New Planning Series

Ah, spring! The time of year when thoughts of planning fill the minds of homeschool moms. What worked well? What isn’t working? What do I want to keep? What do I want to change?

For some moms, the planning process brings a comfortable “now-we’re-accomplishing-something” feeling. For other moms, thoughts of planning bring a sense of floundering and uncertainty.

I must admit that I’m in the first group, the “now we’re getting something done” group. Organizing and planning come naturally to me. And over the years that we have homeschooled, I have refined the process I use to plan and schedule. Now I’d like to share it with you.

There are probably hundreds of ways to plan a home education, but this is the simplest way that I have found. It works for me, and I hope it will help you walk through this spring with confidence.

We’ll be looking at five steps. The key is to take one step at a time. Many of the moms with whom I’ve shared these steps say that they floundered previously because they tried to skip a step or two. By working through all five steps, they finally got all the pieces to fit together and walked away with a plan that they could use — a plan that was designed just for their family.

You see, every family is different, so every plan will be different. Beware of trying to stuff your unique family into someone else’s plan or schedule. Of course, you can adopt parts and collect ideas from others’ schedules, but in the end your family needs a plan that will suit this season of life, a plan made specifically for you and your children right now.

So here are the five steps that we will be discussing and working through over the next few weeks:

  1. The Big Picture
  2. Your Year
  3. Your Term
  4. Your Week
  5. Your Day

I’m excited about this series! And I hope it will encourage you as you plan your family’s Charlotte Mason education.

Just out of curiosity, which group are you in: the “planning is a breeze” group or the “how do I do this again” group? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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81 Responses to “New Planning Series”

  1. Bookworm March 13, 2008 at 6:48 am #

    I guess I’m a “planning is a breeze”groupie. I LOVE to plan. Maybe even better than I love to teach. My catch is–following the plan. 🙂 If I could JUST plan, I’d be great! But to plan something a real human could accomplish, and then DO it . . . . hmm. LOL
    Michelle D

  2. Jan B. March 13, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    I can’t say I’m in the “planning is a breeze” category, but I can say that I enjoy planning and researching each year! Normally I have done more planning for next year by this time, but I’m having such a good time with our school right now that I have not felt compelled to begin and that’s almost a relief. Usually in January I start pouring over things. So your discussion over the next few weeks will be very timely for me to get me in the swing of things! I am really looking forward to your words of wisdom from this series. I can relate to Michelle. If only I could do all that I plan…



  3. Alycia March 13, 2008 at 12:46 pm #

    I would have to say that I am in the “how do I do this again” category. You would think that I would be in the “planning is a breeze” category since I have a junior in high school! However, she has always been a workbook type of student who loves to see what she has accomplished, so planning was easy for her. I now have a kindergartener who is not a workbook child. She wants more hands on learning, and I am at the “how do I do this again” stage with her. I appreciate all the tips that you send out!

    Thank you!

  4. ShirleyB March 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    I have to say that I’m in the Planning is a breeze category. I LOVE to plan. I love schedules, etc. I’m really excited about what we’re going to be doing next year, but I had a small hitch in my stride when I recently had my two oldest children take the Mercy Academy learning style test. They are POLAR opposites. The only thing they have in common in how they learn is that their work spaces should be kept clean and organized. One learns in a family setting, the other learns by herself. One is global, the other is sequential. Now i just have to figure out how to wrap my brain around each style when I’m showing them new concepts! I’m looking forward to the next few weeks of tips~

  5. BlessedMama March 13, 2008 at 2:06 pm #

    Weeeellllll….on paper I’m a planner…but reality is not much on my paper gets done!!! I have had to relax from planning too much into a time slot, too. I am looking forward to this series so much. Too many times, I’ll read something about scheduling that doesn’t take into account my family’s lifestyle, or where I’m at in life, and therefore just isn’t doable. I have a hard time flexing without falling apart!

