Top 10 Steps to Planning Next Year’s Homeschool

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Are you ready to start planning next year’s homeschool?

After all, it’s SPRING! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming. It’s time to start planning next year’s homeschool!

So where do you begin?

1. Start at the Beginning

I always make myself a table to begin planning. At the top, I list my kids and their upcoming grades. I write the subjects along the left-hand side of the table. Math and English are always easy to remember. Fine art, music, grammar, and penmanship are harder.

You’ll find the table I use in my subscriber-only resource library. Subscribe at the bottom of this post!

2. Fill in Easy Information

Some of the plans are super easy. My family uses Saxon Math almost exclusively. On the table, I list the next Saxon Math book the children will be using. I also know the kids will be using Tapestry of Grace at one of the four levels. That information is jotted down as well. These are no-brainer decisions.

3. Don’t Worry about Details Yet

planning next year's homeschool

While subjects such as math usually don’t need any additional books or supplies, others do. History and literature usually require quite a few other books. I don’t fill in the specific books we’ll need until I have an overview of next year’s homeschool.

4. Morning Time

Will your family be doing morning time as part of your homeschool day? Remember to plan your curriculum and general subjects for this precious time. It’s too easily overlooked while we’re trying to ensure the individual children have everything they need.

5. Make Decisions

Research and finalize any subjects you’re still deciding on. Do you know what you’ll be doing for science, history, and art? What about language arts?

The advantage of starting your planning in March is that you have the time to research and make decisions before purchasing the curriculum in May or June.

6. Fill Out the Details

Once you’ve finalized your decisions about subjects, it’s time to fill out the details. Not all curricula come with every book in the box. Do you need to purchase extra science, history, and literature books? What about calculators or math DVD lectures?

Make a list of all the books you will need. It’s useful to note how long the books will be used. Sometimes we only need the books for a week or two, but other times they’re needed for the entire year.

7. Check the Library

What books does the library carry that you will need? Any books I need for more than 4-5 weeks I like to purchase. However, we use quite a few books that are only needed for a week or two.

Check to see what books are available at your library and if there are reasonable substitutions. Often I can find a good different title that covers the same historical information as the book assigned.

8. Calculate the Cost

Calculate the cost of everything you need for next year. Is it in the budget? While it would be lovely to pick up every book and curriculum we want, the reality is most of us have a budget.

Don’t purchase anything until you have ensured your budget and curriculum need mesh. Remember to check out Homeschool Classifieds and other used homeschool forums.

If you can’t get the budget and cost to align, go back and rework your plans. Can you substitute books from the library or do you need to rework your plans for a subject or the entire year?

9. Purchase the Books

Once you’ve aligned the budget, plans, and costs, it’s time for the fun to begin. Start purchasing! Keep track of what you’ve purchased and when it’s due to arrive. Also, keep next year’s books in a safe spot. Nothing is worse than trying to find a book you thought arrived but has since disappeared.

10. Budget for Changes around Christmas

Despite all of our research and planning, sometimes the curriculum just doesn’t work out. My husband and I budget for purchasing more homeschool curriculum in December. Some years everything works out just fine. Other years we reach December and I realize something just isn’t working. We need to make a change.

Make certain you have a budget for jumping ship a couple of months into the new school year. If you need it, you’ll be thankful it’s there. If not, use the money for extra art and science supplies. After all, can we ever have enough paper and paint?

Using these 10 steps to planning next year, you should be well on your way to a marvelous homeschool the next school year.

Just remember to purchase art and science supplies as well as books!

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  1. The last step is so important, I always forget that changes happen half way though our school year. Thanks for these great tips!

  2. We have bought next year’s math book already but the rest I’m definitely still working on!

  3. Excellent advice here. We use Saxon, too, which means all I have to do is make sure we have the right books. But I plan literally everything myself, so it takes a lot more work. I like the idea of a table, I will definitely try that this year.

  4. lol! Since we don’t use “out of the box” or all-in-one type things for our schooling we always either finish up early or end the year half way through a book. When we’ve finished a text/guide with a couple of weeks to go before the end of the year, we drop the subject and find something to fill in the time. However, if there is a month or so left to the year, we’ve just gone ahead. Sixth-grade dd is working on 9th-grade workbooks in a couple of topics and 4th-6th-grade guides/kits in others. She’s at her level of understanding, so I’m not worried about the grade levels assigned to her work.

    1. That happens quite a bit around here as well, the kids are either finishing early or still in the middle of the book. It sounds like you and your daughter have a great system worked out so she has just the right amount of challenge in her school work, Sara Ellen. 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing such informative blog!! This is really a great tip and I hope this will go well for each and every parent who are homeschooling their children. We have already planned and bought some of the books for my children. I hope this works out for me too.

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