I’ve been known to overschedule my homeschool lesson plans just a tad.
Okay, maybe more than a tad. More like a WHOLE LOT.
Like so many homeschooling parents, I start the planning season with a huge amount of enthusiasm and excitement. We’ll study all the great civilizations of history! We’ll read every classic children’s book ever written! We’ll visit every museum in the United States!
Naturally, I’m running on fumes by October. By January, our homeschool year is practically dead in the water.
I was diligent about homeschool scheduling, but I was totally unreasonable in my method. When a child would need extra time to master a concept or to finish an assignment, everything I’d planned for that week or month would get pushed back. Eventually, we’d be so far behind we’d never catch up.
Last year, though, I learned a new way of lesson planning that was far more suited to our busy family life. Here are the three tips I’ve used to learn how to create a flexible homeschool schedule!
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time to write this post. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positively-slanted article.
Image c/o: Dragonimages / depositphotos
How to Create a Flexible Homeschool Schedule
Plan according to resources, not weeks of the year.
How many times have you scheduled a week’s worth of lessons for a specific week of the year? For example, you might choose the third week of September to learn about fall or the second week of April to study the Titanic. These themed schedule ideas are great for getting kids excited about events.
But if you overdo the exact scheduling, you can wear yourself out. You’ll find yourself saying things like:
“We NEED to finish this entire math unit by Friday!”
Or “If we don’t get this read-aloud done today, we’ll have to double up on Monday!”
There’s nothing like a time crunch to get kids to hate school.
Instead of obsessing over finishing lessons by a certain date, plan your lessons around your resources. If your Language Arts textbook has 20 units, then you can aim to complete half a unit a week if you want to finish the whole thing.
That’s a much more flexible way of structuring your lessons. You’ll have room to pause and stay on a topic a little longer or even suspend lessons for a week so you can go on vacation!
Set individual objectives for each child.
Another tip that helped me be more flexible in my lesson planning was to evaluate each child’s progress from the previous year and set individualized goals accordingly. My third-grader, for instance, is not a fan of reading for fun. He has ADHD, so his attention span is so short that it’s hard for him to exercise the patience it takes to read aloud.
This year, his reading objectives are totally different from those of his fourth-grade brother. He’ll be working with short story collections on topics that interest him. That way, we can work through stories that he’s interested in reading and practice lengthening out his attention span as we go.
And it doesn’t matter if it takes us all year to complete one book. As long as he says he enjoys reading, I’m calling it a success.
Shift difficult concepts into future terms or even future school years.
My seventh-grader really has a hard time enjoying her math lessons, so when she and I looked at the list of objectives for the upcoming year, we both nearly had a panic attack.
Instead, we’ve decided to focus on strengthening the skills she struggled with last year. She’s already familiar with them, so it won’t take as long. Plus, she can focus on other math concepts as she builds. Since math is a comprehensive subject, kids will eventually learn it all. It’s perfectly alright to hold off for a while until our kids are ready to tackle new topics. That’s one of the beauties of homeschooling!
The Flexible School Schedule Digital App
So if you like to use homeschool planners, how can you find one that accommodates your flexible homeschool schedule? That’s what Flexible School Schedule is for!
This digital app is designed to be completely customizable to your family’s homeschool plans, no matter when your year begins, when it ends, or how long it takes!
With Flexible School Schedule, you can collect and organize all of your homeschool resources – digital, print, and even video – right in the app! No more sorting through your homeschool closet and coming across a resource you meant to use this year and forgot about. (I have totally done that, by the way.)
Keep an eye on how your individual students are doing this year with the student progress tracker. You can view their progress according to subject, topic, or a specific objective you’d like him or her to master.
Need a quick check on how your school year is progressing? View each child’s progress at a glance by the term and the year!
This app is truly designed for families that need a flexible homeschool schedule (like mine). It’s in development now, so be sure to visit the Flexible School Schedule Kickstarter campaign and make a donation to help make this project a reality!
For more ideas to plan your homeschool year, try these tips!
And don’t forget to follow my Homeschool Planning Pinterest board for more suggestions!
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