Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lesson Planning Made Simple

As I get more and more organized I realize how easy it actually is to homeschool my 1st grader and preschooler. When I first started homeschooling I stressed myself out worrying about getting it "right". I wish I could go back and tell myself to quit worrying because it really will start to fall in place. It is now finally starting to fall in place and I couldn't be more excited! However, I still worry about the challenges that we will go through as my children get older, but I am trying to take homeschooling day by day (or week by week). Thinking about high school is what makes me sweat now. :)  

One of my goals is to make my part in homeschooling simple. That is one of the reasons for the learning centers I am putting together around the house. All I do is put the center together, and then my children are able to spend countless hours using them and learning all on their own. As with math I have chosen a wonderful curriculum that comes with books that tell me exactly what to say and do and a set of manipulates so that I have everything I need in my math basket. All I had to do was take my book to my local postal center to make copies of all the worksheets and tests. Then each morning while the kiddos are playing all I do is open the math book for a few minutes to read over what we are learning and then call them down to teach it.

This is a picture of a week of lesson plans for both of my children. Simple! I have filled a magazine holder with five file folders labled each with one day of the week. I also have added a "basic unlabeled weekly" lesson planner sheet that I have filled out with our plans for the week. I printed the planner sheet from here.
We spontaneously decided to take off from school last week and this week, so this is actually filled up with next week's lessons. We normally just go on to the next devotional for Bible time and our next lesson during math which pretty much takes away all of the planning for those subjects. For reading we read what we feel like reading so again no planning. I have put the "Magic School Bus" chapter book we are reading in the container so that we can just grab it during group reading time.

The other subject we do each day right now is science and that is what takes a little bit of time to plan for me. I am currently doing unit studies with the children on subjects that interest them. Tonight I went through our unit study on rocks that we are currently doing and printed out every page we need for the lapbook we will be putting together. There are eight different components to the lapbook so I have decided to do one component Monday through Thursday for two weeks. On Friday we will do a hands on activity. I put the pages we need for next week in the corresponding folders, tucked the lapbook pages for the next week behind the folders, and then printed out information on how to make a volcano and put it in the Friday folder. It really didn't take much time time at all, but as the children get older I expect science to take more time to plan.

So how do you simplify lesson planning?

This post is linked up to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

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