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6 Steps to Planning a Homeschool Year

I’m taking the inertia from the homeschool convention and using it to start planning out my first year homeschooling.  How do you break down an entire year’s worth of curriculum?

6 steps to planning a homeschool year

As an ex-teacher, I have a plan and here are the steps I am taking:


1.  Look at a Year at a Glance Calendar which includes holidays.  I mark off all holidays, vacations, and days off I’d like to have for the year.

    • I use the public school’s calendar for breaks so I can be sure to be available for play dates with friends.
    • I have chosen to teach year round so my school calendar runs from July 2014 to June 2015.

2.  Add up the teaching days for each month (marking the number by each month).

    • For example, I have 210 days for teaching curriculum, Classical Conversation Co-op, and field trips.

3.  Add up curriculum only days.  These are the days each month I am dedicating to teach the curriculum I bought and is not part of a co-op or field trip.

    • For example, I have 120 curriculum only days.  I can dedicated these days to complete the curriculum I bought, like Math-U-See and Saxon Fusion Science.
    • I have decided to dedicate 3 days to curriculum only, 1 to Classical Conversations Co-op, and 1 to field trips or “make-up” days each week.

4.  Break the curriculum into Semester.

    • I have broken each semester into 20 weeks.
    • I take the amount of lessons in each curriculum and break it into half.  For example, Math-U-See has 60 lessons so I am planning  to cover 30 lessons in the first semester and 30 lessons in the second semester.

5.  Break the curriculum into Weeks.

    • Break the curriculum down to what needs to be covered in the 20 weeks of the semester.
    • For example, Life of Fred Apples has 18 chapters, so if I would like my son to read this book in the first semester he would only need to read 1 chapter a week.
      • Now I know to have the next book on hand in case he loves it and wants to read more!

6.  Break the curriculum into Days.

    • A great example of this is my son’s Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum.  It comes in 94 page workbooks.  I would like him to complete 2 of the workbooks.  Then I did the math:  adding the 188 pages and dividing it by the number of curriculum days I have, 120.  He would only need about a page and a half a day so I rounded up.  He will do 2 pages a day and use the rest of the year to practice what he has learned.

It is important to plan for emergencies, fun days, sick days, spontaneous trips, bad days… And everything else life has to throw us!  I do this in the extra “wiggle” room for each day, week, and semester.  In Florida they are called Hurricane Days!  This is my first year planning as a homeschooler so if you have any tips I’d love to read them in the comments below.

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