5 Steps of My Low-Stress Homeschool Planning

  • What planner are you using this year?
  • Have you found a new math curriculum? 
  • What’s your schedule looking like for fall?

The buzz in the homeschool world is hyped around planning, planners, and all things organizing. I get it. We’re homeschool moms. We plan things. That’s what we love to do! It gives us a sense of control in our often chaotic lives. Add it helps us to manage our days full of history lessons, co-op meetings, and dance lessons.

I have a sense of caution, however, about getting overly stressed about planning over the summer. We have this unspoken feeling of pressure that if we don’t get everything planned out just so over the summer, we’re going to get off on the wrong foot. And if we get off on the wrong foot in September, we’ll never recover by Christmas. And if we don’t recover by Christmas, you can pretty much forget getting on track by mid-winter. And if we still can’t figure it out by then? Well, your whole homeschool year is a bust. So summer? Summer planning is important. Obviously. Crucial even, right?

Would you listen if I told you to just take a deep breath and remove that load from your shoulders?


Even if you make all the “wrong” decisions this summer, it’s still going to turn out okay.


 

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves about figuring it all out ahead of time. This really is a good thing, but don’t forget about the things we learn over a year of homeschooling and the fact that we need to leave some wiggle room for the realities too. Even if you make all the “wrong” decisions this summer, it’s still going to turn out okay.

Here are 5 secrets to my low-stress homeschool planning.

  1. Plan in pencil only. Things change. Curriculum we thought would be the answer, wasn’t really the answer. Schedules need to be adjusted. Laying everything out so concretely will only frustrate us later. Plan in pencil and allow plenty of margin to be able to change things later if needed. It's not a failure to change your plans. Some moms even prefer to write down what they completed at the end of the day versus writing down what they plan to accomplish at the start of the day. 

  2. Get all the curriculum you think you’ll need so you have time to look it over in a leisurely way and familiarize yourself with it before school starts! You don’t have to have everything figured out, but getting to know your curriculum is really great before school starts. Have questions? Call your curriculum publisher or join an online support group of users who have experience with exactly what you are using.

  3. Look at a year-at-a-glance calendar and determine a rough idea of what your whole year will look like. Choose a beginning date and a projected end date. Does that allow you to get in the number of weeks your state requires of you? Cross out any vacations or breaks you take during the year and this will give you a great starting point for your year. By all means, factor in margin for when life goes off the rails. 

  4. Plan a quarter at a time. Trying to plan out the entire year can only frustrate many of us. Sketch out the whole year to help you visualize what your year will look like, then use the majority of your planning hours to set goals for the first quarter. The farther into the future you look, the more hazy your plan should be. There are just too many uncertainties to hold tightly to plans for six months down the line. (Remember #1!)

  5. Have fun planning! Ask your kids what they want to learn about this coming year! Pull out your favorite planning tools and pour your favorite beverage! Make this enjoyable. And expect to have the best homeschool year yet because the attitude you use while planning is going to carry over into the plans you craft.

Planning should be fun. Don’t let what others are doing deter you from your own amazing ideas. Look at your own kids. Know what works for your family. And expect the best for this coming school year!


 

About the Author

AliciaAlicia Hutchinson is the homeschooling mom to four.  She and her children love reading and history and exploring outside. They are just settling into their new home in the Minneapolis area, where they just relocated from North Carolina.

You can read more about Alicia and their homeschooling adventures, current projects, and thoughts on motherhood at her blog Investing Love.

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