Planning for a Restful Homeschool Year {part 3}

Peaceful Planning - from Structured to Free-Flowing

Each month me and my friends Chelli from The Planted Trees & Sara from Classically Homeschooling have been sharing our thoughts and tips on creating a scholé {restful learning} atmosphere in our homeschools. Each of us takes a different view on each topic and we all do things in distinct ways - so you are getting a varied look at how you can create a restful atmosphere for your own homeschool.

Planning for a peaceful homeschool year - tips & advice for creating a homeschool schedule or routine that works for your family.

We have been discussing planning for a restful homeschool year for the past two months and we are wrapping up our series this month by taking a look at the different ways of planning - from structured to free-flowing.

Planning for Rest

Almost all of my work & planning for homeschooling actually comes before we start our first day of school. I know that if I want to have a peaceful year everything needs to be prepped and ready ahead of time. I start by planning our goals & choosing curriculum. Then I break things down and create a schedule. I look through all the books, preparing myself to teach & getting all of our needed supplies purchased and stored away. Summer is my 'teacher training' time so I am not spending the rest of the year scrambling to stay ahead.

Developing a yearly plan

I am an epic failure at creating a strict daily schedule. I find that we work better with a basic daily routine. Knowing that, I don't plan each day down to the page number. {If I had more than one child I might have to actually do that! But I just have one and that does allow for more freedom in our day-to-day schedule.}

Instead, I plan by the week. Before the school year begins, I create a simple spreadsheet (pictured below) that includes each subject across the top and a series of rows (enough to cover 36 weeks plus a few extra rows) down the side. Then I just divide the lessons (don't forget tests & review lessons) by 36 which equals the number of lessons we need to finish each week. I do include a few extra weeks at the end of our school year for catching up since we have some 4-day weeks scheduled and the inevitable day off here and there because of illness or life events.

Planning for a peaceful homeschool year - tips & advice for creating a homeschool schedule or routine that works for your family.

I type all the lessons into the spreadsheet and during the year, I just write in the date for the week at the beginning of each line. As we progress through the school year I can see how much we've accomplished or focus on subjects that we seem to be ignoring too often (which does happen!).

As you can see from the picture above, it isn't perfect - life certainly happens. I didn't much care for the French program we were using so we ditched it. Then, after completing a good portion of Teaching Textbooks 6 TJ got bogged down in fractions and we made the switch back to Horizons math. So, things didn't go exactly as planned, but we still made it work.

Planning for a peaceful homeschool year - tips & advice for creating a homeschool schedule or routine that works for your family.

Routine vs. Schedule

I have trouble sticking to a time-focused schedule and much prefer a basic routine. So after I know how much work we need to finish each week I can map out a basic weekly routine, knowing what we have to cover. {I talked more about creating a routine in the last planning post so I won't rehash it here.} Each week I fill in our weekly lessons in my planner and we're ready to go.

Everyday Schole

My last step is to use a calendar to highlight our days and weeks off and print out a simple table grid that I use to write down our school days (we have to school 180 days here). Everything gets put into my binder so it's all in one place and easy to keep track of.

With the bulk of the work done before we even start, all I need to do each week is fill in our weekly lesson plans. It's not completely structured down to the minute but I'm not flying by the seat of my pants, either. It's a restful balance that works for me and our homeschool

More planning for a restful year

Sara from Classically Homeschooling & Chelli at The Planted Trees are also sharing how they plan for a restful homeschooling year.

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.