Welcome!

I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

The Brave Homeschool Planner

The Brave Homeschool Planner

Extras always seem to weigh me down. They require work, rob me of my energy, and breed unnecessary guilt. As a busy, work-at-home, homeschooling mom, I don't have time for that. I'd rather focus my effort on things that bring me joy and add, not detract, from my day. And so I purge all the extras, guilt-free. I prune away any non-essentials...of my time, of my home, of my school.

Some time ago, I made the decision to paper purge. For years, I used a popular homeschool planner. And while I was happy with the basic set-up of the planner, I always felt a wee bit burdened by the pages and pages of extras that I never really used. FOMO sometimes guilt-drove me to fill in the blanks. But all the time spent logging unnecessaries seemed like such a waste.

Planning the homeschool year

Then, I stumbled upon another popular planner. It was a bare-bones, basic planner--everything I thought I needed. It was sensible and functional. Workaday, you might say, like orthopedic shoes and brown paper lunch sacks. But just like those, the planner could not inspire or excite me. It did the job, mind you, but was so aggressively average looking that I may as well have been using a spiral notebook to schedule our days.

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details.)

I was at an impasse. It seemed I had two choices: flashy and overwhelming or prudent and blah.

It became glaringly obvious that it was time to break up with my underwhelming planners and forge a new relationship.

When I went looking around for a planner that could fit the bill--one that combined the appeal of my first planner and the simplicity of the second, I came away empty-handed. So, as with most of life, necessity became the mother of invention.

I needed a planner that would give me the bravery to chart a unique course for me and mine.

I needed a planner that would fit my life, not one that forced its way in.

I needed a planner that would adapt to the unique needs of homeschooling.

Enter the planner that was inspired by my book, Homeschool Bravely and its scheduling companion, The Quick-Start Guide to Brave Homeschool Schedules: The Brave Homeschool Planner!

Full color badge of The Brave Homeschool Planner

What Makes the Brave Homeschool Planner Better


It's made by a homeschool mom for a homeschool mom. 

I learned early on in my homeschooling journey that no run-of-the-mill planner would do for a homeschooler's schedule. A traditional classroom-style planner falls short too: the calendar grids don't align with a homeschool lifestyle, the lesson plan space only accommodates one grade level, and the emphasis is on grades and rubrics. The Brave Homeschool Planner, on the other hand, was designed by a homeschool mom with the specific needs of a homeschool mom in mind.

Cover of the Brave Homeschool Planner

It's the perfect blend of pretty and practical. 

As I mentioned, The Brave Homeschool Planner does NOT include a lot of superfluous extras that those expensive homeschool planners add on like menu sheets, budget planning pages, and Christmas gift lists...not because those types of lists aren't important, but because most homeschool moms prefer not to muddy the planning waters with all of those things. Having all of those extra home-keeping pages end up distracting from the work at hand. There's no fluff in the Brave Homeschool Planner. There are only homeschool-specific planning pages that help to create a homeschool focus.

weekly spreadsheet of the Brave Homeschool Planner

It's a basic homeschool portfolio.

Because the Brave Homeschool Planner provides space for keeping accurate records of attendance, curriculum choices, field trips, book lists, as well as daily schedules and lesson plans, it acts as a basic homeschool portfolio. At the end of the year, it can be stashed away with work samples and projects to complete a comprehensive paper trail for the entire year.

Homeschool attendance record

It's firm but flexible. 

In the past when you've used homeschool planners, you were probably faced with two scenarios. You could write down the lessons you hoped to accomplish on a particular date and then work yourself into a tizzy to complete all those lessons on that date in order to not get behind your plan OR worse yet, you could write down the lessons, not complete all of them on the date you had hoped you would, and then spend the rest of the year feeling a few days ahead in some subjects and a few days behind in others.

But, with the Brave Homeschool Planner, there's a Door Number Three. Unlike most planners, the Brave Homeschool Planner provides days, not dates. At the top of each weekly scheduling page is a small month-at-a-glance calendar to provide a bird's eye view of the month. But each scheduling column on the page only includes the day of the week, not a hard-and-fast date. That means before the school year even starts, you can write down the lessons you hope to accomplish in a dateless column, and then later, during the school year, you can write in the date when the lessons were actually accomplished. It's a small mind shift, but one that eliminates any unnecessary mom guilt.

Days are suggestions that help keep momentum during the school week. Dates are bullies that chain a homeschool mom to feelings of failure.

goals for homeschooling

It provides room for the unplanned.

