Homeschool Planner – How to Organize Your Homeschool

In just a few weeks I will begin my eleventh year of homeschooling my kids.  I can hardly believe I just typed those words.  It’s crazy how fast the time has gone!

Over the years, I’ve picked up a thing or two about homeschooling and finally feel like I know what I’m doing.  In the beginning I was so insecure and was afraid I would “break” my kids or fail miserably and deprive them of intellectual learning opportunities.  By God’s grace, I have grown in confidence and have enjoyed watching my kids grow and learn.  And amazingly, they are doing very well.

I have relaxed a lot and learned to enjoy homeschooling immensely.  It hasn’t always been peachy and there definitely have been times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, but I’m so glad we stuck it out because now that my eldest two are entering middle and high school, we are enjoying it so much.  Don’t translate that to mean my kids love every minute of school because, c’mon, it’s school.

One thing I think new homeschooling parents have in common is not knowing where to begin. Taking on the responsibility of teaching your children at home can be completely overwhelming; I remember it well. The number of available resources for homeschool materials and curriculum are astounding. I won’t discuss styles or methods or even curriculum choices in this post, but I will show you how to plan once you’ve made your curriculum choices and how to keep track of all the details.

How to Organize a Homeschool Planner

My Homeschool Planner is the result of ten years of experience in planning lessons and schedules.  Some pages I have used for years (although they are much prettier now than my plain old originals) and some are newer.  Since I have four children from first grade through high school, my planner is very detailed.  However, I realize that not everyone is in the same stage.

My goal is to help you, not overwhelm you, so I decided to make my Homeschool Planner available in two parts.

The first is the Original Homeschool Planner.  It contains planning pages for both the beginner and the experienced.  If you are brand new to homeschooling, I recommend you start here.

The second is the Homeschool Planner Expansion Pack.  It contains more detailed planning pages for an educational overview, curriculum purchasing, daily planners for parent and student, review checklist, and more.  This is a great pack for beginners, too, but I highly recommend trying the Original Homeschool Planner first.

Today I’ll share how I organize our school with the Original Homeschool Planner.  Check out the Homeschool Planner Expansion Pack here.

Organized Homeschool Planner New

Where to Begin

The most important step in planning anything well is to have an overall plan of what is happening. I break my school planning down into three steps.

  1. Educational overview for each child (will be discussed in more detail in the Expansion Pack post)
  2. Monthly, quarterly, semester, and annual planning of curriculum
  3. Daily and weekly planning of lessons

Step 1 – Your Educational Plan

Making a plan for your child’s education is imperative.  In the Expansion Pack post I explain in more detail how I have an overall educational plan for each child, but here I will say that having an annual plan is very important, too.

Homeschool Planner - Year at a Glance

One of the first steps in planning your year is to decide how many days you will teach and planning in breaks for holidays, etc. Some families work throughout the year while others stick to a more “traditional” 180 days.  Some states have rigid requirements while others have none.  For the most part, we lean towards the 180 day schedule.

I use the Annual Attendance Record to keep track of our school days.

Homeschool Planner - Annual Attendance Record Option 1

Start by crossing off weekends, holidays, and other days that you will not have school.  Then mark each student’s attendance with either their initial or a check mark.

There are two attendance record styles in the Original Homeschool Planner – one has space to log attendance for four children (or multiples of four), and the other has space for 3 children (or multiples of three).

Homeschool Planner - Annual Attendance Record Sample

 

Step 2 – Monthly / Quarterly Curriculum Planning

After planning which days you will have lessons, it’s time to move on to the 6 Week Planner. This can be a time consuming step, but one that is very worth it. Don’t make it too detailed though, this is where you write out your general plan for six week spans.  To follow a 180 day year schedule, you will need to plan with the six week planner six times during the year.

In my earlier days of homeschooling I used to plan out the entire year before school started. Failure. Miserable failure. Life happens, and I found it next to impossible to stick to a rigid plan. Just when you think everything is running smoothly, someone comes down with the flu and your plans are scrapped. Instead of cramming extra schoolwork down your kids’ throats just for the sake of sticking with your original plan, you might try planning in smaller chunks. When planning out six weeks at a time, you will be able to see which lessons can be dropped, adjusted, or doubled up, if necessary, as opposed to finding yourself way off schedule half way through the year and feeling like a failure.

Homeschool Planner - 6 Week Planner

There are two pages in this section which include an area to jot down goals and projects for those six weeks.

