3. Create or Find an Organizational Tool for Your Home That Works for You
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There are so many great products available that can help you keep your days organized! Sometimes the quantity of what is available to you is what makes finding the right one for you so hard. The struggle to decide on which planner to buy is real!
In years when I couldn’t find a planner that I loved, I decided to use Google Docs to create a homeschool chart that filled in what I thought our schedule would look like. Don’t feel like you have to be limited to what you see for sale. You can be as simple or creative as you want!
There are some wonderful free printable homeschool planners that you can utilize too. The Living Life & Learning blog offers a ton of great free planning tools. She has resources broken down by grade level, weekly planners, daily planners, and more!
Maple Planners also offers a free download for an homeschool planner you can use for the whole year. These freebies are an easy and cost-effective way to help you stay organized over the course of your homeschool year.
If you are looking for a really great planner to buy, this year I was gifted The Ultimate Homeschool Planner, and I love it! It has space for you to write in everything you did or plan to do for the week. There are motivational verses and a place for you to write down memories, vision, and special verses for each week. There is space for you to set out a yearly plan, monthly plan, and weekly plans!
One tip about planning that has helped me avoid getting overwhelmed by the idea that we aren’t doing enough or the feeling that we have too much on our plates is that most days I go back and fill in what we did that day rather than write ahead into my planner what I think we should do that day.
After the initial time I spend at the start of the year conceptualizing what I want our weeks to look like, the daily log is more of a way to keep a record of what we have accomplished.
This helps me not feel too defeated when my plans get foiled by unexpected events. Some days math takes all day and some of our reading lessons gets left for another day… and that is the beauty of homeschool. We work at our family’s pace and that is okay!
When I worked as a public-school teacher, we had to make weekly lesson plans, and almost every week we never had time to complete at least half of what I had planned!
Every teacher knew that what we hoped for and the reality of tending to a class were always two very different things. This is also so true in our homes.
My encouragement to you is to plan so you are diligent and prepared for the work that is teaching your children but allow grace to cover all the days that things don’t end up going as you plan.
As you work to prepare your homeschool routine, remember that the work you are doing is holy work! Taking time to pray over what you include in your days, months, and school year is such an important step in finding a good rhythm for your days.
Each year I ask God to provide us with a verse to guide our studies for the year.
This year our verse was Philipians 4:8 which says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The heart of home education is taking the time to allow your children to explore the lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy things that God has gifted us in this world. May this idea help guide you as you continue on in your homeschool journey.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Iam Anupong