Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, July 7, 2006

About Lesson Plans

This is my software program (Homeschool Planner) that I purchased to keep records of our homeschool. Which you can click on to check out the software for yourself, it's linked.

This is just Monday, the Homeschool Planner shows up to 5 days of daily plans.

This is a snapspot of a monthly printout, I cropped it to just one week.

For the last two weeks I have been going between this program and an Elan Weekly Lesson Plan book that I found at a school supply store.

It's features include:
Seating plan sheets (don't need)
Supplementary data sheets for student information or special tests
For 8 classes per day (needed this!)
Overview planning sheets (Place for materials list)
Schedule of school events calendar (nifty for year planning)
Planning sheets for 40 weeks (really needed this)

So, I am writing in pencil in my "lesson book" and then transferring it to my computer. I feel a little nuts doing it this way but I really like the lesson plan book because IT'S IN MY HANDS, AND THE HUGE ERASER I HAVE IS COOL. Plus I am mobile with my books and lesson book vs. stuck at the computer.

But the software can print out my weekly lesson plan too, with all the info on it!
Including keeping track of attendance. I'm also scared of overplanning, who knows how DD is going to progress and if we need to redo a lesson...

1. How do you keep records?
2. Do you keep lesson plans?
3. How far in advance do you create them?
4. Do you plan out each subject?
5. Am I going overboard?

Please advise a newbie!

Comments copied over from previous blog.

Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by Anne
1. How do you keep records? I use Homeschool Easy Records. I feel like there is probably something better, but I haven't found it yet. I like it because I can print out each student's assignments for the week, with a copy for me, too.

2. Do you keep lesson plans? Yep, in my computer.

3. How far in advance do you create them? I try to have them planned at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance. Some subjects are tough to do that with. I never know when we'll have to take it slow in algebra, for instance. I really hate having to go back and change them when that happens!

4. Do you plan out each subject? Not for the whole year at a time. I have a general idea of how many lessons/chapters/etc. that we need to do a week in order to finish, but I haven't planned out more than about 6 weeks in advance.

5. Am I going overboard? LOL. I'm the wrong person to answer that! I LOVE the planning part. Last year I used a lesson plan book, too, and I really prefer writing things down. Like you, I like holding it in my hand. But with my son starting high school this year, I really feel the need to have it all in the computer and easily available for transcripts. I have my doubts that I'll ever find the perfect organizing tool for this task, and I'm not nearly computer savvy enough to make my own.

Can answer a question about Homeschool Planner for me? I emailed them a few weeks ago with a question, and they never replied. You said you can print out the weekly lesson plans. What does this look like? Is it essentially a printed assignment sheet for each child for the week? Is it set up so they can check off what they've completed, and where I can fill in their grade for each assignment? I couldn't find that info on their website.

Happy planning!

A piler who wants to be a filer (0; - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by Canadagirl
1. How do you keep records? The childrens folders is my proof (0:
2. Do you keep lesson plans? Yes, rough ones . Sometimes in my head. But I am getting it down
3. How far in advance do you create them? Over all plan, a year ahead but mainly weekly
4. Do you plan out each subject? Some of my subjects are all planned out. When I did the History of Science , it was planned out for me. I just ticked as I went. Our I will split books up by how many weeks to chapters .
5. Am I going overboard? From someone who is "a piler who wants to be a filer " the extent you are going I don't see myself But that is because I am not a detailed planner I am a dreamer. (0:

I could probably help in other areas of planning for you. (0:

But at the same note I am a planner and I start deciding what books and things I want to do for the Fall in January.( 9 months of planning LOL ) I pobably need to be more detailed and I am getting more and more every year. My oldest is 13 and I am going to have him Make a Portfollio in 9th grade.

I wish I could have been more help but I can cheer you on. (0;

In Him,

Permanent Link
trust yourself - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by jenmcintyre
I stumbled across you from lonestarmama. My kids are about 3 years older but the same age span. I remember worrying so much going into 2nd grade with my Dd who is 9 now. I planned that year out to the 10th degree. lol Well to some degree that worked but it left no room for adding things in as we went along that we found interesting. Each year since I have gotten a little more I won't say exactly lax, but I don't write down a projection page for each day for the next year anymore. It was hard to loosen up, I still wanted to know where I was going. If you read through website she has some good tips on how to break down the material you have picked out to figure out how to spread it out for the school year. Some things you do every day.... like math other things you might only cover twice a week. The idea is to cover all your material, but not get burned out on the way. Trust yourself. Your kids are young enough, you have plenty of time to figure out what is going to work for your family. And it will possibly change when your son gets older. I am adding a second one to "serious" teaching this year and it is a whole new ball game.