Homeschool Planner - 6 Week Planner Page 2

Step 3 – Daily and Weekly Lesson Plans

Once you have tackled the 6 Week Planner, it’s time to move on to the Weekly Planner. I like to spend time each week using my 6 week planner as a guide to fill in our weekly schedule.  It’s pretty simple to fill it in when you know your big picture plan from the 6 week planner.  This is where you’ll add more details (like lesson page numbers or specific assignments).

There are two options for the Weekly Planners. The first is a One Page Per Week option. If you want to save paper and ink, you may prefer this option.  You could also laminate this page and use wet-erase markers to fill in the details so it can be wiped clean and reused.

Homeschool Planner - 1 Page Per Week Planner

The second is a Two Page Per Week Option. This is the one I use. It does use a lot of paper (18 pages double-sided for 36 weeks, per child), but it’s worth it to me.  Or, again, you could laminate it and reuse it.

Homeschool Planner - 2 Page Per Week Planner 1

I use the planner in my binder to manage my younger kids’ schoolwork. My middle and high schoolers are able to keep track of their assignments, so I put the two pages per week planners in their own binders.

Homeschool Planner - 2 Page Per Week Planner 2

See the extra planning pages in the Homeschool Planner Expansion Pack here.

Organized Homeschool Planner via Organizing Homelife

Buy Now

 

Printable Homeschool Planner Expansion Pack via Organizing Homelife

Buy Now

 

 

 

14 Responses to “Homeschool Planner – How to Organize Your Homeschool”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Desiree says:

    That is such a great idea I will be able to do this one day. I just started homeschooling my 3 girls last semester and boy is it a challenge I will save this page for when I have the money to get this what a great idea

  2. Robin Strickland says:

    I don’t homeschool my son but I’m an organizational freak and I keep up with everything from days missed to what’s going on at school. It’s my job to stay on top of his education since it’s really all he’s responsible for. This packet has some great components that I can use to keep up with his schooling without having a jumbled mess of papers!!!!

  3. I have searched high and low for a detailed homeschool planner like this. Thank you so much! I also wanted my planner to be really pretty. Yours meets both requirements. I will definitely be purchasing. Thanks again!

  4. Hattie Davidson says:

    Can we order the new Homeschool planner by itself now and not in the bundle? I only see that you can purchase last years calendar. Going out of town and would like to print this off before I leave so I can plan. ;-)

    • Nancy says:

      I was wondering the same thing. I’d love to buy this, but have no interest in the other items in that huge bundle.

    • Ginny G says:

      The Homeschool Planner pictured in this post was made exclusively for the bundle, so it’s only available right now as a part of the bundle. It will be available in my shop, but not for 30 days. However, the Expansion Pack which will I will be posting tomorrow will be available immediately.

  5. Charli says:

    Would this is usable from year to year? Is it editable for dates and stuff?

    • Ginny G says:

      Hi Charli, I believe I answered your question on Facebook, but for the sake of others reading this post, I’ll answer here, too. None of the pages in this planner are dated except the year at a glance. I will be making a new year at a glance next year which I will be happy to send to you upon request.

  6. natalie tenney says:

    I just purchased the expansion pack. I would also like the original Homeschool Planner but I can’t find where to purchase it. Is it still available?

  7. Katrina says:

    Hi! Still REALLY wishing there was some way to make this available now rather than not until September. It won’t do me any good then, I need to be able to lay it out before we start. So sad. :( I keep coming back to check because I love it so much!!!! I tried to start creating my own this morning… ugh. :|

  8. Allison Busby says:

    Wow! I love your blogs. This helped a LOT! I’m about to start my first kid in home schooling and planning to have three more before we’re done! Thanks for the help!

  9. Meredith says:

    I missed the sale. I keep returning trying to figure out where to.find the planner. Just read the comments and realized it is not available right now. So disappointed.

  10. Julie Owen says:

    I would love to see the original packet available too. I assume the original packet is not included in the expansion pack. Is that correct?

  11. amy smith says:

    Hi Ginny,
    This is a well-designed homeschool planner and I could use it yesterday. :)
    I truly wish it was available for purchase/download before September. We started school last week and I’m planning my next 6 weeks out right now.

    I homeschool 3 grades: 6th, 1st, and K. Although I use a well-organized excel database or entering most of this info & calculating for report cards (which I downloaded free last year online that another homeschooling mom created), your binder pages are really what I need to save time and get started. I realize I am still a pen & paper kinda gal when it comes to planning.

    I look forward to hearing when your basic homeschool planner becomes available for purchase.

    Thank you again for putting this together for busy homeschool moms like me :)

    Sincerely,
    amySMITH
    amySMITHcreative.com

I love your sweet comments...

*