We all have different opinions about planners and homeschool lesson planners are no different. We all want and need something very specific. Regardless of how we feel about specifics, we can agree that what we all need is a useful homeschool lesson planner. Useful, efficient, creative, and most of all–simple!
You cook all the meals. You get the kids to activities, you teach all the things. AND you probably need exercise a little more self care. So you need a useful homeschool lesson planner. A lesson planner that’s going to adapt to the season you’re in.
The best solution to creating something so unique to your life? Create a useful homeschool lesson planner yourself.
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Simple systems. Easy routines.
Your planner needs to fit these phrases. We don’t have time for complicated.
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This post will lay out exactly how to set up your own useful homeschool lesson planner–start to finish. Whether you’re reading this in month one or month eight of your school year, you can adapt these ideas to fit your current season.
(There’s even a handy video at the bottom of this post. Yer welcome, friend.)
Ok, enough talk. Let’s do this.
Creating a Useful Homeschool Lesson Planner
Quite a few years ago, I realized my homeschool lesson planning needs were not fitting into all the planners I found out there. Because of this, I created my own. It’s evolved over the years, but it feels like I’ve finally settled on something that flows with me through the year.
Here’s a basic overview of what’s inside my super useful homeschool lesson planner:
- Planning Section
- Season (or Quarter) Sections
- Records Section
Notice there’s three sections–not thirteen. There’s a reason for that–it’s simpler than thirteen. You really just need your brainstorming section, a place for your weekly (or daily) plans, and a spot for your records. That’s it! Anything beyond that, you really don’t need to access all that often and you don’t need to lug it around in your planner.
If you’re wondering what the heck to do with those other important papers that I’m telling you not to put in your homeschool lesson planner, I’ve got you covered for that too. You need a Master Homeschool Binder for all those important papers you don’t need to tote to the coffee shop and the library and wherever else your homeschool takes you.
Make one today. You won’t be sorry.
A Useful Homeschool Lesson Planner: Put the Plans in Front
A thorough brainstorming session is a great way to start a new school year. This is always how I like to begin–by evaluating our last school year, asking some critical questions, and planning on from there.
For me, seeing a big picture scope of our school year helps me start planning, so I like to have a year-at-a-glance calendar plus and year grid with all the school months so I can fill in what I aim to study in each one.
There’s so many times when I’ll think of an idea or want to remember a book, so the planning section is where I would put those notes.
All of these plans for our school year go in the front of my planner. I keep them here so they’re accessible–handy for flipping back to remind myself of my goals and grand ideas for the year.
Seasonal (or Quarterly) Lesson Plans: Your Daily Helper Guide
You probably know already how your daily lesson plans best work for your style. You like to make detailed plans for weeks in advance. Or you might like to have a super rough overview for the month and fly a bit by the seat of your pants from there. Or maybe sitting down on Sunday afternoons to make a solid plan for the week is how you best plan.
The first several years of homeschooling, I would start out really strong in the fall with planning my lessons. After Christmas, things would get a little foggier and harder to keep up with, but I would still try to press on anyway. By spring, I would still be guilt-tripping myself for not having the save drive I did back in the fall.
I decided to coin my own planning term–seasonal planning.
Short synopsis of seasonal planning:
- Fall–we’re all gung-ho for school so we go heavier on projects and deep dives.
- Winter–things get much more chill here with kids’ activities and we are much more prone to do more cozy schooling: reading aloud, writing, and lower-energy projects.
- Spring–the weather starts to get warmer and we all want to be outdoors, so that’s motivating! But we’re also really getting tired from school, so we do much more of a low-key approach to school. We do a lot more nature study and journaling, math games, and poetry.
My planner’s lesson planning section then is split up into the three seasons and I can plan accordingly.
You might think more in “quarters” for your school year, in which case you could section off by quarter. OR just have one big section for all your lesson plans. Totally fine too!
Records: A Place to Keep Track of all the Cool Stuff you Did
Records are only handy if they’re handy, right? If I don’t have my records pages right there in the planner I use each day, I’ll never remember to fill it in.
Your state may require you to keep attendance or other details, so keeping those close will be so useful.
In my planner, this includes a lot of loose-leaf paper where I write down what we’ve done each day. Kind of like a homeschool journal, not of what I was planning on doing, but what we actually did do. These pages are so special to me at the end of the year because it’s such a tangible proof of all we do, even on the days it feels to me like we didn’t accomplish anything.
All in all, with a good plan, you could set up a super useful homeschool lesson planner in no time. Having a useful tool like this is going to help you do such amazing things in your homeschool.