With all the curriculum and activities that are available to home school families, it is a wonder how any family fits it all into their schedule. Once you purchase the curriculum and sign up for the classes how do you ensure that it will get done? I have found investing in some type of planning system does wonders for protecting my mind and my family’s time.
I must admit I was not always a planner when it came to home school educating. I wanted to simply go with the flow, and I ran away from anything that resembled school. As we have been on this journey for many years now, I realize that planning is a help more than a hindrance. It’s a tool that helps me to keep my focus and remain diligent in this important role called homeschooling.
Three Tips to Help You Plan in Your Home School
Make a list.
Making a list of your must-do subjects and activities will give you an overview of where you will be spending your time this school year. Oftentimes, we overschedule ourselves because we haven’t taken the time to prioritize. Before the start of each school year, I write a list of the subjects I want to teach the girls and the topics that they are interested in learning. I compress the list by getting rid of subjects that can wait until the next year. This allows us to have a more reasonably sized list which also gives us a better chance of succeeding.
Find a planner.
There are many planners available for home education. Find one which fits your needs. I am a simple planner so I prefer something without all the bells and whistles. I am not so plain to use a basic notebook because I want the months already dated, and the weeks already divided nicely behind the month in which they fall. Figure out the type of planner you need to be successful, and use it. It’s one thing to have a planner, but if you never use it then it’s not serving its purpose. The purpose of the planner is to give you a weekly overview of the goals for your home school. When you see the children’s activities filled in then you have a better idea of just how much work will most likely get completed that particular day. When you utilize your planner, you have a guide and you will be able to answer your children when they ask what is on the schedule for the day.
Protect your time.
Do you think of a schedule or planner as rigid? Do you see it as a means of controlling you and your home school? If so, I challenge you to change your perspective. Planning has been the one thing that has taught me to protect my time. It is possible to become rigid with your planner, but you don’t have to be that way. When I see my objectives written in my planner, I work to diligently complete them, but I also am able to see clearly if I have wiggle room when a fun activity comes up for us. Protecting your time goes more than one way. When you have set time goals for specific things then chances are you will have room to do things that you enjoy as long as you do not over-schedule yourself. When planning, remember to leave room for the unknown since no two home school days are the same.
Planning can work in your favor as a home school parent. It can allow you to find time to do the things your family truly enjoys, and it can offer clarity about the things you should keep on the schedule and the things you should let go.
Latonya writes about her adventures as a first-generation wife and home school mom at Joy in the Ordinary. She also offers encouragement and simple ways to find joy in everyday moments.