How to Plan a Year Round Homeschooling Schedule in One Day

So you’ve decided to follow a year-round homeschooling schedule? We’ve been doing this for a few years now, but I know it can throw you for a loop when you first start trying to plan it out. Even if you’ve been homeschooling year-round for a while now, it can be helpful to hear what others do when you’re trying to piece it all together.

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

Why Homeschool Year-Round?

Whether you are using a box curriculum, unit studies, or a patchwork that you pieced together on your own, a year-round homeschool schedule can be beneficial to your child and your family as a whole.

  • It allows for you to take vacations throughout the year without interrupting a strict schedule
  • You can have shorter days
  • You can have fewer schooling days in a week
  • There is continuous learning, making learning a more natural life experience
  • If there is sickness in the house for a week or two, you have more time to make it up
  • You have plenty of time to cover everything throughout the year
  • Skills aren’t “lost” by taking artificial breaks (i.e. “summer slide”)

If you want to read the reasons why we personally love homeschooling year-round, check out this post: 7 Reasons to Love Year-Round Homeschooling.

Making Your Year-Round Homeschooling Plan

Planning for year-round homeschooling can be quite a daunting task to tackle, but it is possible to get it done. There is so much to think about and work through that you might not believe you can get it done in just one day but it really is possible! Once you have tackled the truly hard part of choosing curriculum for your crew the rest is much easier. Check out this post to help you choose curriculum: 9 Questions to Ask When Choosing Homeschool Curriculum.

Once you have chosen the curriculum that you will be using for the year, you can move on to the planning. Remember: being flexible with your homeschooling is a good thing!

I like to set aside a day to get it all sketched out on paper and give us at least a rough draft of the framework for the year. To begin, I like to gather everything I should need:

Now, you don’t have to have all types of calendars, but I do recommend using some sort of planner to help keep everything organized. This year I’m excited to be using the brand new Essential Year Round Homeschooling Planner. It was created by my friend and fellow year-round homeschooling mom, Misty Leask. It has everything I need to plan our entire year and keep track of everything all in one place! It really simplifies the process.

{This picture shows my planning system from last year, but I have a review of the Essential Year Round Homeschooling Planner coming up next week, so stay tuned for that!}

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

If you haven’t already decided on what type of year-round schedule you’re going to use, do that now. There are many variations and it is all about what works for you and your family. You can go 6 weeks on 1 week off, 3 months on and 1 month off, or stop only occasionally and for major holidays. It really is up to you! The Essential Year Round Homeschooling Planner has examples of the different schedule options and ways to use the planner for each.

The first thing I do is mark off holidays or time off that are already scheduled for the entire year with my highlighter on my calendar and planner. If you know you’re going to have a family vacation, don’t forget to mark that, too.

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

If you already have some of your field trips scheduled, write those in now as well. Note any doctor/dentist appointments, clubs, co-op meetings, and extracurricular activities. Once that is out of the way it is easy to see what days are left for schooling.

Now you must decide if you are doing a 5, 4, or even 3 day school week, then mark it accordingly. If you are using a boxed curriculum, some of the work will already be done for you since it will likely have subjects broken down into daily, weekly, or monthly sections. I recommend using pencil rather than pen because you never know what might happen and you want to leave a little room for flexibility (illness, curriculum changes, special unit studies, etc.). If your planner has spots for each subject you can pencil each assignment in from the teacher manual. If you would rather keep it more relaxed, you can just assign a chapter to that week.

We are relaxed, delight-directed, unit study, rabbit trail followers, so I consider these as just goals and guidelines when I’m writing them down. It’s subject to change, but this is all very helpful when I need to complete my official paperwork for our state’s homeschooling requirements. It helps keep us on track for the mandatory subjects.

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

Next, grab file folders and label them by the week or month for your school year. Place worksheets, printables, thinner picture or reference books, and other small items in the week/month they go with. Another thing I like to do is make a list of supplies or library books I will need for that week/month and place it in the folder. Then the month before I can start preparing by reserving library books or ordering them from Amazon, plus gathering any other supplies we might need. This makes it so much less stressful to do this bit of planning in advance.   A great way to store these is in hanging file folders in a file crate like this one.

Now, find a home for everything, preferably together for easy access. We’re fans of these rainbow drawer carts. We have three, one for each of my daughters.

How to plan your year round homeschool in one day | homeschool planning tips | thorough and helpful ideas for homeschool planning

Finally, put your feet up and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. You just got an amazing start on your year-round homeschool year!

Remember, while it is wonderful to plan your year out in advance, always keep in mind that real life is happening at the same time and give yourself (as well as your child) grace if you are not always right on schedule. Some of our best learning experiences have happened spontaneously!

How do you handle planning in your homeschool?

~Sara

Still on the fence about year round homeschooling? Check out this post on the Benefits of Year Round Homeschooling.

While you’re at it, check out the Essential Year Round Homeschooling Planner here:

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Sara (262 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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