Part 1: Getting Started
As the new school year approaches, here are some practical tips to successfully plan your homeschool year from beginning to end.
Identify Your Goals for the Current Homeschool Year
It is important to know what your goals are so that you have a clear direction as to where you are going. Your goals might change from year to year.
List Your Goals for Each Individual Child
This is a great opportunity to assess areas of character growth in addition to academic goals. You might like to see different areas of growth for each child.
Reflect on What You Want to Learn Together
In our family, we usually group some learning to lighten the teaching load, and some things are best learned together! We have found subjects like Bible, History, and Science are great subjects to learn as a family!
Assess How Much Time You Have to Devote to School
Different seasons have different needs. For example, when we had babies in the home, much of our schooling needed to be done during nap time. Now that our kids are older, we have more flexibility and time to devote to school.
Decide How Much Money You Are Able to Spend on School
You may prefer to buy a box curriculum such as Sonlight - but you may not be able to afford it in this season. Having a budget in mind will help you to homeschool without breaking the bank. Remember, you can homeschool on a budget!
Plan Your Curriculum
Each child will have their own individual needs for the school year. Taking time to assess each child’s needs will help prepare for the year ahead. Start with the 3 R’s: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Once you have decided on which resource will best fit you and your child, add the other topics you have chosen to focus on for the year: science, history, computer science, foreign language, or music.
Purchase Your Curriculum
Having these questions answered will give you a great framework to choose your curriculum. Working on a budget? You don’t need to buy new curriculum! Used curriculum is a great option for the budget-minded homeschooler!
- Before you buy, look through your personal library to see what you already have. For those who have been homeschooling for a while, you likely have built a library of homeschool material that you have already purchased. After 12 years of homeschooling, I am surprised at how much I have accumulated through the years and am thankful for the many resources I no longer need to purchase.
- There are often local used curriculum sales posted on social media. Facebook resale groups or eBay can also be a treasure trove of affordable resources.
- Reach out to your local homeschool community before you buy! Are you part of a co-op? Are you a member of a local homeschool Facebook group? Post your needs there! You may be able to borrow or purchase from a friend.
I hope these tips will be helpful to you as you plan your homeschool year! Click Here to read Part 2