Episode 12: Homeschool Planning and Vision

In this episode, I walked through the first few lessons in my Homeschool Planning and Vision Course. The video version of the episode is at the bottom of this post.

You can use these free planning sheets to follow the process outlined in this episode:

They can be printed or customized right in Google Drive/ Dropbox! I usually print them out and brain dump with a pencil first. Then I move my thoughts to my “Homeschool 2024” folder for safe keeping.

Getting Started:

These are the exact pages I use every year to follow the planning process described in the episode.

  1. Pray & surrender the year to the Lord!
  2. Start thinking/ brainstorming about each kid, areas to focus on. Jot down notes in my phone and on these printed pieces of paper.
  3. Enter decisions in the computer and link the stuff I need to buy/ jot down budgeted cost!

Want More Planning Help!?

My Homeschool Planning and Vision Course is designed for:

💜 Brand new homeschool parents who want help forming a vision for their family’s education AND making a peaceful, proactive plan that aligns with their vision

💜 Homeschool parents who’ve been homeschooling a while but need help making a plan that is effective, doable, peaceful, and flexible!

Start the self-paced course here!!

  • You can watch on video or download the audio**
  • 5-20 minute video/ audio files that give you practical tasks to complete along the way.
  • All printable/ digital files included!
  • I walk you through planning your entire homeschool year in a VERY SIMPLE WAY.
  • Learn how to consolidate multiple students/ age groups
  • Put things on autopilot – no extensive weekly planning or setup; no writing out weeks and months of checklists or lesson plans.
  • Help choosing curriculum
  • Set up kids for independent work
  • Learn how to tweak curriculum and make it work for you
  • How to plan family subjects

Resources Mentioned

Other Homeschool Podcasts

Books to Help You with Your Homeschool Journey

When we first started homeschooling, I only read books that aligned with the education approach I thought we’d take. As a result, my vision was so narrow. I think it’s important to be focused, but I also have found that as I’ve expanded my reading, I’ve learned so much more about how kids learn. Reading widely has challenged my thinking, shed understanding on different viewpoints, and taught me SO much about how kids learn.

I really think a huge part of enjoying homeschooling is growing in confidence that you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it and you’re confident that your kids are right where they need to be!!

Partly, that confidence comes with time.

But it also comes with knowledge! Talking to other families, especially those who’ve been doing it a long time. Listening to seminars and workshops. And reading, reading, reading!!!

Read all the books!!

Here are several that I’ve read and recommend. For most of these, there is at least one point in the book I personally disagree with! Haha but all the books below have either shaped my understanding of teaching and learning OR encouraged me greatly in my home education mindset & journey.

No particular order – just start with the title that jumps out to you!

1. Know & Tell: The Art of Narration

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

This is a lesser known homeschooling book about the art of narration, one practice used by Charlotte Mason. I recommend every single homeschooling parent at least skim this book!! Even if you don’t plan to use anything else from Charlotte Mason’s principles.

This author perfectly explains what narration is & how it works as the foundation of good writing skills. Narration is probably the most important skill for becoming a good writer.

We don’t do everything Karen Glass suggests in the book, but it’s incredibly helpful, especially if you feel worried or overwhelmed by the idea of teaching writing well.

2. Teach Your Own: The Indispensable Guide to Living and Learning with Children at Home

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

The classic “unschooling” author… turns out when he pioneered an UN-schooling movement, he literally just meant “NOT school.” As in, school at home will not look anything like school in school. We’re not 100% unschoolers, but this book gave me words to articulate the things I’d noticed in our own home learning journey.

He has so many great ideas for following and inspiring your kids’ natural bent towards learning.

3. Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child’s Heart to the Beauty of Learning

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

Sally Clarkson does it again. She has the benefit of hindsight!! That in and of itself is a reason to read this book. She was homeschooling bravely before it was cool…. all while writing and engaging in vocational ministry.

I like her book, Educating the Whole Hearted Child, as well. It’s more of a homeschooling manual.

4. The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

This was the first homeschooling book I ever read!! Someone handed it to me before we had kids, when I was in my first year teaching at a public high school.

It resonated with me because it gave a plausible explanation for what I was seeing – kids trying so hard , showing up every single day, yet being failed by the education that was supposed to lift them out of poverty.

While we’ve personally branched out from the strictly neo-classical model she lays out, I still use many classically minded principles discussed in this book in our homeschool & will forever be grateful to this author for sparking my interest in home education.

5. The Read Aloud Family: Making Meaningful & Lasting Connections with Your Kids

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

This book casts such a sweet vision for a read-aloud lifestyle. Plus, she has lots of great book recommendations throughout this book.

I love a good book about books. My other favorites are The Read Aloud Handbook, The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in an Age of Distraction, and The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child.

6. Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child’s Education

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

This is a great book for those who are trying to imagine what homeschooling could look like!! I’d definitely recommend this for on-the-fence folks who just need help thinking through the specifics.

7. The Unhurried Homeschooler: A Simple, Mercifully Short Book on Homeschooling

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

Durenda Wilson writes fabulous short books. I recently read her new book about Raising Boys to Men in one afternoon. Simple; full of truth & wisdom.

She’s practical but not prescriptive. Lots of ideas and nuggets to try. She also paints a picture of an unhurried childhood.

This is a great example of a fabulous book that I learned a lot from, while choosing not to follow every little suggestion 🙂

(She suggested delayed reading instruction, and I taught our kids pretty young.)

8. How Children Learn

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

An off-the-beaten-path-outside-the-box look at teaching and learning. Go in with an open mind! You don’t have to implement every idea, but he paints a great picture of kids who love learning for learning’s sake.

9. Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

homeschool mom book recommendations everyday homeschool podcast

This book was incredibly helpful to me. It’s a long, in-depth look at the history of compulsory education in America. Written by a former NYC public school teacher (who taught for 25 years and has since passed away).

I am very passionate about educational issues on the whole. Always have been!!

In a way, choosing to homeschool was choosing to opt out of a system I’d hoped to contribute to for the good of society. I was sort of heartbroken. And it left me wondering – why. Why are the schools so bad when everyone is trying so hard?

This book answered that question. It won’t be interesting to many homeschoolers, but it was very formative for me.

10. Teaching from Rest

The homeschooling book all homeschoolers say you should read. And you should.

But reading it isn’t the hard part… the hard part is taking her advice to heart. (Spoiler alert: her advice is to stop homeschooling out of fear & worry.)

I reread it every August before we start a new year.

11. The Call of the Wild + Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education

homeschooling books everyday homeschool podcast

This is another good one for painting a non-school-ish vision of homeschooling. If you need help picturing how homeschooling can be done well and look very different from traditional school, this is the book for you.

12. The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning & Life

I read this one in one sitting – on a flight to an all-inclusive for our 10th wedding anniversary.

The first week long trip we’d taken away from our 4 kids! The baby was 2.

I cried as I read it. (I should reread it and see if it was really that profound or if it just was the right book at the right time.)

I’d been trying homeschool preschool and kindergarten for a couple years and I was exhausted… because we’d had 4 kids in 5 years and I was trying to do it all. And so stressed that anything I could do wouldn’t be “enough.”

She was the first person I really heard and understood when she painted this vision of learning in everyday life being enough. She waxed poetic about enjoying relationships and finding joy in the magic of everyday learning. If you’re stressed about your homeschool, this might be a good one for you.

It also made me laugh out loud.

Video Version of This Episode