How (and Why) I plan our Homeschool Time Weekly (Including a Free Google Doc Template!)

In this post, I’ll give you a glimpse into how I plan our homeschool time and also share a free Google Doc so you can plan your week digitally in Google Sheets or print it out too!

How and Why I Plan Our Homeschool Assignments Weekly - Including a Free Google Doc that you can customize and make your own! #homeschool #homeschoolschedule #homeschoolplanning #weeklyplanning

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the amount of freedom it gives us. But sometimes that freedom can feel overwhelming. There are so many options for how to do every last thing - curriculum, theory, planning, extracurricular activities.

You can find a typical schedule for our day here from last year when my kids were 2 years old, in Pre-Kindergarten, and First Grade. I’ve heard from readers that it is helpful to check out if you’re looking for both a sample but also some things you haven’t thought of and might want to change up! I have also changed up quite a bit so I will post a new schedule soon with our daily routine for my three year old, kindergartener, and second grader.

I do not claim to be a homeschooling expert. I have been doing it for three years and have learned so much. It is always changing based on adding new kids, seeing how your kids learn best, current activities and scheduling, family goals, and about twenty other factors. If you’ve even thought about homeschooling or done it for any amount of time, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

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So, we come to planning. When you sit down for “school time”, how do you decide what to do first? For all of these options, I like that I am teaching my kids some appropriate level of independence. They can always go find their work and begin even if they will need help from me. Here are the three different main options I’ve tried for those who like to plan their homeschool assignments for the day. However, as you’ll see - I like option three the best so keep reading!

Option 1: Daily Planning

Last year, I tried out the daily method. The simple explanation is that you write on a single sheet of notebook paper (in a spiral bound notebook) all the assignments for the day. I adore everything from Sarah Mackenzie (have you read this book? And this one? If not, go read them now… seriously) and this method is what she recommends in detail and with some examples here.

The pros here are that it is cheap and you can really customize it since you are reviewing your child’s work daily. I really liked this for a while. I liked that it was so interactive since you were basically writing notes and tasks for your kids daily.

However, I stopped doing it because even with just two kids, it was too much to keep up with. I didn’t like that I had to open every single book we use twice a day (once with my kids to actually do the work and then again at night to plan for the next day).

(Oh ya, and I also broke my hand which made that really annoying.)

There may be a time in the future where I go back to this method but right now it was leading to decision fatigue for me. At the end of the day when I’m tired, I quite honestly couldn’t also decide if someone should do 2 pages of math or 6 the next day. Call me a slacker, but I needed a break after bedtime.

Option 2: Monthly / Long Term Planning

I have also tried the monthly planning. We meet with a teacher from our charter school about every four weeks so our school year is broken down into roughly 9 months of time. I had bought my daughter a simple planner and I would just pop in the work for each day for the upcoming month-long period, occassionally going even longer than that when I had some extra time.

This left little flexibility as sometimes math or phonics would get too hard and then I would have to change everything, which was very annoying! I also hated writing the same things over and over again. Either the subject like “Story of the World” for three different days in the same week or something we did the same day every week like “Swim lessons” or “Trip to Library”.

So, from there, I developed my own system!

Option 3: Weekly (and Digital) Planning {My sweet spot}

 This is a version of the Google Doc I have made available for you for free to plan your homeschool time one week at a time!

This is a version of the Google Doc I have made available for you for free to plan your homeschool time one week at a time!

My process is simple. Sometime between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, I open up the previous week’s sheet and create a new one for the upcoming week.

I don’t have to re-write things that happen weekly because they are already there (lessons, library trips, etc.). I also don’t have to re-write the subjects because they are already there too! All I have to do is pop in either the amount of time they should work on something (like “20 minutes of reading”) or the tasks (like number of pages in a book or finish a small project) to complete.

If you don’t like using your computer, you could just fill in the subjects and print a few blank copies to hand write on the pages.

I can look at what each kid accomplished in their books and know if we need to do more of a subject, slow down, or even change something more drastic.

I can put in any special events and field trips we have planned or tweak activities if there has been a change.

In total, this takes about 25 minutes for two kids! Success! I print it out and it goes into a binder we keep with our "homeschool stuff".

The second section is where we track weekly allowance as well. These are just simple things that they are expected to do every day. They have to do at least 5 to get any money and then it’s a sliding scale upward where if they do all of them, they get the max for the day. This is very simple, which again is the goal!

You can access your copy of this planner sheet here (no hoops to jump through!)! I have included the one that you see in the image and then you can completely change it as you need to include what your kids do.

It is a simple format that should work in any word processing application. You could copy and paste it into the application you prefer (like Word or Pages) or if you want to use it right in Google Docs, just go to “File” and select “Make a Copy”.

If you need help with this or have any questions, feel free to comment below. Did I forget to explain something? Let me know!

Also, if you found this helpful, pretty please save it on Pinterest on your Homeschool board or direct your friends to this post instead of right to the Google Doc! I really appreciate that!