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This post is part of the Ultimate Homeschool Guide Series.
Planning for an upcoming school year can seem so daunting and overwhelming, hence why I'm writing this post. Sometimes I just need to break it down for myself! The best way to buckle down and get it done is to put it into manageable steps.
Now, maybe these seem basic and maybe you've read them over and over again. The thing about these tips is that they are timeless. These things have been proven over and over again to help moms in planning a successful homeschool year.
Plan to Pray
Many times, we tend to glaze over this part. There are various reasons we do this. Sometimes we believe it's not important enough to bring to the Lord in prayer, but it is! Or, we think we can handle it on our own.
But this is a crucial time in our children's lives and we want to make sure we are tapping into the wisdom of God and continuously praying for direction and for the hearts of our children.
Remaining close to God is vital for us as Christians, but it's also vital to our children who depend on us to nurture them. We must rely on the Lord and not our own strength. Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart! We need all the help we can get!
Don't just pray before the year...pray everyday of the year. And plan on praying so you have specified times that are set aside just to pray.
Plan Goals for Your Children
What specific areas would you like your children to concentrate on? Say you'd like to strengthen reading skills in one child and writing skills in another. This is a good time to jot these goals down so when you go through your curriculum, you can focus your efforts on these areas with your specific children.
You can also choose to supplement curriculum in that area to help strengthen that skill. Here are some broader goals for the atmosphere for our upcoming year:
Plan the Best Curriculum for Your Children
Because I have many children with different learning styles and needs, my selections of curricula are very eclectic. We tend to lean toward the Charlotte Mason style, with a Classical twist.
To give you an idea, our core curriculum is Tapestry of Grace, which is history based. Then I did some research and purchased My Father's World, which has worked really well for my Ghanaian girls. We are also mixing in Illuminations for my eldest child and really mix it up!
Don't have a big budget? Thats OK, too! There are lots of cheap and free resources out there to help you educate your child. I recommend checking out Free Homeschool Deals to start.
Choose something that will match your child's personality and learning style. Are they hands on? Or do they enjoy book work? Do they have a love for reading? Or writing? Focus on searching out curricula in their strengths.
Plan Out Lessons
Decide how you are going to break up your homeschool year and break down the work accordingly.
I sit down and map out the lessons for each child. They will all be a little different and vary in quantity. In the past, I have planned out an entire year, entire quarters, entire months, gone down to weeks, and even a day at a time. Plan out as much in advance as what works for you and your family. There is no wrong way to do it!
Plan Routines or Update the Schedule
Tweak your schedule to meet the needs of your children's learning capacities. My older children can take in more than my younger children. So I need to adjust my schedule to reflect that. My younger children will also require more one-on-one time. I need to be sure I make myself available to them in a larger capacity as well.