I hope you had fun planning your holidays for 2018 during this holiday season, I mean planning your school term for next year : ) Today is where the real work starts. Before you begin, make sure you are somewhere quiet and not accessible to your children, or do this when they are asleep. Have your current homeschool plan, your records, your children's works and your core resources on hand. You can download a copy of my planner on my homeschool helper page.
This next stage is both a review and a plan as you look back on what you have done for the past year and note what was achieved, what needs to be improved on and what new items should be introduced in your school next year.
1. Record or renew your Goals
If you are starting from scratch this is where you can record your Mission and Vision that you have always had in your head and set the goals that you have for the school next year. My mission and vision usually stays the same but the goals for each child and myself changes somewhat according to what we expect for the coming year.
2. Sett goals with your children
This may be a good time to ask your (older) child to fill a questionnaire to note down his achievements, things he feels he needs to work on and his hopes for next year. While you may have observed his interests and not so successful areas, it is always helpful to have the perspective of the child himself. A collaboration will also be more effective in working towards achieving the goals.
3. Review your intentions and goals
You should carry out this survey yourself too as a form of self-reflection and to help you in setting your goals for next year. Look through your lesson records, check against your to-teach lessons lists and think back about how you taught your children this year. It can be painful but it's a good exercise.
4. Take stock of books and websites
That done, I like to take stock of the books and update on websites that we will use. I only record books that are central to the curriculum for example textbooks, workbooks, reference or guidebooks used. As an eclectic homeschooler I use a lot of books that we borrow on and off from the library or that we buy in the spur of interest on the topic. While it is nice to take note of this too, it can be cumbersome and I only record these in my lesson plans. Take this as the record of your core curriculum materials.
5. Take stock of other resources
Book list done, make a list of other resources you have. For example, I use quite a bit of manipulatives. As I have a range of children (3-12), most of the materials I have will still be relevant and I will put it in as a reference point for later in the planning stage. You can also, for example, record the 3-part cards, posters and games you have.
6. Make a budget
This will also be a good time to make a purchasing list for the coming school year which can range from books, manipulatives, stationery and craft materials. Yes, the budget! I focus more on the major purchases with items like stationery given a lump sum based on past purchases. You may also want to add classes that you plan to send your child to or trips you will take for homeschooling. Include the dates when you need the items so you have them on hand when you need them. If you are a brave soul, you can show this to the breadwinner of the family....
7. Take a break before the next haul
I usually take at least 2-3 days to sieve through this part of the planning as I go through my daily routines. Something to look forward to doing during the weekends? InsyaAllah, we will then look at the core curriculum in detail next.