Lesson Plans

Help! I’m Not a Planner!

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It’s that time of year–well, for many anyway.

Time for homeschool planning to kick into high gear! Time to get out that shiny, pretty, just-waiting-to-be-filled planner or print out those planning pages. Time to hope and dream of field trips, hands-on projects, and reading the classics (or whatever thrills you!)

But what if you happen to be one who struggles with planning or organizing? What if the beginning of each school year makes you break out in a cold sweat?

That would be me.

But I’m here to tell you that there is hope. I do not have a magic plan to suddenly turn you into an efficient, effective planning rock-star, but there is hope! I’d like to share a few things that I have learned along the way.

  • The simpler, the better.

I’ve figured out that the best planners are the ones that are straightforward and do not distract me with all the extra fun stuff. For those who excel at organization and planning, all the extraneous bells and whistles may not be a problem. But, for those who struggle, a simple and focused day-to-day planner is good.

  • Take a time-out.

Planning on the fly, say Monday morning right before school starts, is usually a bad idea. That’s pretty obvious, but as a planning-challenged individual that’s very often what I find myself doing.

I have to plan to plan. This means deliberately setting aside a block of time to focus on nothing else and then not letting anything take away that time. If too much planning all at once taxes your brain (as it does mine), set a timer and walk away when the timer goes off. Maybe you need 2 planning times a week so you can spread the time out a little. Do what you can to relieve the stress of planning.

  • Use others.

Do you have a friend, family member, or husband who is organized and can plan in their sleep? Take advantage of their expertise!

I used to dread long-term school year planning–who am I kidding? I still dread it! Anyway, once I got over myself and my pride in feeling like I had to do it on my own, I enlisted my uber-organized husband’s help. He is so much better than I am at looking at the big picture, so I have started asking him to sit down with me at the beginning of the year for the overall vision and plan.

Asking someone you trust, and who loves you, to keep you accountable to sticking to your planning sessions can be a really good thing as well. For those of us who do not enjoy the planning part of homeschooling, it’s easy to let ourselves be distracted by lots of other things, and having that accountability can be very helpful.

Do you enjoy planning? Or is it something you approach with a huge sigh and gobs of chocolate? Do you have any suggestions for easing that stress?


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  • Good tips!

    I actually like planning, *but* it becomes easy to put off planning. I have to deliberately plan to plan, too.

    • It really is true that we have to give ourselves time to sit, think, and plan. And if we don’t specifically carve out time for it, it will get pushed aside for more immediate things!

  • Great advice here! I honestly don’t know why I never thought to ask my husband for help. I guess because I feel like I’m supposed to do it all myself, especially after reading countless blogs and Facebook posts written by other hs moms that seem to be so flawlessly organized… compared to me. But I also have trouble with sticking to my schedule after planning one. I’m a pretty spontaneous person, and I also love change. Thrive on it. Can’t stay focused without it. Pray for me lol

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