Writing Lesson Plans - how do YOU do them? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I know some of us don't use or write lesson plans, but I have to have a guideline I can leave with others sometimes so I use lesson plans. Until now I was using a pre-written lesson plan, and I'm going to try to write new ones this weekend. 


So - how do you write lesson plans? Do you use a lesson planner book? Software? Just freehand on the PC? 

Me, 30 single mama to T age 8 We and Love it!
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#2 of 11 Old 01-14-2012, 03:20 PM
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I just write them in a planner book and keep things really simple. This is the basic plan for my 7 year old:



Everyday is:

Math page

Handwriting practice

Reader (read outloud to me)

(Plus I read stories, they do crafts, science experiments, write their own books, ect as just part of life)



One entry in reading response journal

One journal entry about something we did

(Both you draw a picture and write at least 3 sentences)


Hope that helps!




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#3 of 11 Old 01-15-2012, 07:15 AM
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i think brief lesson plans are a lifesaver. It doesn't mean you are restricted to what you've written, just that you've thought in advance about how to teach a particular subject. More often than not, we don't get more than halfway through a particular lesson plan, before going off on some tangent, but actually the act of writing it all down in advance makes it that much easier to go off on the tangent. Also, if i plan I often spot that we're possibly going to go off course anyway and can have resources or ideas in the back of my mind. For me, with limited time to teach my kids,it also means I've got everything I need before we start.


Most of the subjects my kids do have a few components, and also I try to alternate listening, writing and do-ing. So a plan for ds, latin (minimus book 2), might be "1. listen to the story of the cyclops from rosemary sutcliffe's odyssey. 2. 10 minutes on memrise (present and imperfect forms of to be), 3. translate story on p34. 4. I read aloud from Life in Roman Britain about baths (p 44, 233). We might get waylaid at any point on that plan, we might end up going straight from the story of the cyclops to the baths somehow, or just from there to another book or the internet. We might end up talking about the Dawn Treader or themes in road novels (if you accept that the odyssey is basically a road novel ;-) ). We might end up doing it out of order if, say I need him working independently for a bit so I can do something else and so put him on the computer. But I have an outline of what we're going to do and that really helps, especially when I'm teaching something I'm less confident in.


sorry as for where-I just scribble notes on the back of a bit of scrap paper, and put them somewhere i can find them. I normally plan on sunday for the week, so I don't need them to last. They're really just my thoughts, I don't need to keep them.


I kind of allocate time to do work on each of the subjects I do with my kids, and then rough out something to do with them in that time. I'm not very task-orientated in home education, and a big reason I teach as I do is that I do actually like spending the time with them, discussing this stuff. Its more that I've allocated time and we can use it however, as long as its broadly maths, latin, chemistry-but we have a guide.


Another help for me in lesson planning is that I have 3 kids aged nearly 4, 6 and 8, and it makes sense to identify where the younger ones can join in and where they need to away and entertain themselves for a bit.

Raising Geek_Generation_2.0 :LET ds= 10 ; LET dd1= ds - 2; LET dd2=dd-2; IF month=0.67 THEN LET ds = ds+1; 
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#4 of 11 Old 01-15-2012, 08:00 PM
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I utilize a combination of all the planning tools you've mentioned.


For planning enrichment activities for our core curriculum and seasonal mini units, I keep a binder and notebook to record inspiration and make the final plans for instruction days.


I use the "Well Planned Day" planner to keep a hard copy of the work we've done on each day and to refer back to during school time so I do not need to utilize the computer to keep us on task.


To schedule our core curriculum assignments, Homeschool Skedtracker has proven itself to be a fabulous program. I entered in all of the tasks at the beginning of the semester and this program made my day specific lesson plans for me. Should a day of school be missed due to illness, the program takes this into account and reschedules assignments assuring we stay on track and complete all necessary work.


Before each semester I type out the educational objectives and goals being met, vocabulary words, and all other essential information for my own benefit and also to get into good habits for when the time comes to file records per state requirements. 


