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How To Make A Lesson Plan: Homeschool Tools

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Looking For A Point In The Right Direction?

Blank Page, Head Full Of Ideas, And Wondering Where To Start...


I've been there plenty of times! There's so much I want to include and cover in a weekly lesson. Ideas are always floating around in my head. Then, as I sit down to map it all out, I sit there instead with a blank page in front of me.


Teaching at an elementary level privately, leaves me with all the freedom I love. With that freedom comes a lot of boxes to fill though. There are no rules, no check ins, no predetermined lessons. Piecing together a lesson plan that runs smoothly and effectively will be a challenge at times, but let me encourage you,

you can do it!


So let's get that pen to paper and map out a lesson plan that not only covers the material necessary, but includes all the little extras to make it fun.


*Grab the FREE Weekly Planner to get your ideas down easily*

 

First, Grade Levels

Starting out, I wanted to know what concepts were taught in their grade level. You may work differently, but I wanted to know what material was typically covered at their grade levels. This was not to ensure every bit was mastered in that year, but to serve more as an instrument to guide me. I deeply respect my children's individual learning process and growth. I didn't force topics they weren't ready for just because the list said so, but when they began mastering and absorbing concepts so quickly, having an idea of what topics were next aided me, and in turn, helped to progress them. I printed the common core standards for my state (*insert gasp!) to assist and provide me with a tangible list of key subject matter at each grade level. You might not like the idea of this, but it has certainly helped me, so I wanted to offer it.


Start With A Topic

Now that you know what you need to teach, it's time to play around with it. Time to pick a topic.

Surprisingly, I'm not talking about math, language, and science topics. I'm really talking about a weekly theme or subject matter. Say for example, bears or apples, you will find that by selecting a theme, most times the core material you can include presents itself on its own.

If you chose bears, concepts like hibernation and food chains tie in to science. Likewise, with language topics, like introducing or reviewing homophones (bear, bare) and ryhming (bear, pear). Next, math concepts to use come into focus, like weight and measurement, since bears can weigh up to 500lbs.


The more you research on the particular topic the more inspiration and ideas will come to you. I also find brainstorming game titles based on the topic help guide me to concepts, such as "Bear Hair", where we pulled yarn from a poster board bear and measured and graphed each "hair".

For me, having a theme is the most helpful inspiration and guide in forming a lesson plan.



Find Your Method

I choose not to teach one subject a day. I find including them all for shorter time periods is more effective for us. It keeps the learning more engaging and interesting, although as our homeschool evolves, this technique may require some changing. For our level right now though, it works. You may find covering multiple subjects in one day works differently for you and this may be a trial and error for you and your family. Whichever method you use, the key is discovering what works for you and your children. If it takes time to find a system that works, don't take it too hard, it's all part of learning and growing together.



Gather Your Resources

Once you have pinpointed which key concepts to cover in the week by subject, it's time to gather supporting resources.


Supporting resources that highlight the theme will come from books and stories that share information about the topic or compliment it.

Use relatable short videos that provide insight into the further understanding of core subject learning topics. Once concluded, discuss the video, any questions, and/or play a game to engage the material.

Follow up with worksheet aids from various free worksheet sites or use the workbooks you have purchased to reinforce what material was reviewed.


Fill In The Fun

I am a strong advocate of learning through play, even as we grow. I have seen astonishing growth that happens as we are playing learning games and activities. Where there is fun, there is learning. The degree to which you may want to include games and activities will depend on how much prep work you are able to do and how effective it is for your young learner. I create 2 spelling activities, 5 math games, and 2 language games, each week that go along with the theme. You may want to do less, but creating these activities and games have made our learning fun and helps to drive the lesson home.


Along with games and activities, I add in field trips, kitchen creations, social and emotional development exercises, science experiments, and arts and crafts. Each week differs in those areas as it depends on which topic I have chosen and how it works into the lesson. They are instrumental however in keeping our learning fun and immersive though, so I incorporate them into my weekly plans as often as they allow.


Be Flexible

There's been more than a handful of times that I had planned an activity, field trip, or game and for an array of reasons, it didn't work out. Being as how I love continuity in the lesson plan, I have to remind my inner struggling self to be open to changing, reconfiguring, or simply omitting aspects of the plan altogether. If a game I had created just isn't working out, I accept moving forward in the lesson without it. If an unexpected opportunity to learn outside of the plans I made presents itself, I rework my plan. There's a lot that can coincide and distract being as how learning is happening in the home base. Being flexible is an essential in lesson planning and it also teaches the idea of being flexible to your young ones, so lessons are never truly lost.

 

No matter how you decide to prepare lesson plans, remember that you know your kids best and have been teaching them long before any lesson plans were ever generated. You will find your way into your homeschool planning so enjoy the progression and have fun!


 

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