You have poured over catalogs and waded the seas of vendors at the homeschool conferences. You have sweated out the decisions, but have finally decided!
Now that you have chosen the curriculum, what’s next?
How about a little planning!
This is the part that excites me. I live by calendars and schedules and the challenge of planning excites me. Hey, it’s the little things that bring us joy, right? Panning your homeschool calendar is much like putting together a puzzle. It may take a little patience and some rearranging, but in the end, a beautiful thing comes in sight!
So where do we start?
Grab a calendar!
Most curriculums account for a 36 week school year, so go ahead, circle and number your weeks. In pencil, of course. We all know that the best laid plans get derailed sometimes. If you school year round, you have a little more flexibility. If you follow more of a public school calendar then you will need to find one online and copy it. The past few years we have followed a Sabbath school schedule, doing school for 6 weeks and then taking a week off. That has to be modified occasionally due to holidays or unexpected events, but on a whole it has worked well for us.
Make a chart!
While we do not follow a strict hourly schedule, we do plan our day out. By having a chart visible with the days’ plan on it, your child will know what to expect and when. We list things like wake up, breakfast, start time, lunch, quiet time and dinner. We keep a separate family calendar with any appointments and re-occurring events such as lessons on it, but this chart stays in the school room so your child can see at a quick glance what they should be doing and what is next. If you like a more detailed plan, Managers of Their School and Managers of Their Home are great resources from Titus 2 Ministries. In our early years of schooling little people, those books helped me maintain my sanity.
Use the syllabus!
Thank goodness many homeschool curriculums out there come with a daily schedule. If that is the case, all you have to do is follow that schedule and you are good. If not, you will have to do a little math to figure out the pages or lessons you have and the weeks you have to do them in. A little division later, you should know about how much you need to cover each day or week.
Find a notebook!
Last year we decided to write all of our assignments in a plain notebook. After years of using fancy planners and such, we have found this way to be the easiest for us. Each week I simply write out all of the subjects in the child’s notebook and the corresponding assignment. When they are done with that assignment, they add a sticker or a check mark so I know they are done. Easy peasey!
Done with your planning? Time to get started – may you have a beautifully blessed school year!