The Myth Of  Planning From Behind In Your Homeschool 

If you’ve been homeschooling for a while, you may have heard about the concept of “planning from behind”. Some moms say that It helps them be more spontaneous and it keeps them from feeling stressed when they can’t follow the plan.

The concept of planning from behind is often perceived as something easier and less stressful in homeschool circles. But is it really?

On the surface, it can seem like a good idea but in the end, I really think it causes more stress – not less.

The Myth Of  Planning From Behind In Your Homeschool 

What Is Planning From Behind?

Let’s begin by defining what “planning from behind” really is. Although there is something valuable in this, it’s not really planning at all.  It’s essentially journaling about what you did during the course of your homeschool day. I think the misnomer is okay for some homeschoolers. It works for the people who have done it organically for years and who do it well.

I think the danger comes from the fact that there are a lot of people who latch on to this concept of “planning from behind”.  They think it’s going to make their life easier when really it just creates more pressure, guilt, and stress.

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The Myth Of  Planning From Behind In Your Homeschool 

What Planning From Behind Really Does (and does not do) In Your Homeschool

It’s a great thing to journal what you accomplished in your homeschool day, whether you planned to do those things or not. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that so much learning takes place that we never planned to do. Journaling about all of it is great.

By taking time at the end of the day to write down what we did and all of the ways that learning was experienced, we can see progress and also see what’s missing. I think it’s a great practice.

It’s wonderful, but it’s not planning.

The Myth Of  Planning From Behind In Your Homeschool 

Myths Associated With Homeschool Planning

In my experience, having a plan can actually free us up to be more spontaneous in our homeschools. I realize this may seem like an oxymoron  – we’re going to plan spontaneity, but hear me out.

What is planning? In my own definition, planning is simply preparedness. Planning is being prepared and having plans for good days and plans for bad days. I always recommend that you have a bad day plan tucked away in your pocket.

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Click HERE for a  video to help you plan for the tough days.

You want to be prepared for the good days and average days too. This way, when your family is in the mood to do science, you have science things ready to go. If you have to stop and look up the teacher’s guide, then find all of the supplies, then make a run to the grocery store or go down to the craft store, and then realize you haven’t reserved the book you need at the library, you’re not going to do the science at all.

If you’re not prepared, then you lose the opportunity to do the things you want to in your homeschool when you want to do them. Planning is as easy as making a list of activities that we think sound interesting and fun. Let’s get prepared for those wonderful things that we could be doing in our homeschool in and be ready for them.

In this way, being prepared actually helps us be more spontaneous. If I already have all of the books, all the art supplies, all of the science experiment supplies ready, and if I’ve thought about this list of possibilities of things that we can do, when the mood strikes (when Tuesday morning comes, when the toddler is actually behaving) we can do it! . But if I haven’t prepared in any way, I’m simply going to miss those opportunities.

homeschool socialization

Put Your Homeschool Year On Auto Pilot

This approach, simply making lists of fun and meaningful activities you want to do in your homeschool, lists of great books that you want to read in your homeschool, and lists of things that you think are important for your children to do in your homeschool is very much how we teach you to plan in our planning course.

We teach you how to do all of this in Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot. We help you have a manageable, peaceful, and enjoyable way to plan your homeschool this year. Whether you’ve already started homeschooling or plan to in the near future, the success of your plan (and your sanity) rests heavily on how you create your homeschool plan.

It’s the way I love to do it. It’s the way I love to plan. It helps me to be prepared and that’s the whole point!



  • Rebecca says:

    I saw one way a homeschool mom did it that I thought was great. She wrote her plans ahead of time on post-it notes that she put in her planner. Then, she wrote down in the planner what they actually did, sometimes less than she had planned for because something unexpected happened, and sometimes the bugs she hadn’t planned for because they went down a rabbit trail. I thought that was a great way to record what they had done without the guilt that goes with plans that don’t go through.

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