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Homeschool planning used to stress me out so much. There is some quirk in my personality that makes it physically uncomfortable to cross things out, white-out over pen, and change something that’s been “officially recorded.” This did not combine well with the other half of my personality–the one that doesn’t like being told what to do and loves to dance the line between structure and freedom on a daily basis.
The solution was so simple, but it took awhile for me to finesse it. I started out with making lists instead of keeping detailed plans, and chucked planners for homeschool altogether. This worked really well. I just made a list of what I wanted to get to that week and crossed each item off as we completed it.
But soon came the day when I longed to look back on my notes to see what we had done during a certain month. I was faced with an unruly pile of sticky notes, loose paper, and crossed-out lists. Not exactly an ideal record-keeping situation.
I heard about “planning from behind” from Julie Bogart’s Brave Writer podcast and it planted a little seed. A few months later, I was talking to another homeschool blogger and she mentioned it again. Suddenly, everything clicked. I could have the freedom of a checklist AND the structure of a lovely planner filled with our homeschool days. I was just doing it in the wrong order. 🙂
I still start each week with a wish list. But now I end the day by cracking open my much-loved Plum Paper planner to record what we actually accomplished–the planned lessons and the unplanned magic that make up our eclectic homeschooling style. This has been the easiest, most satisfying planning style I’ve ever used for homeschool, and I don’t see myself changing it anytime soon.
What’s your favorite way to plan for your homeschool? Please feel free to share in the comments!
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