Do you dream of homeschool planning peace? Would you love to find that special place where you can open your perfect-for-you homeschool planner and work towards rockin' your homeschool? Find out more about these 5 Common Homeschool Planning Problems-& How To Overcome.
Homeschool planning is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. It's also one of my least favorite parts!
I LOVE all things planning! There is nothing like staring at a blank planner page and going to town with ideas, goals, and lists. Homeschool curriculum research and buying...oooooh girl! This homeschool mama digs it!
Unfortunately, I have discovered that I have encountered a few "problems" in my homeschool planning. Gasp! Yes, as much as I love homeschool planning, I still struggle!
Can you relate to any of these common struggles that morph into homeschool planning problems:
- What areas do you need to work on to help your homeschool day go smoother?
- Are there moments in your day where you or one of your kids "loses it" a.k.a. screams, kicks, crawls into a fetal position?
- Do you feel rushed and like you are never doing enough?
- Do you look back on your day and wonder what got accomplished?
- Is your homeschool planner full of beautiful decor and loaded lists but sits there unused?
- If one or more of your homeschool plans are not completed, do you experience anxiety and increase pressure on yourself?
- Do you feel stuck with the homeschool curriculum you purchased because you spent money on it?
- When a new "shiny" homeschool curriculum flashes by, are you quickly second-guessing your current curriculum and dashing off to make the purchase?
And that's just the tip of the iceberg! You're most definitely not alone in your homeschool planning struggles!
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5 Common Homeschool Planning Problems
1. Deer In Headlights
When that blank page is staring back at you, taunting you to go ahead and start writing down stuff. Because just when you think you have it figured out, you realize half-way through that you jacked up your homeschool history planning and need to go back to square one but used a permanent pen.
You're scared to get started because you have no idea where to begin or afraid of messing it up. Recently, I felt myself spinning in circles in my office (where a majority of our homeschool resources are located). I felt like I was on a merry-go-round, looking at the all the pretty colors spinning about yet not able to focus on anything. Sound familiar?
You want to start homeschool planning but have a mental block that prevents you from starting.
I am a chronic over-planner. I actually feel like I need to start a self-help group dedicated to helping other homeschoolers who share this problem. "Hi! My name is Amy and I am a homeschool over-planner." I can't seem to help myself with cramming more and more activities into our day.
I also know a few homeschoolers who feel as though they underplan. They feel like their homeschool plans are flops because work is completed early or with ease. There's a fear of missing out because they don't feel like they're doing enough. "What am I missing? What are we forgetting to do?"
3. Curriculum Woes
And then there's being struck blind with "shiny & sparkly" new homeschool curriculum. That resource that will magically transform your homeschool into a peaceful and efficient place of higher level learning. The constant search for the Holy Grail of homeschool curriculum!
Then again, there's the opposite end of this spectrum. Being so stubborn that you won't let go of a homeschool curriculum, even if it's just not working for your family. You dig in your heels because you shelled out money and you shall make it work!
Oh dear! I hate to admit this but I've struggled with following through with my homeschool plans. I could attribute it to my chronic overplanning (see problem #2) or the fact that I have five active boys who keep me on my toes. To be honest, however, it is me (hanging head in shame).
Do you get like this? A bit excited about a topic, subject area, or project and then quickly lose interest. Then, your beautifully designed plans lay abandoned as you drop everything to jump down a rabbit hole. Again and again. Like, you've explored a rabbit warren and completely lost sight of your original plans that you created with intention and purpose.
5. Freedom! (or not)
Or maybe you feel like a prisoner to your plans or constantly on the search for an escape route (and not following through at all).
Like, somehow you've become a tyrant, running your homeschool down to the minute. You put way too much pressure on yourself and your kids. Now, you feel burnt out and dejected.
Or maybe you've swung to the opposite end of the pendulum, becoming way too lax. You want to be the fun mom! And you don't want plans or structure to stand in your way. You've realized, however, that this approach has backfired and absolutely nothing is getting done.
Factors Influencing Your Homeschool Planning Problems!
Some things to think about when looking at homeschool planning problems:
What are the personalities present in your homeschool? For your kids and yourself! For a fantastic free personality test, visit 16personalities.com. Personality Page has a free test for kids ages 7-12.
You're the one who makes the plans so this increased self-understanding provides you with information about where you draw your energy (extrovert or introvert). If you feel energized being with others, you'll want more interactive plans to look forward to. Introverted moms will do well to factor in alone time to reconnect with self.
Understanding how your kids function can also help you optimize your plans for your homeschool day. Your introverted son might prefer reading alone in his room while your extroverted daughter thrives with taking turns reading aloud with you. When you factor all the personalities in your homeschool, you'll experience much smoother transitions!
How many kids will be present during your homeschool day? And what ages? Yes, you need to plan for your homeschool-age kids. But, don't forget those little ones! Keeping little ones busy can be a chore unto itself.
Give yourself plenty of buffer time and creative ways to keep younger siblings busy to help your homeschool planning be a success. Also, planning for a toddler is very different than planning for a high schooler! As your family dynamics change, so too will your homeschool planning!
How To Overcome Your Homeschool Planning Problems
Now that you have a better understanding of your own personality and your kids, consider these ideas to help tackle your homeschool planning problems.
1. Homeschool Mission Statement
Do you have an effective homeschool mission statement? If not, start thinking about your reasons for homeschooling-your why. If so, does it need to be updated?
Once you have a homeschool mission statement that reflects your homeschool, place it in a prominent place. Read it out loud for your kids and yourself. Review your mission statement often, especially before you start planning. Use it to direct your decisions as you work towards homeschool planning peace.
Consider the overall goals of your homeschool, each of your homeschool kids, and yourself. Answer these questions to help you get a better idea of what direction your homeschool planning needs to take.
- Are these goals realistic?
- Are these goals quantitative? (You can directly measure progress.)
- Do you have too many or too few goals?
- Do your goals have a time frame within which to be completed?
- What are the end purposes of your goals?
This valuable resource can boost your homeschool planning success, especially if you have visual learners and pre-readers. Find or draw pictures of your homeschool mission statement and goals. Compile a homeschool vision board for all to see.
Consult your board prior to and during your homeschool planning sessions. Ask yourself if your homeschool plans reflect your goals and mission.
4. Chat With Other Homeschoolers
I give this tip with an important warning: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANOTHER HOMESCHOOLER! I merely suggest talking with other homeschoolers who are empathetic to your homeschool planning situation and want to help.
When you know that you are not alone, it can make it so much easier. Plus, it is fantastic to have homeschool buddies to talk to and share ideas. If you are looking for an active and supportive online place to chat about homeschool planning and more, join our Rock Your Homeschool! Facebook group.
5. Consult & Use a Helpful Resource
I have found that many of my homeschool planning problems have been overcome through the use of a helpful resource and guide, Plan Your Year. This kit includes a guide, planning forms, videos, and audio bonuses. After trying a variety of homeschool planners and approaches, Plan Your Year has helped me discover a homeschool planning system that works for me.
Don't let homeschool planning problems get you down. You CAN figure out how to make your homeschool plans work for you. With a bit of work and insight, you'll be on your way to homeschool planning success!
What homeschool planning problems have you encountered? How did you overcome these problems?