Wednesday, August 1, 2012

{Crew Hop} Homeschool Planning


I actually considered not participating in this day's blog hop for the simple reason...I am so not a good planner. I try. Honestly I do. I just can't seem to get the hang of it. 

Over the years I have tried a number of different things. When I only had one child, I bought a handy-dandy planner and figured out what we would do each and every day for a few months in advance. Then our first spontaneous field trip occurred and my planner was off. So I went with Plan B. I wrote down what we did as we did it! That worked great until son #2 arrived.

I again tried planning ahead only to be thwarted every time something occurred that wasn't in my planner. It was at this point that I realized I need just a general idea of what I wanted to accomplish and how much I wanted to get done each day (1 page, 3 pages, 4 chapters...) and work that way. Then son #3 arrived.

The more I tried to plan things out, the more frustrated I became and the less we accomplished. Finally I hit on what works best for us and this is my "planning" method that I have used for last few years. I create a daily checklist for each child. I also create, as needed, a "together" checklist for subjects/activities we'll do together as a family. These are then saved and I enter them on my homeschool "log blog." And if you click over there, please note I am very behind in getting the current school year entered!

This helps keep me accountable not only to do the teaching and planning but also to correct the work. I find that otherwise I miss problem areas until they have been problem areas far too long. This also helps instill accountability in my boys.

This past year has been a tough one for my middle son in particular. Many times he would tell me his work was completed, but when I was later correcting it (unfortunately after he was in bed), I would discover a lot of it undone. When asked about it the next time I would hear that he didn't understand it or had questions. I'm typically available for questions so it was simply an excuse to not do his work. We've been working through the issue and it's been getting much better. Although, this year I plan to do as much work as we can together instead of separately.

While this does take time each day to plan, I have found this is what works best for my personality. The boys also like having a daily checklist. They know that once the checklist is completed, school is done. My middle son is an early riser and typically will have most of his checklist done before the rest of the house is even awake.

The beauty of the checklist is that not only do I include their daily work, but I can also include daily chores! This helps remind them what they should be doing every day. I can explain what I need to explain. And doesn't everyone like to cross things off their "to do" list?

While I wish I had the capability to plan ahead more, I do start my year knowing what curriculum I want to use and what I wan to accomplish. I also create a "days/subjects" list so I know how often we'll touch on subject each week. When I was only educating one child at home, I would teach every subject every day. That's much harder to do with three and three that are spread out in ages/grades.

Overall this is the method that works for me. And I'll definitely be continuing it this year. Now I need to go update my school blog before it's time to start adding days for the new school year!

Hop on over to the other Schoolhouse Crew blog to read more about Homeschool Planning.


  1. You know, I'm noticing a theme in all these planning posts. Lots of us feel like we aren't doing it "right." But it sounds like you have a great system that works for you. We do checklists too, and love them.
    You live in MAINE! That's so awesome. I dream about visiting but have never been there. I will have to come back to dream that I live there when I get too hot down here!

  2. I'm so glad that I'm not alone in trying and retrying and thinking I must be missing something!! I love that you landed on a system that works for you now - exactly where we have landed :)


Oh thank goodness! I'm not here all alone. Thanks for leaving me a comment. It helps that I'm not always talking to myself. Right? Hello?