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I tried a new method of planning our homeschool year and it made the planning process so much easier! I had been reading about how other people use mind maps to organize their thoughts so I wanted to try it when planning our homeschool curriculum.
I loved how mind maps allowed me to see the big picture and how different subjects are related. It also allowed me to think outside the box and remember that not all learning is academic.
Let’s take a look at how you can use mind maps as you plan your homeschool year.
Using Mind Maps to Plan Your Homeschool Year
A mind map is also referred to as a metacog, concept map, or cognitive cartography. I love that last term—cognitive cartography—because it reinforces the idea that whatever we are mapping is not two dimensional, it has depth.
Benefits of mind maps
Why would you use mind maps to plan your homeschool year? A mind map has many benefits including that it:
- creates a visual picture so you remember information better. After all, most of us think in pictures.
- is unique to you and the way you think and process information.
- allows you to organize information in a nonlinear way. You can branch out in any way you desire.
- allows you to make connections and relationships with the information.
How to create a mind map
Creating a mind map can be a little intimidating the first time you make one, but it becomes easier the more you do it. Here are some guidelines for creating a mind map.
- Start in the middle of the page.
- Use short phrases, not sentences.
- Draw thicker lines near the main idea and thinner lines as you move farther out on the map.
- Write in print, not cursive.
- Add color to the branches.
- Use a highlighter to emphasize key thoughts.
- Add sticky notes for important information you want to remember.
- Draw pictures, graphs, and diagrams.
- Make it unique to you.
You may be thinking, “I’m not an artist. I can’t draw pictures.” or “But I can’t use a pen! What if I make a mistake?” I had these thoughts as well and I tried anyway. The pictures, even though they are rough and not beautiful, really do add meaning to the map. And mistakes are part of life.
Here is a mind map I made for our 2016-2017 school year.
The next time you plan your homeschool year, consider using a mind map. And let us know how it went!