My Top Ten Resources for Planning my Homeschool Year

 Homeschool planning time is here!

Top Ten Resources for Homeschooling Planning

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I usually start researching and purchasing our books around March so that i have everything gathered by the first of June. We take the entire month of June off from schooling so that I can plan for the next year. The kids spend this time swimming and playing video games and refuse to touch a book until we “officially start back” with school. Guess I can’t blame them, we hit the books pretty hard during the school year, especially in April and May when I start panicking about finishing up our year. After I finish the planning, I take a 2-3 week break from ALL school related stuff. This gives me a chance to refresh and pray about the our goals for the next year.

 So how do I plan homeschooling for 4 kids?  With a lot of prayer and help from some great resources!

(1) My planning worksheets – I use my planning sheets to make a schedule of our school days for the year. I determine breaks and mark holidays and birthdays, any events or trips planned. This gives me an idea of where we need to be in our lesson plan before these dates hit so I plan around them. Here are my planning sheets:  Weekly Subject Planner        weekly subject planner no detail          Weekly Planner          subject schedule           daily schedule

(2) The Well-Trained Mind Book – I have read this book so many times that my binding is coming apart. I really should buy another copy. I love reading our grade level sections each year because it refreshes and revives me. We use the classical education method and this book keeps me focused on that learning style as I plan out our weeks.

(3) Tapestry of Grace – this is our new history curriculum for 2013. It cover history, geography, writing, light grammar, living books readings and literature readings. I have been reading and researching and watching videos, talking to other TOG users and I am loving this program! Because I am a history buff, we have tried several programs, including Mystery of History, Ancient Civilizations and the Bible,  Story of the World and now Tapestry. It is my favorite, hands down. I will be blogging about our journey using TOG the upcoming year. It has all of the lessons planned out by week in several different sections, but I like to see it all in one place, so I use my planning sheets to map out our days.

 (4) The Homeschoolers Book of Lists – this book is a GREAT resource for planning out almost any subject. We will be studying the Ancient World and when I am mapping out our timeline and adding figures, it has all of the pharaohs listed, within each dynasty; all of the Chinese dynasties; Ancient American tribes, ancient wonders of the world…………I could go on and on and on and on…………it is a good resource for planning memory work as well.

(5) Managers of their School – this book has been an invaluable resource for tips on scheduling and planning. She has good ideas to keep the planning simple when you have multiple kids, such as writing the date on top of math and grammar sheets instead of writing it all out in a  planner, which is what I have always done. But this year, I will simply pull out their math and grammar books and write the “date to complete” on top of the page. This will also help me to see if they are behind on any worksheets.

 (6) Pinterest – I get so many ideas from Pinterest! I have to stay focused on what will really benefit our learning or I can get carried away and over plan and overload the activities! It is great for finding activities to break up the day or ideas on different places or ways to do school work. There are also tons of planning pages to use and organization tips  for all the books and supplies that pile up everywhere in my house.

(7) Great Blogs – There are tons of blogs out there that have great ideas for planning and offer free printables and resources. Here are some of my favorites:

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood – great resource for memory work

Motherhood on a  Dime – Gods Little Explorers Curriculum

The Potters Hand Academy – great Tapestry of Grace resource

Harmony Fine Arts – great resource for using Tapestry for high school and really good art programs for all grade levels.

Notebooking Pages – love love love her notebooking pages for narration and her Publisher’s site for creating your own notebook pages.

Donna – lots of pages to download for planning

Cathy Duffy Reviews – my go to page when researching new curriculum

Confessions of a Homeschooler – great ideas and resources for pre-k and kinder activities as well as ideas for workboxes

Handbook of Nature Study – easy, simple and fun nature study ideas. Hosted by Barb from Harmony Fine Arts.

Runde’s Room – Hosts a Math Journal Sunday that has great ideas for math notebooking (which we do a lot of).

 (8) My Homeschool Planner – I created my own planner a few years ago and it ahs worked really well for me so far. I plan on using it again this year, but will first pencil in the plans, then type in the final lessons and spiral bind it. I plan on inserting some blank pages for making changes. I normally bind the blank pages and use that as my annual planner, but I found that it gets very messy and my Type A personality just won’t allow it.

(9) My pretty pens, my clip board and laptop – without these, I couldn’t plan. And I love using different color pens to color coordinate the kids. Did I tell you that each of my kids have their own color? yep, and this one simple change has worked wonders in organizing our homeschool days. The kids know their color and when they see it, the know the item is theirs. I color coordinate their folders, binders, boxes, pencil cases, lunch boxes, chore charts, schedules, pretty much anything that can be separated by color, is color coded.

 (10) My Bible – my last and most important resource is my bible. I pray for our upcoming school year and pray over my planning. I ask God to guide my hand and heart when picking activates and resources. “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

So there you have it. I hope that you can use and enjoy these resources as much as I do. I would love to hear any ideas or check out great links for planning that you might have.

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