Homeschooling is a big deal. Your kids get one shot at growing up and the family children are raised in has a profound affect on their future employment, future relationships, and future happiness.
But you are their parent for a reason. As long as you take a thoughtful approach and do your best, you’ll be the best possible for your kids.
Homeschooling is a big part of family life, in fact it colors everything else about your family and children. Homeschooling will become part of your identity. So its important to think about your goals and the approach you need to take.
My Homeschool Plan
We have created the “My Homeschool Plan” packet to help you think through your homeschool, an exercise you will need to repeat once a year at least.
The My Homeschool Plan Packet is free so grab one now.
Put the packet in a binder that you can look at and refer to often. In my homeschool binder I also keep wishlists of books and homeschooling resources, ideas for things I want to do with my kids, websites we like (along with log-in/password info.), goals, and more. Between this free printable packet and the Layers of Learning Homeschool Planner, you’ll find all the pages I keep in my Homeschool Binder.
Defining Your Why
The packet starts off helping you define your why. Why are you homeschooling? Once you understand your reasons fully, you will do a better job planning and a better job staying on task and staying motivated.
Next is a page where you can make notes about the homeschool laws where you live. It’s extremely important to follow the law. Not to freak you out or anything, but kids can be taken from a parent if the state suspects the children are not being educated.
Adjusting to Homeschool
If your kids are being taken out of public school, everyone in your family needs a few weeks to decompress, to have a brain break, and to reset their emotional and mental state. You need rest and a clean break. So take the time you need. There is a page in the planner that helps you list some fun activities and books that can help in the reset and reconnect your family.
Now we get to the meat of the packet. In this next section you will be writing down the school subjects you want your kids to know and the other, special subjects you want them to know.
This is immediately followed by a Long Term Education Plan. You will use one of these sheets per child. It helps you will in the classes and subjects your child will complete clear through graduation. It will give you peace of mind to be able to see how everything will fit together and it also will help you to avoid overscheduling.
Layers of Learning’s Four Year Cycle
Next you will plan the next four years. Layers of Learning works around a four year cycle. It takes four years to get through all of history, geography, science, and art. Planning your next four years will help you to see when you will be studying biology and modern history and ancient art, and so on.
Your Homeschool Vision
Whether we realize it or not we all have an image in our minds of what our perfect homeschool day will look like. Some parents might envision their children sprawled across the living room, each working independently. Others might see the whole family gathered around the kitchen table and working together on projects. Whatever you homeschool vision, you should be aware of your expectations.
Whatever your expectations they won’t be met. Not entirely at least because you have children. Still, knowing your expectations can help you set the stage and prevent a whole lot of frustration on your side.
Your Homeschool Style
Next is a checkbox questionnaire that helps you define what is important to you in education and these checkboxes will help you to see what your homeschool style is. There are four major homeschool styles (and dozens of minor ones) including Classical, Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, and Traditional School. Understanding your style will help you to find the resources that will fit best with your vision.
A list of resources that fit each of the four styles is on the next page of the packet.
Your Homeschool Wish List
And that leads us to your homeschool wish list. Here you can write down the books, memberships, classes, and materials that you really want for your homeschool. Followed by a book list, which is intended to be all about novels and biographies, and popular level informational books that you will read with your kids or hand to them to read independently.
Next, you probably have a few goals regarding your homeschooling journey. Maybe your goal is to get all the supplies purchased or to set up a space for storing your homeschool materials. There are spaces in the packet for tracking your goals as well.
A Guide and a Comfort
The My Homeschool Plan packet is meant to be a guide and a comfort. It should give you peace of mind that you’re heading in the right direction with deliberation. I fill out a new one nearly every year as I think through my children and their needs. For us, homeschooling has been a massive blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Try family-style homeschooling now with free samples of four Layers of Learning units when you subscribe. You'll get to try family-style history, geography, science, and arts with your children.
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