    So, I guess I’m more in the “how do I do this” category. I love that it sounds like this is flexible for life, which always “gets in the way” and often provides our best learning if we don’t miss it!

    Thank you for doing this series!


  6. Sue March 13, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    I’m new to homeschooling, I have to have a plan or all is lost. I homeschooled last year but it was kindergarten and we used workbooks. I really need help in knowing the right way to plan. Thanks. Sue

  7. Kathy March 13, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    We have 8 children and have been home schooling for 11 yrs. We just started implementing some of Charlotte Mason’s methods this past year and hope to add more next year. Her methods seem like a good fit for our family.

    I look forward to your series. I usually get the uneasy feeling around July regarding planning for the next school year. For 2008-2009, I started early and began a week or two ago. I started planning early because my oldest has just 2 years left, and I want to be sure we have everything covered. Also, I have found it difficult in the past to shop for curriculum in August when there are more home educators bidding and buying.

    I love the items that I have purchased from you and am so excited as you add more quality items. Thanks so much!

  8. Christy Canfield March 13, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    I am in the ” how do i do this again?” group. With changing seasons and changing children and living life on the road, it can definitely seem overwhelming to plan a movable school that will educationally benefit all my children and still leave mom with everthing in tact. So i am looking forward to this next series.

  9. Jennifer March 13, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    I’m in between. With my daughter I am “planning is a breeze” with my oldest son I don’t know what I want to do with him next year. I was looking at a Narnia series and he just isn’t capable at this time in his development. So I contiue to look…
    jen in MI

  10. Jennifer Bogart March 13, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh dear, I’m in the, planning ‘duh’ category! So I suppose that puts me in “how do I do this again!”. I only have two preschoolers so far, and one on the way, so I can get away with it, but someday…!

  11. Karen March 13, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    OK, I’m in the planning ‘duh” category as well, Try as I might I never succeed in getting my schedule right , we changed and flipped around books and subjects so many times this year, I forgot where I was and I teach only one, my 12 yr. old son! I totally overwhelm myself every single time.

  12. Kristin March 13, 2008 at 9:22 pm #

    I’m a planner! I love, love, love planning! However, I am a disaster when it comes to sticking to my plans!

  13. Marietta March 13, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    I’m in the “planning is a breeze” group! I LOVE to plan! But, a few months ago, I OVER OVER OVER planned and quickly became overwhelmed! Finally, things are settling down for us again. I know now to be cautious and not bite off more than we can chew! There’s only so much time in a day!
    I am very muchso looking forward to this series! Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us Sonya!
    Love and Joy in Jesus,

  14. Nancy March 13, 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    I am excited about the topic of planning because it is an ongoing struggle for me. I think I am a little in both camps. I do get energized and feel like” now we’re going to accomplish things”, but then it never works out and I am constantly reworking the plan. I change my mind or life things prevent us from meeting expectations. Consequently, I now dread planning. I totally agree with Kristen, I too love planning, but darn it all, I just can’t stick to the plan!!

  15. Tammy March 13, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    I’m in the “planning is a breeze” group. This is my favorite part of homeschooling. Evaluating what changes need to made and what we would like to do different. I get so excited about the possibilities.

    I just have to work on actually emplementing the plans without losing that enthusiasm.

  16. Alisha March 14, 2008 at 6:05 am #

    Planning is easy and fun for me. Finding the time to do it is the hard part! I do love learning from others and think this is a great topic. I look forward to hearing more about it.

  17. Debbie March 14, 2008 at 6:36 am #

    I’m in the “planning is a breeze” group. I LOVE to plan. My problem is that I pray, and plan and work my plan but then, over and over, during the year, when I hear someone else say what they are doing, whether a friend or a speaker at a conference, I doubt what God is doing in my life. I think that if my school does not look like their school maybe I am doing it wrong. Especially if the speaker/friend is of a “forceful” personality. In the back of my mind I know that God is and has lead me and that my boys are getting a good education but doubt is where Satan gets me every time.

