Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lesson Plans & Lessons Learned

BlogCruiseButton Our next topic for the Blog Cruise is:

What does lesson planning look like in your homeschool?

Over the years, my lesson planning has changed a lot.  Back when we first started homeschooling, I was my normal “crazy planning freak” self . . . and, as such, I went through and planned out Ashley’s entire school year.  Yep, all 180 days of it.  I worked on it for weeks before each school year would start. 

But, you know what? That ended up not working out so well, because my “paperwork perfectionist” self got a little on edge when something came up that messed with our schedule.  Because I’m a lefty, I much prefer writing with pen (pencil tends to smudge); so white-out became my best friend in the early years of our homeschooling.

Eventually, it hit me . . . there’s no need to be so rigid in our schedule!  This is not “school at home”, it’s “homeschool” – and, because of that, sometimes home-stuff needs to take priority over school stuff.  Yes, it’s true! 

Each year, I change things up a bit, but the basic premise remains the same, and it works for us.  I make up our planners using the same format that I used to create The 2011-12 Schoolhouse Planners.  I set them up by weeks (and # the weeks in the upper left-hand corner). But, within each “week”, rather than listing the days across the top, I leave a blank for  the date and the numbered day (1-180).  Then, we fill out our planners as we go.  This way, there’s hardly ever a need to erase/white-out. 

Actually, we do all our planning on the computer now too.  Because we need to turn in a portfolio to the school district at the end of the school year, we do print these out and include them.

Something new that I created this year was a “dummy sheet” – it looks just like our weekly lesson plans, but it’s just a general guideline of what we should be accomplishing each week in each subject.  Just having that to refer to has helped us stay on track, especially with some of the subjects we’d prefer to put aside (i.e. science!) 

Not sure if this all makes sense in words, but it has certainly been the most effective way for me to plan our school year(s).  I’d love to hear about your plans!

If you’d like to see what the rest of the Crew has to say about planning, be sure to check out the Blog Cruise.

1 comment:

Bbrockhausen said...

I am slowly letting go of being a crazy planning freak myself!! I, too, find it easier to just count our number of days for the year rather than hold us to a rigid week by week schedule. Some subjects we seem to finish up earlier than others, but that's okay! We have the flexibility to extend some subjects into our summer if necessary :)

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