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Have you ever felt like you teach all week and plan all weekend? I have! I was focused on teaching my kids, cooking meals, and trying to keep my house reasonably clean during the week. That meant that the only time I had to write lesson plans for the next week was during the weekend when there was another parent in the house. If we had lots of weekend plans, that meant that sometimes Monday morning would arrive with a blank lesson plan book. Thankfully, I found a way to streamline homeschool lesson planning to save time.
Homeschool moms have a lot of balls to juggle.
I have found that the best way to keep them all in the air is through planning. Lots of planning. My priority during the day is teaching, so lesson plans are vital to my success! Without lesson plans, I am all too tempted to let Netflix do the teaching while I tackle other things on my never ending to-do list. Seeing it all written down, makes it feel more important.
Lesson planning each week can be time consuming. Every time you turn around, it is time to plan lessons, reserve library books, shop for craft supplies, etc. That routine gets old fast!
Tackling one month at a time lets you streamline homeschool lesson planning. At first glance, it looks like it will take a long time, but it really doesn’t take much longer than planning for just one week. I plan a months worth of lessons for two kids in two evenings while watching TV.
How to Streamline Homeschool Lesson Planning
I complete this step every summer because it is so critical to streamlining the lesson planning process. The curriculum map lets me know, at a glance, what we should cover in a single month, every month. If you already have a curriculum map for each child, move on to the next step. If you don’t have one yet, find out how to create a curriculum map.
Block off any ‘no school’ days on your calendar
Draw a line through your lesson plan book for any days that you are not planning to do schoolwork. This might include days that you have a field trip scheduled, holidays, or vacation plans. The line in your planner will remind you not to schedule any school work those days.
Write your lesson plans
Go through your curriculum map and write down your lesson plans, subject by subject. For subjects like history, science, and geography I write down specific plans on specific days. This might include which story we will read, what worksheet we will complete, or what craft we will make. For other subjects, I just write down to do the next lesson. So for our All About Spelling lessons, I just write AAS in the language arts block of the four days a week we study spelling. You can always shift things day to day if you need to, but you will get more school work accomplished if you have a guideline to follow.
Reserve library books
Look through your new monthly lesson plans and reserve any library books, videos, or cds you will need. I like to have my computer open to my library reservation page while I’m filling in my lesson plans. The library pulls the requested resources and I just pick them up on my next weekly visit. Have a plan in place to avoid library fines.
Shop for supplies
Make a list of any supplies you will need to complete lessons. Sort the list by things you already have, things that you can buy now, and supplies that are perishable. Order the supplies that are not time sensitive through Amazon. It is so helpful to have just one order each month that contains the majority of our supplies. Gather the supplies you already own and bring them to your school area. If these are things you use frequently (I’m looking at you baking soda!), just make a note in your planner to grab them before the lesson. Jot down a note in your lesson planner to add perishable items to your weekly grocery order.
Having a plan to streamline homeschool lesson planning makes it quick and easy to pull everything together for the next week.
I do this step every Friday afternoon so I don’t need to even think about school on the weekends. That leaves more time for fun!
Have you ever lesson planned for an entire month? Share your tips in the comments!