    I have been homeschooling for 17 years but only started re-implementing CM techniques into our school this year. So, I am looking forward to hearing your ideas though. I have read books about her techniques before but never really did anything with it. My goal for this summer is to read, at least some of, the original book series by Charlotte Mason and not just books others have written about her.

  18. Sue March 14, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    I am new to homeschooling and really don’t have a plan so I guess I fall in the “how do I do this” category. My son (Kindergarten) does do work book pages and we read, but that is about it.
    Planning is something I need help with…

  19. lanette March 14, 2008 at 7:23 am #

    I am new to homeschooling and am quite excited and feel I am accomplishing something, yet flounder at the same time.

  20. Charlotte March 14, 2008 at 7:24 am #

    I love planning and after 21 years of homeschooling I’ve refined my technique, too, but I’m looking forward to this series!
    Charlotte, mom of 12

  21. cherylramirez March 14, 2008 at 7:43 am #

    Planning is a breeze for me and I enjoy the process. I love that you folks have the curricuilum guide on this site. I used that to plan my 10 yo dd Charlotte Mason based scholl education. What I love abouc CM is that if “life” happens and you have to do something else besides “school” for a week, or even a month, you can just pick up where you left off! I have her education planned until she graduates from HS using the guides on this site. So what I’m saying is…use the guides on this site! I have a 5 yo ds who is not really interested in “formal learning” right now, but when he is he’ll have a plan too! I look forward to this series too. This is a really great website!

  22. Rhonda March 14, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    Planning is very difficult for me!!

  23. Mary Hennessey March 14, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    If find planning is a breeze; I love planning, but the follow through is by far the most difficult. This happens everywhere in my life, I have great ideas, but getting them done is my cross.

  24. Victoria March 14, 2008 at 8:00 am #

    I love to plan… my problem comes into implementing my plans. I’m looking forward to reading this series to see if perhaps I am missing one of your steps.

  25. Clarissa W. March 14, 2008 at 8:02 am #

    I love the idea of planning. I love the pencils and pens and charts and graphics and catalogs and printing my schedule. I love the act of planning and feeling like I’m accomplishing something. But, I share in common with many others who have posted, the ability to follow through on those plans consistently sometimes escapes me. Part of it is that I plan too much–I’m over eager to fit it all in. Nature Study was a great example this school year–I made all these wonderful plans and we were very consistent untl December. Then it fizzled out and we haven’t really picked it back up. I am excited to read over your five steps and look forward to that bit of needed encouragement! Thank you

  26. Andrea March 14, 2008 at 8:05 am #

    I love the planning aspect of homeschooling, but working the plan often leaves me discouraged and feeling as if I have not accomplished anything. My expectations are high, but then life happens. Maybe I need help planning from the get-go so that it is just right for my family at this season of our homeschooling.

  27. Sandra Sweet March 14, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Unfortunately, I am in the latter group.
    I always go through the March panic, and then
    start to worry about what I’ve done, haven’t done and will be

  28. Tiffany March 14, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    God has blessed me with extreme organizational skills. I am so thankful, because I don’t know how I would cope with all of my daily tasks if I could not plan. It truly calms me down in moments of feeling overwhelmed.

  29. Judy March 14, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    I am definitely a “Now, I can accomplish something type.”

    I have tried to homeschool without a planner with the sad realization ~at the end of the year~ that I did not accomplish my goals.

    My planner helps me define & decide what I want to accomplish this year. I can then piece it into our daily schedule. We do accomplish more. Even more important than that is the peace it brings into our home and the knowldge that all of the CM ideals I find so appealing are bearing fruit in our children and in our home.

  30. Dawn March 14, 2008 at 8:41 am #

    I am looking forward to this topic! I am definitely in the first group. I love to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. I find ,however, that I tend to overplan and then we can never get it all done. The planning is great; the execution is where I lack. 🙂

  31. Jo-Anne March 14, 2008 at 8:45 am #

    I am just starting with homeschooling my boys, age 8 & 10 the CM Way so I am definately at the “how do I do this again!” stage. I am very excited and thankful that you will be teaching us on how to plan. The timing of it is perfect. This is truly such an awesome website, I am so glad that God lead me here.

