You read that right! Intentional homeschool planning for the non-planner mom.
Welcome to homeschool non-planners anonymous; Hi, I’m Forest Rose, a homeschool mom and a blogger at Kingdom First Homeschool and I don’t plan. (teehee)
That’s my confession… I am NOT a planner. Before you start throwing tomatoes let me explain.
I’ve never been a type A personality. I have tried to become one, (I really, truly have) but it’s just not in my DNA. I’m a free spirit, go with the flow, fly by the seat of my pants, dreamer, naturally unorganized personality not sure what letter that would be (Probably like type D or E or something), but that’s me.
Another confession, I still buy a planner every year in hopes that I will become more planner-like, and I even happened to win a shiny new homeschool planner this last year. I’m not sure why, but it makes me feel prepared just to have a dusty empty planner sitting on my desk. But the really sad part of this story is that I just don’t get into it. I loathe planning. I know, I know! Crazy right!
It’s Okay to Not Have a Plan
My empty planner always ends up making me feel really bad. I often feel like I didn’t accomplish anything. But that’s just not true. My girls are learning every day. My house is mostly clean besides some dust in places I can’t reach or get to (no one’s got time for that) and we are more likely than not to be on time to every appointment we have ever had. All of this happening sans planner.
It’s okay to not have a plan. I have followed an internal routine all of my 8 years of homeschooling.
Here is our basic morning routine.
- Morning Time/Together School
- Independent Lessons
But what is really odd is that if I put it in a planner I don’t do it. I slack. I feel overwhelmed. Is this just me or are any of you like this too? Hopefully, some of you can relate. It just loses something for me if it’s written down. Maybe it’s the flow. Maybe it’s the thought of my day being set in stone. I don’t know why this is, but I do know that it is alright. It’s just part of what makes me, me. God intentionally created me to be this way.
So I’m going to stop buying planners. And I’m not going to enter any planner giveaways because the planner life is just not for me.
I do, however, like to have my homeschool day planned out in a non-planner way.
How do you manage that when you don’t plan you say??
If you are reading this saying, “This is so me” then I just want to encourage you. There’s hope and a way for intentional homeschool planning even if you are not the planner type.
Intentional Homeschool Planning
Last spring I happened upon this idea that I decided to try over the summer break. We still do school during the summer, but at a way more relaxed pace. So I decided that summer would be the perfect time to give this technique a whirl. I had been hearing a lot of great testimonies about it so I gave it a shot. This was finally my way to start intentional homeschool planning. YESSSS!
It’s called spiral notebooking. Spiral notebooking is so simple, basic and requires very little time and almost no effort. It’s perfect for a gal like me that is well, not that into planning. It’s the cheapest planner you will ever buy too! You probably have one lying around your house to use right now!
All you need is a plain old spiral notebook, a pen and a list of things you want your kids to complete. Mine is set up with a list of chores, then assignments, then another chore to be completed and an occasional inspirational quote or two. They have boxes to check next to everything and it has to be approved by me at the end of the day.
My Set Up
This is the system I’ve come up with to make this super easy and simplify my day whilst still being intentional in my planning. I follow this order and just fill in the blanks.
1- Morning chores in the top right corner are always the same. (brush teeth, get dressed, make bed, clean upstairs)
2- Everything they have to do goes a little something like this… Read, write, do… Read, write, do… Usually two to three times through.
- Read – Scripture – Then pray alone
- Write – Copywork – Usually scripture.
- Do – I have a master list for this which includes – CTC Math, XTRA Math, Spelling, Typing.com, Cursive etc.
- Read – Whatever their current book is. (specific pages noted unless they are finishing it up)
- Write – Writing lesson, book report, vocab word definitions, etc.
- Do – Anything from the master “do” list as mentioned from above.
3- I have a list in each of the backs of their notebooks with all the books they are going to read in order, so I just check them off when completed and this makes it super easy for me to keep track of what they are reading.
4- After they read they have to tell me about it shortly.
5- To keep them accountable they have to have it approved by me before they can check the box.
6- I also give them an ending daily chore or two to complete and a quote or a scripture for the day.
The Benefits of Spiral Notebooking
You can stock up on these spiral notebooks during the back-to-school sales and grab them for as little as 10-15 cents.
Easy to set up
It takes me just a few minutes on Sunday to get the whole week scheduled for my two older girls. And if for some reason I didn’t get to it on Sunday, it only takes a minute or so to do it the night before if need be. I have a master list of assignments, chores and book lists already planned out ahead of time to make it super easy.
Builds self-reliance skills
The girls begin working through their notebooks after we are done with our morning time and any other together work. So they rarely need me for anything. They have the occasional question, but not too often. It’s brilliant!
It Frees up my time
My girls are really getting good at working independently and like I said before they rarely need me once the the notebooking sessions start. This gives me time to work with my littlest lady or work on my blog or anything else my little heart desires.
Get a lot more done in less time
Spiral notebooking has been a game changer for our homeschool days. It used to take us hours to get this much done in a day. Due to me having to stop and explain or find something else for them to do. But now they work through these notebooks diligently and with care to complete the tasks well. I don’t even have to nag.
No matter if you love to plan or not I know that using this method could benefit your homeschool days. I went from being fly by the seat of my pants to intentional homeschool planning. My only regret is not finding this method sooner. Cause it has really streamlined our homeschool days. We are now a well-oiled non-planning homeschool machine thanks to spiral notebooking.
Help for Intentional Homeschool Planning
Don’t worry I’m not going to leave you hanging. If you are anything like me you need some lists to get the ball rolling. I’ve created a free printable for you with plenty of lists, tips and encouragement to get you well on your way to becoming an intentional homeschool planning mama. Hopefully, it’s enough to motivate you to implement at least a portion of it. It really will change your day. Click the pic below to subscribe and get your freebie. Let’s kickstart your new plan today!
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