This is absolutely one of the best homeschool planning books I have ever read! I love books that help me organize and plan, and this one certainly stood out right off the bat with the subtitle, “How to Plan a Year of Home Education That Fits the Reality of Your Life”. Anyone who has been homeschooling for more than a few days knows that there are many homeschoooling methods and there is no one-size-fits-all. So, how does this book help you plan for a whole year for the reality of your life? Well, read on! After getting no farther than the introduction, I was excited about this book. Rather than pages of the typical charts and calendars, what made this book different was: finding your why, what your children will get out of homeschooling, and how to make it happen with a workable plan. The author recommends to read it twice – first, to get an overview and second to actually do the project suggestions. I plan to do the second part myself in the coming days. I will be the first to admit that in my 9 years of homeschooling, I have never planned an entire year. I have read a few articles about people who have, but I have never felt that I had the organizational skills to pull it off. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I knew I’d over-analyze and end up with enough white-out in my planner that my pages would feel as if they were made of stone tablets instead of paper! Plus, flexibility and doing things on a whim suits my personality. Going into this school year, I recognized my vision and ideas have changed in many ways. I knew I needed a plan in place as we began our journey in high school and middle school. With just a few years to go, I wanted to be better prepared this time.
The whole plan to this book is likened to building a house: you need plans – you need blueprints for your homeschool. Starting with the foundation, the author goes into great detail about values. The ideas and concepts that have the most worth to you, and how to help you discover what they are as a home educator. Here is where you begin your 43 “blueprint sketches”. It sounds like a daunting task, but I love how it is broken down.
Part 1: Values – The first five blueprint sketches are your foundation. What’s important to you and your family as you homeschool?
Part 2: Methods – The next five blueprint sketches include finding your teaching style, their learning styles, and choosing your curriculum type. I have done something similar to this when I first started homeschooling. Some things had changed, and some remained the same. It’s a good idea to re-evaluate this every couple of years in my opinion.
Part 3: Setting Goals – This is a big one, and there are several blueprint sketches for this section. The SMART goal theory (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound) is broken down so we do not get ahead of ourselves.
Part 4: Curriculum – In the “blueprint” analogy used throughout the book, we are now at the part where we can decorate each room in your house so to speak, because we have our values, methods, and goals already set. She even includes a nice, detailed section on how to DIY history and science curriculum without being overwhelmed. This was very helpful, because it is sometimes difficult to find exactly what we want in the ocean of curriculum choices.
Part 5: Calendars I have to say, one of the best things about homeschooling is creating and being in charge of your own calendar! Her methods of breaking down the school year calendar simplifies a large task, so you will be ready for things that come up that are unplanned.
By now, you’ve gone through 43 “blueprint sketches”! Once you get rolling, it will fit together nicely, and you will see the reasons why as you go through the steps.
Part 6: Making It Work This final section is full of great tips from keeping it together, and what to do if you get off track.
I am looking forward to going through this process and finally having a plan that works for our family. Investing the time now will give me time and sanity this school year. Blueprint Homeschooling has something that new homeschoolers as well as veterans can successfully put into place. The plan is a great fit for the many types of diverse homeschooling families today. Its uniqueness is both intriguing and exciting. I have provided a link if you would like to know more or purchase for yourself. Now, lets’s get planning!
I have not been compensated for this review. This is an affiliate link. It does not cost you extra, and I may be compensated from your purchase.