How to Plan Your Homeschool Year with Trello
Are you planning on homeschooling this coming year, and you’re not sure where to start? Or maybe you’ve been doing this for years, but the planning piece of homeschooling still feels stressful.
Or maybe you just love organizing and want to up your homeschool planning game! Whichever category you fit into, you’re going to LOVE this super DIY way to plan your homeschool year- with Trello!
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What is Trello?
Trello is a productivity app for both desktop and mobile (which makes it awesome for homeschooling on the go!) and it easily adapts to planning out your homeschool year!
To get started, go here and set up a free account. It only takes about 2 minutes!
I love Trello because it’s very visual and easy to rearrange (key in planning for anything homeschool or kid related!). I’m a super fan of using Trello to plan your homeschool year!
To learn more about Trello, here’s a quick video to show you the basics of how it works!
Planning the Big Picture of Your Homeschool Year
To plan your homeschool year, you’ll need to start out with the basics: what do you want to accomplish? What are your goals? What subjects are you going to tackle, and how much of them do you need to get done?
Look at your family’s year
Remember, you’re in the driver’s seat, so you can change things up if it works better for your family!
Some homeschool families school year round. Some take off the entire month of December. Some do school for a few weeks and then take a week off. At my house growing up (I was homeschooled 1st-12th grade), we always took off a week in September to go to the beach!
So decide what you want YOUR homeschool year to look like, then start to line that up with the curriculum and lessons you want to accomplish.
Divide up the curriculum
Once you know what your family’s general school year will look like (or your best guess!), and you’ve picked your curriculum (p.s. you can find some great resources for comparing/choosing curriculum here), take a look at the table of contents for each subject.
Most school years are divided up into 36-40 weeks, so see how each piece of your curriculum (math, science, etc.) is laid out. Based on your family’s goals and plans for the year, do you need to do a lesson a day? Two lessons a week?
It may take a little figuring- but once you’ve got that piece, you’re well on your way to having it all planned out!
Put it all into Trello
Next up, create your board in Trello and create a list for each subject. This will be your Big Picture Plan!
NOTE: You’ll want to do a board for each child so you don’t get mixed up about whose science is whose, etc.!
Want your own copy of this Trello Board? Put your email in the box below and I’ll send it to you!
Then on each SUBJECT LIST (Science, Math, etc.) create the following cards:
2. Resources Needed
3. To Do
4. Important Links
5. Important Dates
6. Idea Dump
On the Layout card use the description to note how much you need to do (one lesson a day, etc.) to get it done in your year. Then on each card, create a checklist to list the lessons/activities/assignments- be sure to use descriptive titles for the lessons, etc. such as “Science Day 1” and not just “Day 1”. You’ll see why later!
On the Resources Needed card, add a checklist of any resources you need to find or purchase. This might be books, manipulatives, science experiment supplies, etc.
On the To Do card, add a checklist of any particular things that need to be done for each subject- like creating flash cards, purchasing supplies, setting up field trips, etc.
On the Important Links card, add any links for that subject- videos, online resources, etc.
On the Important Dates card, add in any important dates to remember (you can use the Calendar power-up to include due dates as well!). For example: maybe you want to go see a play tied to a history module you’re studying, or do a field trip to a museum, or even remember to check out a certain book from the library- use this to remind yourself of those dates!
On the Idea Dump card– this is for everything else. Any notes you come up with as you go along, including notes for teaching your younger kids who might do the same curriculum in a couple of years, etc.
Ta-da! You did it. There’s your big picture plan!
See how easy it’s going to be to plan your homeschool year with Trello?
Dividing into a (Flexible) Weekly Plan
Next up, you’ll create the plan for the upcoming week(s). Create a list for each week you want to plan out. This can be just one week if you’re more spontaneous, or all the way through the year if you are a planner! Personally, I like to do about 4 weeks at a time. For now, let’s create Week 1.
Go into your Subject Lists and into each Layout card’s checklist. Beside each item that you plan to do on Week 1, click on the “…” and convert it into a card.
It will automatically convert that item into a card on that Subject List. (This step is why it was important to use the “Science Day 1” description- so that once it’s made into a card, you still know what subject you’re dealing with!)
Finally, drag each card (assignment/activity/lesson) to be done in Week 1 onto the Week 1 list, and repeat for each week you’re currently planning out.
Look at that! Week/s planned! And remember- this is a general plan. It’s okay to change it as you go along- flexibility is key!
Creating the Daily Plan
Yay, we’re almost done!
Some may prefer to skip this step and wing it a bit more, but others will rely on this part of the board heavily- do whichever works for you!
Next, make one list for each day you’ll be doing school- Monday, Tuesday, etc., plus a list titled “Move to Next Week” (for things you don’t get done this week- it happens often!).
Now simply drag and drop the tasks from Week 1 (or whatever number) onto the day of the week when you want to accomplish each thing. And remember- this is a general plan- you can always drag and drop things you don’t get done onto the next day if need be.
And that’s it! You’ve now created an easy homeschool plan using Trello!
Checking off the Day to Day (and keeping records)
You might be wondering if there is an easy way to keep records of what you’ve done each week in your homeschooling. And the answer is definitely yes!
First of all, you can check off the lessons you complete back in the Layout Cards of the Subject Lists. HOWEVER, if this is the way you want to track your progress, you will need to either a) make a second checklist on the layout card of each Subject list that you don’t convert to cards or b) create the cards for each lesson, etc. instead of converting them from the Layout Card- because if you convert the checklist items into cards, they will not longer be on your checklist for checking off. (If you need a visual of that, put your email in the box at the bottom of the page and I’ll send you a video).
Or, if you need something more detailed that shows when you did what, etc., simply create an additional list called “Done” (or something along those lines)- then each time you complete a card/task, just drag and drop the card to the “Done” list.
At the end of each week, you’ll have a full record of everything you’ve done that week! To keep things clean, you can then move that list to a separate Trello board (called “Record Keeping” or something similar) if you want- just make sure that if you move the list to the “record keeping” board, you add the dates to the title of the list you move (if that’s important to you to know later). Easy, right?
Then whenever you need to go back and create a transcript or remember what was done for Child A so you can modify for Child B, etc- it’s all right there for you. Hooray!
Trello Template for Planning Your Homeschool Year
Want your own copy of this Trello Template? Throw your email in the box below and I’ll send it to you! I’ve set it up so it’s ready to be copied and filled in for your children, curriculum, and routine.
One more reminder on planning your homeschool year with Trello…
It will be okay.
All of us homeschool moms can get caught up in the details of how it’s all going to work out- but rest assured that it will. Your kids will be fine, even if (when!) it doesn’t all go as planned, and you are not a failure if you forget something, do it differently, or just plain lose it sometimes. Part of the beauty of homeschooling is it’s flexibility (speaking to all the Type A’s just like me!)- embrace it and enjoy the ride!
You’ve got this, Mama!
How do you plan your homeschool year? Comment below and let me know!!!
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