Organization Part Two: Lesson Planning Options
I believe in lesson planning. When I've overslept and school must begin NOW, having a plan helps me jump in; however, the plan might not be as detailed as you may think. I want to avoid basing success on how well we stuck to the plan, rather than how well the plan worked for us. Always and ever the measurement of success is how much did my children learn. Did the lesson plan work?
Also, I want to avoid basing success on how well we stuck to the plan, rather than how well the plan worked for us. Always and ever the measurement of success is how much did my children learn. Did the lesson plan work?
Options exist for lesson planning.
Through the years I experimented with different ways to plan our lessons. Here are some of the options I tried, all with varying degrees of success:
- Planning an entire school year at a time: I took a weekend away from home, brought with me all the books and resources I intended
to use, and my lesson plan book. First, I prayed, then I crossed off the days that I knew we'd not school, including holidays and vacations. We homeschool four days a week, leaving one day for catching up or nonschool-type activities, so I crossed off one day each week. Next, I set goals for where we'd be at the end of each quarter for all four quarters. Then, carefully and thoughtfully, after praying for guidance, I entered, in pencil, each day's work for each subject based on the quarterly goals I'd set. Last, in the notes section, I listed all the materials we'd need for each subject for the week. I tried this method once--my first year. Dismal failure. I wore out three pink pearl erasers--but that does not mean it won't work for you.
- Planning by semester at a time: The process was the same as above, but the goals were set only for the semester, not the entire year. Again, I took a weekend to make the plans and brought with me the resources I intended to use. I used a pencil to fill out the lesson plan book and I anticipated holidays and other school breaks. This time I wore out only two pink pearl erasers.
- Planning by not scheduling. I took a day away and brought with me the resources I intended to use. In the notes section of the lesson plan book, I made a list of the materials I needed to assemble by quarter. This was done for all four quarters. Also in the lesson plan book, I noted holidays and scheduled school breaks. As in the previous methods, I planned for four days of school a week. I knew that sometimes we'd do five. Sometimes Friday would be our day off and sometimes it would be Monday or Wednesday, etc. I did not mark individual days off in the planning book. I did list the subjects we'd cover. And that was all. At the end of each day, I recorded what we accomplished for each subject. In other words, at the beginning of the school year, my lesson planning book was mostly empty. As the year progressed, the book filled up. I wrote what we accomplished each day, so that the next day I could begin where we left off. No pink pearl erasers expired.
Lesson Planning can be as detailed or flexible as works for you.
Can you guess which method worked best for me? Which method freed me from guilt stimulated by lesson plans that were not followed? It also allowed me the freedom to go as fast or slow as my students needed. I could not possibly predict that Becky would learn about electricity in a snap, but bog down with fractions. Regardless of the subject, we moved forward based on my children's progress. I always knew where we were because what was accomplished was written in the lesson plan book. I never felt guilty because we were always just where we needed to be.
Gracious Father, we bow before your throne as our Creator and Sustainer. We see Your organization and flexibility all around us and praise You for such perfection. Be with us as we teach Your children.