Friday, July 7, 2006

1. How do you keep records?
Homeschool Tracker: I wrote about it on my blog awhile back.

The feature I use most is moving/editing assignments and printing out daily assignment lists for the kids. Messier to do in a planning book if you want to move everything forward a day because of an unexpected day off.

2. Do you keep lesson plans?
Yes...within this program. Some plans I adopt from the publisher. For example Apologia Science and Saxon Math provides a schedule to complete the curriculum in a year.

Some I write myself....mostly in the history/literature realm.

3. How far in advance do you create them?
I usually spend the summer planning for the following year. Because the kids are in junior high, the pace is fairly predictable.

And the program allows me to make adjustments as we go. I do use a blank composition notebook to create my own plans. I make each page a week so I can plot out what sections of history we are on and which works of literature dovetail into that topic, assigning story pages for our Book of Centuries and audio tapes as needed. Then it's a big picture I can transfer into Homeschool Tracker. I use the $.79 notebook vs the $7.99 teacher planner at this took me a few years to realize it was overkill to use both for me (for my purposes).

4. Do you plan out each subject?
For the most part, yes. I give my reasoning on planning the year out during the summer in my blog entry noted in Question #1.

But my kids are older than yours. When they were younger, I plotted out the themes only for certain subjects and we were more child directed. But for phonics and more black and white subjects which I wanted to complete a certain level of work, I'd plan out ~ 32 weeks of work with a week for review after each quarter.

5. Am I going overboard?
Using both until you "find your groove" sounds logical to me. It took me about two full years to fully transition away from the planning book. Having three students also helped me go automated. But I can print calendars, schedules, assignment lists, reading lists, etc. which I stick in my Franklin if we are van schooling or going to the it is a portable system when away from the PC.

Great topic to survey others on....lots of ways to do it. I think trying several ways while the kids are young is a great opportunity to develop your own personal system.


rambles on your blog - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by javamamma

Yes, absolute HOPE and PEACE knowing God and His holiness and me and my wretchedness. There is forgiveness and LIFE in connecting the two and falling at the Cross!
...Obviously these are thoughts from your comment on my blog. :o)

As for your question about lessons plans. We did text books so things were all laid out as to WHAT we were going to do. I usually did a one-year plan but then "ultra-planned" monthly. Like you, I ALWAYS used PENCIL! I didn't have a "program" but just made my own sheets - in Microsoft Publisher. I printed their blank monthly calenders for my yearly plan and then made up weekly sheets with each subject and what we were doing each day. I'm sure that others using the same method as you will have much better ideas on this and that your planning program is much more efficient than my crude method. :o)

Oh, your comments about how small your town is cracked me up. Not in a bad way but what you described is like the bigger town 15-20 min. away - only it DOES have a Super Wal-Mart. Where WE live is only about 450-ish and we have a bank (no ATM), a Post Office, an auto service station with a gas pump that doesn't accept credit cards, a bar, a nice pool and park and a hardware store...oh, we do have a library of sorts. It's open for 2 hours, 2 days a week and I honestly doubt it has anything I would want to read, though my kids get kids books there. In the fall we will be blessed with a "convience store" opening - atleast then I can get milk and bread if I happen to run out at midnight some day. :o) This is rural Nebraska - land of "what's internet?" and "you gotta laptop what?" Well, maybe it's not THAT bad but I guarentee you the MAJORITY of people here do not own a computer and obviously don't have internet. But, guess what, I LOVE it here! OK, I'll shut up now!

Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted byJavaMama

Jessica, thanks for the advice you left in my comment. I needed to hear it. I do have a tendency to take on to much when it comes to trying to change, I just don't know how to focus on one at a time because I feel that they all need to be worked on right now! Last month I really tried to focus on being a godly wife, this month I am going to focus on being a parent and teacher.
About the planning I am in the process of finding a good system as well so I will be checking back to read more comments from other bloggers on this!

JOYfully in Him,

A few comments! - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted byKyMentor

I love the cute pictures of the cake and sleeping IN the bed :)
I enjoyed and admire your post about your faith and choice of denomination. I have considered doing one similar a few times, but since I am an Episcopalian I hesitated. I know my denomination has been quite 'noteworthy' recently :) I didn't want my blog to be a controversial place.

About you planning and record keeping questions, because I am going to go into some detail I am going to put the answers on my blog to save your comment space.

And about your new lay out, WOW. It is really nice and much easier to find things. You have wonderful resource links and very interesting tidbits! It looks wonderful.


Hello! - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted byTestimony

I am so ancient. I handwrite my lessons. I just do it. If I have a curriculum, like math, the lessons are planned out in the book. You just have to figure out how much time per day you want to spend on each subject, page or concept. New Concepts, I try to plan them for the beginning of the week. Saturday nights, you have to do some tweeking of your lessons. If a child is stuck on a concept, you may want to take more time. So your plans get pushed back.

