It’s that time of year! Time for everyone to break out their homeschool planning ideas! School year planning is probably one of the most exciting times for me personally. I get to look at my kids’ progress over the years, feel sad about how much they’ve grown (sniff), and get excited about what we’ll learn in the upcoming months.
In my fantasy, I’d go on a homeschool planning retreat. Close your eyes and imagine a homeschool mom’s spa, where you are surrounded by binders, planning sheets, unlimited pens, pencils, and highlighters, wall-to-wall curriculum, and lots of other moms (separated by their kids’ grade level) that you can ask for suggestions. You can even get a pedicure as you chat! Perfect, right?
But in real life, I have four children under age 10, a part-time job, I’m in college, my husband works full-time, and we have one vehicle. So that’s not going to happen. Instead, I have to use a few tips to get my planning done before the year begins. So – here are my suggestions for getting your homeschool planning done with kids underfoot!
- Jot down your ideas. I always have a ton of ideas about the kind of curriculum I’d like to use and the topics I want to cover during the day. Unfortunately, they get lost among a sea of dirty diapers and dishes. Now, I jot them down as I go and then wait until later to look at them and brainstorm my plans.
- Ask your kids for suggestions. I always try to give the kids a little say in what we cover each year. I have my list of objectives that are required by the state, but I still ask them what they would like to learn about. I usually find a way to work those topics in during the year.
- Enlist their help to move supplies. Each year, we take out the resources we’ll be using the most for the year and keep them in a crate in our schooling space. At the end of the year, those resources go back into our homeschool closet and we sort through our new year’s materials. Get your kids to help you with all that moving. It helps them burn off energy and saves your back!
- Take advantage of quiet work times. Keep your planner near you during the day and use any quiet moment to do a little work. Are you kids quietly watching TV? Make a few notes! Are they playing outside? Take your planner and sit down to keep an eye on them while you plan. (By the way, if your kids watch TV quietly, I want to know how you get them to do that.)
- Break it up into sessions. As much as I would love to visit my homeschool mom’s spa and have a week to plan my school year, that’s not going to happen. Instead, I do a little bit of planning each day for about a month. July is my primary month for planning, but I generally do another, smaller planning session during the month of December.
- Reserve a special planning time beforehand with your spouse. If you absolutely need a few hours away to get your ideas together (which I sometimes do), talk with your spouse ahead of time and make that appointment with yourself. Give yourself two or three kid-free hours with your favorite homeschooling planner and a cup of coffee or tea. It’s heavenly!
Do you have any more tips and tricks for getting homeschool planning done when you have small kids? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
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