Rein in Your Homeschool Planning
Planning can be a real bugaboo for homeschoolers, whether you’re a planner by nature or not.
It’s so easy to get carried away or overwhelmed when setting out to plan a new homeschooling year or main lesson block. There are pitfalls and rabbit holes that can lead to endless searching without much progress. It can be exhausting!
But how to rein it in? And how to simplify the process?
Let me tell you the story of my summer of over-planning. As I write and record this, I have three kids who are all grown up. Yay, they really do grow up! I promise.
Over-planning is Not the Remedy
So one year when summer arrived, I committed to doing more planning and preparing. Because we were ending a year where I felt like I was just flying by the seat of my pants.
I had the curriculum, I had the books and the supplies. But I just never got into a groove of knowing what was coming next. Like all year! I was disappointed and felt like summer planning was going to be the remedy.
Practically every day that summer, I’d wake up and start planning. I’d gather my resources and notebooks, writing out detailed plans for stories and activities. Only to come back the next day and change it all up.
My planning was all over the place, jumping around from block planning to daily rhythm to verses and songs and games.
But because I was so determined (yes, I think most people who know me would say I’m a pretty determined person!) I just kept going with no real road map of what to do first and then what to plan next.
This went on all summer!
While my kids swam at the pool, I’d sit in the shade with my pile of books planning. While my kids played in the yard, I’d sit on the porch with my notebooks planning. And so it went. All the way until September.
And you know what? When it came time to start lessons, I was already tired! Burnt-out, not particularly motivated, and still not really ready!
Learning to Rein It In
So that’s when I decided I actually needed to limit my planning process.
First, I needed a step-by-step process to follow – streamlined and straight forward. Planning my block topics for each month first. Then planning out the first month of the year. Then planning my days and specific lessons.
Oh, and I made sure to keep in mind how to take care of myself as well. And then how to set up my homeschool room and home environment, too.
Something that inspired me was the story of the opening of the very first Waldorf school. About 100 years ago, Rudolf Steiner, the visionary and founder of the school, gave lectures to a dozen teachers for two and a half weeks and then they opened the doors. To a brand new school using a brand new approach without a written curriculum.
Okay, I thought. Two and a half weeks… I can do that!
And I actually realized through all of this the importance of reining it in. The importance of limits and parameters. Limits CAN be our friends.
6 Steps to Rein in Your Homeschool Planning
So that’s when I developed my 6 steps to planning an awesome homeschool year. And when I tried planning that way, I felt such a sense of freedom. Such a sense of accomplishment. And relief that planning didn’t have to take over my life or rob me of a fun summer.
This is what finally worked!
So here are my six steps to planning:
- Blocks – map out your main lesson topic for each month
- Rhythm & Resources – embrace the seasons and cycle of the year & search for resources for each topic and month
- Inner Work – make a super simple, sustainable plan to keep yourself filled up
- Daily Rhythm – map out a daily rhythm for you and your family
- Lively Arts Lessons – design a format for your lessons and include lots of hands-on artistic activities
- Environment – think through how you’ll set up your supplies and keep your children’s work contained
This six-step process spells out the work BRIDLE and I love how it reminds us to rein it in!
At this point, I’ve walked hundreds of homeschoolers in my mentor community through the BRIDLE process.
I’ve realized that we have to find ways to simplify and stay on track.
The rabbit holes of endless searching and comparing can lead to so much discouragement.
I encourage you to find a process that works for you. And doesn’t take up every second of your precious summer or holiday break.
Because fun and rejuvenation and time with your family are important, too!
The 6 Step Plan It Out Process…Find Out More
If you’re interested in getting my help to rein in YOUR homeschool planning, check out my Homeschool with Waldorf community. Inside, you’ll find over 20 masterclasses on all things homeschooling – one of which is my Plan It Out course on how to work through the six steps to planning a holistic homeschool year.
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