As part of the TOS Blog Cruise earlier this month, we talked about setting goals for our homeschool. This time, our topic is “What does lesson planning look like in your homeschool?”. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a planner by nature, and I like having a written plan for the week to follow. Of course, that doesn’t mean we always follow my plan exactly, or that we always get everything done, but I like to think of my plans as a “working guide” of what I would like to accomplish each week.
So, how does this look for me? Well first, I start using planning pages from the TOS Homeschool Planner, and Donna Young’s website (which is free). I use one planning page (the Loved Edwardian Planner) for each of my children for our individual subjects, then a different page (the A-Row Planner) for the subjects we do together. I also like the Week-at-a-glance page from the TOS planner, which lets me record activities, our weekly menu etc. etc.
Usually I set a few hours aside during the weekend (Fri.-Sun.) to plan depending on my husband’s work schedule. (He is a firefighter, so he works 24/48 hour shifts…I usually try to save my planning for a night he’s at work so I can spend time with him when he’s home 🙂 ). At the start of the year, planning can take me a couple of hours, but as the year goes on and we get into a groove, it doesn’t take as long. At the end of each week, I highlight anything we didn’t get done, so I can move it to the next week! I also love sticky notes!! 🙂 I keep a pad of them in my pocket at all times so I can make notes while we homeschool about things I think we need to add for the next week (i.e., review simplifying fractions). I put my stickies from each day in my planning binder and review them when I am planning for the next week.
My binder is a BIG part of my planning and scheduling. I have a section for each child, and for our group subjects, a section for grades, a calendar and my week-at-a-glance page at the front! I feel like this really helps to keep me organized. I also do an extra step, mainly for me, that most people may not. I use Homeschool Skedtrack to keep a record of our grades for homeschooling. This means, that once my plans are done, I spend about half an hour entering assignments into Skedtrack so I can enter grades during the week. Each day, I log on and record our activities. Homeschool Skedtrack keeps a record of our school hours, activities, grades etc. Yes, this is an extra step, and I know many people would think it’s crazy. However, even when I was a classroom teacher, and all of our planning and grading went computerized, I was the teacher who always had a plan book to carry around. There was something about being able to sit in front of my TV and write plans that I loved (and plan books could be taken anywhere, unlike computers, unless you have a laptop, which I don’t!). Also, I can NOT tell you how many times I have seen computers crash and systems go down, and seen teachers without their plans for the day. I like technology, but I am a pencil and paper kind of girl at heart (as a side note, I also love to read with a book in my lap!!)