or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Weekly lesson planning help
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Weekly lesson planning help

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm working on lesson plans for Levi, who is 4 but will be doing kindergarden work.   I'm thinking that I can only plan a week at a time, because I change things up often to match his interests, and other things we have going on, so I can't really think too far ahead.

 

 

So I'm looking for a weekly lesson plan sheet I can fill out that will just list each day, and the activites for each day.  Does anyone know of a good, simple form I can use?   

post #2 of 17

I have been working on weekly lesson plans for my 5 yr old (doing K also)

 

I have a file folder in a file-crate for each week, i print lists, activities, etc. for what we might do each week and put them in the folders.. i also have a planner with a sticky note for each subject stuck to each week with ideas for the week - this way i can move anything i need to around, i'm using the planner so that after we do an activity/lesson i can write it in the planner because it was done, before things are done they are on sticky notes, or in pencil.  i also have folders in the back of the crate with other things i'd like to do sometime so if we need somethign to do there are tons of ideas ..

post #3 of 17
Target usually has cheap teacher planners in the Dollar Spot this time of year. I have always just used a 3 ring binder with looseleaf paper.
post #4 of 17

I have a friend here who plans by the week. She has 3 kids of very different ages. She says that she does that week's plans and whatever doesn't get done gets tacked on to the next week.

 

(Her kids? Brilliant?)

 

Dollar spot again....also try a teacher supply store. They usually have nice ones for less than $10 or so. (Speaking of that...I think I should go and get one. Again.)

post #5 of 17

Oh, and we did older work for my Preschool Boy last year. I'm not sure what grade we were doing...because I'm not exactly sure what grade my daughter (just turned 7) is. But...whatever grade she was doing, he did, too. Have fun!

post #6 of 17

We use and love this one. We also do the file crate system as well;)

 

http://homeschoolcreations.com/Homeschool-Planner.html

post #7 of 17

The Donna Young website might have what you are looking for as well.

 

Chandi

post #8 of 17

I actually use a student planner/ calendar. I've looked overa all the teacher planbooks that are available to me locally, and the student planners are more to my liking. I make long term (either quarter or semester)goals, and then write what we did each day, rather than what we "plan" to do. For preschool/kindergarten that worked very well for me. We'll see if I maintain my goals this year as well-- we're first grade this year.

post #9 of 17

I made my own quite easily, in a three-ring-binder.  There are tabs for a year-long, one-page calendar for quick reference, a tab for daily schedules (like what time we need to be in the car for x activity), and a big, fold-out calendar of the year that I made using a spreadsheet application (excel or whatever you have).  On that are all of the 'knowns' of our year....our family celebrations and holidays, weekly themes for my Kindergartener, and an outline of all the blocks I want to do with my first-grader.  That's where I can pencil in activities or whatever to add.  The rest of the binder is weekly tabs, one per week for the whole year (including holidays and things).  In that section, I plan weekly a couple of weeks ahead.  Anything that still needs to be done can just be moved over a tab.  I can see pretty easily how 'on-track' we are and adjust my expectations accordingly.

 

In addition to that binder, I have my own, half-size binder which is my personal calendar, notebook, etc.  This is small enough to schlep around in the diaper bag, so that's where I jot down class times and meetings for co-ops etc.  And I keep a big file of resources in another binder system....articles that resonate with me, lesson blocks that I'll want to use some day, recipes, songs, verses by season to use with our largely seasonally-based curriculum, special holiday crafts, etc.

 

Worked well last year!  Hope it does again.  And hope that helps you, OP.

 

ETA, sorry, Mamma-brain, I didn't answer your question!  So, at the beginning of each week, I have printed out a form (which I made, again very easily with Excel or Word).  Each week, I fill out what the seasonal theme is (Apples, Harvest, Winter Animals, whatever) for the little ones, then the lesson block that the older one is doing (Language Arts, Math, whatever), specific lessons I want to do (title only, the lesson goes behind the main page for the week) and a note of where we might need to go that week (outdoor science class on Wednesday, art class on Friday, Co-op day on Thursday, and the baby has a check-up on Monday at 3).  This means that when I'm planning for next week on Saturday, I can look at what we've done, what we need to do, and when I can plan lessons.

post #10 of 17

He is only 4! Kids at that age don't need lesson plans. A 4 year old shouldn't be considered to be homeschooled. The youngest age a child should be considered to be homeschooled is first grade. Some states don't require school until age 7. This may be the youngest age developmentally kids are ready lesson plans. Some experts believe kids aren't ready for planned learning experiences until they are junior high age. You might like to read John Holt. It is possible to homeschool and never have a lesson plans, worksheets, textbooks, ect. and have kids that are lifelong learners.