The "Notes" space that runs along the bottom of each 2-page scheduling spread provides space for jotting down any "unplanned" ideas you might have throughout the week like books you'd like to check out from the library for an upcoming unit study, words that you've found your kids consistently misspelling, or potential projects you need to buy supplies for. "Notes" leaves room for the detours of the week--the unplanned ideas that need space too.

Mom with a homeschool planner

What's Included in The Brave Homeschool Planner


In this 172-page digital download, you will receive a printable homeschool planner that includes the following pages:
  • Emergency Contact Info
  • Potential Field Trips
  • What We're All About
  • Daily Schedule Template
  • Year-at-a-Glance Calendar
  • Attendance Sheets (for 4 students)
  • Curriculum/Book Planning Sheets (for 4 students)
  • 2-Page Monthly Calendar Spreads (July 2022-July 2023)
  • Weekly Planning Pages (July 2022-June 2023) for 4 students
For your printing convenience, there are two versions to choose from: Full-Color and Black & White with Colored Accents.


Time is the currency of life. Don't waste another moment of it wondering about what to do next in the homeschool day. Form a plan. Write it down. And enjoy your homeschool again!

Wanna Win a Planner of Your Very Own?


Of course, you do! Now's your chance to win one of six planner downloads I'm giving away!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. WINNERS HAVE BEEN RANDOMLY SELECTED

To enter:
Leave a comment below telling me what part of planning/scheduling your homeschool year is daunting AND/OR head on over to Instagram. Be sure to follow @unlikely_homeschool. Tag at least one friend in the comments section. If you win, so does your friend! You can tag as many friends as you would like for additional chances to win. Just be sure to tag each in a separate comment. For an additional Insta entry, share about the giveaway in your stories, but be sure to tag @unlikely_homeschool.

No purchase necessary to win. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Two winners will be randomly selected here on the blog and two winners and their friends will be randomly selected on Instagram. All winners will be announced sometime after Wednesday, April 26, 2023. The winners will be notified here in the comments and/or Instagram and will have 72 hours to respond. If an email is not provided or the winner does not respond, the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be randomly selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook or Instagram.

***Mandatory Entry: To enter, be sure to leave a comment in the "comments" section of this post telling me what part of planning/scheduling your homeschool year is daunting OR tag someone on Instagram. If you are logging into the blog comments section as "anonymous," please include at least your first name at the end of your comment.

73 comments:

  1. This will be my first year homeschooling 😬 and I am a write it down/paper kind of planner. I’ve been looking online and nothing seems to work for what I need but this does!

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  2. It’s always daunting to me planning out the month and being able to stick to it

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  3. I’m about to start formally homeschooling more than one kid. Planning for two different ages/development levels/personalities is so daunting right now! -Jamie B.

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  4. My name is Brandy Hatchel

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  5. This will be my first year homeschooling and I was a teacher before I had kids so I’m most nervous that I will try to make my homeschool look like my classroom, and I have a lot of unlearning to do about what typical school should look like.

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  6. I’m looking forward to being able to see an overview of the school year, as well as seeing it broken down weekly. A big help.

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  7. Balancing homeschool with work at home is a big concern!

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  8. Love planning have a hard time sticking to it

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  9. Been homeschooling for years and planners have usually been far from ideal! Yours looks great!!
    Blessings, Shirene

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  10. We are working on kindergarten iwith my first, and while we've had a plan we've been relaxed about not always following it. I'm hoping when we start first grade to be better about planning a schedule ans sticking to it more strictly that this year. My issue is my husband does more of the homeschooling than I do, and I'm the planner while he is more ready to just skip that plan. Any thoughts on merging our teaching/ planning styles?

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  11. I am starting the task of planning my first homeschool year for high school. I need something that is going to make my life easier with keeping track of grades/credits for my college bound kiddo!

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  12. Hi! Over the least few years, we have been moving away from open and go curricula, and trying to build our own to fit our needs. Next year, 80% of our schooling will be personalized. It makes me so nervous because my scattered brain isn't good at follow-through! Having a planner designed to keep individualized curricula on track.

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    1. Oops! I clicked publish before adding my name. Sorry!

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  13. Something daunting for me about planning homeschool is not over planning. I tend to do that, and I don't leave room for more fun things.

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  14. How detailed my long-term and short-term plans should be while still being flexible. A planner that allows for flexibility (that’s not a screen but real paper), and reminds me to surrender my time/plans to God, sounds great! Thank you, Michelle W

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  15. I try not planning too much, just get the stuff each child needs for that year and open and go.
    Otherwise I just get too stressed we didn't accomplish what I planned.

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  16. The daunting part for me is actually finding a planner that fits what I need! We are 5 years in and I still haven't found one that I love. Hoping this one will be it!

