Simple and Easy Master List for Homeschool Organization

I tried them all. Binders, planners, and diaries. Nothing worked. They were all too tedious and complicated. Trying to stick to a strict homeschool schedule was near impossible with seven kids. How was “everyone else” doing it? I knew that I needed a stress-free way to organize my homeschool. 

When I began homeschooling, I believed that learning from a textbook was to be used as a reinforcement rather than the main resource for teaching. I wanted to be organized but I also wanted my kids to be able to think outside the box. I knew that kids were naturally curious about things and I allowed them to learn by discovery. Learning that way helped them to be able to draw conclusions without being told what to think. You can read more about this style of learning in this blog post: The Best Way to Homeschool Your Children

How can you be organized AND allow freedom to discover?

Learning by discovery is fun but records of what we did were still necessary. That’s where I got hung up. I would plan what needed to happen and I would expect to just check it off at the end of the day or week. But, plans would change and it felt like I wasted all that time planning details and frustration would set in. And maybe the kids felt my frustration too. Not good.

Homeschool plans can be accomplished this simple way

I learned that detailed plans often got in the way of opportunities that could happen spontaneously. If I had to stick to that calendar, then we would not have had the time for discovery and satisfy natural curiosity. Our minds can travel to so many wonderful little sidepaths and journeys that schedules and books simply can’t accommodate. 

Don’t get hung up on detailed plans.

Life in any family with kids knows that plans can change just as soon as the first one wakes up that day. Frustration about our plans comes when the world we created in our mind doesn’t happen. The solution is to keep a simple list based on the top priorities.

Leave the guilty stress behind. 

I had to come up with a plan that worked for us. It’s easy, not restrictive, and it is a way to also record what actually did get done. After all, what we do has to “count”. 

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This organizing method is easy and it works!

Four quick tasks for organizing the easy way are: 

  1. Establish your goals with the end desire in mind 
  2. Determine which ones are most important
  3. Print and fill in the free printable or fillable pages for each week
  4. Put appropriate dates into a calendar

Establish important goals 

Goals are just that: goals. They are not life and death. View them as guidelines. With that in mind, you are ready to organize. 

Step One: Write your school subject goals down. All of them. As many as comes to mind. Get it all on paper or on a group board. Be sure to include long-term goals. For example, write the non-negotiable benchmarks for the next three months with the year’s goals in mind. Then, you can check regularly to see if what you are doing supports those big goals. 

Step Two: Now, thoughtfully begin placing your goals into the Priority Grid that’s found in the library so you can see at a glance which ones are most important. If you missed that post with the FREE Priority Grid, take a quick look at it. The Key to a Successful, Organized Life: Prioritize. Don’t forget to subscribe so you can get the FREE Priority Grid.

Re-prioritize

As time goes by, you may find out that some goals are not ranking as high in priority as you thought, and that’s the beauty of homeschool. Homeschool mirrors real life as life is very fluid at times. I take that back. Life is fluid a lot of the time! Cultivate the habit of accepting change as a reality of life.   

Step Three: Break it into tasks

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  • First, choose a goal that is most important. You may group similar goals that can be explored together. Make a “brain dump list” of all the essential tasks that support the goal. 
  • Then, continue the list of things that will support the essential tasks. Include items such as a field trip, an art day or any related baking and cooking that you wish to do. 
  • After that, print another Priority Grid and put the tasks and “extra” items on your list in the spaces that best prioritize the tasks. Be sure to put fun things in your highest priority too!
  • Finally, print or fill in the printable and fillable Checklist page that is found in the library. Transfer the tasks from your Priority Grid to the list page putting high priority items first.

As you get used to prioritizing according to the Priority Grid, you may be able to skip the Priority Grid and fill in the checklist straight from the “brain dump list”. 

Step Four: Now that you have the list done, transfer the time-sensitive items on the list to an online calendar. I use google docs. It can be edited from your phone as well as from your computer. The cool thing about these online calendars is that you can enter something in once and, if it’s repeatable, you can tell it how often to repeat and with a click of a button, all those dates are entered.


How to be clear about your next steps

What about those times when you feel stuck or not sure about something? Here is a scripture for you-a promise from God. 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Psalm 32:8 NKJV

God’s plan never changes. But we often need to change. Take some time to get quiet and listen. Then, yield to His plan.

Organizing your homeschool schedule this easy way can take a load off your mind.

The tasks are on paper or in your favorite docs program to fill in and now, all you have to do is refer to them. If you are like me, you will love checking them off or drawing a line through them as they get done. You can also choose to use it as a reference for your records by putting a date next to the item.

May all your weeds be wildflowers!

Debbie

A photo of the author, Deborah Schreffler

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.Mat 6:33 CSB

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