I’m fresh off of a homeschool conference–my feet hurt, but I’m excited! While I was talking to friends about the new planner I purchased, another mom overheard me and said, “I wish I ever could get around to using a planner!” We joked about how much easier it is to buy plan books than to use them, and I frankly admitted that mine is more of a record book.
I write down what we did after the fact! But when I can organize myself, I do enjoy filling that plan book up ahead of time, and it’s a big help. Here’s what I do:
Inventory Materials and Fill In Gaps
I spend a LOT of time making pin boards and amazon wishlists of potential materials and projects. I squeeze this in at bedtime as my “winding down” activity, which doesn’t work well since it’s work and also rather exciting many times.
We recently studied Ancient Greece. I went through my materials on hand first. I went through the library next, and my homeschooling sister-in-law let me borrow a stack of books.
This yielded plenty of information and activities, really, but just to make sure I didn’t miss anything awesome, I took a peek at Amazon and found some fun read-alouds and interactive books.
Schedule a Block of Time and Gather Materials
Planning is most efficient if you can do a lot at once, so give yourself a couple of hours to work. I am hoping to plan over a month’s worth of work in my next session. Otherwise, it really won’t get done.
I like to physically have all my books right beside me. This helps me remember to include everything and I can look up page numbers right away.
As soon as I’ve done all the planning I need to for a book, I put it away and my dwindling pile is a visual encouragement that I really am making progress.
Start Writing in your Homeschool Plan Book
I go through each book and write the title and page numbers down for each day’s work. Sometimes I pre-plan before this point. For example, we are studying the human body for science.
Before I wrote anything in the plan book, I made a chart to note which subjects were covered in which books and what weeks we would cover them. Last week was lungs; this week is bones.
I recommend pencil! Which isn’t to say I actually use pencil myself. :). But an important thing to note about plans is that they change. Often, as a rule.
Some days, many days, you won’t get to everything. I have plenty of circles and arrows in my plan book, and it’s ok. It’s a tool–I do what I have to to make it useful.
When I was a little girl, my mom was a teacher, and the thing that most intrigued me was her plan book. How lucky I am that I get to use one now!
Do you use a Homeschool Plan Book as part of your routine? Please comment below.