The classical homeschool model can be intimidating. It’s also, in its purest form, very intense. This basic framework for a flexible classical homeschool will allow you to build a manageable school routine, and incorporate all your goals for the school year! Just grab your favorite planner or notebook and let’s get started!
First things first:
I’m going to assume you already have a mission statement, lifetime goals, a time frame for your school year, and an Educational Philosophy for your flexible classical homeschool. If you don’t have those things yet, that’s a great place to start!
But What Do I Do Next?!
We will use the framework of The Well-Trained Mind; because it’s so comprehensive and easy to follow. Then, I added recommended books and resources from Home Learning Year-By-Year, by Rebecca Rupp. You can add any other books or resources that you need as well, just keep your list handy as we move through the next four steps.
Step One: What Will Get You Closer to Your Lifetime Goals?
Take a look at that list of lifetime goals you made. It’s time to decide what you can do this year to help you achieve those big picture items. As an example, this year, since one of my lifetime goals is to give all my kids a great fundamental understanding of math, I am taking some extra time on the addition and subtraction tables. My third-grader will be doing a specialized program with Math-U-See, that will probably only take us the first part of the school year. Then, we will re-assess and decide what math he will move into next.
Take some time to figure out what you’re going to work on this year; remember, homeschooling is a long process and it’s wise to plan less. You can always add more if you move faster than you think you will! But starting with a relaxed set of tangible goals will make every school year seem much more reasonable and attainable. Your flexible classical homeschool will look different from anyone else’s, so don’t feel like you need to follow anyone else’s plan. You can take ideas from all kinds of places and make it your own!
Step Two: Make The Master Lists
Once you have your lifetime goals broken down and chosen, it’s time to make four lists:
- Subjects you will be covering this year
- Master Materials List (Textbooks and projects you will be using)
- Master Literature List (All the other books you plan to read, that are not textbooks)
- Miscellany (This list is important! Don’t skip it. This is the extra units you’d like to do, the extra-curricular activities and lessons your kids will be taking, and the ideas you have for field trips or unconventional learning. This might be documentaries, or chores or homesteading activities you participate in, or extra learning you plan to do with family. To give you an idea, here is my list for my oldest:
- Swimming Lessons
- A Sport in the fall and spring (TBD)
- Volunteer Opportunities (TBD)
- Native American Studies Unit
- Nature Unit in the Fall and Spring
- Reading Eggs computer game
- IXL Math
- Field Trip to Science Museum
- Field Trip to Children’s Museum
- Theater Class through Community Ed
- Morning Chores
Step Three: When Will You Do It All?
This is where you get to put the flexible into flexible classical homeschool! Will you plan activities by season, by school terms or quarters, or by a timeline? I prefer to make a list of everything we will do each month. This gives me two advantages. One, I can break down my master lists so that I know exactly when I need each specific material or book I have chosen. It also lets me make sure that my units are lining up with each other where I want them to. For example, our history curriculum is tied to our literature choices, and will also correlate with what we discuss in science! With so many subjects tied together, it will make it much easier to remember what we’re learning, because we’ll be discussing it multiple times in a day or week. Once you have your learning mapped out, however you want, it’s time for the super fun part: SHOPPING!!!
Step Four: It’s Time to Go Shopping!
Tune in next week for The Complete Guide to Curriculum Shopping for a Secular Homeschool! It’s going to be a barn-burner!!!
What resources would help you with planning? Do you want customized lists or ideas? Do you need curriculum resources or a break down of The Well-Trained Mind? Please leave a comment below! I am so eager to help you! And don’t forget to get your free guide to make your homeschool mission statement! It’s the perfect place to start!