Planning Our Homeschool



The title sums up what I've been doing this past month. After having my baby girl in May and an anniversary celebration in June, I got a bit of a late start on the upcoming year. Late by my own standards, of course, because when you're homeschooling, you have the flexibility to let life happen, right?

Much of July was filled with making curriculum choices and ordering new books. My husband ordered pretty much all of the remainder of our math curriculum, that we'll ever need, ever, in life. (When you find something good, you should stick with it, right?!)



As the books began to arrive, the kids got excited--especially my oldest child, since most of the materials were for her. We try to buy non-consumable books so we can pass them down as many times as possible. I hope to post soon what we'll be using this year.

The books coming in gave way to lesson planning. This year, I've planned more than I ever have before. And, after just 2 days of school, it has been a blessing. I've learned that it takes some time to find your rhythm, not just in the daily flow of schooling, but also with the approach to each specific curricula.



So, along with plans for the assignments my kids are to complete, I also created the flow, step by step, for each subject session. Many homeschoolers are avid about "open-and-go" curriculum, which I completely understand and would love to do. But, my experience has shown that some times, the "open-and-go" plans are more costly because the work has been done for you. Well, in the No Idle Bread household, cost is just as much a part of curriculum planning as content is.



So, for my non-"open-and-go" curriculum, I decided to make it that way by planning the assignments and daily procedures ahead of time. I also made copies and printed pages of just about all the worksheets/quizzes/tests/lapbook pages that we will use. Too many times have I caught myself in a pinch because a child needed a worksheet that I didn't print ahead of time, and then when I go to print it, the computer or printer decides not to work. Planning in this way  has been the most freeing thing I could have done. Time consuming on the front end, yes,  but totally worth it in the thick of things.



Another exciting part of my planning has been my homeschool planner. I can no longer spend another dime on planners that don't fit my homeschool....literally. I am tired of trying to cram my notes for each child in tiny spaces. I've felt this way since schooling just 3 kids. Now that I have 4 kids I'm officially schooling this year, I said enough is enough!



Not only was there not enough room to write my lesson plans, there were also extra pages and forms that I never used, and articles that I never got around to reading. So, I thought about making up a planner on my own but knew I didn't have the time to design it all.

Solution: visit the blog of another homeschooling mama who created free planner pages for you to print off!!! {{Check out Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus for super cute printables to create your own planner with her 7-step plan. Print what you need, skip what you don't!}}



We started our first day of school on a Thursday this year, giving us 2 days to try out our new Language Arts routine before the weekend.  I figured this was a better transition than a week's worth of newness. I will continue to add in one or two new subjects every couple of days until we have our full schedule up and running.



Well, this is what I've been busy doing that past few weeks. I have a few other loose ends to flesh out, like reading lists and the final decisions on my kindergartner's history. If you have suggestions, tips or advice for approaching history with a 4.5 year old, please share!



How have you planned for school this year? Do you make lesson plans or are you more spontaneous? Have you started school, yet? If you have any questions about anything in this post, please leave it in the comments below.

8 comments:

  1. Busy busy! Yes, we have started school as well! I like to plan ahead too. I do a quarter at a time for a rough idea of where we need to be and throw in some flexibility. My suggestion for history would be real books! :) Happy homeschooling!

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    1. Thank you for the living books tip! I hadn't considered that. May God's blessings be upon your homeschool this year!

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  2. Hey, Stacie! I plan week by week starting on the Thursday of the current week for the upcoming week. This helps me to add in resources for support.

    I do have a general outline for our year with goals and topics to learn that I write in summer. I had a late start to planning too so I understand what you mean.

    This would be our fourth week, but I think I will be switching this week with our planned week off. Dad is off for the week, today is my birthday and the girls think I should take off, and their sister friend will be here two weeks so yeah I think we are taking this week off. :) Love the flexibility!

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    1. Latonya, happy SUPER BELATED birthday!

      Weekky planning is as far out as I can stand to go, because things change so frequently in our family life...usually 2 days out is as far as it goes. But like you mentioned, the flexibility is wonderful...we started on a Thursday this year!

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  3. I just want to add, the pictures of the children are so adorable. I like you teacher mom and baby picture too. I hope you all have a great school year! May God continue to guide and bless your family. :)

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    1. Thank you so much!! (so sweet of you!) May the Good Lord bless you all with an awesome school year!

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  4. If not on paper, then the overall outline for the year is in my head! We started last week, but only got three days in before other things got in the way. And this week has been completely disrupted by camping in the backyard so we could get some painting done inside. I hope to be back on track next week.

    As for history for a kindergarten kiddo, I would really not bother with a curriculum at all. Social studies encompasses so much. Find fun picture books at the library about different countries or history periods. Piggy-back on older siblings' history topics. Memorize the Pledge or Star-Spangled Banner or something like that. Make it all fun and light. Four years old is still a baby :) (At least, my 4yo is.)

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    1. My kids have been aching to camp out in the backyard but it just hasn't happened yet. I saw on your blog that you had funcooking outside, so that's good!

      Yeah, as far as history goes...I'm not looking for anything heavy, just somethingalready pulled together so I'm not creating things as I go along (with the new baby and my oldest taking Algebra 1, I need easy! lol) My little guy will be 5 in December and he is raring to go!

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