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Monday, July 21, 2008

Lesson Plans


I found my homeschooling days to be much more difficult the times I didn’t produce lesson plans before the year began. It worked best for me to create lesson plans for one semester and then create more over Christmas for the next semester.

Lesson plans helped me so greatly because they reduced the stress of homeschooling on a daily basis. Each child was given his lesson book and each day he knew exactly what to do. I could have told my children each hour what to do, but that would have required a lot of extra energy from me (asking what they had finished, thinking about what else we had on the list, listening to the sighs and groans when I told them to work on this or that). It would have been exhausting, really. When I put the planning effort in beforehand, it made the school year much less draining for me. 

In the early years of homeschooling, I would put up a generalized checklist and have my children check the subject when it was done. This worked just fine for a few years. However, because of added responsibility in my life, I needed the list to be more detailed. So I upgraded their lesson plans and started writing down exactly what page they should do in math, which pages to read in science, and every last detail of every assignment— attempting to coordinate this with extra curricular stuff as well. This required a great deal of upfront work, but it truly be helped me remain sane!

Having a detailed schedule for my children empowered them to take responsibility over their learning, and my job changed from governor to facilitator. I would sit alongside while they went through their list so I could answer specific questions related to the subject in question. This brought so much simplicity and freedom to our homeschooling.

I do highly recommend scheduling for the busy homeschooler. Even if you like to take days off here and there for fun and field activities, a schedule will keep you more productive on the days when you are at home trying to churn out some schoolwork. 

I liked to have the schedules bound into a book for the children to use. However, I would change the schedule from time to time and have to reprint and rebind the book! It was worth the effort though because it helped my children become more independent.





8 comments:

Robin said...

Hi Jeannie, Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. I am very interested in seeing your schedule format as this method works well for my kids too. I have trouble with the Excel form that I use and so would love to see what you are using. I can't imagine planning so far ahead though. Any suggestions for how to not make that so overwhelming? I have tried to click on the link you provided and it does not work. It goes to Google documents and says the page is not found. Any help you can throw my way would be such a blessiing! Thanks! srgrant1@verizon.net

onebeggarsbread said...

Jeannie,
This post came at the perfect time! We are just moving from "Relaxed Classical" education (where my three boys and myself do almost all of our learning together) to my oldest two needing to some of their assignments on their own. Your ideas will help me in making planning books for my boys! Thank you!

jnscrotsley said...

Jeanie,
Thanks for taking the time to post your schedule! I love to read all the information you share. I love to see what others are doing. I was curious what age (in general) was this schedule written for?

Thanks,

Shawna

Sarah Joy said...

WOW! I am getting ready to do my own lesson planning. last year we didn't do very well with everything I had planned in my own teacher planner, because well... um... I kept forgetting to look at it and we got so behind. I need to be more disciplined, but I think that if I have something for my son to actually look at and know what he needs to do everyday instead of me telling him, then he would do very well with that and things would get done. Can you tell me, how long did it take you to do all that? writing all the pages for each subject? That had to have taken forever!!! :)

Jeannie Fulbright said...

It does take a little while. However, it's easier with subjects that you can just write down the next lesson. It's harder when the lessons are more complicated, like with writing and such. But it's worth it for what it does to your school year.

Jeannie Fulbright said...

Age for the schedules:
The General Schedule was for a third or fourth grader. The Specific Schedule was for my sixth grader.

Michelle said...

Hi Jeannie,
I just noticed you are now a student at Liberty U. My husband now teaches in their online program, seminary level (mostly Baptist History). You'll have to let me know if you take a course under him.
We're still using your science books.
Michelle from Classed (remember Classed?)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeannie,
I know the original post was from last year. I'm just wondering: how did the more detailed plan work? I've considered doing the same thing myself for my kids. Is there any way you could post a pdf version of your detailed plan? The link I clicked came up with gibberish. Thanks, Becky B.