If the child is struggling with the subject altogether, then you must stop the lesson for a while and do something else. You will know if the child is struggling, by tears or your frustration level is too high.
Overall, plans come and plans get changed based on your year.

Take care!

Seems like I'm not the only one writing about this! - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by

Check out:

I am so thankful for all of your comments and suggestions! I hope you keep them coming...

Lesson Plans? What are those? - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by

I don’t use lesson plans. I despise them and I don’t make out a weekly schedule either. Being a lover of efficiency, I just can’t bring myself to write them out every week. Instead, I make a general weekly schedule and change it out every 12 weeks. My children check it off daily. Now I know that doesn’t help you much and I know that you are just beginning your HS journey and want things done right and orderly, so you can just ignore my way of doing things until you get burned out making lesson plans every week. I’ll be around the corner waitin for ya when ya holler. He he..

Hi Jessica! - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by

Yes I've been buying too much lately...I need to stop. Buying curriculum can become an easy addiction, let me tell you! I think it's awesome you bought that software!! You're more organized that I am. I don't really have a ver good set schedule. In the AM, the older 2 have to do their self work: math, language arts, handwriting etc...while I work with the little two on their basics and read alouds. After lunch then I read aloud to the older 2 (little 2 sometimes listen in, sometimes go and play) and we do Latin and Bible together.

My goal for this summer break is to reread Managers of Their Homes and make a workable schedule for our family. You look like you have an AWESOME start, you're going to be an excellent mommy/teacher!!

Homeschool planning - Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by

This is a bit of a difficult one for me - when I first started homeschooling Ds, I was a planning junkie!! I suppose I was still caught up in the way I used to have to plan when I was a full-time teacher. I used to plan the whole year in great detail during the summer, then I'd break that down into "termly" plans, the a weekly plan and finally a daily plan - all written out by hand to start with but then started using wordprocessor instead. Anyway, it began to get ridiculous as I seemd to be planning all the time instead of just getting on with enjoying seeing my boy learn! Now, I let the scheme we use dictate the overall plan of what we need to cover and just write out a list of what is expected each day (along with comments as to how Ds has done in each subject. Funnily enough, I am now more relaxed and so is Ds!! I suppose that just having the one child makes the planning thing a bit easier (a software programme would be an unnecessary expense for us in my book).

Anyway, that's just my tuppence worth - we don't get regulated so much over here. We've had two visits in three years from the Education Advisor for this area - she cannot tell us what we have to do, and is happy so long as the child is being taught to his/her age and ability level. She knows she cannot win an argument with me because she has not taught children younger than 14!! (Ds is 11 and I used to teach children aged from 4 to 12).

Just a different perspective from over the pond!


Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by
1. How do you keep records? I keep everything on paper.

2. Do you keep lesson plans? Yes in my lesson plan book I am thinking of getting a computer program for it

3. How far in advance do you create them? I like to do them 2 to 3 weeks ahead. Sometimes I have to change things around. I do not like doing that.

4. Do you plan out each subject? Yes and no. I plan out everyday, but sometimes we do more or less depending on the day, the subject and my dd attitude

5. Am I going overboard? I do not think so. I keep debating on wether or not to put everything on the computer. That is (to me) putting to much trust in the computer. We have it crash before. Not good. Back up, back up,!!!

Friday, July 7, 2006
Posted by

1. How do you keep records?

I have a grid. Five days of the week across. 9 columns down:The date, Bible, history, science, math, LA (language arts), read alouds, IR (independent reading), other. As we complete something I write it down. If I want to write more than I can fit in a block, I continue on the back. It's easy, quick, and more than fulfills my obligation to the state. It's enough to please my need to look back and see what we did. I haven' t looked into computer programs much, so I dont know if this is an issue or not. I wouldn't want to feel stuck writing something in a certain format. For example, for math I could write pg. 45-47 or I could say worked on place value concepts with 100 number chart and blocks or I could say orally reviewed unit 8. I'm not sure if a preset computer program would allow that.

2. Do you keep lesson plans? I do lesson plans for history, science and read alouds, but they are flexible and can be changed as necessary. I want to be able to cover certain books and check them out from the library on time, so it helps to have it all planned out. My plans for other subjects are often to just do the next thing. Sometimes I may have the idea to do a certain amount of work, but it takes longer or quicker than I expected so I don't see the point of over planning.

3. How far in advance do you create them? I made the history, science, read aloud plans a year in advance.

4. Do you plan out each subject? No.

5. Am I going overboard? Everyone is different and has different needs. Your way would be overboard for me, but it might be fine for you. You can always back off later if it's too much.


