recommended Resources
Charlotte Mason advised the teacher to replenish her soul with a continual supply of ideas. ...stimulates your educational thought in many directions and keeps you from drifting into mere routine... Do not think this is a selfish thing to do, because the advantage does not end with yourself."
 On Pinterest
For more information on planning and home educating the Schoolhouse Review Crew will be sharing their thoughts and linking up below.

5 Days of Homeschool 101


  1. We use My Father's World, and one of the reasons I love it is because of the awesome teacher's guide!

  2. I started out using a publisher's lesson plan too, to help me figure out a basic structure for our days, and then moved towards doing all of my own planning. My favorite tip from your list is this one: Your plan is your SERVANT. So true!

    PS: Love the picture of Jane in my part of the world! I'm about an hour away from DC. :-)

  3. What a tremendous resource you have provided here. And Jane? What wise words. It was terribly good for me to hear from her that when we are weary, they as students are as well. Thanks for this lovely post. As always, a great encouragement. - Lori

  4. In the beginning I too was doing far too much. My kids were stressed. I was stressed. Learning to relax and settle into homeschooling as a lifestyle not so much as an 8am to 4pm thing was key for us. Great post Chareen! Love all the resources!


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