Prepping For a New Homeschool Year: Part One

Categories: Homeschool
Homeschooling allows you to tailor your child’s experience completely to their needs and abilities. This month, I want to focus on preparing for the school year by starting with making the decision on what to teach your child and then completing assessments on your child. Next month, we will take the data from assessments and look at our focus areas to use it for lesson planning and prepping for the school year so you will be ready if you want to start in August.

Here is part one of how to prepare for a new homeschool year.

Homeschool Reports to Your School District

A quick note before we start. Some school districts have guidelines for what needs to be taught to homeschooled children. My boys are enrolled in a private umbrella school that gives us the “unschooling” method, which means I do not have to report to the school district every year. I am comfortable doing it this way because I was a former Special education teacher. Some parents like and need to have the school district’s guidance. The choice is yours. Do what is best for your family. There are likely options for unschooling in your area. Let me know if you need help finding them.

Deciding What to Teach This Year

If you want to follow traditional academic subjects, The Autism Helper’s Leveled Daily Curriculum is a great place to start your search. Typically, academics focus on math, language arts, reading, social studies, and science in school. All of these are available in The Autism Helper store. There are also functional language arts and math, along with super helpful life skills! You do not have to limit yourself to academic subjects for homeschooling. For example, Benjamyn just started on an AAC device. I am going to devote a block of time every day to work on teaching him this device. I plan on setting communication goals for all of my boys. I also want Ben and George to continue to improve on their handwriting, so every day we will practice. Davyd still struggles with reading comprehension, sentence formation, and WH questions. While this falls under language arts and reading, I want to make sure we work on these using the Reading Comprehension Work Tasks in addition to the Leveled Daily Curriculum. George and Benjamyn are beginning to read so we will be practicing this every day too. Also, for all of them, we will be working on certain behaviors, but most of them will be helped by working on communication.


Now that you have decided what to teach, you need to assess to get a baseline to track growth. I took Benjamyn and George’s handwriting on my favorite handwriting boards from Channie’s, the My First Alphabet Hard White Board, so I can refer to the picture to see how they improve. The Leveled Daily Curriculum units have pre and post-test for every unit so you can use these for assessments. Since I want to work specifically with Davyd on the Reading Comprehension tasks, I took data in a spiral notebook to see which areas he needs to work on and we will practice those tasks. Your data sheets do not have to be fancy. I like writing mine in a spiral for each boy. You do not need to have fancy assessments for homeschooling, but it is important to take data on what you are working on to see if your child is learning and if you need to reevaluate what you are working on with them.

To be continued…..

So now hopefully you have enough information to think about what you want to teach this year. I highly suggest heading to The Autism Helper Store to look for materials and begin assessments. Next month we will talk about taking all these great ideas and putting them into lesson plans and beginning to prep materials. Let me know if you need any help!


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