I am so excited about the upcoming homeschool year and find myself talking in a bubbly voice about the year. If you know me in real life, bubbly is not an adjective used to describe me often. I am just so excited about what I have learned and how I am doing things differently. Homeschool organization can be a game changer.
I have posted several times on my lack of natural organization skill (you can share in my pain here and here). This year I am determined to create a clear path to get more done in our homeschool without being so overwhelmed with daily planning. Homeschool organization has become a priority! This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure here.
I will be going into my fifth year homeschooling this fall. My little guy went to public school for two years after kindergarten and the biggest reason (not the only reason) was organization. I was completely overwhelmed and couldn’t keep up with everything. There isn’t any reason to feel like that! I have an update that you will want to check out below (click here).
First, I am dividing the year. I have been doing this for a couple of years and LOVE it. This is something I first saw at Raising Cajuns. I take a sheet of Paper and fold it where there are 12 squares and I fill in the months starting with the first month of school and label all 12. Next, I start entering all of the extras. You can grab a pdf of my year at a glance sheet here.
I do holidays first and then birthdays. In September, we have Labor day and a grandparent birthday. Then I put in trips, vacations, and breaks I know are coming (like Christmas or tutorial breaks). I am very visual so I love that I can see where our busy months and not so busy months are based on how “full” the month looks on the sheet. This is one I am working on now.
My Old Planning Strategy
Previously, my next step would have been to take my curriculum like reading and math and break it down by week for the first 6 weeks. Science and History I would write down the topics for the first 6 weeks. I was planned!
Well you can probably guess which subjects have been getting done and which haven’t? Science and History are always pushed to the side. It becomes a burden to plan and get everything out
while the kids are sitting there waiting on you to start the night before. I was very discouraged.
This year is going to be different. I have tried a few different approaches. I have planned like I would in a regular classroom and that was an overwhelming, exhausting disaster. The entire year plan was thrown off because we got sick. I have tried my hand at unschooling, but that isn’t a good fit for our family. This year I feel like we are finally doing it the way I had hoped it would be. This didn’t come about without some blood, sweat and tears (chocolate and wine are optional).
My New Planning Strategy
I have spent a lot of time in 2016 thinking, reading, studying, and applying information about time management, goal setting and organization. Time blocking and morning time for mom have been game changers at my house. I have loved the impact it has had on me, but it has been even more positive for our entire family. Emotions are contagious. When I am feeling calm, my entire family feels more calm.
Taking a course.
With all of that in mind, for our homeschool this year I have invested a little time and money. Guys, it has rocked my world! I bought Kristi Clover’s Homeschool Organization eCourse and I am almost in tears with relief. She is encouraging and makes you excited about your homeschool. The course was fast paced so I was able to go through the entire thing in a morning (this was a morning with no interruptions while Daddy took the kids). I am already applying what I have learned. It is worth every penny!
I have invested less than $100 in the course and my organizational supplies. These systems can be reused every year, without more investment in organization. That is why I say it is once and for all.
I have probably spent $50 or more yearly, trying to figure out a way to make everything work and most of it was just wasted money. After this course, I feel confident that I will be able to use and adapt one or more of her strategies every year (and I have a toddler). That is a great return on investment.
I am working on my crate system right now (we start our year on August 15). She includes printables and videos so you understand what to do with each system (there are several that can work together or separately) and she encourages questions.
Highlights from the Course
This course is really ideal for homeschooling multiple children, but can certainly be used by an only child homeschooler. It helped me see how to manage our homeschool so that everyone knows what they should be doing. They will also know where to get the work and/or who to work with (including awesome ideas to keep the littles busy while you are teaching).
It gets rid of all the downtime of waiting for mom to give direction. This should translate to more time for science and history. Her system will work for homeschoolers who use hands on project based teaching to workbook/worksheets or some combination.
I am in LOVE and wanted a chance to let you know what I have found that is changing my homeschool this year. If you are planning this year, now is the time to get the course (don’t want to plan twice). Did you finish the school year asking yourself why you didn’t get to this or that? I did. I believe this course can help you because I know it is helping me. Please go and check it out.
October 2016 Update:
We have been back to homeschool for 6 weeks. This course has completely changed our homeschool for the better. I can’t tell you how good it feels to go to bed at night not worrying about how we can catch up.
We have had several disturbances in our homeschool year and I haven’t had to replan a single thing. My kids are doing more independent work than ever before because they know where to go and get the work to get started.
In addition to the other benefits, it is working well to accommodate the sleep patterns of the tween in the house. I really don’t feel like it is an exaggeration to say that this course has completely saved the sanity of this homeschool teacher!
Kristi has a lot of strategies and we haven’t implemented all of them so don’t feel overwhelmed about the idea of a course. You can pick a few things and learn how to implement those. You can always add more (that is what I am doing) because she designed the course with the homeschool mom in mind.
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