Whether just starting our with an early learning, you pulled your kids from the traditional classroom, or your a veteran homeschool mom, there are some basics that have to be covered when looking to plan out a great homeschool year.
How to Plan Your Homeschool Year
It’s that time of the year. All the school supplies start showing up in full force in just about every store you go into! Aisles and aisles of glue sticks, notebooks and pencils. And if you’re a homeschool parent, it’s time to start planning for your own year ahead!
We personally start at the beginning of September, but I know some start really early in August! Either way, having at least a basic plan going into your year or even after you’ve already started is so helpful to wrap your head around what needs to be done.
Set your overall goals
Goals are the most important factor of success.
If you don’t have goals, you won’t know if you’ve accomplished everything you need to. Have you clearly defined your goals for your homeschool year? Do you know why you are doing this? What do you want to make sure you teach your children?
It doesn’t matter if your child is a kindergartener or a high schooler, knowing where you are headed is crucial. So don’t skip this step. I highly recommend writing down your goals and posting them somewhere where you can see them often to help you stay focused.
On top of just very basic goals, it’s also important to find pre-written learning objectives and outcomes or even write your own. If your kids are preschool or kindergarten age, I have you covered with some free printables (linked).
Evaluate last year
If you homeschooled last year, go back and take a look the goals you set, determine what went well and what needs improvement.
Did you meet all your goals?
Is there an activity or curriculum that needs to be improved on or removed?
Do you feel that anything was lacking?
Is there something you need to do in order to better meet your goals this year?
Take a look at all these factors to set yourself up for success this year. We even spend all of August lightly prepping for a formal start in September that covers the “weaknesses” to start a bit stronger.
Check out what I use and recommend as the best homeschool planner… it’s not dated!
Set your yearly schedule
Use a year-long calendar to plan your school year, breaks and holidays. In most states, you are required to homeschool a minimum number of days (typically 180). This will help you make sure you get all your days in without having to hold class in July.
You can also choose whether you’re going to take holiday breaks or not. Our family only take Christmas and pushes through the rest so we have a September through May schedule.
Read more about “What wikipedia can’t teach you about planning to homeschool”.
Schedule a planning day or weekend
There are a lot of details to be worked out for your school year and doing some pre-planning will help you move through the year more smoothly. Set aside a day or a weekend to focus on planning out your entire year.
Determine the curriculum you will teach, the tools you will need, how many hours per day and how you will spend those hours. You will not regret setting this time aside to get yourself prepared for the upcoming year.
You may buy a curriculum, customize your own, or buy one and supplement it with fun learning themes.
Plan the course
Plan out the curriculum you will teach, the order in which you will teach it and how you will teach it. This will allow you to plan your lessons more smoothly as you move through the year and keep you on track for reaching your goals.
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!