Friday, July 29, 2016

What "Lesson Planning" Looks Like For a Homeschooler

We have about 2 weeks left until school starts again.  While I'm sad for the lazy days of summer to come to an end, I'm totally prepared.  I spent a ton of time lesson planning and organizing in June so that I could get it out of the way and enjoy the rest of vacation without having that on my mind.

However, as I talk to fellow homeschooling moms and public school teacher friends, it occurred to me that when I talk about lesson planning for our homeschool year, it's almost nothing like the Lesson Plans that public school teachers have to make.  Before having a gaggle of children, I was going to college with the goal of earning a credential and teaching elementary school.  Plus, Hubby is almost done attending a three-semester teaching credential program.  With that background, I have an idea of what a "lesson plan" looks like for a public school teacher in California.  What follows is what I mean in this current phase of my life when I refer to lesson planning.

I got a standard Teacher's Plan Book for free during a promotion from Lakeshore.  Instead of using it to record what we plan to do on each day, I record what we actually accomplish as a group.  The great thing about homeschool is that we don't have to do certain things on certain weeks.  We don't have to complete any textbooks in a set amount of time.  We just go at our own pace and I write down what we have learned as we go.

Stapled to an inside page of that book is this list of all the workbooks/textbooks that the kids will be using this year.

Stapled to another page in the Plan Book is this list for our Physics curriculum.  I have written here each chapter from the text book, each lab, and any supplies I need to collect ahead of time for the labs so I can easily see what's coming next.

Following that is History.  We use Story of the World so I have listed here every chapter title and all supplemental activities we plan to do, with supply lists.

My Teacher Plan Book is for all the learning that we do together as a family.  For the subjects that the kids do individually, they each have their own clipboard.  On their clipboard they have these assignment sheets.  It lists all the things that they should be able to accomplish in a week.  As you can see, there are no page numbers.  Again, we write down what they actually do, not what I hope they will do.  Each day, they just open up their workbooks and do whatever the next lesson is.

On the back of their clipboards, they have these three handy lists.  On the left is "Writing Ideas."  Each week, they do 3 writing activities (in addition to their writing curriculum).  Unless I need them to do something specific, the kids get to choose for themselves what to do.  This list helps them remember what their options are.

On the right is a list of educational board or card games they can do with their free choice time.  On the bottom is more "Fun Choice" activities.  These are all the fun, educational things that they get to pick from at least 3 times per week.

Finally, something that took up a lot of my lesson planning time this summer was Literature for each of the kids.  The girls will each study three chapter books.  And Tertius and Quartus will be doing comprehension activities and crafts for picture books using some curriculum from Evan Moor.  There was an awful lot of photocopying and assignment sheets to be made!

They each have their own construction paper book where all the writing assignments, crafts, and activities will be glued for presentation upon completion.

 This is what an assignment sheet for one of Secundus' novels looks like.  While I'm working with the boys, the girls will be able to do their literature study independently.  They just have to follow the list.

What does your homeschool lesson planning/organization look like?

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome rhythm you've found for yourself and your family! May your year ahead be filled with joy and learning!