Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How I Plan Our Homeschool Year: 3 Easy Steps

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I'm no good at "how-to's." Every homeschool mom has their own way of doing things, that works for them. This is mine.

Step 1- Researching Grade Level Requirements and Discussing Electives Options
             I start by doing a little discovery work, to find what each child should be learning that year. This is especially essential with my high-schooler, as transcripts and college applications are at the top of his ultimate agenda. Once we've covered the basics (this includes language arts, math, science, social studies/history, and foreign languages), we discuss electives. This year, my 5th grade daughter wants to concentrate more on her computer skills, and my tenth grade son will be taking a business management course, as well as a film making/film history course. They both will continue to take private art lessons, and my daughter will continue with her drum lessons.

Step 2- Purchasing Textbooks and Other Needed Materials
             Next, I jump on amazon.com and read tons of reviews from customers, many of whom are fellow homeschoolers. I select the textbooks I find best, for each subject, and any other materials (science kits, special calculators, etc.) that I think we may need. I do what I can to get the best deal, buying most of these items used. The kids and I hit the dollar store and Wal-Mart, for notebooks, pencils, and other back-to-school essentials.

Step 3- Planning Each Course's Pace and Planning Lessons
             My favorite step is doing an overview of each subject, and trying to pace the course to fit the school year. This simply entails looking over each textbook, doing the math of how many lessons versus school days, and figuring in field trips and projects that correlate. This is just an outline of our year, not set in stone, and very much subject to change. Then, I plan the first couple of weeks' daily lessons. Planning a couple weeks in advance allows me to be in the moment, yet prepared for what's to come.

That's it! Our school year begins in a little over 2 weeks, and I am ready!


  1. What about your calendar. I mean how do you plan what days to do schooling.

    1. Guess I should have included that, huh? Lol, my bad. Thanks for the question, Sophie. I always start after my oldest's birthday, which is the 17th of August. I generally prefer to start on a Monday. Once I have a start date selected, I count days, making allowances for holidays and planned vacations. After I hit the 180 day mark, I stop. This isn't always our exact end date, (for example, this past year we schooled for 182 days, because we had a project to finish), but it's a good reference point. I plan out our calendar year, before I do any other planning.