Planning Your Homeschool Schedule with a Customizable Spreadsheet

homeschooling organizing planning homeschool spreadsheets whole-family homeschooling Apr 27, 2024

Homeschool planning shouldn't be stressful, overwhelming or complicated.

I've created the GLC reading plans with families like yours in mind. The reading plans follow four cycles of history, science, enrichment, and so many other subjects. All children in the family will be following the same timeline, the same artist, composer, poet, habits, life skills, and other subjects. They are divided into "Forms" to group your children into instead of grades:

  • Form 1: pre-K through grade 1
  • Form 2: grades 2-3
  • Form 3: grades 4-6
  • Form 4: grades 7-8
  • Form 5: grades 9-12

Under each topic and each form, I've included reading schedules for many different resources, so that you have options to choose books that suit your family best. My hope was that you would be able to find a read aloud book in each subject, and also books for independent reading for your children who can read. 

Originally, I only published spreadsheets with all of the potential readings included. This made for pretty large spreadsheets, sometimes with twenty-five or more titles. To avoid overwhelming mamas with all of the options, I decided to make spreadsheets with one book per spreadsheet.

This has helped a lot of people, but overwhelmed others--who have told me that they liked the long spreadsheets with all of the resources. Because of that, I've decided to start including both: the long spreadsheet with all of the resources listed, by subject and form (for eample, a long spreadsheet full of every single science & nature book for the cycle, sorted by form, and then a history spreadsheet, etc.) and also, the spreadsheets with a single book on them, like this:

(Note: Cycle 4 is the only cycle with the full spreadsheets, with all of the books listed--so far. I am working on getting the others up).

Custom Family Guides

When I started STAR (the homeschool community I launched in Lynchburg, VA), I offered the opportunity for each family to get a "Custom Family Guide" that I created. It was a lot of work to make these guides, and I learned that it was not a sustainable solution. So, what I've decided to do is teach you how to make your very own spreadsheet that works best for your family!

Here's how to do it! Click on the link below to make a copy of the blank Custom Guide spreadsheet I created:

Gentle Learning Co. Custom Guide (Editable Spreadsheet)

The spreadsheet looks like this:

and this:

How to Customize the Spreadsheet to Make Your Own Guide

Here's what you're going to do:

First, head to the cycle you'd like to use this year.

How to Find The Cycles

If you have not purchased any of the cycles, you can find information about that here.

After you have purchased the cycle you want to use for the year, you will find it in your library.

After you click on your library, click on the cycle you would like to use. Here's an example, from my library:

When you are in the cycle you've chosen, click on the subject you would like to start with. Here's an example of the menu for Cycle 3:


Once you're in the subject you'd like to start with, select the download for the book you would like to add to your schedule.

Open the pdf download you've chosen and highlight one row on the first spreadsheet with the title, author and assignments for Weeks 1-7, like this (the blue part is highlighted):



Click "copy" like this:

Make sure you have only selected a single line, and not anything above or below it.

Now, head over to the copy of the Custom Guide spreadsheet that you have made. Make sure you are on the tab of the same Term as the spreadsheet you copied from. You can select the term at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Now, click the cell under the topic you'd like to place the selected title under. Click on the first left cell under that topic, like this:

And now, click "paste":

The contents of the downloaded spreadsheet should appear on your custom spreadsheet, like this:

If you are using Cycle 4, you will be able to copy and paste this information from spreadsheets that contain all of the books in a subject, by term. They look like this, but with many titles (a single term will often require more than one page to print):


Keep Going & Create a Completely Customized Guide!

Continue with the same book in Terms 2, 3 and 4. Make sure you paste the content from Term 2 into the spreadsheet tab that says "Term 2," and so on. You can copy and paste as many books as you like! When you're finished making a guide for the books you would like to read aloud, make another copy of the spreadsheet and make a guide for each of your children who are able to read independently. Print these guides and use them as your check off list for the week.


Some Tips

Adding Rows

To add a row, you will want to select the whole line above where you want to add a row.

Go to the top menu, to "Insert" and click "Rows" and then "Insert 1 row below" or "Insert 1 row above" if you'd rather add a row above the line you have selected.

There shouldn't be any reason to add an extra column to this spreadsheet. The GLC terms are 7 weeks long, and there are 4 terms per year.

Deleting Rows

To delete a row, you will want to select the row again, like this:

Then, go to the top menu and click "Edit," and then "Delete," and click on the line that says "Delete Row __" (whichever row you have selected), like this:

Adding Other Resources

You can add any resources you like to this spreadsheet. Maybe I haven't scheduled a book you want to cover with your kids--no problem, just add it to your own custom spreadsheet.

 Have Questions? Need Help?

No problem! When you purchase one of the Gentle Learning Co. cycles, you will then be given access to our online community. Feel free to ask questions there!


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