  32. Bunnie Claxton March 14, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    I am usually an organized mom who accomplished much, but with this being my first year homeschooling, I have been floundering and looking for a system that will work for my family. There are so many options that it makes it difficult to narrow doen my choices and then stick with what I have chosen. It seems someting better always comes along. I’ve had to learn to filter out much of the information that comes along. I am looking for a long range goal for the next homeschooling year. I did not have that this year. All trial and error and error and error I’m afraid!

  33. Barbara March 14, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    I usually love the process of researching, reading and planning. I can come up with some great stuff, but my biggest problem is implementing it and staying on track. For a time, I can follow those plans but then a rainy day comes along or a busy day outside the house and we don’t do anything related to those plans and somehow we end up forgetting the plans altogether for months until I find myself frustrated with our lack of doing anything more than an occasional math lesson! What I really need is someone looking over my shoulder everyday to see what got done! LOL
    Thanks for all the wonderful encouragement that I find on this website. Now…if I would just get here more regularly instead of putting those emails in my “read someday” folder!!

  34. Lisa March 14, 2008 at 9:47 am #

    I have to lump myself in the “What are we doing again???” group. I like to plan but don’t do a complete job of it and let’s just forget actually following the plan !

    This will be a great opportunity to learn from experienced learners and get my act together. We’d would really like to get the most out of our CM education and having a plan to follow, even if loosely, will ensure I am ready for those teachable moments as they occur.

  35. Sheryl March 14, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    I am an organizer and planner by nature. I have always loved doing it and enjoy it very much. With school however, I get it planned great – it is the implementation that sometimes falters. It is getting better but the days that throw me are the unusual – doctor or dentist appointments, sick child, and even this time of the year. It is spring cleaning at my house and it just takes more time than normal chores – especially sorting all the clothes. I start to feel “behind” even though I know we are doing fine. I made a plan and when my day does not match the plan and I can not check off my box, well I get a bit flustered. Planners like checking off the list! This is when I pray and remind God that He called me to do this, so what is He going to do about it! I can’t tell you how it happens, but it all works out. I rest knowing it is a God thing.

  36. Jennifer Case March 14, 2008 at 9:54 am #

    I am definitely in the “how do I do this again group”
    I love how easy Charlotte Mason sounds and the results sound amazing I just don’t know where to begin with it.
    Thanks for your help,

  37. Debi Z March 14, 2008 at 9:59 am #

    I’m in the “planning is challenging, but that’s what makes it fun!” camp. I truly enjoy the planning but I would not call it a breeze. I am planning for 8 school ages kids, while incorporating 4 more little ones, so that may be why it’s never easy 🙂

    Debi Z

  38. Aaron Smothers March 14, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    I’m in the “Tell me how to do this ~ again?” group! I enjoy writing down things & brainstorming… BUT it takes me an incredible amount of time to figure out what to do. Maybe it’s because I haven’t gotten entirely confident in myself using methods that non-traditional methods of teaching (funny to me, b/c I personally loathe the idea of sit-down all day studies).

    I’m still learning as a first-time K homeschooler. And I certainly don’t understand why I’m having such a hard time raising just 2 littles ones (they are great kids, but the disrespect & challenging boundaries drains me!)… there are so many moms blessed with many more kids. I’m trying to do the hard work needed, but it’s a struggle most days! Anyway…

    Thanks for your upcoming 5-step planning series. I NEED IT!
    Aaron S, Mom of 2

  39. Megan Harris March 14, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    I’m in the “tell me how..” group as well. I always feel like a need a step-by-step process laid out by someone who’s done it before. I’m just starting out with a two year old, simply trying to establish good habits so that when we begin intentionally homeschooling the foundation will be laid. This is challenging enough, as my son gets antsy when I’m taking care of his baby sister, and putting in a video is a huge temptation just to have some peace and quiet.
    I try to imagine what it will be like in the future when we really need to be on a set schedule, even if it is flexible. The thought is somewhat daunting. I’m really looking forward to this series so that I can begin to plan how I will plan.

