4 Step Homeschool Planning: Where are we going again?

You Should Tell Your Friends!

4 Step Homeschool Planning is the second in the Homeschool Organization Series

See the first post here were we discussed the number one enemy of homeschool organization.

We’re All Going Somewhere… Homeschooling with Purpose and Direction

Pretend you announce to your kids “Go pack your bags, we’re going on a trip”. They bounce of the walls, more than normal, and head off with their suitcases. You all pile in the van, back out, and you stop… not sure which way to turn. Your precious first born says “Hey, where are we going anyway?”. You realize, you  missed that step in executing this trip, so on the fly you decide to go to the beach which is 10 hours away. Kid 2 says, “I didn’t pack my swim suit, but I packed my ski pants for the mountains”. Kid 3 says, “I packed hiking boots and our pop up tent. I was going camping”.

Chaos ensues and you pull back in the driveway and go nowhere.


Sound ridiculous? Yes. Unlikely? Maybe not. Sometimes we approach schooling with a general vision, just like the mom who said, “We are going on a trip”. However, when she lacked specific direction, her children were all going different directions and making preparations that were less than helpful. Having a clear, common vision is foundational in organization.


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Taking time this week to be intentional about where you are going this semester will reap one hundred fold. Let’s keep it simple!


Look back at what went well for each student in the last term. What went well? What didn’t?

Use this this free guide to get the most from your look back.


With your reflective thoughts fresh, look forward to the time left this year. What you do want to change? Determining objectives is not as complex as many think. Basically, what do you want each child to master by the end of this time? Be specific. Determine objectives for at least the next quarter. Several free printables can be found at Donna Young’s Homeschool Goals page. Go through each subject you use and list what you would like your students to master. These objectives should then drive your resource selection… or help you weed out what you are currently using if it is not working. A clear vision has good, developmentally minded objectives as a foundation.

Sample Objectives:

  • add with carrying
  • memorize all multiplication facts
  • tying shoes
  • understand the importance of the American Revolution
  • write a well developed paragraph
  • improve penmanship

Determining objectives is an often skipped over step when someone goes to purchase curriculum. Early in my homeschooling I was guilty of buying curriculum by the grade level and having a very traditional approach to academic subjects. Those years were the most frustrating and burdensome in terms of artificial expectations. We had busy work, redundant activities, some lessons went too quick while others went on WAAAY too long.

If you set the objectives, it is your foundation upon which you can strategically build your family’s educational plan. LearningKeeper portfolios makes tracking these objectives super easy too. You can add them in one easy step and tag each sample of student learning with the appropriate objective(s) as the year progresses.


Armed with your objectives you can compare your main goals with the scope and sequence (or table of contents) in curriculum you are considering. This includes all the supplemental books, supplemental activities, and smaller resources you might use, even if they are not a standard ‘curriculum’. If you are continuing with what you were using in the last term, how do your goals line up? Are you going the same direction as your curriculum?

Chunk It Up

Once you have picked your resources you can divide the material up into bite sized chunks. Will you cover one chapter a week? Will you read ten pages of the selection each day? Take the resources and divide it by your total number of weeks or days in the term.

Be sure to give yourself wiggle room for when life happens. Expect the unexpected.


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Learning is a journey. Having a plan is the compass that can keep you track, even if you stop to wander at something beautiful.

LearningKeeper is how I track my objectives and I cherish the way it records the story of each of my children’s journey through life.

“Education is just the official word for the way we do life. “


~ By Alison Haley

 Want to free yourself as a mom and teacher?

A LearningKeeper ePortfolio is the family based solution to homeschool record keeping, meaningful assessment, curriculum choices that fit your children best, student motivation, and keeping all those memorable moments in the way you do life. The portfolio should be the hub around which you reflect and make the goals discussed above. LearningKeeper makes it easy.

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