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Planning Shmanning: How a Rebel Learned to Plan

Homeschool planning: how a rebel learned to planDon’t get me wrong. I’m a planner. I love to plan. I love seeing all the pieces come together to form a whole, complete puzzle.

Problem is?

I hate following the plan. Any plan.

I feel claustrophobic. I get rebellious.

I don’t need no stinkin’ plan!

Turns out… my kiddo is much the same. Last Summer, in the months before we started our official homeschool journey, I made plans. Boy did I! I had plans for everything. I had painted a still life of our homeschool with my plans.

Day 1: Pull out my lovely plans. Begin to implement. Resistance. Rebellion! From my daughter. We made it through day one, but by day 2, day 3, I was having the resistance too, we were both rebelling against my beautiful plan.

We don’t need no stinkin’ plan!!

But really… we do.

We learned soooo much this year, sans plan. However, when we got to the end of the year, I heard this:

“I don’t feel like I learned ANYTHING this year!!”

I know for a fact she learned copious amounts, (just mention Monarch butterflies to her… go ahead, try it!) but without any kind of framework to hold the learning, it’s kind of hard to hold it in your hand, pull it out, look at it.

So how do a couple of plan rebels learn to plan and actually follow through?

It’s pretty simple actually… create a plan that looks a lot like a Hoberman Sphere.

Hoberman sphere

Create a plan that has structure, but plenty of open space to give you the freedom to move around, to explore, to get sidetracked, to ask questions.

What does a Hoberman Sphere Plan look like in real homeschool life? 

Well, for us, it looks like 1 math program… instead of the choice of three. (We decided on Teaching Textbooks for this upcoming year.) This, our first year, I was all about the idea of giving her choices, and options, and control. She did math daily, but she could choose between Kahn Academy, Prodigy, and a 180 Days of Math workbook. Problem was… when she hit hard stuff in one, she skipped over to another. She was doing math every day, but she wasn’t moving forward. Me, the math hater, didn’t realize this until about the last 3 weeks of school. 🙂 When we started choosing one option per week, but even then… it wasn’t a really great solution. She was feeling really down on herself about math. We looked at many different math programs, trying to decide what to do for next year. I do want her to have freedom, and choice, and autonomy in our school, so she was an integral part of choosing the new program. Most math programs made her face contort and either shrieks or tears appear almost immediately.  However, Teaching Textbooks was different. She actually smiled. She got a (small) look of confidence in her face. She actually went through all the samples and asked to do more. So, yeah, we’re going with that. 🙂

We are also  “touring Europe” next year. This is where it really starts to look like a Hoberman Sphere. We are using a program called Around the World Stories to travel Europe (from Kansas). This is the framework. We’ll have a month in each country. They’ll send us weekly original audio stories, with some ideas for activities related to the country, and some recipes to make, but otherwise our month is open to just explore the country we’re in. We may do this by adding in relevant episodes of Parts Unkown, and Bizarre Food, as well as Radiooooo.com (the musical time machine), that lets you listen to music from different countries across the decades (it’s super cool, if you haven’t tried it, definitely check it out! It’s free.) Framework with freedom allows us to look up recipes, to dig around in the country and see where we’d like to go, what we’d like to visit. Learn the history of the country, if we so choose. It gives us the opportunity to find books in the library that look interesting. It’s framework with the open space to expand and explore.

We are doing something similar with Science this year. We’ll be using Mystery Science (because we love it!), and doing experiments. It’s nice to have the framework of Mystery Science, along with the open space of experiments to follow our interests and curiosity.

We have staple podcasts we listen to, and we’re always adding more as we find them. I don’t add them to the “plan” because then they feel like a “must do” instead of a “get to do”. We mostly use podcasts in the car, when we’re running errands or heading to homeschool activities. We don’t always listen to podcasts… sometimes we blast the radio and sing as loud as we can. That’s the kind of freedom we like to have.

Then there’s Brave Writer, and the Brave Writer lifestyle. (Save 40% with this link.) This will be new to our homeschool this year as well, but I feel like it is a perfect fit for the Hoberman Sphere. 🙂 We shall see.

If someone asks me what we’re doing next Tuesday, I’ll be able to say, Mystery Science and Poetry Tea Time, but the mystery we’ll be studying? The poems we’ll be reading? The tea we’ll be drinking? That I won’t know until then.

Framework with lots of open space. It’s turning these plan rebels into true believers.

Need more tips and ideas for homeschool planning? Check out these great posts!
(All posts may not be secular)

Curriculum Planning: It really is all about YOU. by Jen at Practical, By Default

Why You Need to Be Flexible In Your Homeschool Planning by Amy Milcic at Rock Your Homeschool

Tips and Tricks For Your Homeschool Planning by Crystal Green at Sharing Life’s Moments

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4 Responses to Planning Shmanning: How a Rebel Learned to Plan

  1. Pingback: Why You Need to Be Flexible In Your Homeschool Planning - Rock Your Homeschool

  2. Pingback: Curriculum Planning: It really is all about YOU.

  3. Tara says:

    So glad I found you today! Loving your ideas and feel like you are definitely a kindred spirit. 🙂

    One site you might want to check out while you are studying each country is Radio Garden. It is very cool – you can listen to various radio stations in real time, all around the world!! Just give the globe time to “sprout” (it may take a while) and then choose a stream of light – each one is a radio station. Great for learning about geography and culture. Here is the website: http://radio.garden/live/

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog and seeing you on Facebook!

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