Welcome! This is the next in a series on planning for homeschooling that I have been writing. If you haven’t been here before, you can find the previous posts by clicking on “planning” on the menu bar. We have discussed homeschool visions, long-term planning, learning styles, choosing a homeschool philosophy or method, and choosing curricula. Today we are going to work on planning out a school year. Next time we will discuss scheduling your week or day. Today we will discuss scheduling out your year and choosing the classes you will teach in each subject. It will be helpful if you have your homeschool vision and long-term goals available, as well as the table of contents or scope and sequence of the curricula you have chosen.
There are several things that you will want to keep in mind as you plan your year, some of which include:
- the requirements of your state homeschool regulations
- work schedules
- special events
- testing or portfolio evaluations
- ages of your children
- your own preferences
- your curricula
So, let’s get started! Your state may have certain requirements that you will need to meet. If you don’t know these, you will need to do a search for your state’s department of education and homeschooling or exempt school regulations. Common requirements will include either a certain number of days or hours, specific subjects, certain tests or portfolio reviews, and plans. In our state we need to complete a certain number of hours each year. We also need to have a plan to teach language, math, science, social studies, and health. We need to turn in our plan every year by a certain date, along with some other forms the state sends to us each year. Some states have a rigid testing policy that must be met. If you live in another country, you will need to follow whatever laws and requirements apply to your location. Here is a form to use to keep track of your legal requirements.
Now, look at your calendar for the year. On this form record any holidays, events, birthdays, or vacations that will affect your school year.
Next think through what days you want to school. Do you want to school all year round or only during the “regular” school year? Will you school Monday through Friday, take Fridays off, school on the weekends? Does your curricula require a certain number of days or weeks to complete it? Is it important to you to complete the curricula in one year?
You can print an overview calendar for the year here. Using your calendar begin putting an x on any day that you know you will not count toward your school year.
Decide when you want to start and stop your school year. Put a box over those dates.
Then begin circling the dates that you want to use for school. Start with the ones that are most convenient. When you have done this, count how many days you have. If you need more to meet your legal requirement, you will need to figure out which ones to circle. After you have met the required number of days for your school year you can put an x through the rest of the days. You now have your school year calendar.
For the next part you will need your state requirement and long-term goal sheets. You will use these to help you decide which courses you will teach this year. Record the classes on this form.
Next time we will work on developing a daily schedule to use in your homeschool.