Read More Buy Less

This the season for Home School Planning. I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned in the last 18 years at this gig. Homeschool success is in no way influenced by how much money you spend on it. You don’t need a Pinterest like school room or even new materials.

Go Ahead and Procrastinate

Probably not what you expect to hear. Here are some things you can do instead of shopping:

  • Wait until you’ve finished everything on hand. Kids change and improve so much over short amounts of time that waiting until you’ve finished is best.
  • Use the downtime to reflect and analyze what truly did and didn’t work this year.
  • Read and learn to be a better teacher. Invest in yourself.

While I don’t condone actually buying curriculum years ahead, I do think you should have an idea where you want to end up with your children’s education. You can even write out different scenarios. Then when you go to order for the next year, you aren’t just buying whatever has a flurry of activity around it.

As far as any long term plans? Think of them as just rough drafts. So, what can you do after you’ve got a couple drafts and the materials you’ll use right away?

Prepare to Teach

  • If you aren’t schooling all Summer, get next years books out and start watching videos on the concepts that will come up this year. This is especially helpful in Math and there are tons of free videos out there. Khan Academy is my favorite. I buy a lot of materials from Memoria Press and they also sell video lessons for much of their curriculum. I’ve already starting streaming those now.
Remind yourself that you are awesome.
  • Choose a Homeschooling Planner- start figuring out a schedule for your school days. You can buy a planner or just use a spiral notebook.

Right now I use a homeschool planner even though I also purchased lesson plans. Instructor’s Guides are awesome and save time and energy, but they are not all you need.

Why do I buy plans? Because there is no need to reinvent the wheel. However, your wheel may look different than mine. Ready-made plans still need to be customized for your situation. Transferring the plans into your planner allows you to work at whatever pace works best for each child. Why not just check off what you’ve done on the plans you purchased? You can. But I don’t. I like to incorporate review, memory work, and sometimes I can see that the next thing on the pre-printed plans just isn’t needed for that particular kid. By writing out each day myself, I can take just what I need from them.

Like I said above you don’t need an expensive planner, I’ve had great success with a plain old spiral notebook. Every night I’d write down the next things and then the kids would have a list when they woke up in the morning and know exactly what to do.

My final homeschooling tip today is simply to be prepared. You and your kids need to know what is expected of each person in the family to ensure that homeschooling gets done, everyone eats, and is reasonably clean. It may sound simple, but it takes dedication to see it through.

JEN NAUGHTON and her husband share their 1930's era Chicago home with four sons and a daughter. A voracious reader, Jen reviews books before their release for dozens of publishers on her page: Windy City Reader. Jen also blogs (on WordPress!) about classical, mostly secular, home education at Good Enough Homeschool. In 2020 she will begin a new adventure teaching and traveling with her youngest son in their camper van. Follow their antics at Windy City Rover. You can find Jen misbehaving on social media on Twitter: @jennynau10 and Instagram: @windycityrover

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