Over the last three years, I have received many requests from readers to share how I organize our homeschool with my Homeschool Planner.
I am about to enter my eleventh year of homeschooling my children and have tried many methods of planning over the years. I have made my own schedules and printables along the way and tweaked them over the years to make planning simpler and more complete.
The Homeschool Planner with the Expansion Pack is very detailed, and will save you a LOT of frustration later on if you use it now. Not only will it help you to plan your year well, but it will also help you keep track of longer term schedules and planning. I am offering it in two parts so you can make the choice of how detailed you want your planner to be.
- If you are new to homeschooling, I highly recommend you start with the Original Homeschool Planner (and read this post) before purchasing the Expansion Pack. I don’t want to overwhelm you!
- If you are more experienced with homeschooling, or not easily overwhelmed by details, I recommend you use the Original Homeschool Planner and the Expansion Pack.
Today I’ll show you what is included in the Expansion Pack. For all the details on the Original Homeschool Planner and where to begin, please read this post.
First, I have great news! Since many of my readers do not homeschool, and those that do may like to try one of my Homeschool Planner printables before purchasing the full planner, I’m giving away my Daily Planner printable totally for FREE! Simply click on the picture (or here) to open the PDF file.
I laminate the Daily Planner and keep it in the front of my binder. I use my favorite Staedtler wet erase markers so it can be re-used.
I was so excited to “officially” begin homeschooling when my daughter reached school age! I went to homeschool conventions and bought WAY more curriculum, books, and manipulatives than we could ever possibly use. I planned field trips and monthly, themed activities. I had creative idea books for every season and holiday. But, it wasn’t long before I found I couldn’t keep up with my own expectations of an ultra-creative, endlessly fun homeschool experience.
The problem was that I was so narrowly focused, I could only see what holiday or themed event was coming next. The last thing I was thinking about was high school. Now, I don’t think you need to worry about it if you have a kindergartener either, but I do want to point out the necessity of stepping back and making an overall plan for your child’s education.
I won’t repeat all the same information that is in the original Homeschool Planner post, but I will expand on how I plan in three steps.
3 Step Plan to Getting Your Homeschool Organized
- Educational overview for each child
- Monthly, quarterly, semester, and annual planning of curriculum
- Daily and weekly planning of lessons and extra activities
Step 1: Your Educational Plan
I created the Educational Planning printables to help keep track of the big picture plan for your child’s education. There are four pages that will help you plan which classes your child will need over the course of their schooling. Beginning with kindergarten, there are three grade levels on each page except for high school, which has all four years on one page. I use one set of these pages for each child. If you are just beginning, you may just want to start with planning elementary school. When they reach third or fourth grade, it would be a good time to plan your direction for middle school.
Fill in the subjects (i.e. Language Arts, Math, History, Science, Electives, etc.) in the side tabs and then more specifically in the block fill in which classes they will take each year (i.e. Earth Science, Physical Science, General Science, Biology, etc.).
Once you have an idea of the classes your child will be taking it is much easier to make your annual plans for purchasing curriculum and prevents you from buying unnecessary or excess curriculum.
As described in the original Homeschool Planner post, this is also an important time to plan your annual calendar for which days you will have school during the year.
Step 2 – Monthly, Quarterly, Semester, & Annual Curriculum Planning
After planning or updating the educational plan for each child, I move on to my curriculum purchasing planner. I use a separate page for each student. On the left side, I list the classes they will be taking for the coming school year.
In the Curriculum/Books column, I list all of the books and resources they’ll need for each course. Some courses are taken at a homeschool co-op we attend, so I include those as well. There are check boxes next to the titles that can be checked when the book or resource has been purchased (or borrowed, etc.). I also like to note the source and the price for future information.
I keep these pages near the front of my binder with sticky tabs at the top. I refer to them OFTEN at the beginning of the year. It takes the headache out of remembering to get every book that your child/children will need for all of their classes.
After planning your annual schedule and deciding which curriculum you’ll use for each class, it’s time to move on to the six week planner. This is described in more detail in the original Homeschool Planner post here. There are two pages in this section which include an area to jot down goals and projects for those six weeks.
Step 3: Daily and Weekly Lesson Plans
As described in the original Homeschool Planner post, weekly lesson plans are simple to fill in on the Weekly Planner when using the information you wrote on the 6 Week Planner. There are two options for the Weekly Planner. It is available in a one page per week option as well as a two page per week option. Both come in the original Homeschool Planner.
The Expansion Pack includes two options for a Daily Schedule for your student. My older children prefer to have their own schedules and checklists. They both love the “check box” style where we list their subjects and they check the box when the work for that class has been completed each day. There are also spaces below the schedule and checklist where they (or you) can jot extra chores or notes. This is a great page to laminate so it can be re-used with wet erase markers.
The second Daily Schedule printable for the student has a more traditional time schedule layout.
Also included in the Expansion Pack is an Annual Attendance Record that is intended to be used for each student individually.
One of my very favorite pages in the Expansion Pack is the Subject Review Checklist. With four kids, I have over thirty lessons to check every. single. day. Just in case you start thinking I’m Super Woman, I’m not! And I DON’T check all of their lessons every day. It’s impossible. However, jotting each lesson on this checklist helps me keep track of when the lessons were checked and which ones still need review.
There are several ways to use this page. I use one spot for each child and get two weeks out of each page. Again, laminating will save lots of paper and ink! You could also write in week numbers and use the page for eight weeks for one kid or four weeks for two kids.
I also included several other pages including a Field Trip & Activity Planner and a Book Reading List.
You may also like my 2014-2015 Calendar.
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