In my last post, The Yearly Schedule, I attempted to explain how I go about scheduling our readings/subjects for the entire school ‘year’. Before I show you how we put it all together and actually do our lesson plans I would like to point a few things out about the way we homeschool.
That being said, the way we set up our homeschooling lessons can be used quite easily with any method of homeschooling you happen to use.
After my first year of homeschooling our oldest, I quickly realized that I was seriously struggling. I was spending far too much time attempting to create daily lesson plans and follow a strict weekly schedule of topics. There are some amazing templates on other websites and blogs from homeschooling parents which I attempted to adopt for our homeschooling. Unfortunately, none of them worked for our family.
A lot of homeschoolers seem to enjoy doing particular subjects on specific days. They may do history on a Monday, Science on Tuesdays, Literature on Wed, etc. Some may put their breaks for lunch, play/recess into their schedule or include lessons done outside the home: music, art or sports.
This just does NOT work out well for us. Instead, I have adopted a weekly + daily checklist approach to our lessons. This way I can see at a glance where we are, what we need to do and try to keep us on track as much as possible. It is easy to adjust things based on how our week/ day is looking. If we do not complete a reading for the week, I simply write it into next weeks checklist.
Keeping an eye on your yearly schedule is important as I don’t want to keep moving readings forward over and over again. It does require some discipline to ensure I am completing all the readings, even the ones you might not necessarily enjoy, but since implementing a weekly checklist, I find our lesson days are so much smoother than before.
My weekly checklist is sectioned into our topics: History, Geography, Literature and Science. Under each topic I simply have a check box, the name of the book and the specific chapter or pages we are reading. At the bottom of my weekly checklist is a checklist of daily work: Language Arts, Copywork/Journal, Typing, Duolingo (Second Language), Reading and Math. The daily work topics have five checkboxes beside them to check off each day. Some daily subjects we do miss out on doing every day (especially typing), but when I look back over a few weeks I can easily see where we are struggling and make adjustments to ensure those subjects are pulled back into our schedules.
Math is the only daily subject where I also write down specifically the lessons for each day. As we are using Singapore Math, there are three main books that are used with various lessons to keep track of. It is important to ensure they are being done in a specific order, so I write them down to keep them straight.
Once you have the yearly schedule figured out, writing out a weekly checklist is very easy. I do not type mine out ahead of time, as things do change, readings are not always completed within the specific week and some times we even read ahead. Instead, I write them out on a Saturday or Sunday, which usually takes 10 minutes to complete.
If you find yourself struggling to complete a structured daily schedule of lessons, I would subject trying out a weekly checklist instead. You may be surprised how simple it can be. It is easy to adjust to suit any lifestyle and may give you the same confidence I have found. Since implementing our weekly schedule, I finally feel like we are making progress. I hope it may help some of you who may also be struggling to find your way in educating your children at home.
If you are new to homeschooling, please check out my posts on the Homeschool Resources we use – Part1 and Part 2, as well as how I put together our Yearly Schedule. In future posts, I plan on delving into the extra resources we use such as apps, websites, videos and books.
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