Are you a differently-wired family who has chosen the homeschool life? A peaceful, purposeful, flexible yet structured homeschool is possible with Put Your Homeschool on Autopilot, even when you yourself lack executive functioning skills.
This post was sponsored by Homeschool Solutions and contains a compensated review of Put Your Homeschool on Autopilot. All opinions are my own; please see my disclosure policy for details. This post contains affiliate links.
Executive function is a tricky mental process. You’re either born with the God-given ability to order yourself and your surroundings, or you aren’t.
Those of us who don’t need external systems –
Like your high school friend who used to organize your binder.
Or your college advisor who helped you figure out the planner you bought.
Friend, there’s no shame here in this differently-wired community. In fact, what most of us lack in executive function we make up for in creativity, intensity, and intelligence. The problem is what happens when your own children would benefit from a framework of flexible structure, especially in your homeschool environment.
How are you supposed to keep your kids’ heads above water when you are dog-paddling through the rapids, desperately trying to stay afloat?
You put your homeschool on autopilot, naturally, and let Pam Barnhill lead you out.
Pam Barnhill is the genius behind Homeschool Solutions, a website dedicated to serving “that” homeschool mom. You know the one I’m talking about, probably, because you are her: the mom who wants to homeschool well and tries to, but ends up raking herself over the coals when she fails.
I am one of those moms, too, and it’s precisely because of my lack of executive function; it’s hard enough for me to order myself. Add three twice exceptional kids and a gifted husband to the mix and, well, you’ve got a recipe for chaotically beautiful living.
It’s a ticket to struggle train homeschooling, as well.
My fresh, raw reminder of this came just a few weeks ago at the local elementary school.
We’d almost reached the end of the special education eligibility meeting for my daughter when the school psychologist turned to me and said:
“You have done a beautiful job teaching her at home, but we recommend you look into traditional schooling for next year. She needs the structure of a classroom environment to help mitigate her anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.”
My daughter’s therapist concurred.
Now put yourself in my shoes for a minute and it’s pretty clear what I heard:
“Lady, you stink at homeschooling your children. Get them in school right now before you waste all those beautiful brain cells.”
Of course, that’s not what they were saying, and I know they have a valid point. I do struggle with executive function in my homeschool, and yes – it has caused my children a great deal of stress. But like I said before, this is not something I can will into existence. My brain is wired in such a way that organization is hard for me.
If we are going to climb out of the OCD hole and make progress, I need someone to help me figure this out.
Enter Pam and Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot, a targeted, step-by-step planning course for homeschool moms.
It is perfect for moms who need extra help planning and executing an effective homeschool that runs on a flexible schedule.
Pam shows you how to set your loosey-goosey mindset on a peaceful, purposeful course.
Autopilot follows the same general structure as Pam’s not-just-a-planner, Plan Your Year. But where the book provides a more DIY approach to organizing your homeschool, the course itself expands on a number of topics and provides additional, in-person support.
What does it mean to put your homeschool on autopilot?
From the outset, Pam is very clear this program is not a way to find someone else to teach your kids. This is not a course that will allow you to do chores or work from home while your kids are doing their own self-directed lessons.
What it does do, however, is reduce decision and planning fatigue so you have more time to get to the other stuff.
How much time do you spend slaving away over homeschooling decisions? Alternatively, how much time do you spend beating yourself up over not doing it enough? Put Your Homeschool on Autopilot puts an end to all of that. Pam’s wisdom helps you find the right external system that works for you, your kids, and your homeschool – then she takes you by the hand as you set it up.
Each module features
- a professional video lesson with downloadable note-taking templates
- a workbook and hardcopy version of the video slides specific to that section
- a link to the private forum where you can discuss the lesson and get targeted support.
Each module also includes links to any additional downloads or external sites mentioned in the lesson. The layout is clean, simple, and easy to navigate: everything you need for each module can be found in one place.
Module One: Vision
In this module, you’ll cut through the noise of keeping up with the Joneses, selecting the “right” curriculum, et. al. Pam shows you how to focus in on the kinds of people you want your children to become over the course of your homeschool, then guides you as you write that vision down.
Module Two: Goals
You probably know that goals should be quantitative, not qualitative, but do you know how to write a goal that gets results? In module two, Pam shows you exactly what you need to set specific, thrive-based goals for your kids.
Module Three: Subjects and Resources
Once you’ve articulated your homeschool vision and the goals you have for each child, Pam guides you through the process of choosing a course of studies. She reveals the four factors that will lead to the selection of your curriculum and helps you choose the approach that’s right for you.
Module Four: Annual Schedules
In module four, Pam introduces three types of annual schedules: traditional, term, and magic number. She explains the pros and cons of each stresses the importance of setting an annual schedule, crafting one “structured enough to keep us on track and provide stability and motivation, but flexible enough that if we need to adjust or even pause them we can pick up where we left off without feeling behind.”
Module Five: Weekly and Daily Schedules
For homeschooling moms with executive function deficits, the weekly and daily schedules are perhaps the hardest ones. Pam reviews three different types of planning options: weekly, loop, and daily. She explains what goes into each option, then shows you how to implement and modify each one.
Module Six: Procedures
To truly put your homeschool on autopilot, you need a backup plan for when open and go curriculum won’t work. Procedure lists are a collection of trusted grab and go activities you can use to teach from a resource that doesn’t have its own curriculum guidelines. This saves you the time and effort of staring at a fantastic book or movie and wondering, “what in the world do I do now?”
Module Seven: Lesson Plan Lists
Maybe it’s my background in education, but I have a love/hate relationship with lesson plans. What I appreciate about this module, though, is Pam’s flexible approach that emphasizes routine over check-the-box detail. Pam refers to it as creating a list of possibilities, and that’s exactly what our homeschool needs now.
Module Eight: Organization
As Pam says in the intro to this module, this is not about creating a Pinterest-perfect home. This is about using your space and time wisely. You’ll set up systems to prevent the mad search for lost books and papers and save your sanity with focused, minimal prep time the night before.
(What I love about this module is the notebook technique. Pam shows how to use a dedicated notebook to communicate the day’s lessons to your students, helping them develop the time management skills they need).
Module Nine: Visualization and Implementation
Because Pam is not the type to send you into the wilderness alone, she’s included module 9 to help you determine and address possible hiccups in the school day. She encourages you to use the natural rhythms of your household to set the pace of your schooling while making sure the space and materials you need are right at hand.
Module Ten: Periodic Review and Maintenance
No homeschool works well without periodic tweaks and adjustments. This module shows you how to correct your course when life throws you a curve ball or makes you feel like your homeschool’s a mess.
While each module of this course is immensely helpful, my favorites are four to eight.
Pam’s wisdom and experience have helped me develop a schedule that strikes a balance between structure and flexibility.
Now that I have the external framework I need to get myself in order, there will be less downtime and less opportunity for my children to be left wondering what’s next. This will not only model positive executive function skills to my children, it will alleviate a great deal of the anxiety, as well.
If you are a differently-wired family who has chosen to homeschool, and you find yourself struggling to balance it all, I highly recommend you put your homeschool year on autopilot.
Start living the purpose and peace you deserve.
Ready to dive in and put your homeschool on autopilot? You can find all the details here. Not sure, and want to get your feet wet a little? Check out Pam’s free training Order and Wonder and learn to create a flexible, interest-led homeschool curriculum that ensures your children will learn.
Enjoy this post? Read on:
Plan Your Year: How to Homeschool the Differently-Wired with Purpose and Peace
Pam Barnhill’s Morning Time Plans: Bring Peace to Your Homeschool Mornings
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