Answers to your questions - Friday, July 7, 2006

Posted by

1.How do you keep records? I use Homeschool tracker which looks pretty similar to what you have.

2. Do you keep lesson plans? I do keep them on HT on my computer. I lesson plan every weekend for the coming week and print off an assignment sheet and put it on a clipboard that I can carry around with me wherever I go. I also keep in the clipboard any worksheets, coloring pages, etc that the kids will be working on so that I'm not searching. Another handy tool is a file size rubbermaid container where I place all the books, craft supplies, pencils, etc we will be using for the coming week so I'm not wasting time searching for them every day. The container has a handle on the top so if we go outside to do school I can take it with me(wish I could say I did this more often).

3. How far in advance do you create them? I've found going much past a week leaves me feeling pretty stressed if we don't achieve all of it. It's easy w/a computer system to carry it over to the following week if we don't get to it.

4. Do you plan out each subject? I have a general idea at the beginning of the school year then go week by week.

5. Am I going overboard? Probably not. I'm a planner too. Just make sure you give yourself and your children some flexibility. Know that things will come up and just the fact that they are home with you is giving them an amazing experience that they could never match in ps.


Forgive Me! - Friday, July 7, 2006

Posted by

I should have gone to your site before I answered via email! Sorry! I did want to add that I also have to have a hard copy! I make my table on the computer empty and then fill it in by hand. That way I can write "see next week" or just cross something off completely if things change!

My cooperative teacher when I was student teaching in college, used to write her daily objectives on the board every day. She said that she felt the kids did better when they knew the plan and where they were headed. I picked that up from her and used in Public school. Last year I did it for myself as I taught 1st grade. By the middle of the year the girls were starting to read it when we would start class and I would mark it off as we finished. This year we are just putting up a general schedule because I am also teaching Mary PreK.

I have a friend who copies the table of contents for each of her books and writes the date they do it on the margin! Just a thought!

May God lead you to do what is best for your family! In Him, Eva

Plan for easy days - Saturday, July 8, 2006

Posted by

Hi I love to see how others plan their days. I use to be pretty lazy because I used Sonlight and they do all the planning for you. After a few years and a lot of research I am now putting my own stuff together.

Managers of their Home has helped more then anything for day to day. I have just purchased Homeschool tracker and love it. It allows me to plan all the years lesson and then post them week to week as we complete them. It is very easy to use and I will be able to reuse everythnig for my younger ones.

I always like to get the year in focus and will plan everything (all lessons) for the year. This is after I have selected what text or book I am using for a subject. I then go through the text and note how to divide it so that it can be covered in the year. Then I decide how much time is need for each subject and take out my managers of their home worksheet and work it all in.

By doing it this way (planning out everything) your come to relise how much time you do have extra if you keep to the schedual!!! It is amazing what can be done in 30 mins.

Good luck. Visit sometime. we will chat some more.

Lesson Planning 101 - Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Posted by
I just listed all of my subject and texts that I am useing this year on my site. This is the first step to make and then on to the planning. Please stop by again. Can I add you to my friends list???

planning, planning, planning... - Saturday, July 22, 2006
Posted by

I'm only going into my 3rd year, so I guess I'm a bit of a Newbie too. I update my system every year. But for this year:

1. How do you keep records? My kids have weekly agenda pages with their lesson plans printed from Excel. Each day is a column and all the assignments are listed down the column for that day. These pages are printed off of Excel. When they are finished with a week, we put them into their portfolio behind the attendance record. (Which also comes from Excel, btw.)

2. Do you keep lesson plans? Yes. I build them in Excel. Sometimes I write them out & put them into the computer, say while the kids have an activity. Sometimes I sit with the materials at the computer and create them. Sometimes I create them, sometimes I just time when we do them if they are already planned for us in a teachers guide.

3. How far in advance do you create them? I plan them out for the year. In Excel, I build 1 worksheet for each subject. I have one column number the days of the school year (180). Next to that, I have the assignment that will need to be completed. Yet another column is special notes for me & another is where I can log grades. These cells feed directly into the weekly agenda pages that I print for the kids each week. It also allows for flexibility if I need to repeat a lesson with one of the kids by cutting/pasting/inserting/etc. or if I need to take a day off here or there when life happens.

4. Do you plan out each subject? Pretty much. I use some guides that are planned out already. Then I just put a "Complete L1", for Lesson 1. etc. For things such as music or pe, I have a time tracking sheet that they need to turn in weekly. (My kids are middle school & high school)

5. Am I going overboard? Obviously I would say no. :D

Have fun planning!

If you are reading this for lesson plan ideas/help... - Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Posted by Mamma1420
I have modified my lesson plans after driving myself batty! Check out the checklists on the rightside column

Enjoy Your Blessings


No comments: