What is the Four-Year Plan?

What Is The Four Year Plan?

The Four Year Plan is a simple rotation design that weaves together the areas of parental responsibility for teaching an LDS family. The Four Year Plan is presented in four books that are reused every four years; each contains thematic units for one year and bonus information for better parenting.

Academic Curriculum Cycle

The Four Year Plan is an academic curriculum cycle that rotates through four years of history to provide the themes and the seasons for teaching “everything”. English and science are woven with each year of history. A family-oriented design fosters simplicity and unity through study of the same topics at different levels of ability, from pre-school through college.

The Four Year Plan Rotation

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
History Ancient World Modern World Geography U.S.
English Foundations Family and Personal History Communications Analysis and Opinion
Science Chemistry Biology Earth Science Physics
Scriptures Old Testament and Pearl of Great Price New Testament Book of Mormon Doctrine and Covenants
Life Skills Arts Sewing Cooking Self-reliance
Family Focus Family Choice – Service, Getting Organized, etc. Genealogy Missionary Work Emergency Preparedness

Central Values of The Four Year Plan:

Academic Excellence

The Four Year Plan offers you the flexibility and organization you need to best meet your child’s education needs. Use a variety of teaching methods to help your children excel at whatever you and your child choose to learn together.

Church Doctrine and Values

The Four Year Plan makes a place for more effective teaching of Church doctrine and values through integrating scripture study of the standard works and comprehensive coverage of gospel principles with the historical themes. Monthly outlines provide daily scripture reading recommendations from the seminary reading schedule and one Gospel Principles lesson topic for each month.

Life Skills

The Four Year Plan incorporates the teaching of important life skills to both boys and girls. Monthly outlines also divide the Scout merit badges among the four years and recommend them to dovetail with the themes.

Family Focus

The historical themes of The Four Year Plan are ideally suited to a yearly family focus from the three-fold mission of the Church. This simple structure makes it possible to put into action the principles that we hold dear.

How Does it Work?

Choose How You Want to Use The Four Year Plan

The Four Year Plan gives families the choice to educate their children in the way that best suits their needs:

  • Design your own, personal family curriculum to keep your children home.
  • Collaborate with other families in a cooperative school experience
  • Supplement your children’s school experience
  • Create a neighborhood pre-school group
  • Organize a nine-week summer program.
  • Use The Four Year Plan at home and send your children part-time to their local schools or community colleges. Choose classes that are related to your family’s themes for the year
  • Follow The Four Year Plan as a family home evening resource and a Scouting guide

Thematic and Flexible

The Four Year Plan is designed to be thematic and flexible, allowing families to choose for themselves how much they incorporate into their personal family education plan. The four years in The Four Year Plan are also designed to be independent; they can be used in any order. We recommend using them to match the current seminary course of study.

Monthly Thematic Units

Each year is organized into monthly, thematic units that emphasize reading, writing, and hands-on experiences that effectively reach every kind of learner.

Monthly History Outlines

Monthly history outlines provide recommendations for texts to read with weekly page assignments. Related projects, videos, field trips, and party ideas are suggested. Specific ideas for activities related to the recommended life skills and family focus are also included. Monthly comment pages offer project instructions, recipes, and personal experiences.

Monthly English Outlines

Monthly English outlines provide recommendations for quality, classic literature to read at multiple reading levels – pre-reader, grade school, middle school, and some high school/college level. The literature choices are related to the same theme, and related writing suggestions are outlined. Monthly comment pages offer page numbers from references for background information, as well as project instructions, recipes, and personal experiences.

Monthly Science Outlines

Monthly science outlines provide recommendations for texts to read with weekly page assignments. Favorite laboratory experiments are recommended, along with specific directions or sources for directions. Personal experiences are included with the lab descriptions.

Building On Excellence

The Four Year Plan creates a foundation the first time through the cycle and then adds depth, breadth, and excellence with each rotation. It provides the flexibility to emphasize different areas each time. Families can realize savings in time by reusing their preparations every four years, as well as savings in money by reusing materials.

Families often suspect they are going in circles; we know we are! We simply choose to design the circles ourselves. The Four Year Plan gives you the guidelines you need to design an education plan for your family.

More information about the Four Year Plan can be found in our book
Going in Circles.

Read more about the Four Year Plan in our

Download some
sample pages.