How We Use Lesson Planning in our School
Ahh, it is truly my favorite time of year. Store shelves have started loading up my favorite pencils, notebooks, and school supplies and it is officially time for me to start planning! I love love love planning for our school year but it looks super different than when I started homeschooling ages ago. Now that I know the rhythm of how our days work and the learning styles my children, students in our school, and families we homeschool privately for; we have found what works best for most kids.
First, I determine exactly what we will be studying this school year. For example; we will be working on Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies for our core curriculum. We will also be doing a social and emotional building program and History from a Deconololized Perspective. Field Trips will be a huge part of our homeschool curriculum as well as virtual field trips and classes on Outschool!
Why Lesson Plan in your homeschool?
I have found that it gives us goals and direction in our homeschool. This keeps us on target on things we want to accomplish and gives us a long-range idea of where we want to go. In education, we typically start with a yearly curriculum map, then break it down into a month by month, weekly, and finally daily plans.
How to create lesson plans
Our students decide what we will be learning this year. We have talks and discuss their current interests. Math and English Language Arts are required but everything else is interest-based for us mostly. I love hearing how their ideas change and how they grow. My 10-year-old is super interested in video game design so we will definitely incorporate that this year.
I create a list of subjects each child will be working on.
I create a routine of how they will be doing the work. I have them do about 45 minutes of Math, 45 minutes of ELA, and 2-4 workbook pages per day depending on the grade level.
ELA 30-45 minutes x 4 days per week
Math 30-45 minutes x 4 days per week
Science 1-2 hours per week
Social Studies 1-2 hours per week Arts1 hour per week
Foreign Language 15 minutes X 4 days per week
Kind Curriculum (Project Based Learning) 30 minutes x 4 days per week
P.E.1 hour minimum daily outside time
Reading 20 minutes x 5 days per week
Enrichments/Misc/Electives - at their leisure,
Finally, I input what I hope our daily routine will look like. Here is a template that you can add your own schedule into. Honestly, I like our time to be more flexible but I do like to complete most of the core work in the morning.
When do I start planning?
Because I am super excited about education (yippee) I really begin planning in June pretty much once the school year is over and we are on break. Since our planning isn't really a sit-down and write out exactly what we will do each day it doesn't take a lot of time.
For us what has worked best is this
For math, reading, and language arts we use a Modern Montessori approach which means students go at their own pace and use the materials that work best for them. We lesson plan backward for these subjects. This means that we write what we did instead of what we are going to do for these subjects. We found this to put the least amount of stress on students and families and that is one of the most important parts of education.
For Project-Based Learning, we plan ahead yearly, monthly, and weekly using the curriculum so that we have unit studies to focus on each week.
We make sure our students are progressing by doing weekly check-ins and advisory meetings with them.
Planning can look different for you. Don't stress out if you plan backward by writing down what your child did that day instead of what you want them to do.
It is ok to plan some things ahead and not others. For us, we prefer to progress through math and language arts writing down what we do as we go (backward lesson planning) but for the other subjects like Science, Social Studies, and Kind Curriculum for Project-Based Learning, we generally plan what we are going to ahead of time.
As always; reach out if you have questions or leave a comment below letting us know how do you plan in your homeshool?