 

What does it matter at what age you start reading? What matters is that you enjoy reading, can read fast, and can comprehend. Almost all children will learn to read on their own by age 12. If you let them learn on their own they will quickly read at an adult level. The light switch turns on. If they don't read by age 12 then you can start trying to figure out how to teach them. My oldest son started reading at age 4. My next son was obviously bright but didn't read until age 12. His first books at age 12 were the Redwall series that are at an adult level. My youngest son has an IQ of 80 and the "experts" said he wouldn't read. He read at age 12 and his first books were the Lord of the Rings books. Kids that are taught to read can have reading problems and can dislike reading.

 

How many adults do you know that don't know their colors or how to count? The kinds of things that kids learn in school can be learned in play, daily activities or by reading books. It doesn't matter when they learn it, it just matters that they learn it. My 2 year old grandson has a toy laptop that has games on it and somehow he has learned all his letters. Now everywhere we go he is pointing out letters. He doesn't even talk in sentences and he knows his letters! We don't care if he knows his letters now but he thinks it is fun. That is the kind of experience that is great for homeschooling, finding the right tool or experience for the child to learn on their own, learner centered learning.

 

About one hour a day of learning at home equals a public school education. The happiest homeschooled kids are the ones that spend the least time being forced to to do formal lesson plans. Forcing your child to do formal learning doesn't make your child smarter or help them get into college. It may help if they want to go to someplace like Stanford. My kids had no problems getting into IU and Purdue. We had neighbors from India with sons my sons' ages. The mother was so worried about my children and them getting into college. Her sons went to school and then studied for hours every day. They wasted their childhood and went to IU just like my son. She was amazed that my kids got into every college they applied to.

 

These are my thoughts after homeschooling 3 very different children, reading Mothering Magazine, reading books about homeschooling, and graduate school courses in lifelong learning.  

 

post #11 of 17

Philosophically I agree with foreverbluejeans totally. We didn't start anything structured until 2nd grade level. However, I do understand that some parents feel the need to structure things for their own sanity and satisfaction. In that case I would suggest thinking about the following progressive developmental models for learning.

 

1. Unstructured informal learning. This is the open-ended exploration and play that we all think of as typical for the youngest children.

2. Structured informal learning. This is where the parent or teacher creates some structured experiences for the child but does not expect any particular response or end-product from the child.

3. Structured formal learning. This is traditional schooling or homeschooling, where the parent plans lessons and expects the child to accomplish certain tasks and certain learning outcomes. Most people, even many of the most vocal proponents of early institutional education would agree that this model is best reserved for children over the age of 6.

 

If you feel the need to plan education for a 4-year-old, I would encourage you to stick to #2, the structured informal learning approach. Offer ideas, materials, experiences, opportunities, but don't necessarily expect him to engage, or to take them in the direction you think they should go. Use resources and activities that aren't particularly goal-directed, that don't expect him to answer or respond in particular ways, that don't have right and wrong answers.

 

The thing about planning for informal learning is that you can never be sure how it's going to take, or what direction it's going to go. That's the nature of the informal thing. You need to respond, change, adapt, on a moment-to-moment basis. Which is why I would suggest you not put too much energy and formality into planning. The more you dress your planning up in a tidy notebook or a fancy computer file, the more you will have invested in the realization of your plan and the more you'll tend to get focused on expectations of particular responses from your child.

 

Personally the best "planning" approach I found for my kids at that age was an electronic journal (i.e. blog) I kept from time to time about what actually engaged and inspired them, and a rambling list of resources and ideas that I thought might be helpful in the future, or on any particular day, as their interests grew and shifted or when I felt the need to introduce something novel.

 

Good luck!

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahtar View Post

Target usually has cheap teacher planners in the Dollar Spot this time of year. I have always just used a 3 ring binder with looseleaf paper.


That's what I'm using.  thumb.gif

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

1. Unstructured informal learning. This is the open-ended exploration and play that we all think of as typical for the youngest children.

2. Structured informal learning. This is where the parent or teacher creates some structured experiences for the child but does not expect any particular response or end-product from the child.

3. Structured formal learning. This is traditional schooling or homeschooling, where the parent plans lessons and expects the child to accomplish certain tasks and certain learning outcomes. Most people, even many of the most vocal proponents of early institutional education would agree that this model is best reserved for children over the age of 6.

 

If you feel the need to plan education for a 4-year-old, I would encourage you to stick to #2, the structured informal learning approach. Offer ideas, materials, experiences, opportunities, but don't necessarily expect him to engage, or to take them in the direction you think they should go. Use resources and activities that aren't particularly goal-directed, that don't expect him to answer or respond in particular ways, that don't have right and wrong answers.

.....