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  17. The daunting part of planning for me is being realistic and not over planning so much. I've learned to let go & prioritize, but it's not always easy when there's that little voice going, "are you doing enough?" Still learning after 13 years!

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    1. Mandy C, @agracefulhome on IG πŸ˜‚ I couldn't get google to cooperate.

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  18. I would love more space to be able to individually log each child’s school year.
    Cori McCumsey

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  19. It's daunting to think about 8th grade, 4th grade, and preschool next year! 😳

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  20. I think the most daunting is trying to figure what days to do what, especially with our extra curricular subjects.

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  21. Something daunting for me while homeschool planning is to not do over plan and to be realistic on what we will ne able to accomplish in our time Jamie Linden

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  22. Something daunting for me is just making sure I hit all the things I'm "supposed" to. And next year I'll have 2 third graders and a kindergartener, getting 3 kids schooling done in one day sounds daunting too

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  23. Juditza Vargas ortizApril 18, 2023 at 10:57 AM

    I need to organize myself more with everything I worked during the day, divide the subjects of both boys (different degrees) and organize myself with the subjects by day. I definitely need to take everything in a planner.πŸ’—πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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  24. I’m finding the most daunting part of homeschool planning this year is incorporating another kiddo into the flow of things. Having a new baby join us this summer on top of teaching another kiddo… a lot to think about.

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  25. This might seem silly, but remembering to use my planner is the most challenging for me! I always get it all set up at the beginning of the year and then forget to utilize it.

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    1. Congratulations, Erin! You are the winner of the Brave Homeschool Planner. Can you please email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com and I will get that out to you?

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  26. Love the layout of this one! So cool!

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  27. I have used this for two years now and love it! Honestly, it has made scheduling school pretty easy. I sit down on the weekend and write out the assignments for the week ahead - each kid in a different color. Then I check things off as we go, and if we didn’t finish, it just rolls over into next week!

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  28. I too struggle with wanting to love a comprehensive “frilly” planner but realizing I’ve wasted money by not following-through on utilizing ALL THE EXTRAS… and also realizing a bare-bones planner just isn’t inspiring enough. And I like pretty things to look at in my planner. I’m looking forward to trying this one out. I’ve got 4 students so that checks that box and I like not being locked into set dates. Thanks!
    Liz Estes

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  29. Planning and sticking with it is the most difficult. I’ve gotten better at a routine, but deadlines are not my friend.

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  30. I honestly love planning and filling out my planner. I think I struggle with unrealistic goals of what I can accomplish and then fall behind in what we’ve planned. This year (our 6th) has been the best by far because I finally set more realistic expectations, scheduled intentional breaks for catch-up, and listened to the Lord who keeps reminding me to trust Him and His plan to have a peaceful home instead of just madly trying to race to a finish line set by myself.

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  31. Oops…that’s my commentπŸ‘†…didn’t mean to post anonymously.

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  32. My biggest struggle is the planning itself. Many times with so many things I don't know where to start. but we are working hard to change it.

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  33. I would say, planning too much in one day or one week.

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  34. I’m always overwhelmed with planning! It’s a struggle to stick to a rhythm day-day. I’ve also been searching for a planner, I had one that was OK (not great) but my dog ate it! So it’s the perfect time to try out a new one πŸ˜‚

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  35. I love planning, it's one if my favorite parts of a new year! I struggle to actually be consistent and stick to the plan πŸ˜† with 5 kids, 8 and under - I struggle to just find chunks of time to sit and do some planning like I used to (before my two smallest were born). And now that our family is bigger and my oldest 3 are "school aged" I feel like there are so many more parts to plan for, subjects as well as scheduling and morning time and just the how of getting it all squared in to a day.

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  36. The hardest part for me is keeping track of the hours. I have tried many different ways over the last 10 0 years but I still struggle with remembering to fill it in.

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  37. Heatherfhouser7@gmailApril 20, 2023 at 6:10 AM

    The hardest part for me is the unplanned. That happens a lot in homeschool, and I never have space for flexibility. Sometimes we have to switch around entire weeks. That is hard to plan for. Life that is all around homeschooling.

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  38. I’m going into my second year of homeschooling. I’ll have one son in kindergarten and one in first grade. I still feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants!

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  39. I enjoy planning for the most part. My current planner is a bit too large and can overwhelm me at times. Choosing curriculum and keeping track of what I’ve already ruled out can be a challenge.

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  40. That is my comment above.πŸ‘† I didn’t see an option to add my name.

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  41. The most daunting part is balancing 4 kids next school year. My twins are starting kindergarten so I jump from schooling 2 kids to 4 kids. The schedules always get me in how to fit it all in!

