Thursday, June 30, 2011

Planning for Next Year: Step 2

              While I have been a teacher for twelve years, last year was my first year to homeschool.  Some things I know how to do well, thanks to lots of experience, but some things were a struggle.  I made my lesson plans, but I also did not want my schooling of my daughter to simply be based on reading and fill-in-the-blank worksheets.  I also knew how to make a class discipline plan, but that did not work at home with only one child. 

“Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.”  ~ Proverbs 20:18

              I love this verse!  As you are making your plans for next year, ask advice from those around you.  I have been greatly blessed to have a neighbor who started homeschooling a few months before we did, so we have helped each other.  She helped me figure out how to be a Mom and a teacher, not just a teacher.   She also suggested management & discipline ideas which were of great help throughout the year.  In exchange, I shared some of my experience with methods of teaching which helped her.

              How can I use this scripture referring to waging war and compare it to homeschool?  If you have to ask, you must not be a parent!  J  We as parents, and especially when we double as parents and teachers, need a good “battle plan” if we want to succeed, and we have to get advice from others.  Yes, we might be able to accidentally teach something well, but not usually.  Learn from others.  "Newbies" have some wonderful ideas which might actually work.  Experienced teachers will be a wealth of "tried and true" teaching methods which will be very helpful.  Don't just assume that you know it all - you'll make plenty of mistakes on your own!  Let someone else help you around some of the larger problems.
              After you have your Yearly Plan (see "Planning, Step 1"), then divide it into what you are going to teach per month.  Take the month of September, for example, and make a list of each subject and write what you are going to teach that month.  Don't try to reinvent the "wheel."  Use the Yearly plan that you already made.  Go to another page for October, then November, and so on.  That way, you can see exactly what topics you are teaching each month and you can adjust it if you feel that a certain topic will fit better in a different month.  You are still not listing daily work – just making your plans.  The wait another week or so before you start making projects.  Write down ideas as they come, but don’t start anything “official” until you’ve had a week to consider your plans.  If you have more than one child you are teaching, compare the monthly schedules so that you are teaching the same units in the same month.  This will make your job so much simpler!

              Writing monthly schedules helps you look at the entire program so that you can simplify your work, possibly by making a unit that combines subjects.  With a good plan, you will be much better prepared for next year!


  1. I do lesson planning over the summer months. However I always re-evaluate and change what needs changing throughout the year. This works well for me, and we are very flexible with our work day schedules, for the most part.

  2. Melissa, that is awesome! You are getting ahead of me. I plan on writing about that soon. I have been so busy lately that it's all I can do to post once a week, but as soon as things calm down a little, I plan on posting more often. We absolutely need to re-evaluate and re-write our plans - they are written on the computer (at least for me), not in stone. They can and should be used as a guide, but if that guide doesn't work, they should be "tweeked" as needed. Thanks for you comment.