Planning now or in the summer?

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  • Aimee

    I’ve been thinking about next year and am just curious to know when the rest of you do your final planning. I’m not just talking about deciding what books to use next year. I mean filling out the planner(s), organizing books and supplies and generally being ready to start.

    I often do most of it during summer break but when we start our break it’s easy to lose momentum and totally forget about school! Then I end up not ready to start when I want. I’ve always wanted to be ready to start right after July 4th so that we can take more days off but if I only take 6 – 7 weeks off I don’t want to spend it planning. Any ideas how to get around this? Spring feels so busy, but I’d love to get things ready for next year before we break for the summer. Thanks for listening. Sometimes I just need to discuss things to get a plan determined in my head.


    I try to do most of my book buying around this time of year, or in June at a large book sale, since a lot of families are selling this time of year. I do most of my pre-reading now after the books start to come in and decide on what I’ll keep. Then, I try to do my real planning in July when my dc are either at church camp or VBS.

    I don’t plan out every detail, but I like to have my SCM materials ready like, picture study/shakespeare, that we plan to use. We’ve been using Ambleside’s years so the book choices are already made, to a degree. I’m still pre-reading them before I make my final plan and even then they may change a bit by the time the school year begins.

    We are a participate in a co-op and I usually wait to see what may be taught there which can sometimes change my plans, but that’s ok. I try to be flexible.

    I don’t like to spend my whole summer planning, either, so I do what I can now as the year is winding down. But honestly, as homeschooling moms, I think we’re always in plan mode, at least I feel like I am sometimes.



    I usually do the same as the above poster. I look over books as they start to come in and piece things together a bit. During the summer I do the final planning. Last year I started planning as we finished the previous year and it worked ok. We had wrapped up a lot of subjects by the end of May, so our days were slower and I had extra time to plan. The trouble was when Sept came and we went to start, I was kind of out of touch with the material and I wasn’t as excited about what we had planned. I think I prefer planning through August. I like organizing and planning though, so the process itself gets me excited for what we will be doing. I’m weird like that. 🙂


    I’ve always tried to plan as much as possible before the summer so I don’t have to think about it during the summer!


    So usually by February I know mostly what I plan to do the following school year.  This year has been the same.  Starting in December and January I am researching and brainstorming what I want to do.  I actually have a place in my calendar where I brainstorm what I want to do and the books and curriculum I would need to buy.  I keep adding to this list until I am sure of my selections.  So, by early spring I have a list of everything with the prices beside it to make sure I am on budget.  Usually by early May I have ordered everything!  We finish school at the end of May or the first few days of June.  The last few weeks of school, I do all the prep work, print my new planner, come up with a schedule that I think will be workable, look through and organize all my books, print anything my kids need, etc.  Doing it the last few weeks of school is easy because those are usually lighter days as we finish things off gradually.  I have planned on our summer break before but feel like I need a few weeks where I can focus on other things and have a break in my routine.  This works well for me because we do homeschool on a more year round schedule.  Having a few weeks off refreshes me and I am ready to jump back in.  We do have a summer break, but it’s only for about a month.  The week before school I just pull everything out and refresh myself, look through my planner and schedule and hope I’m not forgetting anything.  I make sure I have school supplies to start school but I actually don’t do much of that type of shopping (colors, construction paper, markers) until August when all the back to school sales are going on 🙂  This is just what works for us in this season, but in a different season, we may do it differently.


    I have an obsession with planning. I love planning-the whole process. I am constantly mentally planning and jotting down informal notes. I don’t make definite on paper, daily or weekly plans for the year. I get a rough outline of what we will use and how we will schedule it and then I plan one week at a time as we accomplish a week. It keeps things nice and flexible and leaves room for hiccups and plan changes. This keeps me from getting stressed out because we aren’t sticking to the schedule. 🙂



    I usually try to begin planning our schedule in April & May so I don’t have to sit inside doing that when the weather is nice out in the summer.  The more I can get done now, the more time I have to enjoy the lack of cold & snow.  (We are actually expecting snow tonight…..really?!?!)

    Since I use the SCM Organizer online here, I don’t have to fill out pages on a paper planner.  Once I’ve entered our books and selected the days I will use them, I don’t have to do much more.  Everything just pops up on the schedule as we go along.


    Thanks for talking this out with me, ladies! I like planning…to a point. I like big picture planning. Like, “what am I going to use for history?” etc… But when I’m down to the fine details with each child’s independent work, I can get overwhelmed and want to quit. Or I get too into it and want the perfect year and then I don’t do near as much as I planned.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>Sue, you mentioned using the organizer. How quick and easy doors that make planning? My kids like checklists to cross of each day for their independent work. Is their a way to print those out or would they have to check it off on the computer.  I’ll have 5 school age kiddos next year, plus a 5 & 2 year old (and two already graduated) so I would appreciate anything to make planning easier!</p>

    Rachel White

    Aimee: The day’s schedule can be printed out and checked off by them and then entered electronically or notvpribted and the child enters electronically

    We do both: I print out for both, but my son checks off his own stuff. I need the printout for myself to keep up.

    I plan regularly. I’m a chronic planner. In order to take advantage of some discounts and payment plans for online classes, I think ahead. Sometimes I think ahead to the detriment of the present, so I have to keep watch over myself.



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