Okay, here is a bit of truth: I am not a planner. I am definitely a pantster – flying by the seat of my pants on everything. I have learned recently that this is definitely not the way to go about homeschooling unless we are doing UNschooling. With that being said, I actually have a plan for at least the next few weeks. Now, I don’t want to present myself as an expert, and I definitely don’t want you to think of me as perfect. Obviously, I am not. This is just one mum’s planning evolution and the things she has found that work for HER and HER family.
So, what does planning look like for me? Oh, how I wish I could share Pinterest worthy photos of my gorgeous bullet journal, my carefully thought out and hand-drawn banners and titles and dates – but, alas, my journal is simple and, in my opinion, unworthy of Pinterest. But, guess what?
We all start somewhere.
I have been slowly transitioning away from everything being digitised. I love technology, but I also will be the first to admit that I have an addiction to it. Well, addicted to using it. In other words, I spend way too dang long on some sort of technology. So, my planning has gone manual and I am actually digging it. Let me share with you the evolution of my planning (this evolution taking place over a matter of days, mind you):
My planning evolution… A little of this, then a little of that, then finally a plan and all around a ton of coffee was consumed.
I really am considering keeping the original Daily Plan style page, just doing in manually and adding my own flair to it. Who knows. But I can tell you this: planning is NECESSARY. No matter what curriculum you use, if any (and if you don’t, then why the heck AREN’T you planning SOMETHING?!), you need a solid plan written out in front of you – better yet, written out BY YOU. So many studies have been conducted about how beneficial handwriting things is for our minds. And if you are like me, and find yourself addicted to your technology, then taking the time to handwrite your plans and rhythm and lesson ideas down in a notebook or journal can definitely make the difference.
So, a little bit about my PLAN. Let me tell you, there is truth in the old adage “less is more“. I am totally in love with the Head, Heart, Hands approach that I am taking now. It really simplifies exactly what we need to do each day.
- Main Lesson
- Daily Math
- Form Drawing
- Foreign Languages
- Bread making
- Nature Walks
Even though we do not include every single thing on this list on any given day, this gives us a solid foundation to work with while we move through our days. From here, we can work on adding Park days, Library days, Market days. We can also continue to work on managing outings and appointments around Head, Heart, Hands work.
My first step in planning is to consider which aspects of each area we need to cover at this time:
For the month of January, we are only covering Main Lesson and Daily Math for the Head area. Originally, after putting everything to the very packed and detailed weekly plan (second planning incarnation) I realised that it would just be too much for all of us to try and cram into one day. Daily Grammar can hold off until Sun is in his Third Year.
For the Heart area, I considered where we are and what we enjoy – we are artists, so it is a given that we will be including Painting and Drawing, but I also felt that Form Drawing should be a priority. Moon saw a video of Hana (Pepper and Pine) and her kids using the book Creative Form Drawing and fell in love. She begged me to get the book (she didn’t have to beg for long!) and she just felt so comfortable with it when she was exploring it after it arrived. Music and Foreign Languages are not really things that I am concerned about bringing to them. Too many things to memorise, too many things to remember. I am not doubting their abilities, though I am cautious of overloading them. We will be getting a third recorder, for Moon, and we will see about including Music in our Heart work in the future.
Finally, the Hands area. I think that this is the hardest area for me to really set as a priority in our days. It is always pushed to last, and often just doesn’t get done because I am exhausted by the time HL is picked up. I just want to veg and breathe before starting dinner prep. But, I have been missing something in this area. This is a breath. Hand Work is not something that should be dreaded. It is something to be celebrated and enjoyed! It is, often times, practical work that needs to be done around the house. Heck, chores are Hand Work in my opinion! We are constantly working in this area, and perhaps that is why it has felt like such a burden to me. But, I have seen their eyes light up at the sight of their bread rolls, I have seen the joy they exude when they get to show people the different things that they have made, and I know the peace they feel while out in the fresh air, walking with a purpose. This is a necessary area, and I am slowly learning to love my own work here as well.
Once you know which things you want to include for each area, you can figure out where in your personal rhythm these things might fit in. Maybe it is Heart, Head, Hands or Hands, Heart, Head or any other combination! Whatever it is, be inspired by you and your children and your home.
Planning is daunting. Having no set curriculum, building your own, or un/de-schooling can lead to anxiety and doubt and stress when you don’t have a plan. Yes, even un/de-schooling families should have some sort of plan for what they will bring and how they will bring in, though it will definitely look different!
Just remember that no one plan will work for you, except your own. Take all of the inspiration that you find, but make it your own. It can take some time to find the right method, the right journal, the write pen – don’t get discouraged. And don’t doubt yourself because you may not be the best organiser or artist or whatever. You are enough, and you are amazing.
How do you plan your lessons, your days, or even your meals? Are you a planner or a pantster? Leave a note in the comments!