Oh, my friends. Planning a homeschool year is a lot like planning life. We know exactly where we’re going and what we’ll do, and then something happens. Some magical mystery occurs and Everything Changes.
I’ve been saying all summer that in the upcoming school year we’re going to do an Africa unit study like we did with Asia last year. I’ve been diligently planning for it. Then the boys dropped a bomb on me. They told me they don’t want to do an Africa unit study. They want to learn about Africa and its countries but, though they loved the China and Japan unit studies, doing unit studies for every Asian country was Too Hard. It got boring after a while, apparently. Well, sheesh.
Now, I am the kind of homeschooling mama who, if they had told me this during last school year, would have changed things up for them.
But they didn’t tell me during the school year. They didn’t even tell when the school year was over. They told me yesterday.
It would have saved me a lot of work if they had said something 2 months ago.
That’s okay, because one of the freedoms of planning our homeschool year myself is that when something comes up I can chuck the whole program and start over.
Yes. It Is a pain my neck. Thanks for asking.
Even so, I’m glad to do it because I want to make sure their education is as fun for them as it can be so they will continue to love learning for the rest of their lives.
What to do when your homeschool plan collapses
First things first–you’ve already planned some stuff, right? So sit down with that plan and pull whatever you can from it.
In my case, that means pulling the reading material, the journal ideas, and some crafty stuff from the unit study to make a stand-alone Africa unit. Lucky for me, I had already planned some extra stuff besides the unit study, so I wasn’t thrown for a complete loop.
But don’t tell them that. We mamas have to get our sympathy somewhere.
Then figure out exactly what Will Work
Maybe your plan fell apart for a completely different reason than mine. Maybe your family is going through some stuff–illness, financial crisis, what have you–and you just can’t pull off your original plan with all that stress going on. You’re going to want figure out what you can pull off. Think about what you have time for, what will most benefit your littles, and why the original plan just won’t work. Then get planning.
We all know that reading, writing, and math should be practiced daily. So start there. Those things are pretty easy to plan, anyway, and once you have them down, you’ve at least got the basics covered.
If you’re like us, then you absolutely want some kind of science in your homeschool. It doesn’t have to be every day, so go there next. Find a curriculum you think your littles will enjoy or some living books to teach them about your chosen field. Especially when they’re young, it doesn’t have to be complex.
You can add history or music or art or any old thing after that, but remember–you’re trying to figure out what will work after the Great Collapse, so go easy on yourself.
The dreaded words. Hopefully, you won’t have to start over completely. But you will have to start over in some respect. Take a deep breath. Don’t worry about lamenting all your wasted work. Remember that first step? All that hard work actually came in handy.
Get out your planner or your notebook or whatever you plan your homeschool year in, and start again at day 1. I hope you penciled stuff in rather than writing it in ink. I pat myself on the back for using a pencil pretty much daily right now. If you need a couple of extra planning pages to supplement the ones you wrote on in ink, pick some up in my subscriber freebies. They may not match, but they’ll do the job.
Take it one day a time, just like you did when you made the original plan.
Give yourself a break
Listen, planning a homeschool year is a lot of work, no matter how you go about it. Suddenly realizing you have to plan it again? Bring out the pretty white jacket with the special sleeves.
I get it.
But remember, you don’t have to have the Entire School Year planned before you get started. So cut yourself some slack. Your sanity matters just as much as your children’s education. Plan as much as you can, take breaks when you need to, and remember–as long as they’re learning, they’re learning.
Don’t make it too complicated.
Now, to take this advice myself…
Be sure to check out these other awesome posts about homeschool planning:
7 Reasons Why Your Homeschool Schedule Doesn’t Work – Monique at Living Life and Learning
The Ultimate List of Free Quality Homeschool Planners– Schooling a Monkey
Homeschooling Bullet Journal– Stephanie Rose at Little Blog in the Country
Homeschool Planning When You Have To Work– Amy Lanham / Life as Lanhams
When the school bus looks tempting: making peace with your busy schedule – Ginny Kochis/Not So Formulaic
Our Homeschool Schedule & Rotations – Faith Filled Parenting
Homeschool Planning 101: First, Answer 2 Qs – Diane Lockman (The Classical Scholar)
What does your homeschool schedule look like? – Betsy at Family Style Schooling
Our 2016-17 Homeschooling Schedule & Curriculum – Jenny at Faith and Good Works
Creating a Homeschool & Work at Home Schedule That Works- Jody Smith/Simply Southern Sunshine
Finding Perfect Homeschool Planner for YOU – Tauna at Proverbial Homemaker
Homeschool Planning When Traveling – Stacy at Three Busy Bees
How We Balance Homeschooling and Working At The Same Time – Tatiana at The Musings of Mum
P.S. I KNOW. I look different.
I mean, I don’t look different, but my interweb appearance does. Some things are going on in my life right now that made me want to simplify and de-clutter. I think I’m happy with the changes. For now. haha Let me know what you think in the comments?