Will a perfectly planned homeschool make it easier to home educate? While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have solid plans in place, there’s one important factor that can cause a homeschooling disaster if ignored.
I recall when I began homeschooling over 11 years ago now, pulling up a blog post from a well-known homeschool blogger. She had these colorful well-scheduled printable plans of her children’s homeschool days. You could download them for free, and I found them visually stunning. Not to mention they were so well detailed, each hour or half-hour block filled with a subject for each student.
Why a Well Planned Homeschool Day Isn’t Enough
I remember thinking at the time that this was what homeschool planning and scheduling should look like. These schedules were the pinnacle of all the plans I had seen. And oh how I had scoured the internet for all of the ones I could find.
Our homeschool routine wasn’t flowing well. Surprisingly because I pride myself on being extremely organized, it’s one of the reasons my husband married me. Weird, I know!
Anyone who knows me knows me for my organizational skills, but our homeschool days were stressful and I knew I wasn’t hitting the mark when it came to planning.
My daughter and I were both frustrated, and no matter how hard we tried, things were not getting completed each day. Worst of all, we were not experiencing joy by any means.
Yes, a Perfectly Planned
Homeschool CAN Fail You.
I kept thinking if I could organize our days differently, I would eventually find our groove. So I tried work-boxes and a timed daily schedule like the one I admired. I tried a gold star system, we posted a daily homeschool routine on the wall, and even incorporated cute chore charts.
It felt like I was on a never-ending hamster wheel of trying to get some type of rhythm to come together. It became rather exhausting.
I witnessed some of my homeschool friends and homeschool influencers mention how peaceful their homeschools were. They played games, took nature walks, and even enjoyed read alouds.
I felt like the black sheep of homeschooling. Why weren’t things coming together for us like it was for everyone else?
After a few years of trying everything and still spinning my wheels, I gave up.
It was obvious that I was missing something. I was trying so hard to make “school at home” work and separating our home life from our school days; I had a perfectly planned homeschool, but I had totally missed the point.
The truth is, I wasn’t planning around our lifestyle. I had become a slave to checking off curriculum boxes.
Even worse, we weren’t joyful during school. I wasn’t embracing our lifestyle. Instead, I was trying to emulate what I saw others doing with little success. I felt like a fraud, unauthentic.
Planning Our Homeschool Days With Our Lifestyle In Mind
I decided to change the way I was planning and the way I was viewing our homeschool when it came to our lifestyle.
I sat down to write a long list of all the things I wanted to incorporate into our homeschool consistently, everything from library days, poetry tea time, nature walks, game schooling, all of the things I felt like we were missing out on.
Then, I took it another step forward; I wrote down all of the holidays, free-days, and non-negotiable commitments we had. From there, I began playing around with flexible planning techniques that would allow me time to include everything we wanted without the stress of “falling behind.”
Another thing I did was write out a homeschool vision of sorts – what I envisioned our homeschool to look like for the long haul.
Words like flexibility, freedom, excellence, life-long learning, and joy came to mind. Seeing it on paper would help me make it actionable, it wouldn’t stay just a wish or a dream.
I began blending our unique family lifestyle into our homeschool days. Where school didn’t start and stop, but life and education naturally flowed together.
Then, I continued to tweak it here and there, until…
Until, finally peace began to fill our home, and stress about the perfect homeschool schedule became replaced with contentment.
The Truth About A Perfectly Planned Homeschool
Peace and stress are unable to coexist, and perfection is an illusion. I began to embrace these truths, and I am here to tell you that our homeschool is so much better for it!
There is no perfect schedule to be found on the internet, Pinterest, or from any homeschool blogger. There are only the homeschool plans that you design with your unique family and lifestyle in mind. And those need to be created by you, for you.
God later led me to help other homeschool families craft their ideal homeschool rhythms. It amazes me how God takes our struggles and turns them into something purposeful.
My best advice about homeschool planning is to plan with your unique family in mind. There is no other family out there like yours. So by trying to copy or emulate another homeschool schedule, plan, or routine – we are only sabotaging our success.
We can certainly use ideas from others that we admire, but everything we plan should be custom designed with our one of a kind families in mind. That is the beauty of homeschooling!
Courtney Messick, the founder of Homeschool Mastery Academy, is a homeschooling mother of three who works as a writer, educational content creator, and homeschool consultant.
She coaches new and experienced homeschoolers on streamlining their homeschool processes, focusing on implementing organizational strategies and identifying individual learning styles.
Her goal is to help every member of the family embrace homeschooling with ease and cultivate a love of learning.
She has been published in Homeschooling Today Magazine, is a proud member of iHomeschool Network, blogs at Grace, Grow & Edify and Homeschool Mastery Academy.
Need more help with homeschool planning?
Our Homeschool Planning That Works Series has you covered with tips and strategies to help you THRIVE ( and not just survive) while homeschooling.