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Gearing Up for Fall

by Megan Bittner

What does your homeschool plan look like? How does it flow through the year? Whether you’re a natural planner or more inclined to go with the flow of things, there is something for you in this Homeschool Living, from tips for scheduling your homeschool year and planning multi-level lessons to advice on how to keep perspective–and right the ship–when life events inevitably alter your course.

 

Sticking to the Plan

Check out these 10 steps for planning your homeschool year from Not Consumed.

Homeschool mom Kara Fleck shares her 3step process for homeschool planning at Simple Homeschool.

Harness the power of that back-to-school momentum! If your youngsters are inspired by the fresh notebooks, neat schedules, and new material–if only for the first few weeks–take advantage of that enthusiasm and put it to good use! This article explores the idea of prioritizing momentum over “resolutions.” (While it is written with New Year’s resolutions in mind, the concepts work just as well for a new school year.)

The Classical Unschooler shares a way to use this momentum for scheduling your homeschool.

But what if your kids don’t get that giddy feeling from the smell of newly sharpened pencils? Explore these ideas for back-to-school traditions if your homeschool’s enthusiasm needs a little extra encouragement.

 

Planning for More Than One

One of the most rewarding–and challenging–parts of homeschooling is the opportunity that your family has to learn together. Siblings of all different ages can bring their perspectives to subjects like science, history, language, Bible, art, and more. Younger children can learn from the older ones; older students learn to explore subjects more deeply as they work beyond the basic subject matter. However, a considerable amount of work and planning goes into multi-level teaching.

Ocean Network shares 10 tips for homeschooling multiple ages.

This example of what a multi-level school day might look like offers some valuable insight, including tips on how to deal with whining and complaining, examples of the varying schedules each student might follow and how they intersect, and an overview of the workbox system this homeschool mom uses.

Common multi-level subjects include history, foreign language, and art–subjects that traditionally offer a lot of latitude in their ability to be scaled to higher and lower levels. But what about more rigid subjects? Lynna Sutherland, of Homeschooling Without Training Wheels, shares how she incorporates math into her family’s multi-level homeschool.

 

Beyond the Schedule

Your schedule is looking great and plans are falling neatly into place! But, perhaps you’re familiar with Robert Burns’ quote about the “best-laid plans…” How do you deal when your well-planned day falls apart? In this blog post from Simple Homeschool, homeschool mom Sarah Mackenzie shares her answer to this question–and a nifty free download (email address required to receive the download) featuring advice from Andrew Pudewa, Sonya Shafer, Rea Berg, and others.  

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Check out five simple schedule tweaks that can help bring some life back into the lessons when things start to stagnate.

Writing–or re-evaluating–a family mission statement is an excellent way to keep your most important, foundational goals in sight, and can provide a much needed bearing if your schedule starts to wander off the beaten path.

Above all, keep perspective! After all, what good are the checkmarks on the neat lesson plan if the material is not absorbed, or a family bond isn’t strengthened, or an unexpected need is quietly overlooked in order to cross everything off the to-do list?

Share your best homeschool planning tip in the comments!


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