Does planning have a place in a relaxed homeschooling approach?
The short answer is yes. That said, it’s not easy to find balance between the two. The good news is we have a simple homeschool planning hack to share with you. And once you implement it, you’ll be able to keep track of what your kids are learning and enjoy a relaxed homeschool routine.
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I love the way homeschooling allows us to all have our unique way of teaching our children. There are a number of homeschool methods out there to choose from and even more curriculum to use inside of each of those.
Because of that, no two homeschools are going to look the same. That’s the absolute beauty of homeschooling, isn’t it, that we can teach our children the way we see fit so that they can grow and thrive?
When Planning and Relaxed Homeschooling Come Together
Everyone’s homeschool looks different, so everyone’s homeschool planning is going to look different, too.
Some people love having everything laid out and organized for them weeks, or maybe even months, in advance.
Then, there’s me. I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to homeschooling, so my homeschool planning is going to look a little different than most people’s.
We follow a relaxed homeschool method, so our homeschool may look different day by day. Some days we’re hitting the books hard and working on our favorite curriculum, other days we’re lifeschooling and enjoying the natural lessons that life throws at us.
One Simple Hack for Planning for Relaxed Homeschooling
While we love our relaxed homeschooling approach, the combination of curriculum, life skills, and random learning opportunities that come along doesn’t work well with most traditional homeschool planning methods. That’s where this simple planning hack comes into the picture.
Plan in Reverse
I’m a big fan of record keeping.
With our days never looking the same from one to the next, record keeping keeps me on track and helps me make sure we cover everything I’d like for us to do.
It also gives me a great glimpse on what all we’ve covered when life takes over and I have those “Are we doing enough?” questions popping up in the back of my mind.
When I start second guessing our relaxed homeschool, all I have to do is look in my planner at my records and see we indeed are!
When I record keep, I mark down everything and anything that is educational. Since homeschooling and school at home are very different ideals, sometimes people feel like if it’s not in a curriculum, you can’t count it as school. Not so!
Baking a cake together, sewing, taking a nature walk, and attending a field trip are all school. I keep record of all of these activities in my planner.
Did you read to your kids that day? Mark it down.
Watch an educational show? Mark it down.
Have an amazing conversation about bugs? That’s right, write it down!
This may make us sound like we are unschoolers, but we definitely don’t fall under that category at all.
While we have our curriculum we love and look forward to using that gets pulled out on a regular basis, I’ve learned over the years you just can’t ignore those real life learning moments. They’re absolutely educational and should be counted towards your child’s schooling!
Planning in Reverse with The Best Homeschool Life Planner
I keep track of our relaxed homeschooling in The Best Homeschool Life Planner. In a nutshell, this planner is where bullet journaling meets traditional homeschool planners.
It’s totally customizable to be able to fit plans for multiple kiddos and includes both monthly and weekly planning pages.
It’s also super practical for homeschool and homemaking; a homeschool vision page, blank planning pages, and meal planning pages are all a part of the The Best Homeschool Life Planner.
My favorite features are the spots to write in field trips and book lists so that I don’t forget about these important additions to our homeschool life!
This planner is also great for any type of homeschool family. So, whether you like to plan ahead, or keep track of what you’ve done like I do, you can use it for your own unique family and homeschool.
In closing, know it’s absolutely possible to maintain a relaxed homeschooling atmosphere while keeping your homeschool on track. It all comes down to acknowledging all your kids accomplish each day — whether via curriculum or learning you didn’t necessarily anticipate — and making note of those things in your planner.
What method of homeschooling fits your family? What planning method do you utilize? Let us know in the comments!
Christine is a homeschooling mom to three and blogger at This Bit of Life. She loves providing resources for and encouraging other homeschool moms. She’s also working on creating an early elementary language arts curriculum, Rabbit Trails through Literature. You can join her Relaxed Homeschoolers group and build community along with her!
Need more help with homeschool planning?
Our Homeschool Planning That Works series can help!
In it, you’ll find tips and strategies to help you THRIVE, not just survive, in your daily homeschool life.