Mid Year Thoughts on Homeschool Planning

Mid-Year Thoughts on Homeschool Planning

The other day when I was looking over my homeschool planner I was trying not to cringe. All of my perfectly planned plans that we are no where near completing. It seems like ever since Christmas we have done more life than we have done school work.

Perhaps we should have had more times when we said no and buckled down at home. Perhaps not. Life is more than just books and pencils.

This year was the first year that I planned out the entire year from beginning to end. I’m glad that I did and will do it again. Why?

Begin with the end in mind

If we don’t set goals or have a plan, how can we see how far we have come or how far we’ve veered off track?

What I learned from my planned homeschool year:

Life never goes like I plan! – enough said.

We truly NEED to be year round homeschoolers – refer to above.

I love the flexibilty of making our own schedule.

Sometimes we can be TOO flexible – we need to learn the art of saying no. Just because it is a good thing doesn’t mean it is the best thing to fit into our schedule at that particular time.

I like having a road map of where we should be – even though I was cringing that we aren’t where I thought we would be, it wasn’t guilt inducing, just made me really see, in black and white, that schooling year round works best for us. Having big blocks of unstructured time doesn’t really work well in our house anyway, it also gives us leeway to be more spontaneous with our time off.

I’m okay with the fact that it’s going to take us longer to get where I wanted us to be.

There are certain subjects that we can be loosey goosey with (science) and some subjects that we shouldn’t (math and reading).

Having a husband with a job that requires travel and work at home is both good and bad. – I’m very thankful my husband has a job! I like that when he is home he can do little things like eat lunch with us and run errands. Sometimes though I’m less productive when he is around. Plus his different schedule each week can be a challenge to us staying on a schedule.

Homeschool Planner Helps

Now my goal is to find/make a planner that fits both my desire to plan with space to write what we actually do! I like the idea of keeping a short daily journal within the planner. That way I can jot down the activities and events we take part in and the reasons why we didn’t get to all of our book work. Like friends visiting from out of town, visits with family and field trips. Those are important pieces of our puzzle too.

This blog post has inspired me to start thinking about creating my own planner.

Can you ever read too much about planning? I think not!

Homeschool Planning Pinterest Board

10 Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Planning

How are you feeling about your homeschool year?


  1. Sherry Hayes says

    Thank you for your transparency. I agree, it’s good to have an overall plan, and it’s also good to be flexible. We don’t do well with huge spaces, either, but it’s great to have a balance (a planned one?) between the two.

    I think a lot of families have dads now whose schedules are very different from “9-5,” so this will speak to many.

    The planner I use is just a silly composition book that I have transformed so that I have loads of space to journal, etc. You can check it out on my blog.

    I’ll be sharing this with my G+ circles today for sure!
    Sherry Hayes recently posted…Why Moms Need Miracle MorningsMy Profile

    • says


      It was actually your post about your planner that encouraged me to try my own! I shared the post on my FB page last week and meant to add it to this post. Thanks for the reminder and I will link to it later today! Thanks for reading and have a great day.

  2. Melissa says

    I am leaning more and more toward a year round school schedule as well. Thank you for talking about this and planning that doesn’t always go as planned–it’s nice to know I’m not alone!

  3. Meredith says

    Love this Jen, and I love the road map concept of planning the year as well. We have never started and finished a homeschool year exactly as we set out, but then that is the life of a home educating families – gotta have that margin built in there because so many great opportunities come up throughout the year to pass up just cause they weren’t in the “plans”. Thanks for the reminders to stay flexible and I can’t wait to see your new planner :)
    Meredith recently posted…Look and feel your best everyday, 7 tips for healthy living.My Profile

  4. Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventures says

    Yes ma’am. I feel like we’re leading paralell lives. It took me 4 years to finally grasp that I MUST have a year round approach. That’s the only way we will make homeschooling work for us. Between the sheer number of kids, having toddlers at home and me working, a year round approach offers me structure but peace.

  5. Cassie says

    Love this post!

    I love year round schooling! In reality it is extremely hard for us to pull off. How do you deal with children who feel like they are the weirdos doing school while all their public school pals are enjoying summer break? And then don’t commit themselves to their studies and they struggle with their work. This is our biggest obstacle combined that with lack of local support for a year round schedule. I struggle with pulling off year round schooling. We end up taking 8-10 weeks off in the summer.
    Cassie recently posted…{Almost} Spring Nature StudyMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Cassie! This is an excellent question :) Also, my kids will do a couple of summer camps as well which will disrupt our summer schedule. We do have several kids around us that homeschool so that helps. Also, we moved in to this house at the end of the summer last year so I’m not sure what a typical summer looks like in this neighborhood. My plan is to work in the morning 3-4 days per week. Then after lunch the kids are free to play, swim, do whatever. I hope that gives us a happy medium. We will see how it goes!

  6. Kelly says

    Until the last year or so I haven’t been structured with our approach because I was schooling one and he was just 6-7. We did stuff when it worked out. We recently adopted two kids who are 7 and 8, giving us 7, 8 & 9 year olds! My husband is self employed and plays fiddle with several bands, which makes for a very UNpredictable schedule. I’m kind of a split personality on the whole thing. Having a plan and following a routine greatly helps me, but feeling like we HAVE to do something at a certain time every single day stresses me out! I want to follow a routine, but I want to be able to take advantage of good opportunities when they arise.

    This is the “year round” plan I’m considering: January through May is typical school routines with Bible, math, language arts, and whatever else we can fit in. June and July are summer school, which consists of vacation Bible school at several local churches, Missoula Children’s theater and enough math and reading to at least maintain what they’ve learned. We’ll take August off, then start a typical school routine again right after Labor Day. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day we’ll incorporate holiday activities into our routine and probably “back off” from the school books. I think that gives enough variety so that school doesn’t get stale. Of course, if it doesn’t work we’ll change it again!

    • says

      Gosh, I know EXACTLY what you mean about having a plan and feeling like you “have” to do something. I think your plan sounds wonderful and you are right – you can always change it!! 😉 There are some days when I wish my hubby just had a regular 9-5, he left at the same time and came home at the same time everyday – but most days I’m thankful for his flexibility. Life is never dull! Congrats on the new additions to your family!

  7. Patty says

    This post was so refreshing and freeing at the same time! I decided halfway through this school year that I needed to take the leap and school year-round. I’ve been considering it for years now, just never thought I could do it because it seemed so daunting! Now that we’ve made the switch, I feel less pressure knowing that my schedule isn’t ending in May, and that I still have to much to cover!
    Patty recently posted…It’s time to be real….My Profile

  8. Patty says

    Excellent thoughts here. I think if our climate in TX was even more tropical (like yours in FL) we would definitely do a full year round school. As for now, I’ve been between the two for the past 8 years, more year round than not. My inspiration was a friend who was from Hawaii whose family still lives there. Her husband is an ER doctor and saved his vacation time. Their family would take two-three months off in the Illinois winters and head back to Hawaii. That sounded heavenly to me!

    Now I just take more time off throughout the year, making sure I hit the good weather weeks when I plan out the calendar. I have no regrets.

    As for “summer break” I just take off about 8 – 9 weeks and then we start back up in July. Beside, it is just too darn hot at that time in TX to do much outside. (It reminds me of the dreaded nasty winters of the midwest in Jan-Feb.)
    Patty recently posted…Holy Week – Daybook PostMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge