/ / How to Plan a Year Round Homeschooling Schedule in One Day

How to Plan a Year Round Homeschooling Schedule in One Day

A year round homeschooling schedule supports a lifestyle of learning that we love! Even if you don’t homeschool year-round, you can still benefit from a streamlined planning session. Read on to discover how you can simplify your homeschooling plans.

So you’ve decided to follow a year-round homeschooling schedule? We’ve been doing this for a few years now, but I know it can throw you for a loop when you first start trying to plan it out. Even if you’ve been homeschooling year-round for a while now, it can be helpful to hear what others do when you’re trying to piece it all together.

year round homeschool planWhy Homeschool Year-Round?

Whether you are using a box curriculum, unit studies, or a patchwork that you pieced together on your own, a year-round homeschool schedule can be beneficial to your child and your family as a whole.

  • It allows for you to take vacations throughout the year without interrupting a strict schedule
  • You can have shorter days
  • You can have fewer schooling days in a week
  • There is continuous learning, making learning a more natural life experience
  • If there is sickness in the house for a week or two, you have more time to make it up
  • You have plenty of time to cover everything throughout the year
  • Skills aren’t “lost” by taking artificial breaks (i.e. “summer slide”)

If you want to read the reasons why we personally love homeschooling year-round, check out this post: 7 Reasons to Love Year-Round Homeschooling.

Making Your Year-Round Homeschooling Plan

Planning for year-round homeschooling can be quite a daunting task to tackle, but it is possible to get it done. There is so much to think about and work through that you might not believe you can get it done in just one day but it really is possible! Once you have tackled the truly hard part of choosing curriculum for your crew the rest is much easier. Check out this resource to help you choose curriculum: How to Choose the Best Curriculum for Your Homeschool: 9 Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing Homeschool Curriculum.

Once you have chosen the curriculum that you will be using for the year, you can move on to the planning. Remember: being flexible with your homeschooling is a good thing!

I like to set aside a day to get it all sketched out on paper and give us at least a rough draft of the framework for the year. To begin, I like to gather everything I should need:

Now, you don’t have to have all types of calendars, but I do recommend using some sort of planner to help keep everything organized. This year I’m excited to be using Pam Barnhill’s practical Plan Your Year. It has everything I need to plan our entire year and keep track of everything all in one place, plus a lot of great encouragement and inspiration, too. It really simplifies the process.

{You can read my review of Plan Your Year in this post.}

plan your year homeschool planning | year round homeschooling

If you haven’t already decided on what type of year-round schedule you’re going to use, do that now. There are many variations and it is all about what works for you and your family. You can go 6 weeks on 1 week off, 3 months on and 1 month off, or stop only occasionally and for major holidays. It really is up to you!

Do you prefer loop scheduling or block scheduling? Plan Your Year explains them and has examples of the different schedule options and ways to use the planner for each.

The first thing I do is mark off holidays or time off that are already scheduled for the entire year with my highlighter on my calendar and planner. If you know you’re going to have a family vacation, don’t forget to mark that, too.

how to create a science shelf in your homeschool | nature study | homeschool science

If you already have some of your field trips scheduled, write those in now as well. Note any doctor/dentist appointments, clubs, co-op meetings, and extracurricular activities. Once that is out of the way it is easy to see what days are left for schooling.

Now you must decide if you are doing a 5, 4, or even 3 day school week, then mark it accordingly. If you are using a boxed curriculum, some of the work will already be done for you since it will likely have subjects broken down into daily, weekly, or monthly sections.

I recommend using pencil rather than pen because you never know what might happen and you want to leave a little room for flexibility (illness, curriculum changes, special unit studies, etc.). If your planner has spots for each subject you can pencil each assignment in from the teacher manual. If you would rather keep it more relaxed, you can just assign a chapter to that week.

We are relaxed, delight-directed, unit study, rabbit trail followers, so I consider these as just goals and guidelines when I’m writing them down. It’s subject to change, but this is all very helpful when I need to complete my official paperwork for our state’s homeschooling requirements. It helps keep us on track for the mandatory subjects.

You can grab some free printable homeschool planner pages from Living Life and Learning to save money, too.

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

Next, grab file folders and label them by the week or month for your school year. Place worksheets, printables, thinner picture or reference books, and other small items in the week/month they go with. Another thing I like to do is make a list of supplies or library books I will need for that week/month and place it in the folder. Then the month before I can start preparing by reserving library books or ordering them from Amazon, plus gathering any other supplies we might need. This makes it so much less stressful to do this bit of planning in advance.   A great way to store these is in hanging file folders in a file crate like this one.

Now, find a home for everything, preferably together for easy access. We’re fans of these rainbow drawer carts. We have three, one for each of my daughters.

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

Finally, put your feet up and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You just got an amazing start on your year-round homeschool year!

Remember, while it is wonderful to plan your year out in advance, always keep in mind that real life is happening at the same time and give yourself (as well as your child) grace if you are not always right on schedule. Some of our best learning experiences have happened spontaneously!

How do you handle planning in your homeschool?


Still on the fence about year round homeschooling? Check out this post on the Benefits of Year Round Homeschooling.

back to school supplies

Back to Homeschool Ideas

My blogging friends and I want your homeschool year to get off to a great start! That’s why we’ve joined together to bring you tips and printables to help with that. Take some time to peruse these links and save them for future reference!

Top Back to School Worksheets for Your Homeschool from In All You Do
These back to school worksheets will help you prep for the new homeschool year.

Back to school freebie printables roundup from Hess UnAcademy
Get your kids excited about the new school year with this collection of back to school freebie activities and printables!

Back to Homeschool Ideas to both Celebrate and Prepare for the Coming Year from This Bit of Life
This post is full of fun ideas for back to homeschool with everything from planning to a back to homeschool party to celebrate.

How to Get Back into Homeschooling After a Break from 4 One More
Breaks are great, but sometimes it’s hard to get back into a routine afterwards. Check out these tips to get back to homeschooling if you’ve taken the summer off.

How and Why to Use an Eclectic Approach to Homeschooling from The WOLFe Pack
Eclectic homeschooling is more than just piecing together curriculum. Learn all about the philosophy behind eclectic homeschooling in this post.

First Day of Homeschool Tips from Homeschooling 4 Him
Start your new homeschool year off right with these simple tips.

Ways to Help Your Kids Focus (ADHD) from Whole Child Homeschool
Need to help the kids focus? Try these organizational strategies to help your distractible child.

Back to School Prep: Don’t Forget the Music! from Music in Our Homeschool
Grab these free music lessons and ideas to make music a part of your homeschool this year!

Top Ten Ways to Smoothly Transition Back to Homeschool from Homeschool On the Range
Get these top ten tips for starting your homeschool on a good note.

Start Your New Homeschool Year On The Right Foot from Hope In The Chaos
Get a smoother transition back into homeschooling with this plan.

Homeschool Room Essentials from Some Call It Destiny
Which homeschool supplies do you really need?

The Mega List of Free Homeschool Resources from With the Huddlestons
From preschool to high school, if you’re looking for free homeschool resources, this list will help!

Fun First Day of Homeschool Ideas from Simple Living Mama
Use these ideas to create traditions your kids will never forget!

Top Ten Tips – Help For Your Homeschool Journey from Geez, Gwen!
Get insight and encouragement for homeschooling in a variety of areas in this post.

Make A Fun Tradition Around Pancakes To Celebrate from Our Crazy Adventures In Autismland
These character pancakes are a cute, fun way to celebrate back to homeschool!

My List of Favorite Homeschool Math Resources from Julie Naturally
Check out these relaxed, unschooling math resources for a non-textbook approach.

Back to School Deals from The Homeschool Cafe
Here’s a list of budget-friendly ways to build your homeschool library.

Homeschool Organization Without a Homeschool Room from An Off Grid Life
Don’t have a dedicated homeschool room? Here are some tips for getting (and staying) organized without a school room in your home.

The Pros and Cons of Open-and-Go Curriculum from Thrive at Home
Is an all-in-one curriculum right for your family? Here’s what to know if you’re considering one.

Meal Planning for Homeschool Moms from My Joy-Filled Life
Life is full enough without stressing about mealtimes. Make meal planning and prep easier with these helpful tips.

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  1. Where did you get your labels on the rainbow cart pictured above?
    Would love to get a copy to help organize our workboxes.
    Thank you in advance~

    1. I made my own labels. I’ll look for them on my computer and turn them into a free download for this post as soon as I can. Great idea! Thanks for stopping by.

    1. I’ve done it a few different ways over the years. I’ve gone by the calendar year, so our new year starts in January. I’ve also used the school district start date so our new year coincides with that for easier reporting. The past few years I’ve started the new homeschool year the Wednesday after Labor Day. It really depends on what works best for your family — advancing the year when you finish a particular curriculum or taking a break for a while to wait till a specific calendar date to start the next “year” in your homeschool. I’ve learned to be really flexible with it. 🙂 We only use grade levels for reporting purposes, so it doesn’t really impact our learning overall.

      I hope that’s helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hi! I got on your site to download the freebie you sent via email, so I’m not sure if you’ll see this comment or not (since it’s 3 years later) but I’m wondering…..this is our 2nd year homeschooling. My daughter’s friends across the street go to school, though, so when they’re home over the summer, my daughter wants to play outside continuously. I LOVE the idea of year-round school because you’re right — it’s stressful thinking we have to finish everything by May. How do you deal with this (or do you?) when other kids are outside playing and you have to do school?

    1. I understand what you mean and how that can be a distraction during the summer. It wasn’t a big problem for us because we’ve always lived rurally so there weren’t any other kids playing outside nearby. I think you could work around this by adjusting your schedule, like maybe only doing a lighter schedule during the summer. You might also try adjusting the hours — are the kids out in the morning or afternoon? Could you learn around those times? Maybe just do lessons 3 days a week and leave the other days for fun time. We’ve always been pretty relaxed and let the learning ebb and flow as needed. That’s another advantage of year-round homeschooling, I think. You don’t have to feel behind because you can take breaks or do extra at the times that work the best for you. The important thing (in my opinion) is that kids enjoy learning and enjoy being kids. Homeschooling lets you find that flexible balance! I hope this helps!

      Thanks for commenting. Feel free to ask if you have other questions. 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to comment!