Can you believe summer is almost over?
Home school Planning for the upcoming school year is in full force in our home and my kids are already bummed that it is August. For the record, I am not a naturally organized person. However, disorganization causes me great stress and anxiety. Go figure! You would think being a mother of eight children would give me some sort of organization super power.
Organizing materials for the upcoming school year is by far one of my greatest challenges. I spend countless hours preparing and planning, all to make sure things run as smoothly as possible. Organizing our school for this Chaos Coordinator and naturally unorganized mom is accomplished using my Sanity Savers for Home school Planning.
Take Time to Investigate
Being responsible for the education of my children is not something I take lightly. Most home school parents are often questioned about their ability to teach their own children. I even had well-meaning family members attempt to quiz my children on the spot, just to see what they knew. Being the child of an educator and having worked in the education field for almost 20 years, I am adamant about making sure my children are getting a well-rounded education. As you plan your year Take Time to Investigate. There are so many options available! Read the scope and sequence, take a sample lesson, speak with other parents and read published reviews. Don’t be afraid to select material from different publishers and authors. This year we have incorporated material from long-standing Christian publishers all the way to easy to incorporate resources from Evan-Moore like the Teacher File Box.
Get the Kids Involved
Homeschooling multiple children on different grade levels and abilities can become quite tricky. Each one of my children, including my twins, have a very different learning style and extremely different interest. When planning for the year, I always take time to check in and ask my kids what they are interested in exploring and learning during the school year. Giving your kids a voice in their school year empowers them and gives them a sense of ownership of what they are learning. Getting the kids involved doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Even more, simple conversations over breakfast, during a drive in the car, or before bed is all it takes to pick their brains and give you insight into their world.
Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
As the QUEEN OF PROCRASTINATION, this Sanity Saver was something that I had to learn the hard way. At the start of last school year, my 1-year-old son was hospitalized because of his Chronic Medical Condition. This unexpected event significantly impacted our home school because I was drastically unprepared. Before school began, I only planned for the first few weeks of school. I figured I would have enough time to get lesson plans done, material ordered, and copies made. During our hospital stay and the subsequent weeks after coming back home, my children were barely getting any school work done because I did not have time to even think about lesson planning. One major Sanity Saver for Home School Planning is to Start Early! Use your down time to begin researching curricula and checking in with your children to see what is and is not working.
Use FREE/Low Cost Planning resources
As a large family momma, I have come to appreciate the beauty of FREE! I am all about finding a good resource or item at a low cost or free. When preparing for the year, it took me awhile to find planning tools that fit my many needs and style. As a blended family dealing with some High Power Blending, our children’s schedule varies because of visitation schedules. We have found that a four-day school week is the best option for us. The fifth day serves as a catch all to complete anything that was not completed, possibly because of the visitation schedule.
Incorporating Circuit Learning into our home school has opened the door to our children exploring interest not covered in their core courses. Courses such as puppetry, coding, sewing, woodworking, animation and more are added to their weekly list. Circuit Learning essentially allows my children to select three areas of interest to explore for a pre-determined time. Once selected, they rotate through each interest area during the week after all core work has been completed.
This year, I decided to utilize the File Folder System to organize our materials. I purchased a simple binder, dividers, hanging file folders, and manila folders.
Check out a short video on how I use the File Folder System!
I have created The Chaos Coordinator’s Homeschool Planner. This amazing FREE printable home school planner provides you with simple planning pages to get you ready for the year.
The last thing I did to organize and plan for the upcoming year was participate in a course that seriously changed the way I look at organization. Organize Your Life with Trello totally helped me create a system that got rid of all my little sticky notes and journals, ditched my paper clutter, and left me with my task list at the tips of my fingers. Click the picture to check out the mini class! You will LOVE it!