You want to be that organized homeschool mama with a spreadsheet, and a plan, and neat little kiddos with ironed shirts. But let me tell you something: spreadsheets are overrated. You don’t need an iron. You just need to know how to create a homeschool plan when you stink at planning.
There’s a LOT you have a lot to juggle, there’s no doubt. Homeschool mamas have to keep track of appointments, assignments, the budget, activities, meals, and so much more. And when you’re not so organizationally inclined from the get-go, it can be really frustrating to see other homeschool mamas on social media or co-op flying along in what seems like a seamless flight pattern. So frustrating!
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People say that I’m organized. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true. More than organized, I think there’s two things I do have that give the illusion that I am.
- I keep things ultra simple around here and
- I’m not a perfectionist.
You want to create a homeschool plan, a routine that will keep your days humming along, but you just don’t know how execute that idea.
Get the 6 Secrets to a Simpler Mom Life
Listen, I got you, girl.
And I’m going to tell you some ways you can embrace your quirk and create plans that work for YOU.
How to create a homeschool plan when you stink at planning
I talk to a lot of homeschool mamas. Emails come in from overwhelmed homeschool mamas every single week. And I get it!! I’ve SO been there!
There’s two things that seem to come up over and over again that I’ve connected with the overwhelm: over complicating things and perfectionism.
Both of these things can blow a homeschool plan wide open and destroy it before it can even get off the ground.
You might not even realize that you can simplify things in your homeschool. Here’s a few things I always fall back on if I’m feeling overwhelmed.
- Combine subjects where you can. (Which is pretty much everywhere except maybe math.) It’s actually so much FUN to do subjects as a family! (Here’s how we do history together.)
- Choose just one big unit study at a time. If you’re trying to do a deep dive into the American Revolution, it would be a great idea to wait till you tie that unit up to start studying something else. Rotate history and science units for a much simpler schedule.
- Watch the video for more detailed ideas on simplifying!
Ditch the perfectionism. STAT.
Oh sweet mama, I feel you so much with this. I’ve struggled with perfectionism in my homeschool. With having more children though, I quickly realized I need to let go of some of my schtuff.
This was hard for me.
It felt like I was giving up a part of who I was! I liked things a certain way!
BUT in the process of trying to achieve my perfectionist agenda, everyone else was miserable.
Getting over my perfectionism took time. There’s great books out there on this topic, but to be honest, I’ve never read any of them! For you though, I searched for the most reviewed, most talked about books on overcoming perfectionism and these are the top four I found.
Don’t you dare use a computer…or a pen.
Do I sound bossy enough for you yet? I am a Leo, so I must be true to myself, and boss your writing utensils.
But really. this is pretty important.
If you struggle to stick to a plan, you might be going about it the wrong way.
Are you planning in pen? Making gorgeous lesson plans and getting off track after five minutes and ditching the whole thing because it’s too hard to adjust that plan?
Did you create a beautiful spreadsheet in July covering the entire year? Does that plan tell you EXACTLY what math lesson you’ll be doing on March 13th way back in July? Did you print it off and then felt like a loser after four days of school because you got off track and your whole year-long plan was spoiled?
Yes, I think you might be going about it the wrong way.
If you have a hard time planning, stay away from ink and computers!
Sharpen those Ticonderogas and trust me.
A monthly plan that you can stick to
The thing that has helped me more than anything to stick to a plan is to create a yearly overview of what I want to study in the nine months we do school. I know. Sounds overwhelming and not SIMPLE at all, right?
No, it’s nothing complicated or perfect at all.
My yearly overview is something I go into great detail on in my Plan Your Homeschool Year course that you can take at any point during the year and have lifetime access to refer back to each year. This is basically just an outline of the months we do school including:
- what special events are happening that month: birthdays, trips, sports activities, etc.
- the read aloud I’d like to read to my kids each month (yes, ONE per month! If I get to more that than, great! But I only plan for one.)
- either a history or science unit I’d like us to study…we don’t do both of these subjects in one month.
And that’s it!
Seeing that overview, it gives me a clear idea of what to plan for the month.
At the end of each month, I will sit down with my monthly planning sheet and jot down (IN PENCIL!!) what I want to cover each week.
Watch the videos for more detail on what I put in each week’s plan.
What your planning attempts are probably lacking is FLEXIBILITY. Monthly planning lends itself to plenty of flexibility if you don’t overload each week.
Don’t do that. (Good Lord, I’m bossy.)
I will plan out the whole week, BUT if we don’t cover it all, I will just shift. Either the undone tasks will move down to the next week, or I’ll just erase them and pretend they were never part of the plan. 😉
Trust me!! This is so freeing and it really cuts down on the guilt of not finishing it all!
Embrace who you are!
Look, you might stink at planning because, well, you’re just not a “planner.” BUT that’s WHO YOU ARE!! And that’s never a bad thing! Embrace who you are. Grab some tips from this post and try them out. You’ll find something that makes you feel more organized and in control over your homeschool week.
It’s hard to feel like your week runs away from you every week. Sometimes it’s a busy season and hard to avoid. Scale back. Have grace on yourself. Leave lots of white space in your week. It will get better for you!
Alright my quirky, spontaneous friend. I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. Let me know your biggest planning challenge and/or how you’re planning on doing a little thing to improve it this week.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE:
- A Day in the Life of Homeschool Mama Kara Fleck
- LWC Homeschool Curriculum Directory
- How to Plan a History Unit Study with Homeschool in the Woods
- Cozy Homeschool Plans: Lesson Plans for Our Winter Session
- How to Create a Useful Homeschool Lesson Planner