I know homeschool planning can feel like a big challenge, especially for special needs kids. I homeschooled five kids and three were special needs. But don’t worry! I’ve got some simple and helpful ideas to make things easier for both of you.
How to Plan Your Homeschool Year
Keep yourself focused on your homeschool goals. Otherwise, you may waste time and money on unnecessary or unused resources. Here are some helpful tips on how to plan your homeschool year.
#1 What are your needs as a homeschool parent?
Start by considering yourself. After all, you are the homeschooling parent and will be responsible for yourself and your family.
Here are some questions to think about:
- What are you feeling right now?
- Do you have any health issues that need to be addressed?
- Will you be juggling a job while you homeschool?
Write these things down so you can keep them in mind when homeschool planning.
#2 What are your child’s needs?
Do you know the strengths and weaknesses of each of your children? Do you know their likes, dislikes, and passions?
Keeping your children engaged with their homeschooling studies can be less frustrating if you consider what subjects they do and don’t enjoy and the time of day they are at their best.
If you homeschool more than one student, you may need a different planning approach for each child.
#3 What’s your homeschooling vision?
What do you want your year to look and feel like? Do you have goals for yourself and your children?
Begin by writing a vision statement and place that in an area for the entire family to read. This will help keep everyone on the same page throughout the year.
Here’s a resource to help create your family’s homeschool mission statement?
#4 What curriculum to use?
Understand your curriculum well. Take your time choosing the curriculum. Discuss it with your kids and other homeschooling parents.
Customize it based on your child’s needs, considering their interests and strengths. Try to include more practical and hands-on activities.
School at home does not have to look like a public school.
#5 Planning your homeschool schedule
A consistent schedule is helpful but can be flexible. Be flexible and responsive to the needs of your child.
Break down your schedule into manageable blocks, leaving time for things such as:
- Extracurricular activities
- Therapy sessions
- Doctor appointments
Here’s a resource to help you create the ideal homeschool schedule for your family.
#6 Breaks are important
It’s not just about academics. Ensure that there’s time for fun, creativity, and relaxation. Incorporate field trips, outdoor activities, and hobby classes in your homeschool plan.
#7 Let go of perfectionism
It’s important just to start. There will never be a perfect time to start homeschooling, so choosing a day and getting started is essential. Things will work themselves out throughout the year.
#8 Get rid of clutter
Go through your work areas regularly and remove anything that is expired, no longer working, or takes up space.
You will be amazed at how quickly you can accumulate items that do not serve you and your family any purpose.
Here’s a great resource for getting your homeschool organized.
#9 Your support system
Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. There are local homeschooling communities, online forums, and social media groups where you can find parents going through similar experiences.
They can provide resources, advice, and moral support when needed.
We have a Facebook group for parents of special needs children. Come join us!
#10 Your special needs child’s independence
Gradually encourage your child to take charge of their learning. Teach them to manage tasks, make decisions, and solve problems independently. This will help them in the long run.
For teens be sure to include transitional skills in their daily schedule.
#11 Homeschool record keeping
Maintain a systematic record of your child’s academic progress, daily activities, creative works, etc. This will be useful when tracking progress and can serve as a great memory book.
#12 Your state’s homeschooling legal requirements
Before you purchase online courses or planners, know exactly what the laws are in your area.
Be aware of your homeschooling legal responsibilities. Keep track of any required paperwork and ensure you fulfill all requirements to avoid legal issues.
Here are the legal requirements by state in the U.S.
#13 List your homeschooling resources
Be resourceful. Utilize the internet, local libraries, museums, and science centers for educational resources.
Explore free online educational platforms that offer interactive learning experiences. Here are some of our homeschool resources.
#14 Make time to review goals
Regularly review your plans, methods, and goals. Is your child thriving? Are your strategies working? What changes need to be made?
Frequent assessments will help you modify and enhance your homeschooling approach. Not sure where to start with setting homeschool goals here’s a resource for that too.
#15 Your Self-Care
Lastly, remember to take care of yourself. Try to maintain a balance between your personal life and homeschooling responsibilities. You could involve your partner or family in homeschooling activities or even opt for a homeschooling co-op to share the load.
Remember, life happens, and there will be days when you feel like you haven’t accomplished much. If this is how most days go, take a brief break and reassess what is and isn’t working.
If you feel overwhelmed with planning, contact your local homeschooling groups. Some veteran homeschoolers are more than willing to lend you a hand and a word of encouragement.
Additional Homeschooling Resources
Now, create a fantastic homeschooling plan that suits your family’s needs! Do you have tips to share? Drop them below in the comments.
- 3 Reasons Homeschoolers Seek Special Education Tutoring
- 21 Point Homeschooling Checklist For Beginners
- 3 Secrets Of Special Education Homeschooling
- Homeschooling’s 3 Biggest Challenges