Homeschooling 101: Planning Your Year

Welcome back to part three of our homeschooling series! If you missed the first two segments, you can catch Part 1 (Pray It Up) here and Part 2 (Choosing Curriculum and Extra-Curricular Activities) here.

If you’re a planner like me, Part 3 (Planning Your Year) will be fun. This is the part where you gather all of your books from all of your subjects and lay them out on the table. You flip through each one checking to see how many lessons/chapters are in each subject, and you divide up the work for the year. For this task, you are going to need some kind of school planner. There are planners available online. You can make your own on Excel or Word. I use a regular teacher planner from the parent/teacher store, a Ward #18 to be exact.

Take a field trip to your local teacher supply store and look through their books to get a feel for what will work best for you. Many of my homeschooling friends use an Excel spreadsheet to get their plans on paper and then ring them and put them in a binder that they’ve put together. Whatever works best for you will be just fine.

Next you need to fill in the dates and subjects titles. Go ahead and do it for the whole year, or at least the first semester.

Next you are going to add in all those field trips you committed to. Write them all down on the proper day and in the proper subject. If a field trip will cover several subjects, write it down in all that apply.
Next add in all those extra-curricular activities that you’ve scheduled. If you have ballet lessons, write it down in PE and fine arts. If you signed your kiddo up for art lessons, write it down in fine arts. If you hired a Latin tutor, write it down on his/her assigned day. Write it all down so that you don’t overschedule your bookwork on those days.

Now you’re ready to divide up the bookwork so that you’ll know roughly how much you need to cover each week. This doesn’t have to be exact, but if you see that you have 140 math lessons to cover, then you know you better be covering 4-5 lessons each week. If you plan on doing all 42 history chapters, you must cover roughly one each week, leaving breaks for Christmas, Thanksgiving, spring break, etc. By the way, go ahead and pencil in any breaks you know you are going to be taking like vacations, holiday breaks, family weddings, whatever. Write it down so that you’ll remember not to load up on school work that week.

At this point you should have a framework for what you’ll be doing each week. Come back next week and we’ll discuss the last segment of our series, Planning Your Week. We’ll dive a little further into the specifics of planning what you do each day.


  1. I’m starting homeschooling for the first time. What a great hint!


    • thehillhangout says

      I definitely wouldn’t call it defeat. So you tried something that you didn’t love. Not a big deal. We all have too many things that we could be involved in and have to cut back somewhere. If he loves preschool, then by all means send him. Glad you have found something that works for your family!

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