Getting Organized for the New High School Homeschool Year/
Getting Organized for the New High School Homeschool Year
Did August kind of sneak up on you this year? I’m hard pressed to accept that summer is waning already. Yet, the calendar doesn’t usually purposely try to psych me out, so I suppose that means that it really is back-to-homeschool time. Let’s not panic though, shall we? Instead, let’s explore some things we can do to make sure this high school year is the most organized EVER.
A Homeschool Year Mission Statement
Whether this is your first year homeschooling, or your twenty-first, you likely still have some reason you’re doing this, right? See if you can pin down that reason into words, which is a great start to a mission statement for the coming year. By reminding yourself of the reason you’re homeschooling, you open up to concrete actual goals you want to accomplish. Do you want to see your daughter gain life skills? Is it your plan to support your son in his desire to start his own business? Do you want to focus on career exploration this year?
And once your mission statement and goals are laid out, it’s time to start breaking those up into manageable month-by-month tasks that are able to be accomplished. Or if you want to get SUPER organized, maybe even weekly tasks!
An Actual Excuse to Spend More Time on Pinterest
Like you needed one! But seriously, a homeschool parent’s favorite two words should be “Pin it” – – especially when doing research for the coming school year. That’s because Pinterest is just about the perfect visual research tool for homeschooling, Why? Well, I’m so glad you asked…
Curriculum Reviews – I’m flabbergasted at how many people are doing curriculum reviews on their blogs, but even more lovely is how many are pinning those to Pinterest. Want to find out what another parent or student thought of a specific program before plunking down lots of cash? Just ask Pinterest!
Subject Boards – this idea isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’ve got some time on your hands and a steady mouse-clicking finger, I highly recommend creating individual Pinterest boards for each high school subject. Before you know it, you will have those filled with unit study ideas, hands-on projects, curriculum overviews, and checklists of every shape and size
Apps and Websites – Pinterest has another purpose for visual people…it makes a GREAT bookmarking tool. If you’re exploring apps, websites, and educational technology, then don’t lose track of that really great one that you just don’t have enough time to test out today. Pin it to a specific Homeschool Technology board, and it will be there waiting for you.
Google Drive, You’re Looking Lovely Today
My overall homeschool organization tool of choice has definitely become Google Drive. Not only is it free (can everyone say “Squee”?!), but it handles just about every organizational task with ease and can be accessed on any device. Here are just a few of the ways you can use Google Drive to keep your head above water during the homeschool year:
Lesson Planning – a combination of Google Docs to write out notes about individual units or lessons, Google Drive Folders to organize those lessons by subject, and Google Sheets to track upcoming lessons and mark off lessons completed makes lesson planning
Communication – Drive is just about the perfect tool for collaboration, so don’t overlook the built in tools for sharing files, adding notes, and getting input from your student
Keep on Keeping On
My final smidge of wisdom to share about making the upcoming high school year organized is to plan for organization. By that, I mean scheduling at least an hour a week into your calendar specifically for the purpose of staying organized. This hour can be used on anything that keeps you on task: research, record-keeping, lesson-planning, etc. Organization is never a one-trip salad bar kind of deal – – it’s a commitment to consistently measure your week-to-week accomplishments against the goals you had for this year (see where that mission statement comes in handy??) and seeing where you are compared with where you’d like to be.
For even more ideas on keeping your high school homeschool year organized, check out the Resources and Planning section at LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com.
Kerry Jones is a guest author at LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com and the admin of the web's largest community for secular homeschoolers, SecularHomeschool.com., She is a "homeschooling alumnus", having graduated both sons who were each homeschooled from kindergarten. You can follow Kerry on Google Plus by adding her to your circles.