    Thanks for all your emails

  40. Lynda Jammer March 14, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    I am the “love to plan” type; but the follow through is always where we get lost. Keeping myself and encouraging my 6 children (all in very different seasons currently) on track is a challenge. In the end we get a lot done in some areas, but little to none in others.

    I am looking forward to the series.

  41. Sue March 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    I have to admit, I have still felt as if I’m a novice with this whole homeschooling thing. Having said that, I would also say that I love to plan, I love to work up calendars, schedules, and lesson plans. The problem comes when I try to implement them! I haven’t learned how to role with the interruptions, yet.

    I’m looking forward to this series for some great pointers!

  42. Robin March 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm #

    I love to plan but find it tough to keep coherent thought going as there are so many interruptions (five little ones 8 yrs down to 2 months). I start strong and want to get done with lots of time to enjoy summer off…but end up working madly to get the plan done in time. Before I have my plan done, I have no idea how I will make it work..once it is done I am excited to embark on another year! I am really looking forward to this series.

  43. Julie March 14, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    It’s been so nice reading through others comments! I love to plan yet I also have a hard time implementing or I get too tired trying to be on top of it all. It’s so nice to see others struggle with the same issues. March is always a stressful time for me, evaluating what has worked and what hasn’t. I have 4 kids 3-8 years of age so I’m looking forward to implementing more of CM style for next year. Sometimes I get nervous because it is so different than traditional schooling that I panic. I’m really looking forward to this series and love this website!

  44. Erica March 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    I’ve just finished planning for next year. I was a little apprehensive at first, since this was my first year following Charlotte Mason approach. I loved getting catalogs, researching curriculum, asking others, reading books on curriculum! It is exciting to be able to change up our homeshooling approach from last year. I can’t wait for next school year. I’m confident my kids will enjoy it as well.

  45. rachel March 14, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    I’m in the “how do I do this?” group. I’m new to homeschooling and will be starting very soon (more formally.)

  46. Lori Regan March 14, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    I am in the planning is a breeze group due to Ambleside Online and look forward to this series. Thank you!!

  47. rebecca March 14, 2008 at 1:47 pm #

    I am in the “love to plan” group. This past year and this year coming up I have had to add another child. So I get ansty about this time thinking of how to juggle another instruction time and getting everything in for each child. I am very visual, so when I pray about it God begins to fill my mind with ideas. I find myself just sitting down and listening and writing to eventually see it come together. I do run my ideas by other homeschooling moms that have more children than myself to make sure I am using my time effectively. Once I see it on paper, I feel ready and able to conquer the new year.

    Over the past several months, I have been studying this website and I can’t wait to get my schedule on paper to see if it really works!!

  48. Andrea March 14, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    Love to plan just have a HARD time sticking to the plan. Can’t wait to see what is to come in this series.
    Mom to Andrew 12, Eden 5, Nathan alomst 4 & Nevaeh 19mos.

  49. Cyndi March 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    I am certainly in the “How do I do this ” group. Even though I have been homeschooling for about alomost 7 yrs I feel I have never gotten a handle on planning. Most of the time I am flying by the set of my pants and it isn’t a good feeling. I am looking forward to these sessions.
    Thanks so much!!!
    Mom to Nate 14, Josiah 10, Matthew 3, and Shawn 1

  50. Kittye March 14, 2008 at 3:22 pm #

    I have always loved using CM over my 12 years of homeschooling and LOVE TO PLAN. However, I now feel challenged to plan for six school-aged children and four little ones, two with learning disabilities. I am looking forward to the series, as God often uses SCM to answer specific prayers for our homeschool. Thanks so much!

