It seems that one thing homeschool parents always wonder about other homeschool parents is how they do things. From what a day looks like in someone else’s house, to what materials other people use, to how other people organize and plan. So, just because I’m a pretty transparent person, I thought I’d share with you how I do my lesson planning — and maybe you’ll share with me how you do yours and we can both pick up a tip or two.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I like to use the Basic Unlabeled Weekly planner pages from Donna Young’s “Lesson Planners” page. (I popped over to get the link and – wow! – she’s got a lot of great new stuff! If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to her site, you might want to go take a look around.) I’ve saved the Word document to my computer and customized it to suit our family’s needs.
I usually do my planning on Saturday afternoon so that we can run to the library on Sunday afternoon, if we need to. A quiet library visit after the post-church nap is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I usually plan for two weeks at a time, sometimes more, but never more than four. If I plan for more than four weeks at a time, plans always seem to go awry and it stresses me when my pretty little typed-up lessons plans get messed up.
Yes, I’m that anal. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you haven’t read this post.
I generally start by plugging in all the things that are pretty repetitive: our Bible study, reading, math, grammar. Then, I work on Brianna’s assignment sheet, which I do on the same lesson planner form. I give her actual page numbers for the subjects for which she uses workbooks. That way, I know, at the end of the week, where she’s supposed to be. Don’t ask me why I found the need to develop that technique. (Hint: It wasn’t because a certain someone was not getting assigments done when she went off to work independently. It wasn’t that at all.)
Finally, I do the most time-consuming part of the planning — science and history. These two subjects aren’t bad, but they do require me to read ahead and see what materials we’re going to need, where I’ll need to supplement with library books and what hands-on activities I want to do. This part of the planning may involve figuring out when I want to finish a read-aloud and how many pages we need to read a day and things of that nature. Lately, it seems that I’ve gotten it down to a science and it hasn’t been taking me nearly as long as it used to.
What about you? How do you do your lesson plans? Or, do you even do lesson plans? I find that they’re more to keep me sane than anything else.