Our first year of formal lessons using a Charlotte Mason philosophy is here! I’m delighted to begin our year of learning together, but first I’m sharing all of the planning I’ve been doing for the past several weeks. Keep reading to watch the video and read all about my homeschool year preparations and checklist!

My Homeschool Year Prep + Checklist

How to Prepare for Your Homeschool Year

01. Choose a program or curriculum.

We are using the Charlotte Mason Educational Center (CMEC) as our main resource. I explained more about our decision to use their programs in this post here, but that is what I selected!

02. Read through the program guides (or curriculum).

After getting everything printed off, I read through our program guide and organized my CMEC binder. I needed to get it all set up so I could reference if often during my preparation time.

03. Purchase books needed for the year.

Luckily the CMEC provides a handy checklist of materials needed, but I did already have an ongoing list of things I needed to purchase, including our school books! I purchased our core subjects books, historical supplements, and other books I knew we would read. Since are a Charlotte Mason homeschool family we rely heavily on living books for our learning.

04. Purchase supplies needed for the school year.

I bought brush-drawing supplies, notebooks, pens, etc. so that I didn’t have to purchase anything during the year.

05. Begin the pre-reading process.

In addition to pre-reading almost every book, I also went through and marked each section of reading by term with color-coded post-it tabs! I recored my pre-reading notes in my logbook. (More on that below).

06. I familiarized myself with our music curriculum, writing curriculum, foreign language curriculum, etc. 

In addition to our core subjects like history, geography, math, reading, I had components I needed to get familiar with like writing, Swedish drill, and folk dances. I read up on these ahead of time to get familiar, but will also do this weekly so I can prepare and have the material top of mind going into a new week!

07. Prepare the logbook.

A logbook is simply a place where I record our lessons each week. I also keep weekly written lesson plans to stay organized, and lists of books we read or places we visit. I prepared my logbook by drawing the lines, sectioning off subjects, and writing out weeks 1-10 for all three terms. You can view my logbook video here.

08. Prepare the timetable.

A timetable is essentially a schedule. I sat down for many hours and tried to produce a timetable that made sense for our family. It’s not something that I take lightly, because it provides structure and rhythm to our day. I used to like the idea of more of a “flow” but having the timetable keeps me on track. I find that with my personality type I really do benefit from the timetable. You can view my timetable for 2021-2022 in this video here.

09. Organize school supplies and handicrafts bins.

I organized all of our craft supplies and got everything put into bins so I can easily access them during the year for our handicrafts time. This helps take any thinking or work out of my day-to-day and allows me to focus on lessons, reading, and fun.

10. Plan out first weekly of lessons.

I look at all of my preparations and plans and then decide what we will cover in the first week! Going forward, I can rest at ease knowing I prepared as best I can for the upcoming year. Weekly, I’ll plan our lessons according to what we covered the previous week. I use the logbook to help me track that. It’s a wonderful system and I highly recommend it!

I hope this blog post and video is helpful to you in planning your own homeschool year! Thank you so much for reading!

Learn more about The CMEC.

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