Plan Your Homeschool Year with These 5 Questions
Plan your homeschool … if that thought just sent you into a panic, take a deep breath and relax. You don’t need to immediately start hammering out weekly lesson plans quite yet.
The best way to start preparing a plan for your homeschool is by taking time to reflect on the past school year. Here’s what you will need:
- A glass of lemonade. You should be able to complete this reflection in the time it takes you to sip a tall glass of lemonade.
- Your mission statement. If you haven’t written a mission statement for your home school, then that is task number one. Homeschooling is a journey and having a clear picture of your core goals will help keep you on track along the way. It will be a tremendous help as you plan your homeschool year.
- Some place to record your thoughts. Grab a notebook and pen or open up your laptop and take notes. You will want to refer to these as you move into more active planning in the future.
The 5 Questions to Ask As You Plan Your Homeschool Year
- What were the best things you did last year? Include academics, family times, social events, volunteering—anything that exemplified what’s important to your mission statement and your family.
- How well did you follow your mission statement this year? Keep a balanced outlook on this! If you made some progress in helping your students become lifelong learners, make note of that. Also, jot down areas you’d like to give more emphasis to in the coming year.
- How has your curriculum supported your mission statement? Keep the Apologia website and blog handy as you make curriculum choices for next year. Consider whether you might free up time for weekly planning by purchasing support materials like science notebooks and lab materials.
- What were the least valuable things you did? This can include over-planning or lack of preparation as well as activities that brought more headaches than benefits.
- What can you trim from the coming school year? This may seem like a big question, especially if you have students moving into secondary grades and you need to consider how to fit in additional classes and study time. Or perhaps you are trying to add in sports participation or music lessons as you plan your homeschool year.
Setting aside time to reflect, write down ideas, and evaluate options is a valuable first step when making a plan for your homeschool.
If you enjoyed this article, read How to Plan an Awesome Senior Year and My Homeschool Student Is Not Motivated, Help!
Vicki Dincher holds a master’s degree in biology. Her four children, all homeschooled, have earned or are pursuing graduate degrees in the sciences. Vicki has taught high school science, including Advanced Placement courses, since 1995. She remains active in her local homeschool community as director of Creative Home Educators Support Services (CHESS) and creative director for Encore! Home School Productions. Vicki has authored Apologia’s line of Student Notebooks for junior and high school science. Vicki and her husband, Jerry, live in Camp Hill, PA.