If the past eleven years of homeschooling have taught me anything, it’s that homeschool planning is both essential and beneficial.
Having a plan helps us stay focused on our homeschool goals, mission, and vision. Planning out your homeschool year doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be quite simple. Your plans can be as elaborate or as simple as you want them to be.
One of the many reasons why I LOVE homeschooling is that I have the freedom to customize my homeschool plans. I’m able to construct it in such a way that will cater to my family’s specific needs.
Planning out your homeschool is definitely not one-size-fits-all. There are so many different ways you can plan your year out. Your plans will be uniquely set up for what will work best for your family.
3 Things You Must Include In Your Homeschool Planning
Learning different strategies and/or ideas on how to plan your year can be inspirational. It can even spark your own ideas on how to plan for the new homeschool year.
Planning out your year is not all about what curriculum you will be using, the conference you will be attending or the classes your child will be taking….it’s so much more than that!
As you plan out your homeschool year I want to encourage you not to forget to include these 3 things. They are important to note and may be easy to overlook!
The three things that I believe that you must include in your homeschool planning are life skills, character building, and cultivating the love of learning in your children. I know there are more that can be added to the list and you are welcome to add to it as you plan out your year.
But for the sake of time, I would love to address these three specifically…
Include Life Skills In Your Homeschool Planning
According to Dictionary.com life skill is “a skill that helps a person to function well in adult life, especially in social or emotional situations.”
Incorporate life skills into your everyday life. It can help children develop sound judgment, good habits, responsibility, independence, and the list goes on. It is crucial that we teach our children how to take care of themselves, manage a home, cook, be great communicators, be thinkers, problem solvers, to be proactive, etc.
Learning life skills will help build their confidence and independence as they grow into adulthood. As homeschoolers, we have an amazing opportunity to teach our children life skills in a natural way at home. They can also learn valuable life skills doing chores around the house, volunteering in the community, and serving at their church just to name a few.
Children are always learning, so many of the life skills will be learned naturally.
For example, your child falls and scrapes his knee, you can teach him how to take care of the scrape, (first aid). Maybe your children have a disagreement, so you intervene and coach them on how they could have solved the problem before it escalated into a major argument, (communication skills) or having your child plan out dinner on Friday.
Those are just examples so you can see how easy it is to incorporate life skills into your homeschool plans.
Here is a list of life skills to get you started.
- How to do laundry
- Prepare a simple meal
- Basic First Aid
- Proper communication
- How to change a tire
- Listening skills
- Basic sewing
- Keep their room tidy
Plan Character Building Into Your Homeschool
This is one that you do not want to overlook and think that your child will learn on their own. Building character in our children takes intentionality and consistency. We need to be intentional when teaching our children the character traits we want them to develop. There are many ways that you can add character building in your homeschool naturally or even as part of your lessons.
Here is a list to get you started.
- Model the character traits that you want them to learn.
- Read books to your children and discuss with them the character traits that the characters in the stories demonstrated.
- During your Bible studies or family devotions talk about the person you learned about and the character trait(s) that they demonstrated or lack thereof…
- Pay attention throughout the day and acknowledge the good character traits that you see your children show throughout the day.
- Pray with them about a character trait they want to develop.
Here is a list of character traits.
Plan time for Cultivating the Love of Learning- Pursuing Their Passions
It’s important that you plan to provide your children with free time in your homeschooling. During the day they need to be able to pursue the things that interest them or that they are passionate about learning. This will ignite a love of learning in their hearts. If you cultivate that love of learning in your children they will become life long learners, thinkers, problem-solvers, and self-motivators.
They will learn how to find answers, develop a new skill, further their education on a particular topic, etc.
Letting them follow their passions and interests will lead them into a world of opportunities and possibilities to grow in the calling that the Lord created them for.
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So after they do their assignments for the day cut them loose to explore, discover, and create.
Here are some tips on how to cultivate the love of learning in your home.
- Create a learning environment by providing them the tools and supplies they need in order to grow in their talents and passions.
- Consider teaching to your child’s gifting by customizing your child’s education.
- Let them chase their questions and go on rabbit trails by digging deeper into a topic they are interested in.
Here are some fun ideas and tools to help cultivate the love of learning.
- Educational Kits
- Art supplies
- Books based on interest
- Volunteer in an area of interest
- Take classes to develop their skills
- Field trips
- Intern in their chosen career
- Start their own business
Remember these three things as you are planning your homeschool year
As you pray and plan out your homeschool year, don’t forget to incorporate life skills, character building lessons, and make time to cultivate the love of learning in your children.
You won’t regret it!
What else would you add that you must include in your Homeschool Planning?
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30 Days of the Best Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms Series Contributor:
Jessica is a follower of Christ, Homeschooling mama with a Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Wife, and Mother raising 3 godly men. She writes about Intentional Living, Motherhood, Homeschooling, Travel, and More. Her heart is to inspire and encourage moms to live an intentional life, one day at a time.