Unschooling Mother to S, my 6yo "Moon Farmer"energy.gif





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#5 of 11 Old 01-23-2012, 10:03 PM
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Bento for Mac, Bento for iphone.. Evernote for iphone too.. and a fridge paper elegantly hand written about the week and themes, blocks of times, etc. 


My Bento is a huge database keeper of so many things... It is soooo hard to write about it. I have a load of projects to do that I found other places, events and meanings, etc, etc, etc..and also a planner. It is a place I can write out a million things. For me it is interesting to plan, but even more interesting to recap the situation that happened and my thoughts. I have most loved library books to books for later.. oh my goodness, it is great. I am really pleased with it. I feel really hairy about all this stuff, but I love that I just plugged in the info in there somewhere - notes from other homeschoolers, etc, etc.. it just never leaves the "library" - I have file list that I plug in the pdf that is found elsewhere, the email, the url. And then you can search it all. 


My fav is for my subjects activities that I have found on the internet - they preview with a picture and DH looks at it like picking out food :D. Mostly really cool and easy things.. once you open it, you can print the file because it is there, along with directions right on the page because that was already copied from the, usually, blogger. 


I love Bento. The app for the phone is cool for actually adding a picture of the event or outcome to the project file and/or schedule. 


I am not really a tech lover with the kids so voicing or picture adding to a file is great for me. This doesn't happen all the time, but the fun rating really pulls me to say something or add something - or the opposite, when it really sucks for us. I hope it brings a lot of insight. 

Leslie, organic semi-unschooling mama teaching my children 5 and 2.75, that love & happiness is most important. Letting their light shine, finding out they are teaching me. Love being in the moment & nature.

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#6 of 11 Old 01-24-2012, 03:54 AM
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Just subbing bc I was looking for some ideas for this sort of thing too.

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#7 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 03:59 PM
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Mine (ages 7 and 8) are similar to a previous poster.  Mine are involved in a lot of outside classes, so the in-home school day would be me writing a list out on a piece of paper.  If they can be home all morning it might look like this:


Rosetta Stone Spanish (2 regular checkoffs or 1 core)

Spelling (For DD this means 2 click and spells.  For DS, he uses Carmen Sandiego Word Detective)

20 minutes Timez Attack (multiplication / division fact drill)

1 written math page

1 handwriting page

20 minutes reading


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#8 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 05:40 PM
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At that age mine got post it notes on the books with the pages for the week.  *very high tech, I know


We were quite unschooly back then... now he is 11 and just knows what needs to be done... magical huh.thumb.gif


Honestly, I can't explain very well how our system works.  It just does, like a well oiled machine.  Some pieces are being swapped out but the machine still works

Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

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#9 of 11 Old 01-26-2012, 07:55 PM
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I use Word and make a table with weekdays across the top and subjects down the side. In each square I put the assignments with a description if needed.  They are able to refer to this on the  computer and they then color the squares they have done.  If I need to print I am able (I'll have to print a bunch at some point for their portfolio assessment) but lately it works better to stay "green".  I could have used a dollar store planning book and done the same thing easily as well.  Fwiw I have a 4th grader and a 7th grader. 

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#10 of 11 Old 01-27-2012, 10:36 AM
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I homeschool my 2 and 1 other. I just use a spiral bound notebook because the squares in a lesson plan book don't offer enough room. Each day they have math, english, science, spelling and geography.

K. Michelle ~ Single, working (and still homeschooling) Mama to dd (S) 8/02 and ds (A) 9/07
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#11 of 11 Old 02-17-2012, 11:02 PM
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oh goodness now I see what others said! hahaha! No way don't use my advice! I think mine is much more like life planning/family planning/homeschool planning - for a waldorfy classical no books kind of learning. My kids are 4 and 2... it feels like it will be years before we start doing "school".. Bento can work as planner, but it is much more for keeping the "whole rig" together - including classes with other kids and groups. The blank word document is my best vote! If you write it down on paper what you want to know (which is what I do in Bento sometimes) then you can include any ... "word x : " that may help you keep things in order. 

Leslie, organic semi-unschooling mama teaching my children 5 and 2.75, that love & happiness is most important. Letting their light shine, finding out they are teaching me. Love being in the moment & nature.

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