March is my favorite time to plan for our next Homeschool Year. It is when I make a basic game plan and choose the next year's curriculum. Why March? Isn't that a little, well, early? First, let's take a quick look at my other options:
Not August or September: At the beginning of the new school year, I need to already have some direction to my efforts. I am busy getting my kids back into a school schedule and dusting off the summer brain drain. I need to have my plan already in place. That way, I can just put the plan into action instead of scrambling around trying to find a plan. For me, waiting until the last minute to plan out our school year would put me under a great deal of pressure. I don't do well under pressure.
Not October through December: October seems to be when we really hit a rhythm in our school. And then the holidays hit. I have enough on my plate during the holiday months without adding school planning to the list.
Not January or February: Most of us feel a bit of a school-induced slump during January and February. I, for one, am usually forcing myself to get back in the swing of things after the holidays. I don't have the fire and fervor that I had in September. I sometimes feel like I'm just gutting it out. It is during those months that I rely heavily on the plan that is already in place. It keeps me grounded until I can find my pacing again. Planning a dynamic school year during the late winter would be overwhelming. I might even be tempted to throw in the towel.
Not the Summer Months: When the last day of school arrives, I shut the school books, eschew the schedule and ditch the shoes. It takes me about 5 minutes to forget I'm teaching anyone anything. I forget the issues I needed to address. I forget how far we studied in World History. I forget what grade level my kids have achieved in Math. My blissful brain fog continues until I look up and realize it's about time to start a new school year. Trying to dig myself out of that oblivion would ruin my summer. Besides, I like to order our school books in June and take some leisurely time over the summer to look through the books and map out how we will finish all those books in the course of the school year. This is when I fine-tune my March plan. I need to already know what books I will be using and what my basic game plan is for that fine-tuning to happen, especially if my feet are dangling in the lake.
Which brings me to March: March is the perfect time for me to plan out our next school year. I am still in the full swing of things. I am far enough into our year to see where we will end up by summer. I still have any issues we need to work out fresh on my mind. I still know what is working for us and what I would like to see changed. The coming of Spring dispels the Winter Fog in my brain and gives me a little push of energy to plan and streamline. Think of it as Spring Cleaning for the School Schedule. March is all of this without being so close to summer that my mind keeps wandering away from school and to the lake. I like to have my basic planning done while school is still fresh on my mind, but before it ruins my summer -- because everyone knows that summer vacation is really for the teachers.
So, guess what I have been up to for the past few weeks? Yep, you guessed it. School planning. And I'm actually pretty excited about next year. I've got some great ideas to implement that will make our year more fun and productive than ever. And I'm writing it all down now, so I won't forget when the summer brain drain hits.
When do you like to plan your school year? Or do you plan it at all?
Have a great day!
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