Tips for Planning and Organization

Planning and Record Keeping

Another essential question to consider in your homeschooling endeavors is planning. Do your children thrive with little direction from you? Or do they learn more efficiently with a daily or weekly list of what they should accomplish? Have you chosen curriculum with structured daily plans, or are you “winging it” with whatever interesting resources you come across? And how will you keep track of what you've done?

For my family, one of the biggest advantages of homeschooling was the liberty to choose learning materials that were interesting and worked for my children. We also appreciated the freedom to find a pace that allowed us to accomplish our educational goals without undue stress. It was especially important for us to balance my children's need for structure with the flexibility that keeps learning enjoyable and minimizes burnout.

Our solution to maintaining this balance was a computer-based system that allowed for advanced planning, flexible scheduling and easy rescheduling. (I used Homeschool Tracker, which is in the links below. You may also want to read my blog post about it.) There are many online planning systems and some tablet and smart phone apps as well.

Another method that works well for many families is “old fashioned” paper planners. Some people prefer a pre-made system that's already put together, while others find printable forms from various places, or make their own with tools such as Excel or word processing software.

Regardless of how much advanced planning you do, you will probably want to keep some record of what your children accomplish. Your planning system may include tools for record-keeping, or you may choose to put together a portfolio of your child's work. You will find some resource links below to help you with this task.

 

Planning and Record-Keeping Links:

  • Planning/Organizing Tools – From my website. This is all of the planning resources in my database. I'll highlight a few below.
  • Homeschool Tracker – This is the system that I used, and I recommend it highly!
  • Homeschool Skedtrack – A free online planner
  • The Homeschool Mom - Free printable planning sheets and a spreadsheet planner. (Requires registering for a free site subscription.)
  • Plan in Place – These are customizable printed planners that are very affordable.
  • Bright Hub Education – This article includes a checklist for a portfolio evaluation.
  • Not Consumed – This article from a Christian Family blog has quite a few printable forms to include in a portfolio.
  • Thought Co - A useful article on how to write a homeschool progress report.
  • Educationese for Beginners - This article gives ideas for describing everyday experiences in the language of institutional education.