Spring is my homeschool planning time. We are in our final quarter of the school year, and I start looking ahead to the next school year. This is when I go through and list out everything I need to dig out of the garage and/or purchase, as well as, look over our calendar and plan our breaks for the upcoming year.
I like to get my curriculum order done in the spring or early summer (depending on when I have the funds available), so I have time to over everything, make copies if needed, and get the kids’ planners made.
I make a personalized planner for each kid which contains a weekly schedule of each subject and some “help” pages with things like a multiplication table, currency amounts, cursive alphabet, books of the Bible, and parts of speech. I go through and fill out some of the subjects on the weekly schedule in advance. Making sure that each kid knows what they are expected to complete each day makes a HUGE difference in how well our school day goes.
I mark the third Friday in September down as the date I need to file my homeschooling form. For information on why I file on that date, I refer to the Wisconsin Parents Association.
Planning early gives me plenty of time to make sure I have everything I need and to plan around our scheduled breaks. I know that some families add breaks as they go along. We have tried a lot of different ways during the 9 years I have been homeschooling. We have finally settled on a way that seems to work for us. We have a week long break every 6 weeks (with the exception of the Christmas/New Year’s break being on 3 weeks after Thanksgiving). This amount of time keeps the kids and me from getting burnt out. Plus, our curriculum goes by a weekly format, so skipping just one day kind of makes a mess out of our schedule.
I approach this the same way I approach every area of my life, I am constantly revising the way we do our schooling to find what works best for us as a family and for each of us individually. As the kids get older, I have to make additional adjustments to account for more work and extracurricular activities. Each year is a little bit different (and hopefully better) than the last.