Planning for Homeschoolers: Nuts and Bolts


It’s that time of year again! I will admit up until this weekend I had no motivation to start my planning. Absolutely zero. However, a fellow Waldorf homeschooler (Hi Tracie!) emailed me about a planning course being given by Lisa Boisvert Mackenzie. I signed up and it has given me the kick in the pants inspiration I needed. (If you are interested, click here for more details.) After I had gathered my resources for grades 3 and 7, I found myself turning to my blog to remember how I do this. LOL but true! Anyway, below you will find an index of planning posts I found most helpful. Maybe someone else will too. If you are starting to plan on your blog, please leave a link in the comments. There is strength in numbers.

Planning a Homeschool Year (Part 1)

The BIG Paper (Part 2)

Speed Planning

Planning Week by Week

Seasonal Binders

Record Keeping

A Look at What Planning REALLY Looks Like

22 thoughts on “Planning for Homeschoolers: Nuts and Bolts

  1. Great posts with great ideas, to be sure. I really like the idea of “keeping blocks lean and mean”. No matter what style of homeschool, lean and mean is great advice.

    I have 11th and 7th graders, so my planning is in a little different place than yours, however I find much of what you say rings true no matter the grade. Many thanks for sharing – as always. :)

    • Hey Penny,
      Maybe I need to trademark that term “Lean and Mean Homeschooling” LOL.

      Do you use waldorf methods for your guys? If so, I would love to know what resources you found most helpful – specifically for grade 7. Boy is it slim pickins out there!

      • I pick and choose depending on what’s being learned. A lot of books (naturally) and some more mainstream curriculum stuff too. I find pretty much any resource can be used in a Waldorf manner (so to speak), so I don’t discount anything, you just never knoow what’s going to be the thing that makes a child “get” something. I’m a huge beleiver in “read, write, read, do math, read, write, read” with a nice dollop of art and other types of projects as well. The older the child, the more freedom they have to choose how to do the work, and the more say they have in choosing the books. Both of my daughters have very different ways off doing things, one is more artsy, one is more writesy (ha), so that has to be taken into account as well. In fact, my eldest absolutely loves textbooks, but what she often does is turn a chapter into some kind of project using art and writing – very Waldorf, but the using of a textbook, not so much. That’s why I never discount anything – I’ve seen it all work! And I’ve owned some lovely (and expensive) Waldorf resources that ended up being worthless to us. That’s why I consider myself a very eclectic homeschooler, if I have to use a label at all.

        A really nice blog you might enjoy is Beacon (Lea Page’s blog, can’t remember the exact title). She has some high school stuff in there, if I remember correctly.

        Hope this helps, and doesn’t just muddy the waters more :)

        • I didn’t really answer your quesion did I? lol For grade 7, I used lots of library books for both science and history, and really encouraged independence in learning the material, I didn’t present it or anything. I pretty much used Donna Simmon’s Overview and just went from there. The hard thing is too not overplan and let it flow which it really can at that age. 12 is pretty great!

          I also had Live Ed 7, which was nice, but I was really only able to do a certain amount with it, so the cost didn’t justify it for me. I’d rather build a library than spend all my money on curricula. Just my experince though – I’m sure others have done really well with it. I prefer Donna’s more laid back approach. Just a personal preference. (so please, no one yell at me!)

          • I entertained ordering the LE grade 7 package. But it is a lot of $$ and I don’t know how much I would use for Vincent. I have some black-market resources for the younger grades and I do like them a lot.

            Donna Simmons is pretty much my go-to girl for curriculum advice and overview. I think she is realistic and has a great clear way of explaining things.

            I love Waldorf in the way that I find it so curative on so many levels, however – especially with Vincent as he gets into the upper grades – I find that I have to pull in other resources. I will admit that we are using Story of the World (yes, SWB!!) for the spine of our medieval block. We are doing tons of biography and picture books to supplement, but we are also using her maps from the activity book. I don’t think you could get any farther from Waldorf. But it is May. I am tired. And Vincent absolutely eats it up!

            Balance in all things, yes?

            Thanks for all your insights, Penny. Your comments made my day.

  2. Hi, Sheila! :-) Yes, kick in the pants indeed. Off to a great start with the course, and now we’re on vacation, so I’ll be working at catching up next week. So happy to have homeschoolers like you in Lisa’s course with me — I was planning to use your blog as my main planning resource, too!

  3. Thank you for the post and links. I admit that I am ready for summer not planning. I know that it would be best to get my plans on paper early. I do find however that I struggle with sticking to the plan. My well intended plans seem to fall quickly away leaving me frustrated and upset. I am trying to work on that aspect within myself for the upcoming year. Thanks for the push.

  4. Thanks for the inspiration Sheila! I’ve been low on motivation in planning for next year. This course looks great.

  5. Oh you are wonderful for posting this today. I’ve just begun planning for my oldest – we are going year-round & starting in July, so I only have about eight weeks go get my act together. This is the first year we have to report to the school district so I’ll likely go a little overboard with the planning…it’s wonderful to have some direction. xo

    • A little stomach bug will do wonders for your planning!! LOL I didn’t feel good last weekend and just puttered around. Tom and the boys are gone this entire weekend (can you hear me woo-hoo-ing across the country?!?) I have a bunch of things I need/want to get done, so hopefully some of that will happen.

      I cannot recommend Lisa’s planning course enough. She has formed quite a lovely community over there.

      Let’s compare notes often this summer.

      • I hope you and your “boys” enjoy the weekend! I kicked around joining Lisa’s course, but I had just taken the Rhythm course and didn’t have the time to engage, so I figured I’d be better served sticking to my own schedule. I hate feeling left out of things that sound wonderful, though!

  6. Pingback: A Chink in the Armor | Sure as the World

  7. Pingback: Planning: Here and Now | Sure as the World

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