This is the year – the year we get organized with homeschooling, make a plan, follow a curriculum, etc. etc.
We’ve been pretty much unschooling since K was born, but this year we are planning a big move to a state with more homeschool “rules” so we have to make some adjustments and I figured it’s better to get into the groove now rather than later. Plus, K was diagnosed with autism earlier this year and really needs more consistent structure and routine in order to retain what we learn. So, this weekend, I spent a good chunk of time planning out our homeschool year.
If you’ve never planned out your homeschool lessons, it can be pretty daunting and overwhelming. So I’m sharing with you how we are structuring our months, weeks, and days!
First thing’s first, you need a GOOD PLANNER! I’ve looked and looked and most planners either just don’t provide enough space or they are for teachers in public schools. But I finally found THIS ONE that I just LOVE! It works well for one child OR multiple children. (Bonus Points for being under $10.)
It took a bit of math to figure out how to get 180 days to split up evenly through the year for our year-round schedule, but it actually works out really well!
To do year-round homeschooling, and get a full 180 days in, you can plan lessons for 3 months and take every 4th month off. For us that means we start school in September, and take December, April, and August off. So our last month of lessons for any grade level/specific curriculum is July.
This leaves roughly 15 extra “floating” no school days to scatter throughout the year for:
- Holidays that don’t fall on weekends
- Birthdays (K gets her whole birthday week off)
- Vacations that don’t fall within the off months
- Sick Days
The benefit of homeschooling here is, if you need to make up any school days, you can always do lessons on the weekend or planned off months.
Once I had the year schedule planned out, it was time to move on to planning our weekly flow. In order to do that I had to decide which subjects we would do on which days. You COULD do every subject every day, but I feel like that’s a bit much at her age and that it would cause definite overwhelm for us both.
Here’s what our weekly schedule looks like:
Daily: Since K struggles most with reading, I decided that we would focus on language arts (including spelling, phonics, writing, reading, and reading comprehension) every day – and this makes up the bulk of the daily work. I also planned one page a day from the 180 Days of Geography and 180 Days of Social Studies for First Grade workbooks, as well as ASL practice.
Mondays Only: I planned Mondays to be “slow start” days, so we do less language arts, but add in Piano and Art. This is also the day we learn new signs for ASL, which we will practice throughout the week.
Tuesday/Thursday: In addition to the daily work, we will do Math these days, with new concepts being introduced on Tuesdays and reviewed on Thursdays.
Wednesday/Friday: In addition to the daily work, we will do Science these days, with new concepts explored via videos and books on Wednesdays and lab on Fridays.
The curriculum I’m using for each subject is sequential, so we will just start at the beginning and work through to the next lesson each week. The workbooks for Geography/Social Studies are 1 page a day, and to work through the entire Math workbook, we’ll do 2 pages a week. There’s 1 ASL lesson per week, 1 new piano lesson per week, 1 Science concept per week, 1 Math concept per week… Easy Peasy!
As far as day to day flow goes, we start around 10am, take a full hour break for lunch around noon, and finish around 2pm. That allows everyone wake up at their own pace, have breakfast, and settle in. It also allows for PLENTY of frustration/meltdown time, breaks, and rabbit holes.
And there you have it! If you missed it, check out what curriculum we’re using this year HERE.