7 Steps for Writing a Winning Homeschool Plan

Winning Homeschool PlanA well-planned homeschool year is the foundation for a successful homeschool year. No matter the style or method of homeschooling, every homeschool needs a plan. Here are seven steps to help you design a winning plan:

1. Start now.

Summer officially began eleven days ago and the official start of the 2016-2017 school year is weeks (maybe months) away; but if you haven’t started planning, the best time to start is now. Early planning will save you the headache of last-minute cramming. Also, it’ll give you ample time to draft a well-thought-out plan. But this doesn’t mean that you should quit enjoying the summer fun. Thirty minutes to an hour per day for about a week or two (depending on the size of your family) may be all the time you need to plan a triumphant school year.

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. – Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

2. Meet with the Creator.

Pray before you plan. Ask God to guide you in designing the best possible plan for you and your family to have a successful school year.

 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)

3. Declutter.

There’s nothing more frustrating when starting something new than having clutter from the past closing in on you. Sift through schoolwork areas, keeping only what you need for records. If your children are emotionally attached to their work, drawings, projects, etc., carefully box the items and place them in a storage area, or take pictures of the assignments and make a photobook to enjoy for years to come. You may have to explain to younger children that you are making space for more exciting and fun schoolwork – emphasizing the word “fun”.

4. Assess last school year.

The previous school year is the perfect place to look when planning an upcoming school year. Ask yourself: What worked? What didn’t work? What should I change? Are there any assignments that weren’t completed? Are there any topics that weren’t mastered and need to be revisited? Take notes while assessing last school year. These notes will help you write your plan.

5. Research.

The bulk of your time planning the school year should be spent researching. Make sure you completely understand your state’s homeschool laws. If your homeschool is conventional, find out what your child should study at his or her grade level. The Internet is a great place to start. Many education sites and school systems display curriculum outlines, graduation requirements, and grading scales on their websites. College and university websites also list requirements for college-bound students. Although a bit dated, “Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool through High School” by Rebecca Rupp is a nice book to guide you through the years.

6. Meet with your kids.

Plans work better when everyone involved is actually involved. Huddle up the kids. Ask questions like: How did you like last school year? How can we improve? How can I be a better teacher? Make sure it’s a comfortable setting; you want open and honest communication. Also, pack away your feelings before you start because children can be brutally honest.

Then ask one of the most important questions: What do want to learn this upcoming school year? Take note of their responses, the responses will help you craft a plan that’s tailored to their interests. No matter how strange the responses are, include them in your curriculum. It can be an attention-grabbing way to get your child interested in other subjects. For instance, a child who thinks he is taking advantage of the question may chuckle and say, “I want to study video games this year.” Don’t brush it off. Studying video games involves studying mathematics, learning computer programming, reading the history of the evolvement of video games, and the list goes on.

7. Write it.

Your plan should be simple to understand, practical, offer flexibility, and have a clear definition of your goals. Put your plan on paper. Type it or write it, whatever works for you. When you’re done, review the plan with your family. Keep it in a visible location.

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. – Habakkuk 2:2 (KJV)


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  1. Absolutely! Back in the dark ages (before PC’s- gasp!), I wrote my plans in a spiral notebook. It is fun to look back on the plans, so the only thing I would add is save your plans (which is easy to do with computers). Happy planning- it will make the school year easier.

    • Angel Thompson Angel Thompson says:

      LOL @ “dark ages” 🙂 Saving your plans is a great suggestion. Plans make excellent records and, as you’ve said, they are fun to look back on. Thanks, Karen!

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