The most exciting time for a homeschool mom can also be one of the most stressful. The amount of options, recommendations, budget and keeping track of curriculum changes due things like common core can be exhausting. It is for these reasons and more that I believe it’s important to get ready for a new school year first with prayer.
Getting Started in Homeschool Planning
The first step in a homeschool journey is deciding which method your children will learn best from and how you best teach. From child led to Charlotte Mason, to Classical and traditional textbooks, the options abound.
This part of research is typically only completed the first year (or first few years) of homeschooling. Your kids will change and grow as students and you will as a teacher as well. You’ll learn along the way how best to teach and sometimes it will be a mixture of methods unique to your family. This is one of the best parts of homeschooling, the freedom to make it fit your family’s needs. There will be times of trial and error along your homeschooling journey, don’t let this deter you from pressing forward.
Following the homeschooling method(s) selection process, you need to tackle what your school days will be filled with.
The first step is deciding which subjects you and your children would like to cover. From Math and Geography, to Literature and Physics, the selections can be overwhelming and you could take on more than a day (or week) can hold if you’re not careful.
A typical Kindergarten day would have Math, Phonics, Reading and lots of playtime. In Elementary school you’d find English, Spelling, Geography, Art, History, Science and Music added to the previous subject list. High School brings Government, Literature and many electives into the school day.
Set a Budget
Before beginning your curriculum research you must decide what your school book budget will be. There are SO many options and price points that this will help narrow your research field and you should never break the bank with homeschooling. Homeschooling is meant to be a blessing to your family, not another “bill” to worry about paying for. Keep in mind that you may not need every single workbook for every subject or every student. Many publishers allow copies to be made for students in the same family.
Curriculum Research and Selection
After you’ve decided on the homeschooling method(s), subjects and budget for your homeschooling year, next comes the curriculum research and selection process. Your choices and options are unlimited and continued prayer through this part of the planning process is essential.
Earlier this year I created a free homeschool year planning pack. I designed it for this research process that moms go through every year. If you’d like a copy you can get it here. It allows you to keep track of the publisher, cost, pros and cons and much more!
Curriculum selection is a huge process that will not likely happen in one day or even one week. As your children get older it is nice to have their input in this part of the process. The internet allows you to see inside the books and this helps you decide if it would be a good fit for your homeschool.
By using the previous steps in the planning process as your guide it will aid you in finding the right curriculum for your homeschool. A great place to find reviews for homeschool curriculum is Cathy Duffy Reviews. She even publishes books with more in depth reviews than you’ll find on her website.
The Refreshing and Fun Part of Homeschool Planning
Placing the order is the refreshing part of the planning process. Your sense of accomplishment and knowing it is finished is a feeling all it’s own! The day your new homeschool books arrive is a fun day of exploring new pages and your kids will want to start right then! If you want to go through them alone, you’ll have to hide them well. 🙂
The homeschool planning process seems daunting in the beginning, but once you start and follow the steps I’ve outlined your excitement builds and each year it gets less stressful and more exciting. Homeschooling is not meant to overwhelm or stress families out, if you find yourself in either of those places then take a break and reevaluate. Kids change as they grow and this can affect the curriculum they use, how they learn and how we need to teach them. Don’t be afraid to change things up. There is no right or wrote way to learn, we’re all unique! Enjoy your homeschooling journey, that is it’s design!