One of the hardest things to figure out as a new homeschooler, or sometimes for a seasoned one as well, is the best way to organize your curriculum, your teaching schedule, your school room, and your daily routine. Just when you think you have it figured out, something comes up, someone gets sick, there's a spontaneous field trip, or the necessity arises for a mid-year change in curriculum. By the end of the year, just as everything is rolling along smoothly, it's time to stop and get ready to do it all over again. Teaching a new grade every year with new curriculum can be very hard.
Some homeschoolers have a general idea of what they want to do and wait to plan the actual lessons until a week or two before. On the opposite side, my wife started planning for the next year almost as soon as the current year started. She planned a year’s worth of curriculum, checked out hundreds of books from the library to preview, and even made binders and printed out worksheets.
Even though it seemed like a lot of work at the time, it made the daily homeschool schedule much easier when there was a detailed plan. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it sure made our lives easier.
If you're a new homeschooler, it's a great idea to talk to one or more seasoned homeschool parents to get their ideas and tips for organizing your homeschool. This is a good way to pick and choose the best ones that will work for you.
Another great place to find organizational resources is at a homeschool conference. There are homeschool conferences in almost every state in the country. Most of these conferences take place during the first half of the year, so start looking now for one you might attend in the spring or early summer. Not only do you get the opportunity to hear great speakers who have been through the homeschool “fire,” you also have the chance to get hands-on with the curriculum you're considering. Conferences are also a great place to connect and talk to other homeschooling families that can help you along in your journey.
Another great resource is YouTube. I have listed here just a few of the thousands of videos that deal with helping homeschoolers to plan their curriculum, their room, their day, and their life.
- Organizing Your Home for Success Homeschool Webinar
- Simple Homeschool Planning & Record Keeping
- Planning Out Your Homeschool Curriculum: Creating a "Course of Study"
- How to Organize Your Homeschool Curriculum: 5 Simple Systems!
Effective homeschooling takes at least some planning and organization. Even if you're not the most organized person in the world and you usually stumble through the day without a plan, there are many ways to plan a homeschool and many resources out there to help. Take some time to search out those resources and find the best way for your family.