In my last post, I wrote about how to use a plan book in your homeschool. This time, I want to talk about an actual homeschool lesson plan. What’s the difference? There may not be one–you can use your plan book to write adequate plans. Sometimes I do, and sometimes, I just put the book title and page numbers that we are studying from that day. You may use your plan book as more of a bare bones idea and flesh it out in a homeschool lesson plan.
Do you Need to Write a Homeschool Lesson plan?
No, you don’t–I certainly don’t always write a full lesson plan, or even most of the time. However, I wrote a lot of lesson plans when I was in college and when I taught in adult education long before I started homeschooling. So don’t stress out about writing lesson plans…but here are a few thoughts on why you might want to try it and how.
Then Why do it?
Lesson plans can be a confidence builder. Like coloring in a coloring book or following a recipe, some structure can help you to get the results you want until you are experienced enough to do art, or cook, or teach, more intuitively. I write lesson plans in such a way that it helps me to know why I am doing any given thing. I have enough experience now that I don’t really have to articulate everything, but part of that is because I did it so many times before.
A Lesson Plan Format
Here is how I do my lesson plans when I do them: in an app such as Microsoft Word of Google Docs, I create a table with four columns and several rows. From left to right, I label them Time, Activity, Purpose, and Materials. You could do one plan for your whole day, but I usually do it by subject.
Time: This can either be an increment of time, like fifteen minutes, or the time on the clock, 8:00-8:15. Just use your best guess for how long an activity will take.
Activity: Describe what you and/or your students will be doing, such as “read book title” , “color the skeleton on page 17”, “Look at the map of Ancient Rome.” Use as little or as much detail as you need.
Purpose: This is the heart of the lesson plan and offers the real benefit to you as a teacher. You will not have to look back later and wonder if all you ever do is busy work if you know right from the start why you did each thing. One activity may have more than one purpose. For the coloring above, my purpose might be, “Reinforce the names of bones; use fine motor skills.”
Materials: All materials needed for an activity go in this column so that I can see at a glance what I need to prepare. This includes textbooks, workbooks, and any other materials used.
Is it easy? Yes! Is it time consuming? Er…yes. But if you want to sharpen your teaching skills while homeschooling, try writing lesson plans!
What do you think of this idea. Please give us your comments below.