    Kittye, mom of 12

  51. Barbara March 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    Hello! For me planning is just a part of my personality. I’ve always been a list writer and love to see plans down on paper so I love when spring comes and I can plan for the next year (and spend all that money I don’t have!). Once we got past some learning difficulties and figured out how to approach teaching, we have finally fit into a nice routine now (that is, until # 4 is ready) and feel like we’re sailing along at a good pace now. Putting on blinders to the way other homeschoolers do it, or the school system does it, and trying very hard not to teach the way you were taught in school, is all just a process that gets figured out as time goes on. Thanks for the chance to share my comments. Barbara

  52. glori baird March 14, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    I’m definately on the “how I do this agian group”

    I have no idea how to plan for Homeschool. I’m a planner in very other area of my life, so I’m very stress out about next year. I want to have a plan and make sure I’m doing it right.

  53. Tirzah March 14, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    Planning and organizing come naturally for me. However, I plan for me, I need to learn to plan for my kids since they all learn differently. So does that put me in the “how do I do this again?” group?

  54. Anonymous March 14, 2008 at 7:48 pm #

    I am so looking forward to this. I like to plan but it is not a breeze. But, I have been so thankful this year as it is the first year that we actually will complete the FULL year. I have my husband and Sonya from SCM to thank for that!!!

  55. Tammy March 14, 2008 at 8:26 pm #

    We have been homeschooling our 6 children for 6 years. And planning used to be a nightmare for me – year to year, term to term, week to week, day to day. It was the biggest source of stress for me as the Mom and as the primary teacher. It also caused stress for the children because they had no sense of WHAT’S NEXT. This has been our BEST year so far … not because we chose the perfectly right books or timed everything right … but because we used the Organizer by Simply Charlotte Mason. I have always had a plan in place (in my mind) and goals set … what to read followed by certain activities like narrations or sketching or other “additions”, and then what to read next after that …. but somehow things would get forgotten or missed, thus making us chronicly behind schedule …. and sick days or vacation used to really mess things up. I would have to replan, rework, or back up and review … and the children were spending time waiting for Mom to get the plans in order … and Mom spent far too many evenings working on lesson plans instead of being a “family” together. It was a mess.

    So – what is different this year ?? The SCM Organizer. I spent 4-5 intensely dedicated days last August setting up everything for the entire year for each of our 6 students, from flashcard drills to math lessons, poetry studies, readings, workbook pages, and bible study …. I entered “everything” right down to artist studies and nature journal entries. I have since tinkered with things a tiny bit (at Christmas time, and again recently) but these were minor changes. But other than that … VOILA … our year, terms, monthes, weeks, and days are ready-to-use at the touch of the PRINT button. It is fantastic, and I never hesitate to recommend the SCM Organizer to other homeschoolers — saying it is the BEST homeschool money I have ever spent. Even if I am away from home in the morning and Dad is doing school … he prints the lists and the day moves forward. We have also done school while traveling … printing our TO DO lists from a family members house (12 hours from home) and continuing on with our studies. It has been fantastic to be ON TRACK all year, and not constantly reworking our plans — we are getting to do everyhting we wanted and needed to do, without pressure and without missing a thing.

    There is something truly wonderful about having a plan “in print” (or available for viewing), and even better that the plan flexes for sick days or days off (or just having too much to do that day or needing to explore a rabbit-trail we discovered) … a to-do list if you print it for your students so they can work more independently, or if either you or they view it online … there is something satisfying about clicking the WORKED ON or FINISHED boxes daily … and WOW what a sense of accomplisment is gained when you select the MONTHLY REPORT — there you can see all that you did, which sometimes helps you keep trucking along at those discouraging or frustrating moments.

    Encouragement to other homeschool parents and planners …. it CAN be done …. and after trying all manner of paper planners, word documents, excel documents, other computer “organizer planners” for homeschoolers …. THIS one is just exactly what our big busy family needed, all rolled into one.

    God Bless.

