Homeschool Planning: How I Plan Our Year

I am over my cold and we are finally ready to get back into our school routine! I've already planned our 2019-2020 homeschool year (we started back in July) but we've been taking a little break for Fall. After breaks I like to go through my planner and reorganize things to make sure we are still on track to finish by our goal date. We school year round, usually from July to May with a break in June (and smaller ones throughout the year for holidays and such). Here's a look at how I do our yearly homeschool planning ( it's really pretty simple!).

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First Things First

Before you sit down and plan, I recommend you grab a notebook and say a prayer. I find that when I ask for a little heavenly help before I take on a task, things go much more smoothly. Pray that you will be inspired to figure out what works best for your family. Once you've done that, do some research and brainstorm some ideas. It always helps me clear my head when I can get my thoughts out of my head and onto a sheet of paper (or a notetaking app).

Choose Your Schedule

Some homeschool families follow a typical public school schedule because they like having the same vacation times as family and friends. Some families do school for 6-8 weeks and then take one week off. Others (like us) school all throughout the year with breaks taken when needed.

Homechooling year round is what works best for us in our current stage in life. It gives us the freedom to take breaks when we need them rather than pushing through and getting burnt out. And I feel like the kids remember what they've learned with shorter breaks all year vs one long summer break. Plus, the days are a lot longer in the summer and there's plenty of time to finish school AND play outside for hours.

Tools for Homeschool Planning

When it comes time to sit down and plan, I like to use Homeschool Planet. I've tried a lot of different methods for homeschool planning: Traditional planners, bullet journals, printable planners, Evernote, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and more. Homeschool Planet is what works best for me by far. It makes it easy to look at the whole year at a glance to plan days off. In calendar view, I can see when we will finish our curriculum, and I like being able to look ahead at that. It helps me stay on track and not panic! I can easily input curriculum for all the kids and check them off as we go. It keeps me organized and saves a lot of time, and I have to manage my time wisely - so that's a big plus for me!

Planning my school year - the days with X's are the ones we are taking off for holidays or vacation. The holiday season is always crazy!

I love that it's simple to learn how to use, and it has tons of really helpful features. If life happens and you miss a day of school, it has a "rescheduling helper" that helps you easily push those assignments back to the next school day. If you prefer to see your day on paper, you can print it out. You can even make transcripts! To see all the awesome features they offer, click HERE.

This is what a typical week looks like for us in Homeschool Planet.

Lesson Planning

I usually input our lessons manually with the lesson planner because it's easy enough with the curriculum I use (The Good and The Beautiful - more on that below). If you're not interested in inputting things manually, they have tons of inexpensive lesson plans from popular curricula that you can purchase. That makes one less thing for you to do!

The best part is that they've got a 30 day free trial (which includes a free lesson plan!), so you can try it out for a reasonable amount of time and really get a feel for it. If you hate it, no harm done. If you love it (like I do) then you've got yourself a great new homeschool (and life) planner!

As of the day this post was written, Homeschool Planet doesn't have lesson plans in their marketplace for The Good and The Beautiful subjects. Honestly though, you don't really need them. The curriculum is so simple it makes inputting everything into Homeschool Planet simple too!

Our Curriculum

My homeschool planning is really simple because the curriculum I use makes things super easy. It's open and go, and requires very little preparation on my part. We use The Good and The Beautiful for pretty much everything: Language Arts (which includes phonics, grammar, literature, art, spelling, and geography), Handwriting, Math, Science, and History. I honestly don't think I would have been able to pull the trigger on homeschooling without this curriculum. At the time we were on a budget and dropped preschool because the tuition was too expensive. This curriculum is WAY cheaper than the others I looked into, and it's truly amazing. The name says it all. We love it so much! We are still using it four years later.

They even offer Language Arts levels 1-5 as free printable PDFs! Just click THIS LINK and scroll down a bit to find them.

What We Do Daily

For Language Arts, Handwriting, and Math we usually complete one lesson per day with Kender (age 7), and Rhett (almost 5) completes as much as he can before he completely loses interest. He can usually get in a full LA lesson and handwriting page, but we have to break up the math for him. We work on Language Arts, Handwriting, and Math Monday through Thursday, and Fridays we do Science or History. We have "morning time" every day, which consists of scripture, prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, Article of Faith, and a read aloud.

That pretty much sums up how we do things! If there's anything that I've learned from my years of homeschooling, it's that no two homeschools look the same. What works for us may not work for you, but I hope that sharing some of these resources helps you find something that does work! This video by The Good and The Beautiful is another great resource:

If you have any questions for me, you can leave a comment on this post or ask via the contact page. I know getting everything organized can be a daunting task (especially in the early stages) and I'd love to help you in any way I can!

Good luck planning for your homeschool year! You got this!

Need some more homeschool inspiration? Check out these posts:

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