Monday, July 27, 2020

Inside My Lesson Plans

How do I know what to teach?
How long should the day be?
What order do I do things in?
How does my child know what to do each day?

All valid questions!  And all pretty easy to answer, so let's jump right in!

You can and swill doubt find a TON of lesson planners out there.  There was a time when they were made specifically geared towards public school teachers, but somewhere along the way they became more open ended and homeschool friendly.  I have owned many different kinds and even used a few for a year, but honestly, I always find myself coming back to this year after year, this year included.

Yep!  A notebook. 

Seriously here's the deal.  Most curriculum comes with lesson plans, (that's how you know WHAT to teach) so you the teacher can know what to do on the next day.  And the next and the next.  Unless you are completely winging it on your own, most of the hard work is done for you.

The bigger dilemma is how to get that knowledge from you to your child.  AKA- the student.  I have been know to just use the curriculum lesson plans and make a check mark next to an assignment one it was done, but if you end up teaching multiple students multiple years, that's a lot of check marks and it gets messy! 

Not to mention some lesson plans are truly intended for a teacher and have far more information in them than your child needs and is likely to confuse or overwhelm them.

Hence, a notebook.

Each day, prior to your child sitting down for work you just list the subjects and write what they are responsible for getting done that day.  I usually write things out for a week in advance.  I have done more at one time, but sometimes life gets the best of you and you have to adjust and for me that is a lot of marking out things and re-writing things that is a waste of time.  I have learned not to get too far ahead of myself.

Each subject has a place for my child to check off once they are done. (That's how long your day should be.  All checked off- all done!)  I usually list things in the same order each day, but for the most part my child chooses what they want to do first, and so on. (Who cares what order as long as it is done!?  The exception for us would be if we ended each day in tears over the hardest subject they have been avoiding until the end.  Then I might insist we start with that subject for a while until we get our emotions under control.)  Theirs, not mine! ;)

For record purposes, I list all of the curriculum we are using in the front cover, and keep a list of all of the books we read that year in the back.  If a state ever wanted to see our "records" or attendance, I could pull it out quickly and they could easily see what we have done.

Just a side note- NO ONE has ever asked to see our records!  I have them in case, but honestly the school systems have enough on their plates usually to worry about what homeschoolers are doing.  I think through the years homeschoolers have proven their commitment to teaching and teaching well.

Anyway- the point being...if you love all things planners and fancy systems, by all means go grab one and get busy filling it in!  If it brings you joy then that is just one more way to make your day a good one.

BUT, do not feel pressured into filling in little boxes with colored pens if that is not you. 

The point of a planner is to keep a record of your day and let your student know what to do for each subject.  There is more that one way to skin a cat.   

A notebook is an easy way! ;)



  1. Awesome! I use Timberdoodle online scheduler to know what to do each day but then also keep a progress report on a piece of paper for each 6 weeks so I know what I need to go over or revisit.

  2. Yes, my older kids enjoy checklists for the day and week.

  3. This is a good way to go about preparation. I use a PDF planner for my teen and type in what he needs to do but I love the idea of a notebook for my younger children.

  4. Seriously, I’ve heard people using a good ole notebook for keeping up with lessons and planning for the week. And after going through the different ones myself, I’m about done with all this planners and ready to incorporate a notebook myself. Thanks for making it look simple! That’s the name of my game haha


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