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  42. I find it challenging to not overplan our days and try to fit in too much! Hiedi H

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  43. I have a child going into 10th grade and I find planning and choosing high school courses with him and for him daunting. What is it about high school that makes homeschooling feel more high stakes and less educational choice/preference than elementary?

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    1. Congratulations, Melanie! You are the winner of the Brave Homeschool Planner. Can you please email me at theunlikelyhomeschool@yahoo.com and I will get that out to you?

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  44. My name is Joy. What is most daunting to me about homeschooling is juggling multiple grades and four kids (including a baby and a toddler) demanding my attention at the same time.

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  45. The most daunting part of homeschooling for me is trying to remember how far we are suppose to be in each subject in order to finish before the next year. I make little schedules to go into each book, but then they end up getting lost. πŸ˜…

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  46. The most daunting part is staying flexible and yet accountable. I like to piece together our own items but centralizing where are at in each program can feel overwhelming.

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  47. The most daunting part of planning is follow-through with all the things I want to, or feel like we should, get done. - Rebecca C.

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  48. I think the most daunting parts are deciding what curriculums to purchase (not wanting to be wasteful of money on something we won't use), and deciding how to budget my time between my three children in our homeschool day.

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  49. The most daunting part for me is trying to meet the individual needs of all 4 kiddos. We've been flying by the seat of our pants for too long.

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  50. I have always wanted to streamline my paper planner because I wasted SO much space and paper in others I have had throughout the years! I finally found one that accommodates our general schedule...but not a planner for homeschooling. Yours sounds brilliant. How to make sure I don't miss any essential subject or concept is the most daunting part of planning for me.
    --Tralene

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  51. After classroom teaching for 30+ years, I am homeschooling our 5year old this year and working with a few homeschooling friend's children that are experiencing setbacks in learning. Having a planner without all the extra fru-fru (which to my brain is SO terribly distracting!) would be a blessing. Having one set up to help me plan individually for each child's needs? Even better!

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  52. Gabriela de LΓ³pezApril 20, 2023 at 12:07 PM

    Hi! I would love the planner aince I'm pretty new homeschooling and need that guidance. :)

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  53. I found a planner I loved for one child's curriculum but I can't afford to buy it for each child! I definitely need something that can fit all 3 of my kids!

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  54. We are moving to a state where the reporting requirements are different than what I’m used to. I haven’t used a planner before but now with more than one student and different requirements I think I need to write out my plans and learn to keep track of different things.

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  55. For me there are two things that are daunting...remembering to record and keep track and also finding the right layout for us that works

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  56. Getting started is always daunting for me. It feels overwhelming trying to manage everyone’s new curriculum and schedule, but we finally get into a routine.

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  57. Keeping track of the academic needs of 4 kids while running after a fifth is challenging enough!

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  58. I *love* to plan, but my days seem to not follow my plan and then I get discouraged and frustrated. I’m (slowly 😏) learning to hold loosely… and that erasable pens are my friend. 😁
    Kristen Brewer

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  59. What I find daunting or more so intimidating, about homeschooling in general is wanting it to just flow naturally. I’ll be homeschooling my son this school year for Kindergarten and I pray him and I can find a balance and a groove together! :)

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  60. Probably planning our the year is the most challenging for me, also how a week should look. What subjects to do in each term..

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  61. I find the unexpected illnesses that crop up to be the most daunting. To have a beautiful plan- only to have to scrap it in the face of sickness can be difficult.

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  62. My hardest part is just planning a simple flow to the day without adding way too much .
    Laurie Jackson

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  63. For me, planning is easy. Executing and staying on task is the hard part. -Megan Meier

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  64. The most daunting part of planning is figuring out what our days will look like. I have a rising 11th & 9th grader. And I’m praying that my 9th grader will be at peace with his workload for high school. It’s a big of a jump from Jr high. And I want peace for all of us! Thank you!!! Melissa Ramponi

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  65. I have two competing fears when planning the homeschool year. Am I missing something my kid needs? Am I planning too much that we’ll never get to?

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  66. What I find most challenging is planning out all the different books for all the different subjects for all the different students! I'm actually going to be doing this next year instead of using a boxed curriculum! Thank you for the giveaway.

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  67. I love to plan….but realized my first year homeschooling that it was a waste of time to plan for more than a month ahead…lots of erasers needed haha. Now I’m more like “2 weeks ahead” as we enter the garden season. It’s frustrating to keep track of long term goals this way. In a perfect world I’d know when I’ll finish a book or curriculum and I could just have fun “planning”.

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