I don’t know where summer went. My calendar tells me that it is August and I am mentally still stuck in June. How can we as homeschool moms get our focus aligned with our priorities to make sure we begin the new homeschool year on the right track? I have a few tips for you that are guaranteed to help you get started.
Think of this as a therapeutic exercise. It is a way to get all that is cluttering your mind out of your brain and onto paper. This will help you focus and prioritize rather than worry and run the risk of forgetting something important.
Don’t worry about this needing to be neat or in order yet, just start writing. You can get a few sheets of paper out and give them headers to organize your thoughts a little more from the beginning if you so choose. I like to have one for each child, a page to explore my goals for the year, one for our homeschool co-op, a shopping list, and one for to-do’s.
Organize and Prioritize
Now that you have decluttered your brain on paper, take some time to organize it a little better. Put these items in categories if you have not done so already and take time to flesh certain ideas out more if it is necessary.
Put them in order of priority. If there are things that can wait until another month, then add them to their own paper and deal with them at a later date. Just focus on what you need to right now for this month or this semester.
Schedule vs. Routine
Getting a basic idea of what you want your schedule to be for the year is a must. I do not recommend detailing every minute of your day out. That is enough to make any mom crazy. We can’t control every minute, but we can control our attitude as we enter our new school year. Most homeschooling moms will have more focus and feel energized longer if they have a strategy.
This strategy should include understanding a general flow for your good days and even having a game plan for your bad days. Get the FREE Homeschool Mom’s Burnout and Sick Day Toolkit!
I attended the Proverbial Homemaker’s Loop Scheduling Course last year and really found it beneficial to my homeschool planning. Loop scheduling is based more around routine than it is an actual schedule. It ensures that you get stuff done and don’t just wind up in a never ending circle of feeling behind and not knowing where to pick back up in your lesson plans. Read my full review on the Loop Scheduling Course HERE and for a limited time you can save 20% on the course by using the coupon code RRSystem at checkout!
Lesson Plan and Record Keeping
After 6 years of homeschooling, I have tried various planning systems, and I am not good at keeping up with the day to day homeschool calendars. I hate it when they look messy from all my markings. I also find that if I forget to fill it in as I go I forget everything we did. However, filling it in beforehand is too overwhelming. I am too “fly by the seat of my pants” to follow a lesson plan exactly, so then my poor little paper planner always finds itself on a dusty shelf or ultimately in a trash can.
My #1 favorite planning tool that I have been using for three years now is Homeschool Planet. You can find my full review on the blog HERE. When it comes to lesson planning and record keeping, Homeschool Planet has it covered. It has been the perfect solution for our family and my personality. I highly recommend it if you are trying to get organized for the new school year and just need something that will do the leg work for you. I love how intuitive this online planning system is. It takes the stress out of lesson planning and record keeping in a way that I didn’t know was possible.
Find Joy in Flexibility
I struggle with anxiety, especially when I am overwhelmed. It can be so easy to feel defeated when your perfect schedule begins to fall a part during the first month of school. That happened to me last year when we decided to sell our house. I was so confident walking into the school year and then was quickly devastated when I couldn’t keep up. That is where Loop Scheduling and making use of my Homeschool Planet subscription really came in handy. Loop scheduling kept me on a routine of homeschooling consistently and recording our work using Homeschool Planet actually helped to really build my confidence because I could see all that we were accomplishing, even though I didn’t feel like we were doing much.
Seeing the progress we were making in spite of the chaos of moving brought me so much joy and confidence. It is so important to embrace the flexibility that homeschooling provides while taking measures to support your home and homeschool in a way that works for your individual needs and personality.
I like to find my routine and loosely hold to a lesson plan as a guide to generally keep on track through the year. I rely more heavily on record keeping after the fact than I do on lesson planning beforehand to track our progress. I find this helps to ease my anxiety about meeting our state requirements and also keeps me on track for my own personal goals for our homeschool while affording me the personal flexibility that I crave on a day to day basis.
Read 5 Ways to Invite Joy into Your Homeschool Routine and downlaod a FREE Scritpure Pack to help you get your new homeschool year off on the right track at the foot of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
You have worked hard to get ready for the new school year. You have your plan in place and you are ready to begin. Just take a deep breath and pray. Prayer is where you are going to need to spend a lot of your time, because that plan you just made is not going to go as smoothly as you hope. It is better to accept that now. I promise that will save you a lot of headache later. Plans are great to get you focused and to even help you find your way back if you get off track, but the homeschool year will always have its bumps in the road.
Build your house upon the ROCK and rest in the fact that God created you for this. He blessed you with these little humans and entrusted you with their care and education. You can do this through Him with a little preparation and a whole lot of prayer.
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