It’ time to start thinking about the upcoming homeschool year. If you start now it can be a relaxed, enjoyable task. Getting an early start also allows you to maintain control of your budget by giving you time to search for bargain resources. Use these tips to keep your plans on track. Grab a notebook, an iced beverage and some colored pens and get started!
Have a Home for Your Homeschool Planner
Start off your school year by having a plan for your plan. You can download your homeschool planner online. Use the downloads to create a master 3-ring binder. It’s portable, you can add a calendar, grocery lists, important phone numbers, notes for future ideas and a section for each child.
If you prefer working online, Homeschool Tracker is an established, proven way to plan lessons, track attendance and grades. There are other software programs available for homeschoolers. Check out reviews before you buy any program to be certain it will fit your specific needs.
Plan to spend a few minutes each day updating your notebook. At least twice a month, look at your plan and make adjustments based on how real-life has affected your initial plan.
Start Your Homeschool Lists
Make a list for each of your students of the subjects you plan to cover. If you know what resources you want to use add those to either your list of “Things I Have” or “Things to Purchase.” If you do not know what resources you want to use, check out reviews at homeschool message boards. Rainbow Resource offers a gigantic catalog with reviews of thousands of projects on nearly every subject. Their website features reviews as well. Use these reviews as a guide.
Look at the list of things to purchase. Can you find the material used at local homeschool sales or online on sites like VegSource? Don’t forget to check your local library’s book store or sales. This is a great way to pick up books and audio books. If you have more than one child, it’s worth investing in items that can be used multiple times.
Finally, make a list of school and art supplies you will need to pick up. Take advantage of back-to-school sales and stock up on paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons, etc. It’s worth comparing online prices with local prices. Take advantage of online deals for free shipping – many homeschoolers find that the Amazon Prime membership pays for itself when buying books.
Pull It All Together
Put together a plan for the whole year. Note the local school schedule if your children have neighborhood friends. It’s easy to get overly-ambitious when making plans. Keep in mind your child’s age, personality, outside activities and other factors. Make the whole year plan very general, noting what you would like to accomplish each month.
Now make a detailed day-by-day plan for the first six weeks. With young children a four-day week of half days is usually ample time to cover schoolwork. Save one day for field trips, errands, etc. As kids get older, let them have some input on their schedules and anticipate longer days.
At the end of each week, make a note of what you accomplished and adjust for the coming weeks. Don’t panic if you find yourself constantly revising the plan. Every homeschooler does it! And, finally, if you are trying something new and you and your child are miserable after a few weeks – call “Uncle!” and find something that is a better fit.
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