Tips for Homeschool Planning for Multiple Ages

“Order Brings Peace” – St. Augustine

I think this is going to be my phrase for our school year.  It really is true, it’s just sometimes difficult to achieve and maintain order.  Particularly in a large family.
Some days, maybe most days, I feel like one or two people are behind me undoing all that I just did!
For the most part, the more well ordered our days are the more smoothly the day will go.  Not only does it require planning on our part as homeschooling moms, it requires diligence and perseverance – daily.
I’ll admit I find it much easier to plan my day than actually carry out my day.   I’m always working on that – there are so many distractions!  I think God must use it as a reminder for me to have empathy for my kids, especially my highly distractable kids.  If I can find many distractions to my day, than surely their distractions are ten-fold.

Here are my tips for homeschool planning for multiple ages:

1.  My Planning Sheet This year as I was getting started with my planning, I used a planning sheet I created.  It’s not fancy, I like to keep things simple, but it helped to ensure I didn’t forget anything critical for my children. I’m not going to realize on the first day of school that I forgot to order a math book for one of the kids.

Homeschool Planning Sheet

I printed out one sheet for each child and filled in what was appropriate.  I kept in mind the goals that we have for each child, particularly for their enrichment interests.

I then made a list of what I had and what I still needed to purchase.

2.  My Holding Station –

I have a magazine holder for each child.  I use it to store items that I want a child to use at a later date.  I also use it to store materials that might not have worked for one child, but will work for another when the time arises.  I can also look through the holders to see if it eliminates me from having to order something that might work for a child.
It keeps materials organized by student but doesn’t get mixed in with their every day work.

3.  Independent vs. “Mom” Work – I then went through each child’s list of school work and labeled what was going to be independent work and what needed my help.  Also, what subjects can be grouped together and what subjects are separate.

I may or may not have cried a little bit at this point…..I’m only kidding, we can do this! This is going to be a fun year! Moving right along…

Putting it all together

4.  Map out the Day – I always start with a pencil and paper plan to sketch out the year.  This year I tried something a bit differently.  I bought some small post it notes and wrote down all of the subjects from each planning sheet. Then I taped a few pieces of paper together and started laying down the post-it notes.

It was an easy way to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything and to be able to move items around and not have to keep erasing.  I know it’s very low tech, but it worked well for me.

I also used one color per child.  My younger three spend much of the day together, so it was easy to use one color for all three kids.

This year we are using Tapestry of Grace for the first time so I’m not quite sure how long those pieces of the puzzle will take, but doing my planning this way allows me a lot of flexibility.

Our schedule is not set in stone.  I can have the next several weeks to pray, think, and tweak as needed.  The most difficult part, the getting started part, is done.

You may find this post helpful too:

Homeschooling Multiple Ages in a Large & Busy Family

**Blogging Break**

I’m going to take a bit of a blogging vacation over the next couple of weeks.  We are taking a quick trip south and then we will have family in town for a couple of weeks.  I have a project I’d like to finish up as well.  Not to mention the fact that school will be starting soon and I need to finish up planning and preparing.

I will stay in touch through Instagram @jennifersdunlap and over on my Facebook page – feel free to drop in and join me there.

I will be back on August 5th with all sorts of homeschooling plans and curriculum, and perhaps some news about our family!


  1. Heather Ledeboer says

    Great suggestions, thank you for taking the time to show me visually with images how you organize. I am an organizer too so it is so helpful to get ideas in this area!

  2. Jen4Ever4Always says

    I know tons of people swear by Evernote, but I haven’t had much success with it. I guess I’m a pen and paper gal :) Thank you!

  3. Kelly says

    You are truly inspiring. Having 6 young homeschooled kids and adopted one more this month, I see what you are doing and see you are truly annointed. May God continue to bless you on homeschool journey.

  4. says

    Here it is, March, and I find myself floundering. Ugh.

    Thanks for your ideas. I’ve gotta do something different or come June we won’t have done any if the stuff that truly does need to be done!!

  5. says

    I love the magazine holders, I do that but not with such a focus on the future. I have missed opportunities to use some curriculum. Anyway great post!!


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