Last week, we planned our goals for the school year. This week, we will begin the rest of our planning so the summer doesn’t get away from us.
#1 Discuss what you want in a planner or system
What worked and didn’t work with the planner or system you used last year? Be sure to get the kids’ input! If they don’t like it, they won’t use it. And actually, that applies to us moms as well. Don’t make assumptions about what your children want in a system. I assumed my high school son would want a new “high school” planner, when what he really wanted was the same planner I set up for the other kids.
As you discuss, keep in mind that you don’t need an optimal system, but the simplest tools for getting the job done. I realized that while a digital record keeping system may be ideal for me, it included many features I didn’t need and took me way too much time. I switched to a paper planner and didn’t look back.
Confused about what kind of records you need to keep? This excellent HSLDA article will help.
#2 Research and purchase supplies
Bearing your discussions in mind, research options. If you want a list of available homeschool planners, including digital, check out this list. If you want a paper planner, consider my easy record keeping system and A Plan in Place as their planners can be customized (this is my choice this year). Be sure to check out my podcast on homeschool planning as well. You may also consider a Workbox system which you can learn about at Confessions of a Homeschooler. I simply have my kids’ books in crates. They remove them to work on them and then mark the work completed on their planner.
You will also want to create a system for saving kids’ work. Two options to consider are binders and file folders. Bright Ideas Press has fantastic ideas about what to include in end-of-year binders. I use the file folder approach, keeping this year’s work in files in a school tote and previous year’s work in file boxes stored in my school room. Check out this post for more. Neither option is very expensive, but both are effective.
#3 Set up system for materials
Once you know how you will set up your children’s school work and you have what you need, organize that today. As soon as I have my children’s books in, I have the kids label them with their names. This is my favorite label maker. If you are using a workbox system, you will need to spend more time labeling the boxes.
#4 Set up system for records
Once you have your binders or folders for storing records, print covers or labels. I love the printables I shared here. Each summer I print file labels for last school year for long-term storage and labels for the new year. I also take time to pull work samples from workbooks and file them at this time. If you choose to keep digital records only (by scanning work), make sure you have a backup system in place.
What’s your favorite planning approach?
You won’t want to miss the great ideas pinned to the Organized Homeschool board!
Here is a list of previous challenges (can you believe the year is half over?) :