Homeschool Planning: Start With the Big Picture

As you begin to plan your homeschool year, it is tempting to dive right into curriculum options and weekly plans. Unfortunately, this approach often leads to frustration when our choices don’t help our children achieve their goals or the materials don’t actually suit our family’s style.

Before diving into the details, we suggest that you take a step back to create a vision and set goals for the homeschool year ahead.

Several moms who have experienced such frustration in the past share their tips and ideas with you below.

Homeschool Planning with Autopilot

Tired of Feeling Disorganized and Discouraged? Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot by Dachelle at Hide the Chocolate

“It’s that time of year again. Time to start planning, organizing, and making schedules. It’s time to feel fantastic about what the new school year holds. It’s that time of year I love. I enjoy the crisp new paper smells, the sound of a book opening for the first time, and the sight of an open planner with a year’s worth of schedules. I love planning our homeschool. This year I’m taking it a step further. This year I’m putting my homeschool on autopilot, and I’m taking you along for the ride!”

The best solution I’ve found is to use a homeschool planning guide.

Are You Ready to Put Your Homeschool Planning on Autopilot by Christine at This Bit of Life

“This school year is coming to a close and I have been perusing curriculum, thinking of how I want next year to go. This also means I’ve been busy thinking about creating a plan for our homeschool, too. I love having a relaxed homeschool, but this year my plans got a little bit too relaxed. I become too disorganized and let our homeschool vision slide. Next year, I have a plan to put my homeschool planning on Autopilot to keep our vision in check and stay on top of our daily tasks.”

Intentional Homeschool Planning with Put Your Year on Autopilot by Mary at Not Before 7

Curriculum options change every year. There are new local classes, online classes, and resources being offered. Sometimes we stick with what works and other times we find something that will meet our needs in a better way.

And frankly, sometimes I am just sick of something that I have used a bajillion times even if it would be new to child number four.

This means that every year I have to step back and take inventory of the changes in myself, my kids, and the world around us so we can plan an effective routine for learning.”

The Best Way to Master Your Homeschool Planning by Amy at Rock Your Homeschool

Master your homeschool planning. Become a homeschool planner ninja.

Or at least stop wasting time, money, and energy trying to figure out all this homeschool planning stuff so you can get on with enjoying your homeschooling adventures!

You don’t need to fritter away hours overthinking and overcomplicating it all. Feel better about your homeschool year by planning a solid framework to lean on when life gets busy or throws you a curveball.”

Homeschool Planning: Plan Your Year vs Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot by Sara at Classically Homeschooling

“There’s no time to plan. There’s no time to contemplate. I’m desperately trying to keep one foot in front of the other and keep the homeschool moving.

It’s years like those that make me dream of a school in a box. A one curriculum solution. Except those curriculums never fit my kids. They move too fast. They move too slowly. Or they use the wrong math program. A school in a box is never a good fit.

Plan Your Year by Pam Barnhill Review by Heather at Townsend House

“This isn’t a traditional homeschool planner.  You are not putting dates on a calendar, or writing out lessons in a lesson book.  However, it does have enough worksheets and planning pages to put together a homeschool binder.  Instead, I would describe Plan Your Year as an entire planning system.  Something that you would use to flesh out your entire homeschool philosophy, planning style, as well as the actual lesson plans you will use throughout your next homeschool year.”

Tips and Tricks as you Plan Your Year

Three Simple Homeschool Planning Strategies to Prevent Burnout by Lynna at Homeschooling Without Training Wheels

“You can almost imagine that all those textbooks are whispering “Yea, right, lady. You know there’s no way you’re going to manage all this.” Why spend your free time wallowing in fear of failure? Isn’t it better to just face the inevitable when the school year starts – even if that means constantly winging it – than to taste the pain proactively?

But, mama, there is another option. There is a happy medium between the imaginary bipity-bopity-boo of idyllic homeschool planning and the I’d-rather-just-wing-it that inevitably leads to overwhelm.”

7 Steps to an Easy Big-Picture Homeschool Plan: Simplicity, Freedom, Flexibility, and Orderly Structure by Amy at Humility and Doxology

“In our family, clear expectations and consistent checklists generally lead to less fighting and more peace.  (Earlier this year I applied this to bathroom cleaning, which has dramatically decreased my nagging and the kids’ fighting!)  But my own personality desires freedom and flexibility in my day-to-day life.

Big-Picture Planning gives me the ability to craft weekly assignment lists for the kids (and myself) without having to type out any lesson plans, write out lists of page numbers, or feel bound by dates on the calendar!”

Unique Planning Help

How to Plan Your Year With Purpose Even if You Don’t Enjoy Homeschool Planning by Sara at Heart and Soul Homeschooling

“Now I look at homeschool planning differently. It’s more about our overall vision and goals than strict schedules. It can accommodate our fluid rhythms of learning rather than trying to reign it in and squash our delight.

Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace by Pam Barnhill suits us well. Pam does not take an attitude that one method or way is the only right way, but rather it’s about finding the right way for your family.”

Homeschool Mistakes That are Easy to Make and Easy to Fix by Laura at A Plan for Joy in the Home

“It’s so easy to convince ourselves that we are making a lot of mistakes in life,  especially when we choose to homeschool our kids. Let’s face it, we are solely responsible for our children’s education, and that can be a lot to bear. There are so many homeschooling mistakes that are easy to make. We can’t, however, just focus on the mistakes. We need to know how to avoid and/or fix them.

How to Plan a Year-Round Homeschool Schedule in One Day by Sara at Heart and Soul Homeschooling

“So you’ve decided to follow a year-round homeschooling schedule? We’ve been doing this for a few years now, but I know it can throw you for a loop when you first start trying to plan it out. Even if you’ve been homeschooling year-round for a while now, it can be helpful to hear what others do when you’re trying to piece it all together.”

Are you ready to begin building the framework for a successful homeschool year? Check out Put Your Year on Autopilot and get started today.