Planning Your New Homeschool Year

Planning … it doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? When we look back at our more than two decades of homeschooling, though, we see that the years we planned well were much more productive than the years we flew by the seat of our pants.

It’s not that hard, really. The most important thing is to figure out the pace you need to keep up to get your goals accomplished this year. To do that, open up your curriculum and read the notes to the teacher in the front, you know, the part we automatically skip over. That’s the part that will often tell you how much you need to do each week!

Even if your curriculum doesn’t tell you, just take a look at the table of contents. How many lessons are there in a year? Are there tests in addition to that? A typical school year is 180 days, that’s about 36 weeks. If there are something like 30-36 lessons, tests and activities, you need to do one per week. If there are 60-70 or so, two per week. If there are 150 to 180, you’ll need to do one per day. See, just divide it up!

Once you know how much to do each week, you are pretty much set. You don’t want to plan each individual day’s activity until the week before you need it since you won’t know until then which days will be busy with doctor’s appointments or commitments. When you plan the days the week before, though, you’ll know which day is better for projects or experiments and which days are better for self-directed work.

Of course, you don’t have to plan ahead. You can just open up the books each morning and “do the next thing.” We’ve done that, too, but sometimes you can have some unpleasant surprises when April comes and you realize you’ve somehow gotten too far behind. Don’t despair, though, it’s amazing how quickly you can catch up when you cut out the fluff and just put your head down and do it. We’ve been there, too!

MBFLP - Summer Cover

If you’d like to hear more discussion about how we’ve approached planning, CLICK HERE and listen to episode 89 of our podcast Making Biblical Family Life Practical, “Planning For Your New School Year.”

And if you don’t even want to think about planning because you feel like a homeschool failure, here’s help. CLICK HERE to listen to our podcast on how to pick up the pieces and get going again!


Copyright 2015. Used with permission. All rights reserved by authors. Originally appeared August 5, 2015, in The Homeschool Minute™, an E-Newsletter published by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Read this family education magazine free at or read it on the go and download the free apps at to read the magazine on your mobile devices. For free homeschool information visit