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Homeschool Planning

Do you need to plan and if you want to what does it look like?

Do I need to plan?

This really depends on how you homeschool, many homeschoolers will not have any rigid structure and be totally child-led in terms of what happens in the day whereas others that are following a curriculum may have a timetable of lessons which they follow each week. It will also depend on the child. Some children, particularly those with additional needs, will work better with some sort of structure to the week so it is really important to consider what works for you and your children. We are all different, have different needs and have different children.

What does the week look like?

A weekly timetable may have some things that happen weekly but it may also change week by week. In our family, we have a timetable of clubs and a weekly catch-up, normally at the weekend, where we look at the week ahead. We use it to check in on how everyone feels about the week, discuss any additional things that might be happening and also consider what everyone feels they need. 

For example, my daughter might want a play date with a specific friend or my son might want to make sure he has space between events as he needs a lot of downtime to restore his energy. My husband might want to plan some exercise sessions and I might need to plan in work meetings and time for me to do something for myself. We talk about specific things the children feel passionate about and if they need any resources or anything to facilitate that. Currently, my daughter is keen to find out about cats so we might plan a trip to the local rescue centre to see some cats and ask them questions and we might go to the library to grab some cat books.

We use Collage to create our weekly calendar, we print and share it electronically as our family planner.

We also try and plan something we can all agree to do as a family as that feels important to all of us. This comes in the form of ‘offerings’, everyone will offer something and we will talk through the options based on the weather etc and then we will make a plan. We also use this opportunity to talk about food for the week, to find out if anyone would like anything specific or would like to cook a meal and we add ingredients to the shopping list.

By planning in this way, you are giving your child autonomy, they feel listened to and confident to express themselves. It gives you the chance to find out more about your child as they don’t always tell you that they are not enjoying something for fear of disappointing you. These sessions serve as a great tool for collaboration and life skills, giving children the opportunity to see how they can input into the running of the week and how we all work together.

As the week progresses, if things are tricky maybe there is too much planned in and not enough space around activities for everyone to recharge. Know that it’s okay when things don’t go to plan, stuff happens, kids may get poorly, the car might break down, or things get cancelled, these are all amazing learning opportunities and will enable children to be more flexible as they grow up. Things will constantly evolve as you adjust to everyone’s needs and desires but isn’t that why we homeschool, to enable growth in the ever-changing world we live in…