Praising the Lord with Our Homeschool Plans
What are your wildest dreams for your homeschool? Are you ready to open up a fresh planner and schedule the perfect school year? It all looks so good on paper, until a week (or maybe just a day) into the new school year when you wake up from the dream and make the realization: there is no such thing as a perfect schoolyear.
What if we traded the illusion of a perfect schoolyear for reality? In real life, our homeschools will be full of interruptions, resistance, attitudes, sibling rivalries, and all sorts of issues we don’t plan for. When reality is expected and we remember that we’re all sinners here, we can view interruptions, arguments, and the unexpected as opportunities to help our children develop character and grow. As moms, we keep growing too.
Then, instead of feeling like a failure for not attaining the mythical “perfect” school year, we can turn our discouragement to praising the Lord instead. There’s a reminder among an assortment of wild animals on the cover of this year’s planner put out by The Old Schoolhouse®. It displays the words: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” from Psalm 150:6. That verse puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it? It’s right on the front of your planner. You can praise the Lord in your homeschool. Praise the Lord with your plans. Praise the Lord in your relationships with your children. Praise the Lord with the ways you fill your days and hours and minutes. Plan on praising the Lord, no matter how plans change. That’s how to plan on a successful schoolyear!
You can tame your expectations and your plans with the new Schoolhouse SmartMama Planner for 2023–2024. It’s the mama of all homeschool planners, and it is now ready for you to print or to download and use on a device. We are so excited to bring you another tool to help you streamline and organize your homeschool year!
Let’s take a look at some tips and unique ways you can utilize this year’s planner. Keep in mind that the Schoolhouse SmartMama Planner is flexible. You can use it for any number of children, no matter your family size! Use the pages that work for your family. You’ll find options here—don’t feel burdened to use pages you don’t need. If you’re a paper planner kind of girl, print as many pages as you need or print extras of the pages you love. Companies like The Homeschool Printing Company are happy to print your planner and send it to you. The Schoolhouse SmartMama Planner can also be used on devices like computers and tablets.
Monthly Devotions: Start each month with a stop. Practice a pause on the first day of the month to readjust your focus on the Lord. Gena Suarez wrote a “Hey, Mama!” devotional for each month, and they’re placed perfectly throughout the planner. You may recognize her familiar “Hey, Mama!” phrase from the pages of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She’s the publisher and has long been blessing mamas like you with just the right reminders as you homeschool.
Monthly Notes: Opposite each devotion is a space for jotting down your notes. Use this any way you like—journal in response to the devotion, make a to-do list for the month, or even use it to record milestones. Jot down the funny things that come out of your little ones’ mouths so you can laugh about their sweet sayings years down the road. You’re home with your kids, so you won’t miss a moment!
Monthly Calendar: Each month is spread out over two facing pages. Keep your appointments, extracurriculars, lessons, practices, and other important dates penciled into the boxes here. The monthly pages start with July 2023 and end with June 2024.
Curriculum Budget: Keep track of how much you spend on curriculum. This record will make a handy reference when you plan the next schoolyear. This list will also be useful should you choose to sell your curriculum when you’re through with it.
Course of Study: Fill in one of these sheets per child. It’s a handy planning tool to make sure your bases are covered. It also serves as a concise snapshot of the year.
Yearly Goals: Here’s another page that can be used per student. It features spaces to capture your goals for your child. Take a few minutes at the beginning of the school year to pray and jot down your hopes under their name in these areas: educational, spiritual, physical, personal talents, life skills, financial, and relational. Revisit throughout the year and keep praying for growth in those areas. Won’t it be amazing to see how the Lord has grown your children at the end of the year? The Schoolhouse SmartMama Planner includes pages for semester goals and educational objectives as well.
Preschool Pages: If you don’t have a preschooler to use these pages with, you’re going to want one! Track their progress with a list of suggestions for sweet educational activities to learn colors, shapes, and more delightful foundational concepts.
Reading Log: Use one sheet to keep track of your family read-alouds, or use one reading log per child. Draw a heart by the ones you enjoyed enough to recommend.
High School Pages: Find helpful guidance and an academic transcript form you can emulate or fill in to record your high schooler’s coursework. You’ll thank yourself for keeping records as you go, and you’ll marvel at all your student has accomplished.
Family Chore Chart: It takes a lot of effort to keep a homeschool household running. Here’s a space to keep track of who is doing what so everyone knows what is expected. Consider assigning each child an age-appropriate chore for the year. Help them get in the habit of completing their tasks on a daily basis following meals. One checks trash and/or recycling, one empties the dishwasher, one switches laundry or folds a load, one vacuums the kitchen or eating area, one clears the table, etc.
Prayer Journal Pages: Model the discipline of prayer with the prayer journal pages in your planner. One was designed for kids; the other is intended for parents. List prayer requests as you pray them and see how the Lord answers.
Are you inspired and ready to plan? If you’re a member of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you get to download your planner free; just visit your Member Dashboard. If you’re not a member yet, the Schoolhouse SmartMama Planner is available from The Old Schoolhouse® for $29 through June 9, 2023. Download or print today and plan away. As you sit down with your planner to capture your wildest plans and prepare for the next school year, put Psalm 150:6 as the goal, and praise the Lord through all the plans and interruptions. That’s the best way to plan every homeschool month, week, day, and moment.