When scouring the internet and local teacher stores, something became abundantly clear. There is no such thing as a lesson plan book for homeschoolers. At first, I thought this was because homeschooling is still done by the minority of families, but now I really think it has more to do with how homeschooling families work. No two families homeschool the same way’ not all families are required to report the same information. So, one plan book set out for all homeschoolers simply would not work. Some families don’t really plan at all, so they’d have no interest, but even the families that do plan lessons in detail will go about planning and executing those lessons in a way that is unique to their home.
Regardless, I knew that I wanted a lesson plan book. I get fairly scattered and anxious without having a clear cut plan (that’s why the Home Management Guide came to be), and we have to keep certain records in Missouri. I thought it would be best if I could keep all those things in one, easily accessible place. So, I figured that I would share how my brain works and how my plan book works. Maybe it will help you out too.
If you click on any of the highlighted words, they should bring up a window which has the document in it for you to print off for your planning book if you want it.
First, I got a great little binder.
Then I tried to plan out what I would need to access every day, and I put those things in the front.
Next is the curriculum schedule that came with our Spectrum curriculum set.
This tells me exactly which pages need to be covered in each workbook each week. (It’s even broken down into handy semesters).
The tabs you see are the lesson plans broken down into weeks. We’re doing 4-week unit studies, so I lay out 4 weeks in advance. (Well that’s my eventual goal. Right now I have only 2 weeks very loosely planned until we get settled).
I take the Spectrum information and enter it into the Lesson plan Week overview. That way I have the week overview at my fingertips. I know what to aim for and can track what we need to adjust on a weekly basis instead of getting overwhelmed or feeling like we’re “falling behind”. It looks something like this.
Next to the weekly overview, I keep the Daily Plan. I print 2 of these sheets per week and fill them in with Monday-Friday, using the 6th slot for notes. Again, this is something the state requires. Well, actually they may never even ask for it, but I see it like taxes. I would rather be over-prepared than under.
If you’re a schedule person, you may want to write in blocks of time or hours when you want to accomplish these things, but we’re totally playing it by ear the first few weeks until we figure out what works for us. Plus, many of our lessons overlap. For instance, I’m not taking an hour to introduce French. Instead, we’re tying it to the math lesson, so as we work on counting, writing and adding 1-10, we’ll also be learning to say it in French.
These pages help me know what we’re aiming to get done each day in order to reach our weekly goal.
Because I am also required to keep a daily log, each week also has loose leaf paper included, again, so all these things will be in one spot.
Behind the 4 weeks of lesson plans, I’ve also included some odds & ends.
I want to know that my son is progressing. I’m not terribly concerned on the rate of progression or of standardized grade levels, but I do want to know that he is learning. So, I decided to make my own form of assessment. I made a chart of all of the words in the sight reading flashcards I got at Target. I plan to work with those words a few times a week and assess either once a month or once a quarter. If you’d like to do something similar, here’s the Sight Word Assessment.
I also included a similar Math Assessment I found in the book Learn at Home for Grade 1.
I keep copies of the letters I’ve sent and received from the public school in regards to us homeschooling, and lastly I keep the new standards that Missouri has adopted. I don’t always agree with what the school system teaches nor the order or way it is taught, but I am always open to suggestions for what my son could be learning. Plus, any one who wants to know how he is progressing compared to other kids has easy access to that info.
Every 4 weeks, I will empty the necessary pages and compile them in a larger 3 ring binder. This is an extra step, but the 3 inch binder is too cumbersome to carry around every day, so it’s worth it for me.
I did purchase a standard grade book (Target dollar bins). Though it isn’t suited for homeschool (I don’t have 30+ students, thank God), I plan to use one page per subject. This form of assessment isn’t something I really plan to use to measure Tyke 1’s success, but the standards do say that some form of assessment in A, B, C form is required. It isn’t terribly specific on how to accomplish that, so I figure grading a worksheet each day in each subject should suffice.
Have any of you created a lesson plan book or found a standard issue on that works for you?