My Super Simple Homeschool Planning Method

My Super Simple Homeschool Planning Method

Overview: Looking for a super simple homeschool planning method? Look no further! Planning lessons doesn’t need to be hard. Save yourself time and writer’s cramp!

When I first started homeschooling my boys, I made lesson planning harder than it needed to be. I remember sitting on the floor of our schoolroom pouring over their books for HOURS every weekend while trying to figure out what to teach them for the coming week. It was backbreaking and mindblowing and it didn’t need to be that difficult. They were both preschool aged, for goodness sakes!

Flash forward fifteen years and I do my homeschool planning very differently today. First, I’m sitting at a computer instead of on the floor. But even more importantly, I’ve figured out how to save myself a lot of time throughout the year.

My Super Simple Homeschool Planning Method

For those of you who have been homeschooling for a while, you have probably figured this out as well. I want to go through it, though, for any newer homeschoolers who are reading this. Or for parents who are thinking about homeschooling but aren’t sure they can handle the workload. Or for current homeschoolers who feel they’re spending too much time in the planning process.

Homeschool Planning Can Be SUPER Simple

The summer before your school work begins is the perfect time to complete the first step of my super simple homeschool planning method. In fact, a great time to start is right after those boxes filled with new-smelling curriculum arrive at your door. After opening those exciting packages, it’s time to figure out how to best use them throughout the year.

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No matter when you’re reading this, however, it’s NOT TOO LATE to change how you do your homeschool planning and to save yourself a ton of time!

Yearly Planning Using Textbooks

If your kids will be using a textbook, yearly planning is EXTREMELY simple. Look at the table of contents to see how many lessons each book contains. Divide the number of lessons by the number of weeks you plan to homeschool (usually 36 weeks.) This will tell you how many lessons you need to teach each week for that subject.

For example, if you are using Teaching Textbooks for 5th-grade math, there are 114 lessons in the book. There are also 16 quizzes. 114+16=130. 130 divided by 36 equals 3.61. In other words, if you plan to teach math 4 days a week, your child will complete the book in 36 weeks. Actually, he will complete it in 32 1/2 weeks, but this gives you a little bit of leeway to skip a lesson here and there when you’re having a busy week.

My Super Simple Homeschool Planning Method

Yearly Planning Using Actual Books

If you’re trying to plan a subject such as American Literature, and your child will be reading books versus a textbook, first pick which books you want him to read. Then, you can either decide how many chapters you can reasonably expect him to read per week or count up all of the chapters in each of the books and divide them by 36 so you’ll know how many he needs to read each week to complete them all in one year.

Do this yearly planning for all of the subjects so that you know how much work needs to be completed each week. This first step is the hardest and takes the most time. It’s essential, however, because it will make your weekly planning super simple. And the best part is that you do it once a year and then it’s done!

→ Related Content: To Plan or Not to Plan: Realistic Homeschool Planning - with STEP-BY-STEP VIDEOS!

Weekly Planning

Now that you know what your child needs to complete each week throughout the year, simply create a chart for week one. I have created a sample chart to help you see what I mean.

Does homeschool planning take up too much time? It doesn't have to be so complicated! Click through to learn about my SUPER SIMPLE planning method! | homeschool planning | simple homeschool planning | planning |

You can either break your child’s work down by the week or per day. That’s completely up to you! For small children, I would recommend making a list for each day and walking them through it. As they get a bit older, let them work through their daily list with minimal direction from you. And as they get even older, give them a weekly or a monthly checklist to work through. By the time they graduate, you may be able to let them do the vast majority of their own yearly planning!

You now have a checklist for your child telling him exactly what you’d like him to complete during that first week of school. Use this as a template for coming weeks as well. Some homeschoolers write out their lessons plans from week to week; however, having these sheets saved on the computer will save you a ton of time. Rather than writing it all out each week, you can simply go back and change the chapter numbers and lessons that you want your child to complete and print it back out.

You may be tempted to make up several weeks of sheets at one time. I would recommend against this!