  56. Dana March 14, 2008 at 10:21 pm #

    I love the planning – that’s the easiest part! It’s the day to day DOING that can be unpredictable!

  57. Mary March 15, 2008 at 10:40 am #

    I am in the “planning is a breeze ” catagory but am always looking for another way to streamline and be more efficient and effective.

  58. Denise Burgmon March 15, 2008 at 11:29 am #

    I must say that I am in a group called “Planning is a MUST!”. I find that planning creates more serenity in my mind and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Now, sticking to the plans….well, that’s a whole other story!!! LOL!

  59. Rebecca March 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm #

    I think I am in the “how do I do this again?” category. I used to seem to have it all planned out easily, but now it seems that I plan some and then it doesn’t go as planned. I look forward to all the suggestions that I can get. Maybe next year will be more organized!

  60. Christine March 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm #

    “How do I do this again?” That would best describe me. It is also very difficult for me because I am naturally a planner but over the years and with some profound family changes I have “forgotten” how to be organized. Help??!!

  61. Ang March 15, 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    I’m looking forward to this series. Planning is fun for me. It’s in implimenting the plan that I flounder! What’s the saying:”Shedules are made to be broken”. That’s my motto, for sure.

  62. Susie Feldman March 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    I’m a planner, so investing that time (& time it takes!) to plan allows me freedom within the ‘boundaries’ of the plan. Wthout a schedule, I wouldn’t feel we had time to research a bug we find on a nature walk, or an extra chapter in literature b/c my dc are so wrapped in attention. Plan…

    ~Suise Feldman

  63. Brigette Magyar March 16, 2008 at 1:50 pm #

    I need help planning. I’ve been homschooling Three years now and I still get confused.
    This will be my first year going totally Charlotte Mason. I need to be connected to someone to show me the way.
    I am a part of a CM moms group. So, I’m sure I can start their.

    Thanks for Caring,
    Brigette Magyar

  64. Stephanie March 16, 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    I’m very much looking forward to this series, as I’ve enjoyed the past several now. I love planning, but for years I tended to reinvent the wheel every year–that’s a little TOO much planning love! I’m not that bad now and I’ve relaxed on thinking we have to do everything every day in order for it to be a success. But I do hope you’ll include some tips on implementing the plan! I also hope you’ll encourage us not to OVERplan–we home school moms tend to be overachievers, wanting to do everything that looks good and that our best friend says is working so well and all the books on the list, etc, etc… But that’s why I like the name of your site–SIMPLY. Keep it simple. It ain’t gonna be easy, but at least keep it simple! Looking forward to planning season!

  65. Kimberley March 16, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    I am thrilled to see this series, and I am looking forward to it as I need it! Unfortunately, spring always seems to bring intrepidation and I find myself in the second group.
    Your steps make sense to me and I look forward to following your emails. Thank you so much,
    Warmly, Kimberley from Ontario

  66. Roxanne March 16, 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    I’m definitely a planner–love to plan. Implementing, however…!

  67. Melissa Williamson March 17, 2008 at 11:06 am #

    I’m in the “limping along” group – I am able (and excited) to plan most of the way, but forget to look at the big picture, and then get tired of the minutia of planning out down to the week and day. So, I can limp along and get most of everything accomplished (by hook or crook). Because I fail to look at the big picture, I feel that I’m getting things done, but to what end? Because I fail to plan down to the day, I am sometimes frustrated by not being ready for the day.

  68. Miranda March 17, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    I’m definately from the “how do I do this” (without the AGAIN) group.
    I am new to home schooling, not startng officially until next year (2009-2010), but tying to start a “training period” so-to-speak until then.

  69. Megan Murcott March 18, 2008 at 2:34 am #

    I DEFINATELY belong to the “how do I do this again” group. My husband is sick to death of my constantly asking him to help me out with scheduling – whenever he does, he just drums up a schedule of the sort that HE finds easy to work with; then I invariably feel trapped by the time constraints, and end up feeling as though my kids may as well be in school, with all the stress and pressure ….. I have a notion that I would like to START with a big picture, and then break it down gradually to a week … just doesn’t come naturally!

