I don’t know about you, but it’s planning season for me! I’m hauling up books, ordering curriculum, and printing maps like there’s no tomorrow. However, I’ve noticed that all the planning in the world doesn’t bring about an awesome homeschool year unless you think about these 5 things as you plan your homeschool.
1. How much time do I have available to homeschool?
Sure, everyone talks about how there are 24 hours in a day, 1440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds, but how much time do we actually have available?
After all, spelling takes time. Math takes time. Science takes time. So does chasing the toddlers out of the bathroom, changing a baby’s diaper, and comforting a heartbroken teenager. Parenting takes time as well.
Take a good hard look at how much time you actually have before you adding in program after program confident that this year you’ll complete it all! You’ll be surprised at how little time you truly have.
When in doubt, do less. You can always add in more later!
2. What commitments does my family have?
Are you enjoying a weekly co-op, volunteer work at the food bank, or teaching Sunday School at church?
Each of these commitments eats up some of the precious time and energy your family has even if they provide excellent learning experiences.
You’ll be exhausted if you spend every day running back and forth all over town. For instance, you might drop the kids off at football before driving across town to volunteer at the food bank. Then dash back across town to pick up the kids before rushing home. Then it’s off to the library before a quick stop by the store.
Are you tired? I am!
It’s one thing to dart around town once a week, but daily? When will you have time to homeschool? Remember, homeschooling takes time, and each commitment takes time.
As you plan the year, be careful that you’re not over-committing yourself.
3. What are my children’s goals for the upcoming school year?
Some kids dearly want to study animals, astronomy, or chemistry. Other kids want to go the zoo every year.
Before you begin your homeschool planning, ask your children what they’d like to see over the school year. Sometimes you get goofy answers such as ‘Just read!’ or ‘Play Minecraft from dawn to dusk!’
Other times you get serious answers like I did this year. My high school teens both really want to study chemistry. My little 1st and 2nd graders are interested in animals and the human body. Guess what everyone is doing for science this year!
My kids are getting their dream science programs. What do your children want?
4. How much free time will my kids have?
Free time is important for kids of all ages, even our high school teenagers. Free time is when kids dream, start projects, and learn what truly excites them.
Some kids use free time for activities such as programming a game which never truly works. But the attempt to create a game teaches them they adore programming. Even when they’re standing in the kitchen pulling out their hair because the code refuses to work.
Other teens use the time to write, and write, and write. Before you know it, they’ve written a book, or two, or three.
So keep in mind the amount of free time you’re allowing your kids to have while you’re planning your homeschool. Will your kids have enough time to follow their passions?
5. What are my homeschooling dreams?
We all begin homeschooling with a dream. The dream varies from mom to mom and family to family.
Some of us dream of involved projects and a huge garden in the backyard. Others dream of long hours reading classic children’s literature aloud to our kids. Sometimes we dream of rambling walks in the woods, introducing children to the trees and flowers of our area.
But after a year or two in the trenches, our dreams sometimes get muddied, trampled, and forgotten. We forget why we started homeschooling in the first place.
Take some time this summer to head outside, lie on the grass, and remember why you homeschool in the first place.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Take some time this summer to remember why you #homeschool in the first place.” quote=”Take some time this summer to head outside, lie on the grass, and remember why you homeschool in the first place.”]
You won’t fail your kids if you add a bit of fun to your homeschool.
The biggest problem homeschoolers have is a frantic desire to do it right and to make sure our kids don’t fail. In our fear, we add too many commitments, too many programs, and too many chores. Everyone is burnt out by October.
Make this school year different.
Watch your time and commitments so you can indulge your children’s desire, enjoy free time, and live your homeschool dream.
What are some of the things you’re planning this year?