Note from Jamerrill: Today we have a guest post from another large family homeschooling mom, my friend Tauna of Proverbial Homemaker. I think you’ll greatly enjoy her post on how to plan a relaxed homeschool year. It’s an encouraging read! ~ Jamerrill
I have a busy house full of busy people. I’m sure I’m not alone in the desire for more efficiency and peace! Now, I value structure and intentional education as much as anyone. Yet I have learned these past few years that for the sake of sanity and productivity, a more relaxed approach to homeschooling planning is necessary.
If I want a relatively peaceful and productive homeschool – one that I consider a success at the end of the day – then I have to adjust how I do the planning and daily recording of our work. Maybe the same is true for you!
- Do you create elaborate plans and abandon them a few weeks in?
- Are you discouraged by the empty checkboxes and unfinished lesson plans?
- Do you want more peace and margin in your days?
- Is a focus on Christ and family relationships important to you?
If that describes you, then you’d likely benefit from a more relaxed planning approach as well!
Get the Big Picture
As we approach the end of one school year and begin thinking about a new one, many of us will evaluate our goals for homeschooling and plan out what curriculum and method we’ll employ. That’s a good practice! There are a few other things I’d suggest we do:
- Write out a vision or mission statement – why are you homeschooling? What do you want your kids to remember? What is the “big picture?”
- Evaluate goals for each child – Take some time to pray over your children and see what character and academic goals to pursue in the new year.
- Keep your plans and goals in sight – We tend to forget our big picture perspectives and plans as the weeks progress. Work in a routine that helps you look over and update them at regular points. Perhaps once a month or once a quarter. Having your big picture in mind does so much to help keep you from veering off course as you hit bumps in the homeschooling and parenting road!
We all know that prioritizing is important. Still, it is all-too-easy to get lost in the weeds as we sift through curriculum choices and learning. Determine what really matters to you in your homeschool and family life and work that into your homeschooling routines!
When you look out over the summer and into the coming year, what speaks to you as being the most important things for your homeschool? A focus on prayer and scripture memory? Time for the fun electives? More time reading and enjoying read-alouds with the kids? Find creative ways to build those into your week, keeping them front and center. Remind yourself frequently what your priorities for the year are!
Focus on Rhythms & Routines
One of the best shifts you can make for a more relaxed and peaceful homeschool year is to move away from strict schedules. Instead of trying to fit everything into every day, sketch out what your family routine already looks like, then build your homeschooling rhythms over the top of it. That’s when you’ll find those natural grooves for things like morning devotions and memory work, independent work for the older kids during the youngers’ nap times, and reading aloud during dinner or quiet time.
You might also consider changing things up from the typical block scheduling. When we plan to do a certain activity or subject on a certain day of the week, it’s easy to fall behind when life happens and feel like we’re always catching up. It can be so stressful and defeating!
Instead, try something like alternating 5 days of history with a 5 days of science. Or try looping for some subjects, working through a list of activities, lessons, or books and work through them one by one, not worrying about which day you complete each task on. We use all these methods in our homeschool with a routine that works just right for our family!
Make Your Plan Work for You
The main thing is to not get locked into the details so you are a slave to your plans. Create a homeschool system that blesses your home and brings efficiency and peace. Pursue progress without sacrificing sanity.
To make a plan that works for you, study your family routines and what makes you and your children thrive. Build that into your plans! Focus on your priorities, including establishing the margins you need for rest and refreshment. It can take some trial and error to find the right approach for your unique needs and style, but it’s worth the effort!
Show yourself some grace in the process and be flexible, knowing that God has a plan for you AND your homeschool!
Tools for a More Relaxed Homeschool Approach
This post contains my affiliate links which help support my online efforts and blesses my family. Thank you!
If all this sounds great but you’re wondering how to make it happen, I have helpful tool you’re going to love! The Relaxed Mom Homeschool Planning System guides you step-by-step through creating a planning and tracking system that works for YOU.
Here’s what’s included:
- A focus on scripture and prayer for your homeschool (ESV & KJV available)
- Setting goals and priorities
- Finding the right planning approach for your homeschool
- A 20+ page customizable planner that focuses on routines instead of strict schedules
- A web course with 11+ lessons, 2+ videos, and 8+ bonus planning printables!
Ready for a more peaceful and productive homeschool? This system will help you do all that we’ve talked about here and get you well on your way to a more relaxed homeschool year!
I’m Tauna! This is me: Jesus follower, wife, mom, [domestically challenged] homemaker, homeschooler, and writer. Join me at ProverbialHomemaker.com, where I work to bring you encouragement and tools for the journey. Let us pursue God’s call on our lives (no matter the learning curve) and rely on Him to equip us for the task!