Planning a new homeschool year can seem daunting and overwhelming. Instead of spending weeks preparing and stressing over schedules, choose a weekend to devote yourself to planning your homeschool year. Today I include the key things that you need to address during your weekend of planning.
Keep Things Organized
Obtain a binder and planner where you will store the homeschool documents throughout the year. Include in your binder attendance, annual calendar, daily schedule, yearly and quarterly goals, and a print out of your state standards. Include sections for each homeschool student and each subject. You will use this binder to keep track of your child’s progress, record the required hours, plan your weeks, and create a portfolio for your child by keeping selected pieces of work.
To help you get started, here are some FREE planning printables. Just click the image below to see what’s included and to get your own FREE pack.
Develop a Schedule
Create a daily and weekly schedule that will include all your subjects and meet the required hours for the week. Some families choose to have five homeschool days a week while others decide on four. You may want to start your days early in the morning so that you have more time in the afternoon or you may need to schedule around work hours. You can personalize your schedule to fit your family’s lifestyle.
Observe the Year
Look at an annual calendar and decide when you would like to take breaks. Are you planning a family vacation? Do you want to take a break during a holiday? Determine how many days you can take off during the year and pencil them into your schedule. You can also include themes within their homeschool weeks. The week before Halloween you may want to include Halloween themed activities. Make these plans now and include them on your calendar.
Plan Your Lessons
If you are using a set curriculum, then your lessons are probably already planned. If you are creating your curriculum, then this is going to take more of your time. Write down every subject that you want to include within the homeschool. Don’t forget to list topics such as art, music, health, physical fitness, and life skills. Under each subject discuss your yearly goals and list activities that you can incorporate throughout the year. You will use this as a reference when planning weekly and monthly lessons.
Create a Visual Schedule
Once you decide on a daily plan, then create a schedule that will be posted where the family can observe it during their school day. Children who are in preschool and elementary levels respond better to a visual timeline that includes pictures.
Post the Rules
When starting a new school year, children should be reminded of the rules during school time. Select five or six rules and post them, along with pictures, in an area that can be viewed during the school day. On the first week of homeschool make sure you go over the rules before the beginning of your day and include consequences when a rule is broken. There are many methods for presenting and enforcing rules, so this will look different for every family.
The new school year will be quickly approaching. By taking a weekend to get yourself organized you can enjoy the days of summer that you have left without wondering what you will be teaching in the coming weeks.