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A Few Homeschool Planning Tips

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homeschool planning tips

Call me a meanie mom. {wink} Our first official day of school was July 29th. Yes, JULY, people.

I heard that collective gasp.

This last week has felt a bit over the top for me. We returned from vacation and it’s taken me almost a week to recoup from that {laundry, cleaning up, etc…}. Add in swim practice every single day, a swim team champs most of the day Saturday, and there was little time to squeeze in the last minute things that I felt needed to be finished for school to be done all good and proper.

Shockingly, we all survived our first day back and we’re off to a good start, despite my feeling behind. Can you believe it?

I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve felt less prepared going into this school year than years prior. BUT I will also say that there is something else that I’ve learned over the years, and it has been on my mind a lot lately.

There is such a thing as over-planning.

Can you believe I just said that? Me. The planner who loves a good color-coded schedule and things to be ‘just so’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still color-coding and have an overall plan for our school year in place, but one thing I have learned is that it’s okay to ease up a bit on the expectations that I put on myself, relax, and not stress about the tiniest details.

A Few Nuggets of Advice for New Homeschool Moms

For all of you moms out there that are busily planning your first year and worried about how it will all work out, let me offer you a few homeschool planning tips :

  1. Planning and organization are both good things. They can help keep your day run smoothly. However, getting caught up in the planning and having everything ‘just so’ can also kill the joy in your homeschool day. Be sure your plan isn’t becoming the end all. You don’t have to have it all together in order to have learning be effective.
  2. Flexibility is KEY. There are times during your day that you’ll need to put the schedule aside and just go with the flow. Give yourself the opportunity to be spontaneous, even if your plans say that you should be doing something else.
  3. When planning, don’t overextend yourself and your kids. You may be home all day, but that doesn’t mean that you have to help out with everything or participate in the many things that are presented. Sometimes your sanity is worth so much more than what over-commitment can cost you.

For those of you that have been homeschooling for several years, what advice would you offer new homeschool families?

If you are a new homeschooling mom, you may find the Homeschool Basics series helpful as you begin your homeschool journey.

 

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Comments

  1. Jennifer Weir says

    We started today, too! We’ve had a very busy summer and the kiddos were very excited to start back up and get in the groove again.

    My word of advice is….RELAX! It is something I’ve had to learn in the six years I’ve been homeschooling. I’m such a “follow the schedule” kind of gal and it has caused more stress than needed. About midway through the year last year I had to just get it all right with God and it helped tremendously. I’m praying I can stick with it this year and not be too tight. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

  2. Jennifer @ Milk & Honey Mommy says

    Jolanthe,

    You are a meanie mom! The only thing is that if you’re a
    meanie mom, then I hate to think of what that makes me. We started on July
    24 and I, like you, already feel behind. We were actually supposed to
    start July 8.

    I do agree with you regarding over-planning; don’t do it.
    That is one of the reasons we started later then I planned; too much
    planning.

    Even though we haven’t been homeschooling for several years, I would suggest that a homeschooler (new or old) not break out in a sweat if every scheduled box isn’t checked off at the end of the day. Lord willing, there is always tomorrow to finish that assignment. I’ve gotten really skilled at moving assignments to the next day (or week) on my spreadsheet.

    .

    • Krista Guerrero says

      We are starting August 1st, and I thought that was early. I couldn’t really bring myself to have them start in July. Anyway, we finished last year by the end of April, so they have been off for a long time. We like long summers, which means we start a bit sooner. As I was working on my lesson plans I do feel the Lord convicting me to make this year full of joy. With the long lists of things to do and lesson plans, it sometimes seems overwhelming, but we have to remember it is a joy to teach our kids. It is nice to know as we get back in the trenches that you ladies are there with us in spirit. I pray you have a great year.) :

    • Definitely a joy to teach our children, and sometimes it is hard to remember that. :) Praying you have a great year as well, Krista!

    • amen, girl. :) {and fellow meanie mom}

  3. CherryBlossomMJ2 says

    We started yesterday too! I’ve been all planning to start September 2nd, but then some new knowledge came up and we’ll have to plan on an extra long spring break… so in we jump!

  4. Alana Wemple says

    I thought we starting early and we start next week. It is just too hot outside to do anything else. Am I ready? No, but we start nevertheless. We are ready to get back on a schedule. Blessings on your new school year!

  5. Jennifer McGarry says

    Reading all the comments a pattern emerges that shows one of the big perks of homeschooling …you can get back to routine when YOU are ready! And take vacation when YOU want to. We started July 15th even though our online academy doesn’t start until August 6th. That way we can spend the month of August on an amazing road trip :)

    I’m not a seasoned homeschooling mom just yet, but if I was to give advice it would be to just let things go when everyone is getting frustrated. I have found there are times when my kids are really receptive to lessons, times when they can get through them, and times when it feels like I am trying to shove bamboo under their fingernails. When doing a lesson feels more like an exercise in torture, close the books, and go do something else! You’ll be better off getting back to it when things calm down and you won’t waste 45 minutes trying to get through 5 minutes of work!

  6. Kimberly Nickel says

    We started July 15! Here in Arizona, the year-round school went back on that day, and it will work out great for us to be able to visit family in late August and take breaks in the fall when the weather finally cools off. Thanks for this post! I am a first-year homeschooler – only in the third week of our school year – and the first thing I learned was that things were NOT going to go exactly as I’d planned. But it has ended up working out anyway. My boys are Pre-K and Kinder. I so appreciate your blog!! You’ve been a big help to me as I got ready to homeschool, and now as I AM homeschooling!

  7. We start in Aug (a month before our public school peers) and love it!
    Advice for new homeschoolers- keep it simple
    Read, write, do some math,
    then let life be the lesson for the rest of the day~
    nature hikes, bake cookies, make play dough together, read poetry…
    in other words, enjoy your kids in the process. =)

  8. kellyrharper says

    RELAX! I have one teenage son, & we started this past Mon. The same week we had nursery duty at church, 4 days of Bible school(we both worked it), he has a doc apt & I have a Deacon meeting, CRAZY RIGHT? You have to remember that the kids are looking at you to help them learn not only what they can in books but how to deal with life. They need to know that everything is NOT going to go as planned daily. I tell my child, If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans. Sometimes we have success @ what we were trying to get done & sometimes not, but that’s ok. He learns that it’s ok for everything not to be perfect & to just do your best no matter what. At the end of the day I want him to learn Algebra & Geometry, but more important, I want him to learn to deal with life.

  9. Advice I’d like to offer to new homeschool moms/dads is to screen your calls during school hours from the get-go. This not only makes your children realize that they are more important than that phone call; it also saves you a ton of time not having to speak to sales people or people who have nothing better to do than to talk on the phone for hours. :)

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