Choosing the right path: the hardest part of my homeschool year.

Choosing the right path: the hardest part of my homeschool year.

Simple Homeschool is running a series this fall called “the hardest part of my homeschool year,” and today I’m chipping in with my personal stumbling block: the planning. Always the planning.

From the post:

This month, we’re beginning our sixth year of homeschooling.

We’re more or less ready to begin: we have our plan in place, our curriculum ordered, our daily rhythm mostly mapped out. We’re all ready to hit the ground running, kids and parents.

That’s because the big decisions are already made.

I’m serene about our school plans now, but a few months ago I was a mess, thinking so hard about all our mix and match options for the coming year you could practically see my angsty thoughts swirling above my head….

Read the rest at Simple Homeschool ….

Now that all that decision angst is behind us, here’s our plan for the year: Silas (age 5) is doing actual half-day kindergarten at a school in our neighborhood, and Jack (12), Sarah (10), and Lucy (8) are attending a local cottage school one day each week. It’s a hybrid homeschooling plan. I have high hopes, but we’re still in our first week. Wish us luck: we’ll need it.

P.S. Visit the homeschooling archives here.


  1. Sandy says:

    Good luck with the new school year! We are in our fourth year of homeschooling and we are loving it! Every year is getting better, more organized and joyful:) We do not have a choice to send our children once a week to school, I would love to read about your experience and thoughts.

  2. Heather says:

    I think that the planning is hard. I’m a procrastinator, so I find that I do a lot of my planning a week or two weeks before we actually do “school” (I admire those that plan out the whole year before it even starts). I also have my freak out moments wondering if I will have enough or not enough for them to do, but it all ends up working out. I am curious to know what kind of planner you use for homeschool? I’m not super happy with the one that I have now and am looking for different options.

      • Heather says:

        I’ve actually been toying with the idea of doing spiral notebooks instead :). I remember reading about one mom doing this (maybe it was you?) and then recently some other moms I know have gone with this and it sounds like it works well!

  3. Bekki says:

    Good luck! We have our oldest entering college this week. It didn’t go according to plan…we couldn’t obtain funding for his first choice school (WPI), even though he was accepted as a merit scholar. It was your blog that helped us through some very dark days in July. He is now in a “Talent Code” school: world class mentor/teachers, crappy facilities (by comparison to WPI), and weekly homework labs that are reviewed and corrected with the student on the spot. The school even hired a full time liason to place grads in top tech firms around the US. So a long overdue thank you for introducing us to Talent Code so that we could pick a school that will enable him to realize his dreams even if the path twists and turns.

    • Anne says:

      That sounds amazing! So happy for him and your whole family. I can only imagine what it feels like as a mother to have a child happily settled at the right school for him.

  4. I’m with you – we separate the mind-swirling-sea of options to consider from the actual starting of a new year too. My husband and I always go to the GHC in the spring, choose our curricula, and plan slowly and steadily over the summer so that I can ease into August/September a layer at a time.

    I don’t like feeling crazy so this is how I manage to lessen my angst. Plus the external deadline of the convention always feels like an outside authority or timeframe – otherwise I fear I would research our options to death.

  5. Now this is probably because I am such a homeschooling newbie, but the planning part was surprisingly a lot of fun for me (also my oldest is just going into pre-school so the stakes are pretty low). Also, I am super spoiled by the options in our area: a Montessori/homeschool hybrid (sadly too expensive), a 2-3 morning a week homeschool supplemental school run in partnership with our church, and 40 min away is a one day a week homeschool supplemental program that does a curriculum very similar to classical conversations for K-6. Throw into the mix a few casual homeschool co-op type groups, and there are a lot of good options from which to choose. In the end we went with the supplemental school run by our parish for two days a week and a preschool co-op that I am organizing that will meet once a week for our group class learning, since my son is a MAJOR extrovert. Then at home we have a work book that he loves, Reading Eggs and Mathseeds curriculum on the computer for those times when I need him to be occupied, and some Montessori activities that may or may not get cycled through at regular intervals. My husband and I are working with him on really casual piano lessons once a week.
    I was homeschooled myself growing up, so I know my hard part is still to come and the stuff we are doing now is largely learning through play.
    I imagine that when something you care about as much as your child’s education is at stake it is hard not to be a full blown maximizer. Best of luck with your school year!

  6. Ruth-Anne Hayes says:

    I hope you snuggle into a beautiful rhythm this year. What a wonderful gift you are giving your kids, even on the toughest fall apart days. I approach each year thinking, “Is homeschooling really what we want to do?” But once I get over my perfectionist self I realize I wouldn’t trade this time with my kids for anything in this world. Let’s do this! ♡

  7. Sarah M. says:

    Could you explain more about what a cottage school is? I’ve been hearing the term lately but can’t quite figure out what it looks like in practice. Thanks!

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