The Value of ‘The Plan’ – Keeping Family, School, and Business on Track

The Value of 'The Plan' - Keeping Family, School, and Business on Track

Homeschool planning…when you have a job, too

There is not much point arguing against the cliché “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” At the very least, don’t you find yourself jotting down a “to do” list when you have a big event coming up? Or the holidays are upon you? My mantra these days is “If it doesn’t get written down…it ain’t gonna happen!”

Any homeschooling mom – but most especially one who is gainfully employed in addition to homeschooling – will agree that the myriad of responsibilities and deadlines that fall on us will at minimum require a calendar of some sort. Goodness, between struggling to remember when Susie has a dentist appointment, Johnnie’s SAT Prep class starts, Mark’s Scout trip, the date for hubby’s work trip out of town, and that client meeting with Mr. Jones happens…well, that’s quite enough to make anyone’s head spin!

Actually, reviewing your plan for the following day is one of my “10 Things To Do Tonight To Have A Great Tomorrow.” (And who doesn’t want a great tomorrow, right?) That being said, however, one of the biggest challenges we have these days is deciding how best to do just that: we have so. many. options! Assuming we can agree that it is important, tho, our next step is to find what best format fits your personality and lifestyle.

At the end of the day, good planning is the basis for a successful homeschool experience. You'll provide your kids with a solid, life-preparing education.

So what IS the “best” type of homeschool planner to use?

Planners come in a variety of formats. Generally speaking, you can get your act together using an online tool, or go old-school paper-and-pen. Many paper-and-pen formats these days are also sold as downloadable and printable PDF files, though, so even in that case, it helps to be at least familiar managing computer files.

Busy moms who are on the go may ultimately decide on something that can travel with them, and certainly the trend these days is to “go digital.” In my last few years of homeschooling, I had two in high school and one in middle school. I found using a Google calendar easiest for planning and tracking multiple schedules. Each of my kids, my husband, and I had different color-coded calendars; I also added a separate business calendar that only I had access to. All of these calendars were accessible from my phone and my laptop. You can be sure that our calendar was quite colorful, but I never missed a doctor’s appointment or a business phone call!

For schoolwork, however, I found good old-fashioned paper-and-pen worked best. I was always home when doing my school year and lesson planning; test-taking and grading were also done at home, and I’ll bet you can imagine where I was when writing up end-of-the-year summaries and final transcripts.

This may or may not be the case for you, so ultimately you will need to take some time (preferably in a quiet spot with a good cup of coffee nearby) and consider your own lifestyle and needs. Because the very, very best planner you could ever use is…whatever you will really and truly USE!

The very, very best planner you could ever use…is whatever you will really and truly USE!” via @BreakthruHS   Tweet This!

Take a look at this short video below where I talk about the paper planner I used during my kiddos’ last years in high school…

The ultimate benefit of homeschool planning, and having a plan.

Why all the fuss about planning? Why does it matter – I mean, really – just how I manage to keep all the balls in the air? Well, at the end of the day, good planning is the basis for a successful homeschool experience. You’ll provide your kids with a solid, life-preparing education. And, besides academics, they will be “catching” much-needed habits that will make their own lives easier and more productive in the future.

Pat Fenner
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