Aaah, homeschool planning- chances are most homeschool parents fall into 2 categories: The Type A’s that love planning, finding it simple and fun, or everyone else who finds it overwhelming and challenging.
I suppose there are those that don’t find planning necessary at all.
I enjoy it, once I set my mind to it and come up with my plan.
File Box System
Last year I started a new system, and I can’t find the original blog post I followed to help me figure it out. It was great, and had videos.
But basically-I took how many lessons we had in each curriculum, then divided them evenly into the number of weeks we wanted to school. Each week had a manilla folder assigned to it (1-36) and I filed each week’s papers in that folder. Then at the beginning of the week, my daughter could place all papers on her clipboard.
The weekly manilla folders are stored in a hanging file box like this one. It is easy to access, light weight, and can travel!
You do have to tear apart the workbooks. The papers that I filed came from handwriting and copywork, math, and explode the code… It seems like there were others but I can’t remember.
Then each week I filed the papers into a big binder that had dividers for each subject. When everything is complete (we are still working, as we school year round), I will bind it into a book for my kids!
For my youngers, I love the workbox system! This is the one we have; it is sturdy, the drawers pull out without a problem, and we’ve never had them fall out of their tracks. (I have heard not so great things about the cute colorful ones?) We’ve had this one going on 4 years and it is still in great shape … though dusty!
I use this for my 5 and 3 year old’s school things- dry erase boards, handwriting books, a few manipulatives, etc. This way their things are always handy for them, and they can pull them out either when I am ready to work with them, or independently as they choose.
Well… how do I love planners? Let me count the ways! A simple search on my blog will show you how much I love and use planners.
This last school year I went rogue (haha) and used a traveler’s notebook for my planning- I created all my own layouts, and kept notes, plans, and everything we did right there in the notebook.
I love this way of planning and recording.
However, I don’t feel like I have enough space, which is silly since the pages are empty and a blank canvas for me to record on. I guess I like most of my things all on a 2 page spread. With Mister schooling this year, I definitely don’t feel like I have enough room in an A5 size notebook.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell is wonderful! The pages are huge, the boxes are blank, and there are areas each week for recording special things, prayers, etc. I truly love that planner.
I have always loved the Mardel Simple Plan– which is almost always sold out! This year’s is BEAUTIFUL, and ya’ll, Im regretting not buying it! I wish I had … but instead I am trying a Plum Paper Homeschool Planner. Honestly, I am not sure how I will feel about it, and seeing as how I already wish I had bought the Mardel Simple Plan … I will let you know!
Planning out the Year
Planning out the year used to scare me, but not so much anymore. I print and mark 6 weeks on, 1 week off on a small monthly calendar like this one:
Then, I put a small mark on the days we do school. If we have to miss for appointments, illness, etc, I just take note and when we get to our 1 week off we plan accordingly. Having all our assignments divided into the weekly folders helps us gauge where we are in the year, and if we may need to double up on a week or two.
Truly, the weekly folder method saved me! No more flipping through workbooks to find the right page, no keeping up with it all. Once it is on the folder, school can be done while we wait somewhere, outside, on the couch, in the tree (yes, in the tree). It is really cool, and so worth the fore thought!
And because you aren’t micro planning days those assignments can be done whenever, most of the time. I allow my daughter to finish them all in one day if she wants, or a few each day. (But they still must be done at her very best effort).
Planning doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Preparing to plan is really key, as I learned last year.
Hopefully you homeschool plans will go smoothly for you all!
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