Do I Need a Lesson Plan?

There it was, sitting in my shopping bag. A gift from the educational store where I had justDo_I_Need_A_Lesson_Plan purchased a myriad of homeschool supplies for the coming year. It was basic, nicely offered, but, frankly, confusing. As a homeschool parent, did I need a lesson plan?

For whatever reason, I had never thought to purchase or use a lesson plan. If I had to give an explanation for this, I would be hard pressed to provide a suitable answer. I’d just never given it that much thought.

I suppose it always made sense to simply follow the books I bought. Our books came (and still come) with the pages already mapped out; each page marked with a lesson number. We did one lesson per day, with a total of a hundred seventy lessons during the year. Considering our books were cleverly labeled, why did I need a lesson plan?

It wasn’t until we started using unit studies to cover history and science, that I finally began mapping out our lessons. It made sense to schedule out how long we were to be spending in each unit and which activities were to be covered within each. I was visually able to see the expanse of our year, planning more thoroughly. While I wasn’t planning out every aspect of our day, writing down each child’s lesson assignments, I learned the value of organizing certain portions of our routines.

Did I finally dig out the planner the helpful educational store had offered me? Um… yeah, no. Honestly, I had completely forgotten about it. Plus, I found doing things on my computer more suited to my needs.

Does everyone need a lesson plan? I would never argue a particular curriculum or plan works for everyone. I will say having a general plan for your day and an overall plan for your year is not only beneficial, but wise. When we have direction, we are less likely to stress over subjects possibly forgotten or enough time in our year to cover everything desired.

Whether we choose to use a pre-printed planner from a store or use a computer based application to do our organizing, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to systematize life. Make up your own routine and put your plan into action.

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3

🔔Time to Chime In: Did you use a lesson planner? How much of your day and/or week do you put down in print? Share with us your method of organizing life and help new homeschooling families learn the art of planning!

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14 thoughts on “Do I Need a Lesson Plan?

  1. I have attempted to use lesson plans over the last two years in our homeschooling adventure. So far, it hasn’t panned out very well. Of course, we’re still talking early elementary grades. I can see the need for them and I believe starting next year, I’m going to utilize one. I found some easy printouts that will work well. I tried entering it on the computer and it just doesn’t work for me. I am also going to try the “folder method” I recently read about. I think that will help quite a bit too.

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  2. I live by planning all our lessons, I have a lesson planner, I plan each Sunday… I sit down and look at what lessons are coming up, then I add fun activities I find on Pinterest or other resources into the lessons. I also rotate Art, Music, Gym and Science with History, so it’s nice to see what I have each day. At the end of the day they put all their completed work in a bin, I check it, and mark it off complete in my lesson planner. It ensures that I check everything everyday so I can see what they are struggling with etc. We do sometimes skip things depending on the circumstances, but then I know they weren’t complete, and schedule them another day.

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  3. I do use a lesson planner…mostly because I design my own curriculum, and I’d be a mess without it. 😉 Like the last commenter, we also rotate some subjects, so it’s helpful in keeping that straight. If we weren’t careful we would end up doing nothing but math, science, and novel reading. 😀

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  4. I love using a lesson planner. I used to be a classroom teacher, so I think it’s kind of ingrained that I need to. 🙂 I also like having everything written down (in pencil so it can easily be changed) so I can see the whole week with a glance.

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  5. I find using a lesson planner to be helpful in keeping track of what we’ve accomplished each week and in planning ahead. This year I typed up a simple two-page weekly planner that corresponds with the colors of the drawers where we store our materials. (Although I recently had to move our rolling cart out of our space since the baby was starting to pull it down. Not too safe!) I put a simple check mark in each box that we finish, so when it’s time to plan for the next week I know exactly where we left off. In the past, I copied out my planner ahead of time and put it in a binder. Now I keep my current week’s plans on a clipboard and then file them when I’m finished. I’m sure next year I’ll tweak it again. =)

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  6. we do not use a planner to actually plan things out but I do have a planner that I use to record what we have done. We mostly unschool with some Charlotte Mason Ideas thrown in for good measure so school entirely based on tangents and day to day questioning. Naturally the tangents end up becoming units. After a few months of recording daily activities, I reverse engineer my units into more easily accepted groups. The trip to the natural history museum, the episodes of dinosaur train, the twenty dinosaur related books read over the course of the last month, the pretend play that incorporated a giant TRex chasing after the family of herbivores, the drawings of dinosaurs in different habitats that they drew for fun and the trip to the national geographic museum all come together as a dinosaur unit even though I never planned on having a Dino unit. While learning about Dinos the loss of certain artifacts due to WWII and the bones being found in Egypt lead to two new unit studies. I keep an excel file of all of the topics covered and now I have an after the fact map of what we are learning over the years.

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  7. So I totally started out this year with every intention of making out a detailed lesson plan. Mainly because this was our first year joining the homeschool world, coupled with stories of how I’ll need to have this or do that…. not to mention, I’m somewhat of a planner outer, or so I thought. Needless to say, we’re in the second semester and my homemade weekly planner is blank but I love how this year has turned out. I did map out general unit studies for each month and when I revisit that, I see where I’m actually on schedule in most subjects. It’s actually been a really unique adventure thus far and I look forward to more years to come, Lord willing!

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