Friday, August 12, 2016

Homeschool Planning: Advice and Planner Reviews

It's homeschool planning season once again. I've put together some of my most favorite planning resources to help you get started.

First off, it's a good idea to keep realistic expectations of how the school year is really going to go, instead of what is in your fantasies. Here's some great advice from Sarah Mackenzie on her blog post Planning is Just Guessing to give yourself grace with your scheduling and planning.

Getting started with an overview of the whole school year at a glance is helpful. Doing this allows you to see how many lessons in each subject you'll need to cover each week during the year. It, also, helps you know when your curriculum ends for the school year, which allows you to know an approximate school year end date. You'll need to know your state's laws and your locality's requirements in order to know the required subjects that need to be taught, the number of school days required for the year, the requirements for yearly testing, curriculum requirements, etc. 

In Homeschool Scheduling, Pam Barnhill shows you how to get started mapping out your beginning and ending dates by marking off your holidays and no school days, in advance.

A Renewed Life gives some great tips on things to consider when thinking about your overall school year in Homeschool Planning and Planner 2016-2017. She, also, reviews The Ultimate Homeschool Planner in this video.

My Mardel Homeschool TV has fantastic tips on how to approach your yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily planning. She reviews A Simple Plan: Planner for the Homeschooling Family in her video Homeschool Planning Tips. 

Our Family Home Life does a good job showing you how she uses her Teacher's Lesson Planner by Blue Sky in *Homeschool Planning* How We Do It-Back to School.

Megan Phillips walks you through how she plans out all her subjects for a basic yearly overview by using Excel in How To Plan Your Homeschool Year. 

Lauren Hill gives scheduling and planning advice in her video How I Plan Our Homeschool Week.

Raising Clovers has wonderful organizational systems she shares in How to Organize Your Homeschool Curriculum: 5 Simple Systems. These systems are worth considering during your beginning of the year planning session. However, it's never too late to implement a system you feel will improve your own homeschooling experience.

Personally, I've adapted my own lesson plan binder using the Post-It Note method. By using Post-It Notes, I'm able to re-adjust my schedule according to what we may or may not accomplish during a day or week. If we do not accomplish a particular assignment on the planned day, then all I have to do is lift it off the page and place it onto the next day and I can do this multiple times, if needed. This way I alleviate all the writing, erasing, and rewriting involved than if I had written words directly onto my planner page. Tami Morrison demonstrates how she uses her computer to print directly onto Post-It Notes in Erin Condren Teacher Planner-Lesson Planning with Post Its. This way, she's able to use all sorts of fun fonts, font sizes, and clip art to make her planner look super cute.

You can make your planning and your lesson plan book as simple or as elaborate as you want. Whatever helps you maintain some organization throughout your homeschooling day is what matters. Homeschooling families have various needs, different number of students, different students' ages and developmental levels, etc. Planning and scheduling is all about taking into account all of your family's unique needs and your own personal style of organization.

Here's a few more videos you may find helpful:

Homeschool Lesson Planning by Full Time Wife Life

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