At least that’s what I’ve always told myself just after flipping my lid.
How does one plan out a whole year when their child is constantly changing and challenging them? The short answer is . . .
They don’t. Or at least they don’t after they try once (or twice) and realizing that a whole year is a very long time in the land of learning. Especially when dealing with asychrony.
Why quarterly planning is the best method to plan your homeschool
Now, I’m not pretending I’ve got this all figured out. This may not be the best plan for everyone, but if you are a perfectionist, a recovering type-A homeschool parent, parent to a gifted or 2E child, or not necessarily gifted with the ability to plan out an entire year without losing your mind, then quarterly planning can be a sanity and homeschool saver.
Why is quarterly so great?
- You take the year, subjects, planning, and resource gathering in chunks instead of one overly large bite that can cause overwhelm, intimidation, and choking on your freshly microwaved coffee.
- You can do year-round quarters, 9 week quarters, 6 week quarters, or whatever style of quarters fits your homeschool best.
- The pressure of trying to conquer and entire curricula is eliminated.
- You have wiggle room to move ahead or review concepts as needed in your next quarter after reviewing what was accomplished in the quarter you are wrapping up. This allows for you to keep each subject aligned with each child’s specific needs without the pressure of feeling “behind” or the worry of getting “too far ahead”.
- If you like unit studies (we do!), you can structure each quarter around a unit or make sure to include a week of unit study into each quarter.
Our Homeschool Schedule
We school year round. I know, it sounds just awful doesn’t it? Actually, we do “school” 9 weeks out of every 3 month quarter. They may be the first 9 weeks, the last 9 weeks, or a few weeks here, a week off, then a few weeks more. This allows us to travel, to take time off when we need a break, to have more fun playing around the holidays, and to explore local attractions when public schools are in session and the crowds are less.
Because we are Charlotte Mason inspired, I wanted a fantastic CM homeschool planner for this year and I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I designed this little gem. When my 32-pound paper arrives this week, I’ll be reprinting this quarter and then printing out the remaining 3 sections to have spiral bound along with 9 weekly sheets for each child and the 3 calendar pages per quarter because I just prefer that layout.
These work great in my 3-ring binder right now where I keep my Power Sheets and meal plans from Eat This Much, but I like to have my planner at hand when I sit down on Sunday to write out the week without having all the other things there, otherwise I get distracted writing tending lists, downloading, or dreaming about bacon wrapped pears for breakfast. Yum. See, you’d be distracted, too, right? I digress.
The Charlotte Mason Complete Homeschool Planner is available in our shop here.
You get a delightful Cover Sheet and weekly sheets for each child. Now, we don’t do every subject every single day. I’ll be showing you more about our curricula for this year next week so be sure to keep an eye out!
Your Quarterly Planner has quarterly sections for planning and for review. I write out selections in the planning area and notes in the review sheets. I find reviewing toward the end of the last week of study to be very beneficial for both myself and the boys. Mr. T is getting old enough to start assisting me with reviewing his accomplishments and areas that may need additional attention. I hope to instill a habit of excellence in the boys by helping them learn accountability for their work from the beginning.
We have a four term (semester) school year in New Zealand and, because we have three kids in high school, we follow this timetable. I loosely plan the whole year for our homeschoolers (5 of them) in Jan-Feb but at each of the two week breaks between terms I take some time to review and plan the next term in more detail. It works well because you get several chances a year to “readjust” so you don’t feel you’re getting too far behind. Each term feels like a clean slate to try something different or tweak the plan.
Jenny White says
Best thing ever! Thank you so much!
Michelle Mansfield says
Is the planner editable? We homeschool on somewhat of an odd schedule because my dh is a LEO. The days Monday-Friday would not work for us! Thanks!
Lara M says
Michelle, it is not editable. I cannot use commercial use graphics in an unlocked PDF. I’m sorry!
Susan Evans says
Quarterly planning does work really well with unit studies, and it’s a more manageable amount of time to plan. It worked well for us for many years.
Nicole Cottrell says
I was hoping to get this awesome planner before the deadline is up, but I can’t seem to find a link or a way to download it.
I’m so happy to have found you today! I’m doing a 10 day podcast series on Charlotte Mason and classical teaching methods (https://classicalscholar.com/charlotte-mason-education), and I’m thrilled to tell my readers about your free planner to complement my lessons! I love the way you included CM habits, too!
Jennifer Knick says
I love the idea of planning a quarter at a time. I tend to map out the year loosely and fine tune monthly. I’m going to think about how to best implement quarterly planning in our house. Thanks!
You’re welcome! Thank you for stopping by!
Can’t find a link to print this lovely planner. What do I do?!?! I signed up. Thank you!
Hi, Jennifer! I emailed you the download. The form was being quirky but it’s all fixed now. Enjoy!