| |

How to Plan Your Year with Purpose {Even if You Don’t Enjoy Homeschool Planning}

Ready to plan your year with purpose, even if you’re a relaxed homeschooler or following rabbit trails through delight-directed learning? It is possible to reconcile those things! You don’t need to dread homeschool planning anymore.

Homeschooling year-round has become a way of life in our family. We’ve been homeschooling for 12 years now and it only seems natural to consider all of our learning as part of homeschooling, even when we aren’t doing formal studies every single day. I believe that learning is a lifestyle that you can encourage in your children so that discovering new ideas and new ways to learn becomes a joy, rather than a chore. That’s the ideal at the heart of our homeschooling.

Of course we all know that life isn’t always ideal.

Plan Your Year Homeschooling Planning

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Plan Your Year for the purpose of review. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own. I was compensated for my time to write the review.

Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace

Honestly, I used to be a bit obsessive about planning. I was the one who always wore a watch and carried my Day Planner with me everywhere I went. Yes, really. It started in high school and lasted all the way till I had my second child. But that’s another story.

When I first started homeschooling my oldest daughter, she was still an only child. We were both perfectionists. Planning was a natural for me and she didn’t balk. We enjoyed checking things off a list. Until we didn’t.

Until I realized that doing school at home wasn’t our objective in the first place. Then I rebelled against planning of any kind. When that pendulum swings, it makes a wide arc!

Soon after that my second daughter was born, then my third just 24 months later. Life was so crazy that I didn’t have time to plan. I began writing things down after we had done them, just for the sake of record-keeping.

Now we’re in a new season of life. My girls are 17, 11, and 9. I’ve found a balance between planning and spontaneity. Most days anyway. We’re very relaxed. I don’t panic when we switch gears. Most days anyway.

Now I look at homeschool planning differently. It’s more about our overall vision and goals than strict schedules. It can accommodate our fluid rhythms of learning rather than trying to reign it in and squash our delight.

plan your year homeschool planning

Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace by Pam Barnhill suits us well. Pam does not take an attitude that one method or way is the only right way, but rather it’s about finding the right way for your family. As she says:

My epiphany came when I decided I was no longer striving for the perfect homeschool plan. Instead, I would strive for the perfect plan for us: the plan I would actually implement, the plan that would work for my children.

I remember very well coming to this conclusion for our own homeschool and I couldn’t agree more with Pam. It seems like a small thing, but it can make all the difference in the world in your homeschool experience.

Plan Your Year Homeschooling Planning

What else makes Plan Your Year different than other homeschool planners? It’s not just the planning sheets, though those are included — goals worksheets, lesson plan list forms, course of study, block and loop schedules, weekly and daily planning forms.

It’s about the motivation behind planning (or not planning) in the first place. It includes things like:

  • brief overviews of personality types (I’m an INFJ, all about the peace, love, and understanding!)
  • how to put your plans into action and what your obstacles might be, both internal and external
  • inspirational, practical, and motivational essays from other homeschooling moms and their personal experiences and what works for them
  • how to choose and adapt curriculum to fit your needs
  • a brief intro to homeschool methods and their pros and cons
  • an overview of different types of planners and their pros and cons
Plan Your Year homeschool planning

We do so many delight-directed activities that I don’t always know ahead of time what rabbit trail we might follow or spontaneous field trip we might take. That’s when I use my planner as a record book and just write down what we’ve done after we’ve done it. No problem! The forms and schedules are flexible enough to do that.

Plan Your Year is a great encouragement to be organized and purposeful without being suffocated. Just doing the brain dump to write down ahead of time the things we need to cover, the things we want to cover, and a general idea of when we can do them is a big help for me. It calms my sense of overwhelm and motivates me to put my ideas into action instead of just imagining the perfect plans in my head. Can you relate?

Plan Your Year homeschool planning

Do you prefer to plan ahead and follow the basic structure of those plans? You’ll want to read How to Plan a Year Round Homeschooling Schedule in One Day. I write more about how I’ve planned, how I leave room for flexibility, and how Plan Your Year helps with this.

Plan Your Year can work for you regardless of homeschool method or approach. Even if you rebel against planning, Plan Your Year can help you simplify and organize so you can focus on doing what you love best — enjoying a lifestyle of learning with your kids!

Plan Your Year is available in a print edition or Kindle on Amazon.

plan your year homeschooling planning

What are your homeschool planning tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments!


homeschool planning

You’re going to love these back to homeschool tips and tricks from my blogging friends. Take a look!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
kids subscription boxes

Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. I love Pam! I’m working through this program this year and I’m feeling hopeful that my year will run much smoother than this past one. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you for taking the time to comment!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.