Well, I will admit that organization is the one area where I
struggle most. I am naturally quite organized but when it came
to getting organized for home schooling, I was absolutely dumb-founded
as to how to begin. I have tried literally dozens of methods,
most suggested by other moms on the AO email list or methods I
found while Googling on the Internet. Nothing has really worked
well for until this year. I think facing high school and knowing
that I would need to track credit hours, course descriptions and
create objectives for my son, helped me finally figure out exactly
what I needed to do and how to go about doing it. So whether you
are just beginning to home school or are a frustrated planner
like me, I hope these suggestions will be helpful to you in your
home school program.
Create a Program
The very first thing you need to do is create a program for your
home school. If you are an unschooler then this might simply be
a journal you keep where you can make notes on anything you or
your children study/learn. If you are using a packaged curriculum,
then more than likely you will already have a scope and sequence
(a multi-year chart showing the progression of studies) and possibly
a list of course objectives. If you are using Charlotte Mason
or a classical curriculum, then you will pr0bably have to create
these items on your own.
Your program should include the following:
- A basic outline of what you will study this year (a list of
- A tentative scope and sequence for next year (ex. World History
this year, American History next)
- A listing of all materials you will use this year (this might
be a booklist)
- A page with a listing of course objectives or goals you would
like to see your child achieve this year (ex. master reading
basics and strive for fluency)
- A calendar for the year with any dates marked off for holidays
I personally find a binder to be best suited to my style but
you might like some other method for storing these materials.
Other options include a folder, a journal, an expandable folder
(where you can put things into it), a folder pocket with a flap,
a hanging folder/file bin or cabinet. I have listed some
of the planning methods I tried initially on this page.
You might also like to use a computerized software program to
keep your program organized. TGHomeSoft
has a great free program called Home School Tracker. They also
have a Plus version that offers more scheduling forms and calendars.
is another software product that will store all your school forms
Once you have gathered all your planning materials, you will
want to start preparing your lesson plans. To do this you will
need to create a daily and weekly schedule for each student. Some
parents find a MOTH-type
schedule helpful when tracking more than one child. If you
are scheduling one child, you might start off with either a Teacher
Planner book (available at local teacher supply stores) or create
one using MS Word or MS Excel. Donna
Young has a wide variety of forms on her website that are
free to download.
AO/CM Specific Planners
Other Home Schooling Forms
My Home School Forms (PDF and Excel)
You can also see some of my previous
schedules and lesson plans here.
Getting Your Students Organized
After you have gotten yourself organized, now you need to get
your students organized. You should have a binder or folder for
each child so that he/she can keep track of his/her own work.
Some items to put into a binder or folder would be: a
daily checklist of assignments, any paper work or worksheets
(copywork), any pictures or maps, etc. It is a good idea to train
your children to do independent work as soon as possible. Once
they are able to do their own work, you will find your home school
day running much smoother.
**Next: Creating a Daily or
Copyright 1998-2010. Carol Hepburn.