Planning for the New School Year: Where to Start?
August 1, 2018
Mercy Every Minute  
There are two ways to prepare for the next school year: we prepare our  hearts and our  homes

Prepare Your Heart:
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 tells us exactly what we are to be teaching our children: “L ove the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day,  shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.” Note, that this command starts in your own heart first!  And, in Joshua 1:8-9, God commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous for the task He gave him. He commanded him not to be afraid or dismayed. Even so, as for you, as you go into this new school year, know what you are teaching by having your heart prepared with the love of God—don’t fear, and be strong! The Lord your God  is with you wherever you go!

Another way to prepare your heart is to remember the vision! Why are you homeschooling? Write the reasons down in your teacher files. If you’ve forgotten, these may help: 

Prepare Your Home:
Here are just three ways to prepare your home:
  • Tackle those things that are stealing your joy before you start school. If you school year round, write down all the things that are pressing on you, and take a half day per week and begin to cross things off your list.
  • Create a loose schedule—it helps us avoid those feelings of being overwhelmed and unprepared because a plan is written down. Some days you will stay on schedule and some days you won’t; but, overall, you will continue making forward progress. 
  • Gather your books and curriculum and start slowly back into school. Take a full day or two to read about and prepare for one new curriculum, then start just that one for a week. The next week, add in another subject. You can take it slow and easy; time is on your side.

Don’t be surprised by trials that will come your way as you start. Trials will come because we homeschool, and our enemy hates that we want to be obedient to God’s call on our lives. But we won’t give up; we press on in Christ. We may stumble, but we get up and keep running. Some days we completely fall down, but we allow the people of God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God to pick us up and carry us. 
We keep our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our homeschooling. We cannot be looking around at what others are doing. We cannot be looking down in despair or we will give up any strength we have. We must keep our eyes  fixed on Jesus. We will follow Him across the finish line, and He will be our exceeding great Reward. 

God’s got your kids, and we’ve got your back, as you keep them  Home Where They Belong.

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Lisa Marie Fletcher
When you sit down to figure out what you are going to do for the year, it can feel overwhelming. But, really, there are only 5 steps needed to plan your year. 

Step One: Figure out the goals and topics for the year.

What do you want to study this year? What do you want to see your children accomplish or succeed at this year? What do your children want to do? 

Step Two: How are you going to teach them?

So now that you know what you want to cover this year, the next step is figuring out how exactly you want to do that. Consider your child's learning style and what your homeschooling approach is. 

Step Three: Find a curriculum.

Taking what you've figured out from step one and step two, you can now narrow down your curriculum options to find one that will fit all the needs you have. This will probably be the step that takes you the longest. Read through reviews and suggestions from other homeschooling parents. Check out samples available on publisher websites. If you are putting your own plan together, figure out what resources you are going to use. Then surf through used book sale groups and events first for what you need to save money. Then order from the publisher. Sign up for any website memberships you will need, too. 

Step Four: Plan it out. 

When you have the curriculum together, you can then lay it in place for the year. Some resources have a schedule all set for you; while others you will have to break down yourself into workable chunks. Pick a date to start and then put the lesson plans into their appropriate days. Some people like doing specific dates in their planners; while others prefer a general day 1, day 2 so they don't feel pressured to fall behind. 

Step Five: Prep work. 

This bonus step is to get everything all set. Make sure you have all the school supplies you need. Have a place to put any books and resources you will need. Print any worksheets and organize them in file folders. The more you get ready now, the less work it will be throughout the year. 

And there you have it! A successfully planned homeschool year. :) Now you just have to follow along and enjoy the learning!

Lisa Marie Fletcher is a busy homeschooling mom of 5 who somehow manages to find some time to blog at   The Canadian Homeschooler where her mission is to help connect homeschoolers across Canada with each other and with resources to help them on their journey. 
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We know planning the new school year can be overwhelming. Whether you are a planner at heart or prefer to be spontaneous, there is something about the new school year that makes most homeschoolers pause and wonder if they are on the right track. If you wonder how to balance planning your year while still being open to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit in all you do, check out  The New School Year: Planning Your Course and Letting The Lord Determine Your Steps in our Parent eBook Library on Listen in as Karen Sargent, Steve and Jane Lambert, Malia Russell, Terri Johnson, Cheryl Allin, and Dr. Ruth Beechick share wisdom and encouragement to help you sift through what is truly most important in the year that lies ahead. 

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