Arguably my favorite form in the Homeschool Teacher Edition planner is the Long Term Family Plan. I should let you know up front that friends have teased me for years about having a “12-year plan” for homeschooling. So, to make my life easier, I lobbied hard for something like a Long Term Family Plan when we created the Teacher Edition homeschool planner. Thankfully, although she didn’t quite share my passion, Suzie agreed to include it. And now, each year, it is the first form that I fill out when I break open my new planner. And I think she has also become convinced of how important it is.
How a Long Term Family Plan Helps
It’s a great place to detail the curriculum that each child will be working on. I use one whole page for the current year – using each line for one or two subjects. We always recommend purchasing your Teacher Edition in the spring, after you’ve had all year to determine what is working and what you need to change. Then by writing out your curriculum choice for each child, you’ll see easily what you still need to plan!
In my family: This year, as I laid out my Family Plan, I realized I had completely forgotten to choose Language Arts for my daughter! It is not her favorite subject (a massive understatement) so we’ve tried many options – this year I had a big blank staring at me until I heard of yet another resource that seemed like it might work for her. :)
At a Glance
The other page can allow you to see several years ahead at a glance. Depending on the number of children you have, use just one or two lines per child per year. I also create my own narrow columns for individual subjects. If you have a “core” curriculum or subject, like history or literature, you’ll be able to see which kids can be combined for which years. This is always a bonus for homeschool moms.
In my family: My oldest two have always done history and literature together, but by laying it out, I saw that at a certain point, my son would be ready for high school level books when my daughter wasn’t quite there. So she will then step back and join my third-born for a year to give her some extra time.
One More Example
In my family: I can see, without counting, that my youngest will be in 3rd grade when her siblings will be in 7th, 9th, and 10th, and oh! it just so happens that the 7th grader will be doing World History that year so maybe if I adjust things just a little, she could, too, and they can be studying the same thing, just on different levels. And so on. That is the kind of revelation that just makes this homeschool mom happy.
Note: The number of kids you have doesn’t affect the usefulness of this form. Those of you with fewer kids can fit more details and more years in, and those with a bigger brood may have to be more general. But I truly believe it can work for everyone.
And a final thought: Of course you should expect plans to change.
Your Family Plan should never be set in stone. In fact I would always encourage you to use pencil on it. The 12-year plan that I started with 8 years ago is nothing like my current 12-year plan, which includes a little girl I would never have imagined having 8 years ago! As I see how things are working each year, I give myself freedom to adjust. Whether it’s when I realize that that new wonderful math curriculum doesn’t work, or the kids love this history so much that we plan on extending it to two years, I just pull out the Plan and move things around until it all falls into place again.