HOW TO CREATE HOMESCHOOL LESSON PLANS
There’s no feeling like sitting in front of your children when it comes time to teach and being completely unprepared. It’s like being thrown to the wolves. They can smell fear, so best come prepared.
What you need is a lesson plan. Creating a lesson plan can seem like a daunting task but it is really very simple.
How detailed or how basic your approach, is up to you. I prefer a basic outline of what I’m going to do, but you can plan out every minute of your time if you want to. I like to use a simple notebook and one page for each day of my year.
There are a few questions to help you start a lesson plan:
- What topic are you going to teach?
- What resources are you going to use for the lesson?
- How long do you intend to spend on the lesson?
- Do you want to add activities?
- What specific points do you want to bring out or leave out?
- How are you going to test for retention?
I don’t write this all down at once for every day of the year because my plans change too often and I like being flexible. Planning a week ahead is enough for me. Sometime over the weekend, I jot down a basic outline of each subjects’ lessons for the week. If you’re the kind of person that needs to plan your whole year at once, by all means, go for it.
What topic are you going to teach?
Choose one subject to work on at a time. Briefly, skim through the pages you will teach getting an idea of what they need to learn. I write down the topic for each day so if I bump into any resources that I want to use later, I can quickly glance and see what day I’ll need them.
What resources are you going to use for the lesson?
Choose any extra resources that would complement the lesson like coloring pages, manipulatives, maps, reading books, science experiments, videos, and websites. Write them down underneath the topic.
How long do you intend to spend on the lesson?
Decide how long you have to do the lesson. This will affect what resources and activities you are able to add and it keeps you from using up all of your time on just one subject each day.
Do you want to add activities?
There are thousands of extra activities and resources that you can add to each lesson. Don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to just say: NONE. If you find some great ones that you want to use, write them down next.
What specific points do you want to bring out?
Prioritize one or two points that you emphasize in the lesson and be purposeful to bring them out. This ensures that the most important things are learned even if you run short on time or your child’s attention wanders. Also, choose what can be left out without affecting the outcome of the lesson too much.
How are you going to test for retention?
Finally, decide how you are going to test for retention later on. There’s no point in learning if it goes in one ear and out the other. Tests, reviews, quizzes, games, and written or oral narrations are all options. Jot down the points to be reviewed later.
That’s it! You got this.
Life is crazy sometimes so go with the flow and just because you have a plan doesn’t mean it will be followed; but hey, it can’t hurt, right?