Day 20: Lesson Plan or Lesson Journal?
Day 21: Time Tested Teaching Tips
Homeschooling at the beginning is not about stressing over how to lesson plan but, learning how to lesson plan if you want to. There is a big difference. Just as you would not expect your child to know how to read this year until you start together, you need to cut yourself some slack in how to lesson plan.
Each new homeschooler’s background makes a difference if he or she feels qualified or not to teach their children. Do not stress over the fact that you do not know how to lesson plan.
Struggling homeschoolers and even seasoned veterans are constantly scrutinizing their lesson plans versus how much time they actually have in the day to school.
Look at these lesson planning tips below.
Lesson Planning is Just As Much Lesson Journaling. This may sound like another oxymoron but in the beginning, it is better to journal what you actually accomplished at the end of the day. This is a huge benefit for several reasons. One reason is because you can realistically see what you can achieve for the day. This will fast forward your learning curve because you will plan closer to what your children can actually finish for the day. Avoiding wasting valuable years being stressed out over unrealistic lesson planning will add joy to your journey. Many organizing planning mommas have been misled thinking they have more hours in their days than the rest of us. By seeing what was actually accomplished versus what was planned gives you a more realistic feel for lesson planning.
Write it All Down. Paper planner, online planner, app or great big oversized calendar in your kitchen, it does not matter. Keeping track of what you do is all that matters. Yes, I love my curriculum planner and I have found that many times anytime I tried something on line, I came back to paper planners. They work for me because I have it sitting writing there beside me and no need to boot up. However, that is just me. You may prefer and may do better with something else. It does not have to be elaborate, simple works best.
Launch A Lesson Plan. Whether you are using a boxed curriculum or choosing each subject yourself, you will one day want to substitute a lesson plan. Maybe you want to plan how to complete a book. Again, my suggestion is that because you want to learn how to lesson plan your first or second year, start right away. Jump into lesson planning now and test the waters.
Look at this example below of how to cover a grammar book for the school year. Study each step as I have thoughts and questions that you need to ask yourself. It is an easy way to learn the beginnings of lesson planning because you have a resource. Later on as you become more skilled, you can make lesson plans from practically any resource.
1. Determine the total days in your school year or time for the curriculum. Note: Typical days in a school year are 180. I will use that number too.
2. Decide how to divide the book/curriculum. Dividing by chapters is an easy way.
3. Weed out chapters/content that you don’t want/need to cover. I started with 32 chapters and whittled it down to 30 that I feel we may need this year.
4. Determine chapters you want to cover. I will cover 30 chapters over the course of a school year.
5. Simple Division. Divide 30 chapters by 180 day equals about 6 days per chapter to cover it for the time I have allowed.
6. Ask: Do I want to include special projects or testing ? Then adjust the number of days up or down depending on what type of projects.
7. Can some of it be covered orally so that there is not so much writing?
A plan has to be adjusted to your needs and to your household and not copy what you see seasoned veterans doing. It is hard to not compare yourself to seasoned veterans because you may have set real high expectations this year.
You may feel their success and confidence might be absorbed through some type of osmosis if you copy exactly what they are doing. The problem with this is that you don’t lead their lives and vice versa.
Lesson planning and tweaking curriculum are learned arts. Give yourself some time and in the meantime take advantage of laid out or boxed curriculums if you want to.
Look at my article here: How to Write a Simple But Effective Homeschool Lesson Plan.