It's almost back to school time, and the new homeschool curriculum is piled high in your house.
Except… wait. Now you have to determine how you're going to teach all this in your homeschool!
Homeschool lesson planning just became your number one priority.
No worries! I'm here to give you my tips on how to plan your homeschool year and organize your homeschool days, including advice on the best homeschool planners.
Ready? Let's get started!
7 Secrets to Successful Homeschool Lesson Planning
1) Adopt the idea of a rhythm instead of a schedule.
Your homeschool schedule will not work out as planned. I'm telling you right now that no matter how perfectly you plan it, it will get messed up.
This is because we are imperfect teachers teaching imperfect people with imperfect curriculums in an imperfect world!
I love the word “rhythm” because it implies regularity without rigidity. We can have a flow and a structure to our days, without being choked to death by the ever-changing details!
2) Create daily homeschool “pillars” in your homeschool planning.
Instead of an hour-by-hour schedule, create specific “pillars” in your day and let the learning flow around those.
Yes, have specific learning objectives for your week, but instead of saying “Math will be from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.,” consider having math as one of the morning learning objectives between the pillars of eating breakfast and eating lunch.
Each day is unique. Each day has it's challenges. Adapt the homeschool learning flow to fit within your family's overall rhythm for the season.
3) Include regular times for rest in your homeschool planning.
I cannot stress this enough. In our home, rest is as important a subject as time spent each day on math, science or reading. We create rest as one of our daily pillars in our homeschool planning, and our lesson plans work around it.
I learned a long time ago that I cannot be a peaceful, contented homeschool mom without time in my day (usually time spent writing, reading or just being silent) to balance the chaos, noise and potential overwhelm of teaching four children all day.
And, I've learned that my kids learn better when they too have a chance to step away from the books into a time of quiet and silence (spent reading, drawing or working on a craft).
4) Plan for times for cleaning and chores.
One of the beauties of homeschooling is that we get to introduce our kids to all kinds of learning (and only some of it being book learning). We get to teach our children practical life skills and how to learn responsibility.
Teaching kids life skills takes a ton of time, not only because a heap-load of training is required to teach life skills, but because the tasks themselves take time. Time spent on chores can easily take over a homeschool schedule.
Do yourself a favor and include blocks of time in your daily homeschool planning that includes this type of real-world learning.
5) Make space. Period.
It's so easy to overbook our days. And when we're organizing a homeschool learning plan, it's very tempting to fill every moment with an activity or an assignment.
One advantage to using a homeschool planner is that you can see all the activities in a day. Once everything is written down, it can help explain why you or one of your students suddenly feels frazzled.
6) Let relationships guide your homeschool learning plan.
As homeschoolers, we have the privilege of not only imparting our kids book and real-world learning, but we have to opportunity to build deep relationships with them that connect eternal truths to their hearts.
These connections are vital (just talk to a mom who's navigated the teen years) and the ultimate true treasure in homeschooling our children.
Rhythm-based homeschooling allows for the time and space to let these natural conversations and circumstances occur without feeling like you’re off schedule.
7) You are in charge of your learning rhythm.
If you don’t like how things are working, change it! If you find that there's too much happening in your homeschool schedule, remove something!
For example, if a child seems to be more attentive when working on a certain subject in the morning verses the afternoon (like you'd originally planned in your homeschool planner) then change it up.
You are the boss (no matter how perfect your plan may seem in theory)!
My Top 4 Helpful Homeschool Planning Resources
Want more help with homeschool planning? Here are my go-to resources for organizing a homeschool or homeschool planning in general.
We didn't talk about this, but do you have a plan for what you're doing to do with all your children's awesome completed school papers and projects?
Can I make a suggestion? If you don't want to end up with piles of school papers everywhere, you've got to get the My Memory Box School Memory Box System™.
I designed this simple, easy way for any parent to organize their kids school papers out of my own need to tame the school paper clutter and have an organized homeschool (and home)!
Not only does My Memory Box™ keep school papers neat and organized, My Memory Box™ helps you to (painlessly!) create a fun school memory box from your child's toddler to teen years that they'll cherish for years to come!
Hundreds of moms worldwide use this system everyday and it's the perfect way to start off a new homeschool year organized and ready to go!
Learn more about My Memory Box™ here.
Having an online homeschool planning software for all your homeschool lesson plans is extremely helpful! Homeschool Planet is one of the best homeschool planners out there. I'd highly recommend it as an easy way to track attendance, keep all your homeschool lesson plans organized, and so much more!
Read my full review of Homeschool Planet here.
Love the concept of “rhythms” in your homeschool planning? I'd love to teach you more about homeschool rhythms in my book Plan to Be Flexible.
Creating a rhythm in my homeschool (instead of a rigid homeschool schedule or plan) has made all the difference for our family.
Discover more about how “rhythm-based homeschooling” in “Plan to Be Flexible”. Plus you'll hear my real-world struggles as a homeschool mom and how we finally discovered peace and joy in our homeschool planning through rhythms.
You can grab “Plan to be Flexible” here on Amazon.
Other Helpful Homeschool Planning Posts