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Homeschooling comes with so much freedom, but so much freedom can often lead to being overwhelmed by decision-fatigue!

Read further for our top five suggestions to planning a great year.

Planning Your Year

Step #1: Access and Reflect

Homeschooling comes with so much freedom, but so much freedom can often lead to being overwhelmed by decision-fatigue!

The first step in the homeschool planning guide is figuring out where you are now. Because homeschooling is a natural extension of parenting, a successful plan will consider your family life as a whole.

Evaluate each child’s current strengths and weaknesses and whether they are growing in each area. For older kids, sit down and fill out the worksheet together.

We recommend planning your homeschool year assessing four areas: academic, health, character, and social.

Kids are more likely to participate cheerfully when they are part of the process 🙂

Use our worksheet as a guide for your preliminary assessment of your student →

Questions to consider when completing your Whole Child Assessment:

Step #2: Set Priorities

As you plan your homeschool, your priorities will vary dramatically from child to child and year to year.

For a kindergartner, your primary focus may be social, while with older kids, academics will likely play a larger role.

For elementary school, you may prioritize exploring interests, while in high school you may be focused on completing the required coursework for college.

Make this year’s goals about this year’s need. You may wantt o focus on supporting your child through a transition like the birth of a new sibling, moving, starting new as a homeschooler, or going through a medical crisis. 

Balance developing their strengths and attending to weaknesses. Think about what kind of learning works best for them, and what they need to be happy and relaxed.

For teens and independent tweens, be sure to include them in the process— they may surprise you with what they want to take on!

Sit down with your spouse or a close friend and discuss your observations from step 1 and your long-term goals for each child, and decide what to prioritize this year.

Homeschooling works best when parents lead by example and are learning and growing, so fill one out for yourself too 😀

Use this blank worksheet as a starting point in your priority setting →

What to consider when brainstorming your priorities for the school year:

Step #3: Finding Resources

Now that you know what your homeschool planning guide goals are, it’s time to look for resources, and brainstorm. As you are thinking about how to meet each child’s goals, look for ways to meet multiple goals at once. 

For example, starting a history-themed book club could encourage a reluctant reader, act as your history program for the year, and provide social time. You could study nature or geology while hiking. 

As you make choices, consider how they impact your overarching priority for the year. Not every choice will be able to incorporate your top priority (sometimes a math curriculum is just a math curriculum), but work it in where you can, and try not to undermine it.

Fill out a Resource Evaluation worksheet for each resource you find to help compare and choose →

Where to find homeschool resources:

In-Person Homeschool Classes

Local Homeschool Co-ops

YMCA

Local Businesses offering Afterschool Classes

Museums & Zoos

Recommendations from Local Homeschoolers

Online Homeschool Classes

Outschool.com

● Individual Providers

In-Person Homeschool Classes

● Local Used Curriculum Sales

Craigslist

● Facebook Marketplace

eBay

Online Homeschool Classes

RainbowResource.com

Amazon

Direct from Publishers

Step #4: Put It All Together

Now that you have lots of options, it’s time to choose which work together best for each child. Start with things you are sure you will continue from the previous year, then move on to meeting needs from the priority guide.

Use our blank Planning Worksheet →

As you add to your plan, consider how your addition impacts the overarching priority, and whether it fits into your schedule and budget. 

Be sure to leave room in both your schedule and budget to allow for adjustments later.

Step #5: Assess and Adjust

Now that you have a homeschool planning guide, you need to be sure to check periodically that things you have chosen are working the way you envisioned and meeting the needs you intended them to meet. It can be easy to feel like the key to a successful year is making your kids work through your curricula, but it’s most important to make the curricula work for you.

Set aside time once a month to go over your plan for each child and assess how well each resource on the list is working, and whether together, they are supporting your overarching priority. Then, make adjustments.

Take the time to notice what is working well and celebrate successes and highlights 😀

Use our blank Monthly Review Worksheet →

Adjustment suggestions:

Adjust the pace

Add more repetition/practice

Cut out busywork

Swap out bookwork for hands-on activities

● Team up with friends to make a “club”

● Do the work at a different time or in a different place

If small adjustments don’t help, swap it out for something else – either one of the resources you didn’t choose from step 2, or something new.