Personally the best "planning" approach I found for my kids at that age was an electronic journal (i.e. blog) I kept from time to time about what actually engaged and inspired them, and a rambling list of resources and ideas that I thought might be helpful in the future, or on any particular day, as their interests grew and shifted or when I felt the need to introduce something novel.

 


Beautiful!!!!! I am a 1, meeting DH at #2 and he is a #3 and I *totally* agree that the 3 is for the older and when they certainly begin walking that way anyway with their own questions!!! 

 

Blogging is a very interesting way to keep up with the journaling (and family ties right?) and very interesting to keep a rambling list of resources and ideas... that one is the hardest one to communicate and keep track of though.. my list would be huge and truthfully from all kinds of bloggers and a few books..sometimes even titles.. It is hard, I have an unschooling heart and my son is so great about leading his way into learning and I can see the fire in his eyes at 4. It feels so right when I look back at him with the same intensity and say "YES" and it is never the feeling we get with letters or other stuff.. it is much more concepts he wants to talk about...BUT... the structure somehow feels healthy and grounded and like you said you need to offer it up and be prepared, at least I feel that could really boost him. Maybe I have a pretty cool smart kid, I love him tons, I love when he learns and simply learns to play with his 2 year old sister, but I have some pretty guilty moments when he starts to be restless and act out and if I had a form of learning that fit with families philosophy in my bag of boredom, it would be a huge golden moment each time. I am not sure what kind of waldorfy unschooling type mama I am but that seems to be my best. It is pretty hard because the training (which I think is my top problem/time consuming solution/tutoring myself every chance I get) takes so much effort and I wish I could have seriously started at 1 yr just me alone... Would be tons easier if I wanted it to be school grade K like I had, I want Waldorfy though.... I have a such a sloppy time at it..sigh. 

 

post #14 of 17

:) I have "started" hsing my almost 5 yr old twins.  I agree that my kids do not need anything formal and I'm all about 1. Unstructured informal learning with an occassional bit of 2. Structured informal learning based on the kids interest.  And, I completely need a "planning" mechanism because my brain just can't hold all the info otherwise!

 

For example:

- What month is it again?  Shoot, what happened to August???

- "Mom, how are eggs made?  Mom, how are orca's born? Mom, how is a house built? Mom, how do you make xyz, abc, lmnop????"

- Did I forget my best friend's birthday again???

- Wow, it's sea otter week! (Starts 9/26, btw!)

- Right, you wanted to try karate.  Wonder when those classes started.

- Right, grandma wanted to take you apple picking this year.

- Oh and the library books are overdue, rats!!!

 

I think homeschooled kids frankly are on hyper-drive curiosity-wise.  I try to keep up/fuel the fires/get to the library/natural history museum, etc. to figure out what that cool spider was, but I too need a SYSTEM to aid my brain! Plus, I feel like I'm using this year where we aren't required to hs to work out the kinks in my system...

 

So, I just last night was putting together a binder!  I have been filing things by month that I want to tackle then.  Things which are more fluid (science experiments, info on frogs, how to make clothespin mermaids) I have filed in a binder alphabetically based on topic.   I usually pull out a "week's" worth of misc. clippings/info/notes and binder clip it all together and keep it on my kitchen counter for the week.  I LOVE the post-it idea and need to work that in!  I have a horrible pile of "stuff we did" which is not organized at all...I need to follow more of your tips!!! Keep 'em coming! And have fun with your kiddos!

post #15 of 17

While I agree that 4-year-olds don't need great big structured formal lesson plans, I do find it VERY helpful to organize my weeks so I accomplish what I want to accomplish.  I made a binder with my weekly themes and activity/book ideas for autumn, followed by any instructions for crafts/cooking projects followed by 12 weeks worth of blank planning sheets (just a grid for M-F with blank spaces to fill in what we do) and blank sheets to fill in what supplies/books we will need for each thing.  Our "curriculum" is basically crafts, reading books, and baking and I do letter/number practice/worksheets with dd whenever she asks, which is fairly frequently.  She is 4.5 btw.  Our new homeschooling routine is very very similar to what we were already doing, I am just a little more organized now :)   What I have planned is very flexible and I expect it to change a million times too. 

post #16 of 17

Maybe at this young of age it would be better to think of what you are describing as your calendar or planning guide or the family calendar or plan. Even though I did it for about 20 years I hate the words home schooling. The longer you can put off using those words the better.

 

Every week I would divide a paper in four quadrants. I would label them - Things we have to do, things we want to do, places we need to go, if we have time left over. I would put the paper on the fridge and cross things off. If they didn't get done one week they would move up in priority the next week. I was pretty good about getting things done when I could see it on the fridge.

post #17 of 17
.
Edited by ChitownTracy - 4/17/12 at 9:05am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Weekly lesson planning help