  70. Stacy March 18, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    I fall into both camps. Sometimes I get so caught up in the details of planning that I can’t breathe. But, I’ve always struggled with the “big picture” concept. Even when I worked in a school I just looked at the week or two ahead. I need to understand the reasons behind seeing the big picture; won’t I eventually cover it all a week at a time anyway? (HA!HA!)

  71. Sabina March 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm #

    Both areas fit me. Although I enjoy planning and do fairly well there….life happens and we get way off the “schedule”; then I begin to hear ‘failure’ creeping silently up behind me and whispering sweet nothings in my ear. If only I could remember right away that they are just that: Nothings. Then, maybe I wouldn’t allow my mind to derail along with the schedule. I am looking forward to ideas that will assist me in staying the course that leads to our predetermined destination, even when the day brings a detour. Thanks for your encouragement!

  72. Angela March 20, 2008 at 8:45 pm #

    Planning is so much fun….I seem to do it constantly! And then I wonder why the kids depend upon me so much! As a public school teacher many years ago, relying on procedures expedited our schedule; to a certain extent we continue a monotonous schedule….however, at some point during the day we de-rail…I lose energy, the toddler needs me, supper must be started, etc. I’ve tried planning Everything, even phone calls, but it doesn’t make a huge difference. I try to tell myself that this season of life will change eventually…but until it does, I feel so inadequate and wonder how I ever taught 150 kids in public high school…why is homeschooling so much harder to keep organized?

  73. Julie March 22, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    I can plan and organize well. However, about this time every year I begin to second guess what I’ve done and what I should have done. I had picture study scheduled but it dropped by the wayside because the toddlers were so demanding and you don’t need picture study to be a farmer or a house wife (for example). I didn’t get as many Shakespeare plays read as I had planned. Should we just read them or really study them? Usually from now until August I agonize over what to teach. Once I’ve decided (or given up the struggle), I’m ready to settle down and plan and then teach. I get this overwhelming urge to teach my kids everything right now. I’m looking forward to the rest of your series.

  74. JRochelle April 14, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    Hi, just thought that I’d say thanks for all the advice it helps out more than anyone could ever know. My plans are to h’school our 4 children this fall but work full-time from ( 12am-8:31am)so I’m sure that I fall into the ” how do I do this again” category please help any feedback would be greatly appreciatied.

  75. TracyQ April 26, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    I’m ending our 13th year, and still learning so many things about homeschooling! I love planning, but haven’t really found what works perfectly for us, though I do think that doesn’t really exist. But I can come closer. I got a few great ideas this year from some homeschooling friends that I think will help me so much! Why I am going to use SCM for my daughter for the rest of her schooling (she’s in 7th grade), is because I need to simplify how I do everything, including the planning I do. I’m very grateful for everyone for sharing your wisdom so it can help me, and others. So I don’t think planning is a breeze, nor do I have to ask how to do it again, I’m more of a *When will I finally learn the best way to do this for our particular unique and wonderful homeschool?* I always hold on to hope that this is the year!!! 🙂

  76. Tammy June 10, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    Thanks for contributing to the CM Blog Carnival.


  77. Heather June 27, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    Just starting out and hoping to gain support and ideas from all of you. Planning the coming year is very daunting to me. I am reading, always reading, and I don’t feel that I have a picture of what a CM day would look like for our family…much less a CM year. I’m encouraged by my children’s growth in the year, but I don’t feel accomplished because our days were very spontaneous. It didn’t feel like we had a “time for math” and a “time for music”. I don’t know if that is what it’s supposed to look like with three children under the age of 6. Is that what anyone else has experienced?

  78. Katie August 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    I am definitely a planner, although I am worried I don’t have the stuff, or guts to home-school. I am in the researching part right now. Trying to figure out what is best for my children, while still keeping my sanity. Thanks for the info!


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