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Planning Techniques
By Lorraine Curry

Homeschooling will be much easier if you spend a little time in planning. First make a separate list of your most important goals. You may wish to make goal lists for each of your children. Where do you want them to be at the end of the school year?

For each of these goals you are going to make a list of the steps you need to take to reach that particular goal. A goal could be to learn the times table. The steps could be to learn the 2's, to learn the 3's, on up to the 9's. At the left of each step write the date you begin to do it. When you have accomplished it, note that date on the right side and put one line through the step to cross it off. It is encouraging to go back and see what you have achieved. One line through the step leaves it readable. You should have one page for each goal. Each step may be simple or more complex-perhaps needing some steps of its own.

Scope and Sequence

"Scope" means the area covered by a given activity and "sequence" is defined as the following of one thing after another. The scope and sequence shows what you plan to cover during your school year, and in what order. You can write your own scope and sequence in outline form with the main headings of language arts, mathematics, social studies (history, geography), health and science. Begin school planning by viewing a curriculum guide such as World Book's Course of Study or the one provided in back of Easy Homeschooling Techniques. A course of study lists suggested topics for each grade. Pick and choose among topics for a grade level. Don't ever be enslaved by any course of study. If you would rather study a topic or subject that is not on the list, go ahead!

Here is a suggseted history plan. After covering these basics you could go on to English history or the history of another country. You could also study the history of missions, the history of the church, politics or law.

Each number = a school year but not necessarily a school grade
1) World history
2) American history
3) State history

Then, repeating in greater depth or with different emphasis
4) Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Middle Ages
5) Renaissance and Reformation
6) American history: explorers to pioneers (including state history)
7) pioneers to World War II
8) World War II to present

In all subject areas, pick what you like from those listed. Look at the grades near your students' grades. If you have children in several different grades, you may combine topics or pick one that all can learn at the same time. I do this frequently with history, science and health. Teach your children who are close in age, the same math and language arts. Look through several of the grades and plan ahead to achieve a continuity from year to year.

After you have looked over the course of study, begin writing your Scope and Sequence. I have used the outline format most years. Other years I simply wrote a paragraph about what we were going to study under each subject heading. When writing an outline, your topic headings should be similar, and when using subtopics you should have at least two. For instance under your main heading, "Language Arts," you could have as subtopics, "Reading" and "Writing." Under "Writing" you could list "Themes" and "Poems." Or you could have all of the different language skills listed equally under your main topic. I have often added the heading, "Other," with "Music" and "Art" as subtopics. Then below each I listed what type or period of music or art we planned to cover. There may be other subjects or topics that you would like to teach your children. List them also. Make your scope and sequence as simple or as detailed as you like!

Lorraine Curry is the author of 5 Star Easy Homeschooling books. See and link to more articles, FREE copywork, subscriptions, ebooks and more at

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Lorraine Curry is the author of 5 Star, Easy Homeschooling Techniques and Easy Homeschooling Companion. See more articles, FREE copywork, subscriptions, ebooks and more at

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