As a homeschooling parent you are acutely aware of how important it is to have daily plans and be organized. Everyone has their own methods and tactics. And most of these plans certainly weren’t perfect right out of the gate and have evolved over time.
As homeschoolers one of the greatest benefits is that of having great flexibility with how you educate your child. But even with this great educational flexibility you shouldn’t really be sailing without a compass.
When it comes to educating, that compass is your lesson plan.
Although homeschooling generally doesn’t require exacting lesson plans to be turned in, however, not having one at all certainly isn’t a good approach to your child’s education.
Let’s take a look at some general concepts and commonalities about lesson plans that may assist you in developing yours.
First of all, you have to start your thinking with what it is you are going to teach. From there, you’ll need what your objectives for the lesson are. In other words, you’ll want to be able to observe specific behaviors your child is going to be able to do or perform as a result of your teaching. You want the outcomes of your teaching to be measurable and quantifiable; so the more specific the better it will be.
With this in mind you’ll want to be descriptive with your objectives. This not only provides feedback on how your child is progressing, but it also gives you as the educator great feedback on your effectiveness. You should also have some sort of description or statement of how you will determine whether your lesson plan objectives have been met.
Take some time to determine what your child already knows about the subject matter and what it is they need to know (prerequisites) in order to successfully complete the lessons.
As you are making your first pass at your lesson plan, be sure to include somewhere in it any materials you will need to accomplish the objectives that you have described. Materials not only necessary for the lessons themselves; but be sure to include any materials you may need for the evaluation process.
Of course your lesson plans will include much greater detail than is given here, but just to get you started here is a quick outline or review of the thought process that goes into putting a lesson plan together.
Determine what it is you are going to teach and what the priority outcomes of your teaching will be… what your child will be able to do as a result of completing the work and the activities contained in your lesson plan.
Determine what it is your child already knows about this subject matter or will need to know. Having a grasp on this will allow for a smooth transition into your current planning and into the next or related level of the subject.
Have a plan on how you are going to facilitate the learning of this subject matter. Be sure to think about any materials that you will need, such as manipulative objects for your child.
And finally, have a method of evaluation; both for the behavior of the child and the effectiveness of your lesson plan and your teaching techniques.
Once you make the loop a few times through the lesson planning process you’ll soon develop a template that works best for you. Using a detailed lesson plan will greatly increase the efficiency of your teaching as well as the quality of the child’s learning time.
Mary Joyce is a former educator & homeschooler who`s website homeschool-curriculum-4u.com offers resources and articles on homeschool curriculum , & more.