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Start planning now for your best school year ever with these easy missions.

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?) :


Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge

Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge

Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Week 15: The Organize Your Finances Challenge

Week 16: The Curriculum Challenge

Week 17: The Friendship Challenge

Week 18: The Family Celebrations Challenge

Week 19: The Organized Clothing Challenge

Week 20: The Organized Vacation Challenge

Week 21: The Organized Summer Challenge

Week 22: The Outdoor Activity Challenge

Week 23: The Used Curriculum Challenge

Week 24: The Homeschool Space Challenge

Week 25: The Goal Setting Challenge