Planning your homeschool year can be a daunting task – there are so many options that it’s hard to know where to start. When you add in multiple learners, that makes the process all the more overwhelming.
The key to learning how to plan your homeschool year with multiple learners is to take it one step at a time. Here are some tips to help you plan effectively for multiple learners in your home.
Know your local homeschooling laws
Starting here will help you save a lot of wasted time and energy.
Each state has its own homeschooling laws, so it’s essential to be familiar with the requirements in your state. This will ensure that you are compliant with the law and avoid any potential issues down the road.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is an excellent resource for information on homeschooling and can help you understand the homeschooling laws in your state.
Choose a homeschooling method that works for your family
There are many different ways to homeschool. That’s why you must choose a method that will work well for your family.
Research and talk to other homeschooling families to see what has worked well for them. There is no one right way to homeschool. So find what works best for you and your children.
A few of the most popular methods include unschooling, Charlotte Mason, and classical education.
Of course, you can always choose your homeschool philosophy from many different methods and create your own eclectic approach. Here is some info on a few different homeschooling philosophies, so you can start learning about what might work best for your family.
Unschooling: Unschooling is a child-led approach to learning that allows children to explore their interests and learn at their own pace.
Charlotte Mason: Charlotte Mason was a British educator who believed in educating the whole child – body, mind, and spirit. Her approach emphasizes living books, nature study, and hands-on learning.
Classical Education: Classical education is based on the idea that there are three stages of learning – the grammar stage, the logic stage, and the rhetoric stage. Each stage has a different focus and emphasis.
Montessori: Montessori is an educational approach that emphasizes hands-on learning and tailored to each child’s unique needs and interests.
Moore Formula: The Moore Formula is an approach that focuses on short, daily lessons followed by independent work time. The approach also advocates for a later start to formal education.
Waldorf: Waldorf is an educational approach emphasizing creative expression, imagination, and a love of learning.
Eclectic: An eclectic homeschooling style is one that draws from many different approaches and methods. This type of homeschooling can be customized to fit each family’s needs and preferences.
Set homeschool goals for each child
One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you can tailor your children’s education to their individual needs and interests, and goals.
So when you’re thinking about how to plan your homeschool for the year, take some time to sit down and think about what you would like your children to accomplish by the end of the homeschool year.
Some things you may want to consider include the following:
- What academic goals do you have for each child?
- What skills do you want them to learn?
- What character traits do you want to instill in them?
- What hobbies or interests do you want them to pursue?
Choose curriculum and resources
Once you have an idea of what you want your children to accomplish, you can start looking for curriculum and resources to help you achieve those goals.
You’ll find many good quality homeschooling resources out there. So take some time to explore what’s available.
Some things you may want to consider include:
- What type of learning style does each child have?
- What resources will best meet their needs?
- What costs are involved?
Then look for areas where your goals for each child overlap.
For example, if you have one child who needs to work on measurements and another who is interested in art, you can plan a project that covers both topics. The more you can focus on activities that cover many bases, the more manageable it will feel to keep making progress.
Make a schedule
Creating a homeschool routine will help you stay on track and ensure that you are covering all the material you want to cover. And a daily schedule will also help you to be more efficient with your time.
When making a homeschooling schedule, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind:
What is the best time of day for your children to learn?
- How much time do you really have each day for homeschooling?
- What other activities and commitments do you have? Are you a working homeschool mom too?
- How much structure do your children need?
Make a plan for assessment and evaluation
It’s important to keep track of your child’s progress in homeschooling, so you’ll need to make a plan for assessment and evaluation.
This can be done in a number of ways, such as keeping a portfolio of your child’s work or giving regular tests and quizzes.
This is one area where the local laws of your area come into consideration. Some areas require specific types of records, so check what’s applicable to you.
Set aside time for planning and preparation
Homeschooling is a big responsibility. So make sure you set aside time each week for planning and preparation.
If you’re using an all-in-one curriculum, you won’t have as much planning to do. Yet you’ll still need to set aside time each week to review materials and prepare for upcoming lessons.
If you take a more eclectic approach, you’ll need several hours per week to plan and prepare activities and materials. This is one area where a support system can be a big help.
Think beyond the daily schedule
Don’t be afraid to put more emphasis on different areas from week to week or even month to month. In fact, many learners thrive on fully immersing into a particular topic for some time and then moving on.
When you’re teaching multiple children, this approach can be very helpful in managing your time.
Don’t be afraid to make changes
Homeschooling is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. So don’t be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working.
The most important thing is to do what is best for your family and ensure everyone is learning and thriving.
Planning your homeschool year for multiple learners can seem daunting. Yet if you take it one step at a time and use the tips I shared, you’ll be able to create a thriving learning environment for your children.