It’s important to wait and see how your child does in completing that week’s work before scheduling the next week. If an unexpected field trip comes up, or you have an opportunity to visit with a grandparent, or he gets sick, your child may not complete all of the work on their sheet. If you print sheets one week at a time, it’s easy for you to make adjustments for the coming week.

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There’s also the possibility that your child may LOVE the book you’ve assigned him to read that week and he may read MORE than what you assigned. You can easily adjust the coming weeks to reflect these changes as well.

Like I said, this method of homeschool planning is super simple and it takes minimal time! I hope that seeing how I’ve been planning our lessons will help you in the coming year. 🙂

You can receive access to this FREE, EDITABLE Weekly Lesson Template by subscribing below.

Question: Do you use a similar lesson planning method? Do you have any other helpful lesson planning advice you’d like to share? Please leave a comment below.

My Super Simple Homeschool Planning Method

26 thoughts on “My Super Simple Homeschool Planning Method”

  1. Looks like a great system! I’m glad you’re not on the floor planning anymore! Every homeschooler needs to have a system that works for them. We don’t plan more than a couple weeks on advance because of our sons ever changing interests. It works best for us.

    1. Thanks, Erin! Yes, lots of homeschool families… lots of different methods. Pretty cool how God places our kids in just the right families… 🙂

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Glad I could help, Branson. Yeah, planning is important. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. I just linked up with you! 🙂

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Yes, it’s essential around here. One of the best things about homeschooling is flexibility… which we take away from ourselves if we’re too rigid with our scheduling. Thanks for stopping by, Susan!

  2. This is an awesome system. I am going to save this page and remind myself of it when and if we ever get tired of using Easy Peasy All in One Homeschooling. Right now with my daughter being Younger this is perfect for her, and she learns really well.
    Thanks for the advice though.

  3. ❤️❤️❤️ This! I too developed a system I am comfortable with and it looks different but so similar. I could have worked this way!! Love that you shared it! I do plan all year now because after we get started MY excitement wears off and I don’t ‘repeat’ what I am doing- this is where we fall off. I opted to schedule 4 day weeks for a flex day. Working for us. Yay! I’m going to share my planning method and if you don’t mind I’m going to add your link on this post as a great, different idea. Thanks!!! https://farmschooliowa.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/daily-schedule-and-homeschool-planner/

  4. miki thompson

    Ok as a newbie homeschool mom I have already gone through so many methods. I just feel like none of them work. I kept thinking – this should be simpler. I bought the fancy planner, subscribed to the fancy online system. Nothing seemed to fit.

    I saw this on pinterest and BAM – it’s like a light bulb went off. I already have our course of study, now the plan part of dividing into weeks seems so doable. Added to Raising Clovers file box system and this is just brilliant.

    Thank you so much. Literally, i have been so stressed about this and I feel like a weight has been lifted.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad it was helpful to you! Yes, this is seriously simple and it has worked well for us. Way less writing and work involved to get it all figured out. Take care and thanks so much for taking the time to comment. 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this! It seems like so many try to making planning more complicated that it needs to be. I like that you have spots to check off devotions, chores and read alouds.

  6. HAHA I have a preschooler,a kindergatener and a first grade and I actually sit on the floor HOURS with piles of books tring to figure out what to do…After all the pinterest fluff I spy, I almost always end up running out of time and with my kids on the couch with a simple book ,simple drawings, simple cutouts and fieldtrips.and I dont know HOW but they know what they should…I need SOOOO to get more organized.THANKS! I LOVE ALL OF YOUR POSTS!

  7. 3rd time around

    Sticky notes have become one of my favorite planning tools. For example, I stick a note to the front of the history book, and list all the assignments for the next chapter (or week), including any accompanying books. When I check the work, I record the assignments on a monthly chart.

    Also, sticky notes save so much time not having to look for the right pages – we keep them in the textbooks and teacher’s books, and can flip right to the correct page.

    1. Good idea, Shannon. I just created an editable Word document containing a Weekly Lesson Checklist to make it easier for everyone to create something like this for their kids. You can get your copy in my subscriber resources area (see the post for instructions about how to join if you aren’t already a subscriber) 🙂

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