If you haven’t read part 1 of this series, you should go do that. In part 2, I intend to talk about exactly how to go about scheduling a homeschooling day that works. I have also written a looser way of writing a basic curriculum in another post. If you’re interested in creating your own curriculum, you should go read about it here.
The key to a good plan is not to plan too far ahead.
Yes, I said it. You know those beginning of the year curriculum plans you have to submit along with your intent to homeschool? (At least that’s what we do in California – laws in various states differ. Check yours!) I don’t do so well with those. I mean, I do write them and we usually get everything on there done, but as a daily and weekly task reminder, those plans are a bit… well… let’s just say they can be overwhelming.
A wise homeschooling mom once told me not to consider daily progress but monthly progress.
But wait a minute – didn’t I just say not to plan too far ahead?
Yes, yes I did. You see one thing I have realized about scheduling anything is that it’s a lot like budgeting. You have to consider the overall scheme (what we want to learn) and then you have to consider what is coming in (how much time and ability we have) and how we intend to spend that resource. (What curriculum/workbook, etc. to use, if at all.)
Just like a budget works with both an overall scheme as well as daily accounting, homeschool scheduling works when you have an overall structure with weekly or monthly chunks of goals. And just like a money budget needs an emergency fund, a homeschooling plan must have some wiggle room.
How do we achieve this? Five ways.
- We plan a good overview of what we’re going to learn for the year
- We break it up into how many days we plan on working…
- …with wiggle room for vacations, birthdays and do nothing days
- We prioritize what’s important and how many days a week we need to dedicate to it
- We say no – a lot.
So, essentially our homeschool planning follows this basic trajectory – overall, general idea based on abilities and interests —> broken into 2 halves —> broken into monthly chunks —> broken into weekly and daily goals —>written down. That last part is important and incidentally is the part that gives us the wiggle room we need.
In part 3 of this series, I’ll go into more detail, pull all these ideas together and talk about one of my favorite things – stationery!!!