There are many homeschool lesson planners out there. Which one is best for you? Do you need one? If your homeschool lesson curriculum is a “hodgepodge,” meaning you use materials from more than one company, you need a lesson planner book. If you homeschool one curriculum from the same company, I would recommend buying their lesson planner because the work is already done for you for the most part. Why do you need a lesson planner? Well, I know the laws are different about homeschooling in every state, but here in Wisconsin, USA, it is the law that we must “provide a sequentially progressive curriculum of fundamental instruction.” If someone knocks on my door to see if I am in compliance, I will first hand them my lesson plan books.
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Homeschool Lesson Planners
I am very “old school” in that I use a paper rather than electronic one. I like that I can put each child's middle initial (my kids' first names all start with “M”) next to what work they have to do for the day and we can highlight it with a highlighter marker pen to show that it is done. It is easy for me to see if their “homework” is done without having to ask each kid and try to keep it straight in my head.
It does take time to make, but so worth it to me in how much time it saves me the rest of year. In early August each year, I set aside time for about two weeks and work on writing it out for a few hours per day.
I like a planner that has columns going from top to bottom for the subjects and rows from left to right with the day of the week. In each box, I put the child's initial and what they need to do. Under Math on Wednesday, I might write M-Lesson 16; D-Quiz 2; R-Test 1; L-pages 15-22 and calendar; C-pattern blocks and teddy bear counters for example.
Now that I have been homeschooling for 17 years, I have a favorite homeschool lesson planner for the elementary and middle school years and a separate favorite planner for the high school years. For Elementary my favorite planner is Weekly Planbook Flexible Format by Castle Publishing. It is very inexpensive. I get it from rainbowresource.com.
For the High School years, I like the homeschool lesson planner called, A WELL PLANNED DAY PLANNER High School 4 Year Plan. I buy one for each of my high school children. It is more expensive, but so worth the money! It covers all four years of high school and gives tips on what they should be doing at each stage (like when to register for the ACT, for example). It gives sample transcripts that you could use to help you make a transcript for a college they are planning to apply for. It tells you what credits are needed and has a place to keep track of them, etc. I love that my high schooler and I can sit down together and plan out his/her high school years and we write it in pencil in case the career goals change. It also helps me budget how much money I might need for the next grade's books.
No matter what planner you choose, whether paper or electronic, it is truly helpful and saves time and saves room in my Mommy brain for other things. I hope you will try a homeschool lesson planner if you don't already have one.
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