Your first year of homeschooling has plenty of learning curves, but the homeschool planning process doesn’t have to be one of them. Today we’ve got planning tips especially for new homeschool families.
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Are you a new homeschooler? I’m excited for you! You are starting an amazing journey, and believe me, you will learn as much (probably more) than your child!
Homeschool Planning for New Homeschool Families
Planning your homeschool day, week, month, year, can be daunting. (Can I get an Amen?!) If you’ve talked to any seasoned homeschooler, they might have made it seem easy. They may have shrugged you off or acted like it’s no big deal to figure out the rest of your child’s education!
I apologize for all of that! I’ve homeschooled for 12 years now, and sometimes I forget how overwhelmed I was at the start.
My story as a new homeschooler
My son was in 6th grade when we brought him home to homeschool.
The stress of changing classes, lockers that wouldn’t open, and having different teachers for each subject, all added up to stomach aches and a miserable boy.
He intentionally crushed his glasses the first day of school (that should have been my first clue).
I started by getting some of the same textbooks he was using in school. That routine was important to him. It took some time before either of us was open to branching out into other curriculum.
I looked through the books and figured out how much needed to be covered and how much time we had to do it and did the math. That’s how I split the work up!
1. Start small
First of all – start small! Trust me. You can overplan anything. You can plan yourself into miserableness. Please, start small.
“But,” you say, “my child needs to know all these things (math, science, English, PE, etc.).” Well, that may be true, and remember mine came home in middle school, so I felt that pressure because next up is high school!
Again, my advice – start small!
List out the subjects you think should be covered. For example:
- Social Studies
Be mindful of how old your child is. Does a kindergartener need to do more than play learning? Can you combine your math and science? Does your child already take music or art lessons somewhere?
2. Be realistic
This journey is new to you and to your child. Be realistic of your time. If your schedule is already full and you’re fitting in homeschooling, you might need to take a step back and cut out the things that aren’t truly vital.
3. Be flexible
I would do what I said above – figure out what needed to be covered and then divide that by how many weeks of school we had and that decided what to cover each day, week, month.
So, if the English curriculum I was using had 34 lessons, I assumed one lesson per week. That’s about the normal school term. It’s so helpful when the curriculum falls in line with the number of weeks you have school!
But things happen. You or your child may get sick and miss a few days. You might decide you can’t stand that curriculum, your child refuses to do the work, or you want (or need) to take a break instead of doing schoolwork.
So, be flexible! Add that flexibility into your planner. If every Monday your kiddo has music lessons, every Thursday is Scouts, and you’ve joined a co-op that meets once a month, put that in your planner. Those things might not have much flexibility. Then add in the other things around them.
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How has planning worked for you? Are you a seasoned homeschooler who can offer some advice? Are you a new homeschooler with more questions? Let me know in the comments!
And if you are looking for more homeschooling information, check out my post Everything You Need to Start Homeschooling!
Jen Dodrill has been married 34 years, is a proud mom to 5 kids, and she homeschooled the youngest three.
The “baby” graduates in May, but Jen refuses to bow to empty-nest syndrome! She teaches Oral Communication as an adjunct instructor and writes curriculum for sale at Teachers Pay Teachers.
When she’s not working, she’s spending time with her kids and adorable granddaughters.
Need more help with homeschool planning?
Don’t miss our Homeschool Planning That Works series. It’s full of strategies and tips to help you THRIVE — and not just survive — while homeschooling.