The only thing constant is change and the plan we create today might not work for tomorrow.
Your homeschool plan is no exception to this. The plan that looks fabulous in August may need some slight tweaking to remain fabulous in November.
In fact the younger your children the more often you will need to adjust your plans to meet whatever life throws your way.
Here is how we can do that.
Schedule a periodic homeschool review
The first thing we need to do is schedule a regular review period into our homeschool year. If you organize your year in terms this will be easy. Simply schedule a day during one of your term breaks to hold your review.
If you didn’t schedule terms then you will need to choose a day on the calendar. I would suggest at least four times a year or once a quarter. Go ahead and circle those days now and place them in your daily calendar or planner.
Try to set aside a day to do your review where you can take the time to dig in and do more planning — this needs to be a big chunk in your calendar. For some folks, it will be an afternoon, but others might need a day or two to make adjustments depending on what their review reveals.
If you have decided to prepare and organize your materials (paper copies, gathering more supplies, etc) by term, then you would get the next term prepared at the same time.
Holding the homeschool review
We have made a handy review checklist for you to use as you review your homeschool every few months that you can download here. You can use it to guide you in this process.
Start your review by reading over your homeschool vision again. (You do have a vision, right?) Ask yourself if there are any changes to make to this document and also ask if you have been living this. Where might you make adjustments?
Next pull out the goal sheets for each of your students. Are they meeting these goals? Are you doing the needed behaviors and actions? Are there any you can cross off and update? Do you need to add a new goal to the list?
Do a mental check of your resources and curriculum. In fact, I suggest never allowing yourself to change curriculum until a review period. This ensures that you have actually given the curriculum a fair chance before tossing it off. Have you done it consistently enough to be sure there is really a problem with the resource?
If they are struggling, let your kids know when the evaluation date is so they know you will take a look at the curriculum then, but you must use it until that date. This prevents curriculum hopping that might be unnecessary.
Ask yourself are things working? Now is a great time to flip through the front matter of your teacher’s guide and make note of any tips that are there.
So often I forget the helpful information in front of the teacher book. Having a set time to review it makes sure I am not making using the curriculum harder than it was intended to be.
Next audit your overall, weekly, and daily schedules and routines. Does everything there seem to be working ok? Are there areas where you are struggling?
This is the time to take stock of things like inconsistencies or your own morning struggles or the fact that your 13-year-old is staying up too late each evening resulting in later starts and grumpy mornings. These things get away from us and review is a good time to take note and pull them back in.
Are you feeling busy and stressed out? Can you take some steps to feel less busy or do you need to eliminate an activity from your calendar?
Review your procedures. Are they working? Do they need to be tweaked?
Look at your lesson plan lists and note your progress — catch up any checkmarks. Is something falling through the cracks each week? How can you adjust to make sure that subject gets done?
Finally, this is the time to prep new materials for the next term and tidy the school area. Throw things away, fix the sloppy spots, and freshen things up.
In order to keep our auto-pilot homeschool plan running smoothly, we must do regular maintenance. That is what will keep us soaring along through the entire school year.
Now, go circle those review dates on your calendar and print out enough review checklists for the entire school year and store them in your teacher’s binder.
You are now ready to soar!
Download your periodic review checklist here