Once again, you find yourself at this juncture of homeschooling. You have decided what curricula you are going to use and completed your education plan. Now what? The huge process of lesson planning begins, which can make you long for another vacation. Well, why not? Get away and take the books with you for a weekend of lesson planning.

Lesson planning is hard work and can be time consuming. It would be ideal if it could be completed in one sitting. The best way to be most successful with the process is having uninterrupted time to put everything together. If you are able to afford it, book a weekend stay at a hotel or a bed and breakfast. If not, set yourself up for a weekend stay at home and get your lesson planning done.

You should put together a lesson plan for each subject your child will study. A lesson plan works as a roadmap of how you will progress through the material. You may be as brief in what you include or extremely detailed. The lesson plan can give you an overview of what you will be completing each month, week or day. What option you choose will probably be determined by the season of homeschooling you are in currently.

Elementary School: Less detail allows for flexibility.

Middle School Through High School: More detail allows your child to work independently and complete the required work. This will be helpful as they begin to earn high school credit. The detail you include in the lesson plan may be helpful when creating content for a high school transcript.

There are a few ways you can start with lesson planning. Some curriculum you choose may already include a lesson plan, which may work well for your child and you. If not, create your own lesson plan. You may take one subject at a time. If you have more than once child, you may prefer to complete lesson plans for each subject or complete all of the lesson plans for one child at a time. Also determine whether or not you will plan for a full school year, months at a time or weekly. One thing that is good about creating a complete lesson plan for each curriculum you will use is that if you continue using the same material for your other children, that is one lesson plan you will not have to create in the future. Remember, you may always make edits along the way.

Before you start lesson planning. Grab your pencil and paper (or planner). There are a number of paper planners as well as online options to help best organize your school days. If you are using a physical planner, you should use scratch paper until your plan is determined. A good lesson plan is rarely completed to your satisfaction the first time around.

1) Determine Number of School Days
Most school districts require students to complete 180 days of school and, at least, four hours every school day. Along with that, holidays, vacation days, periodic appointments or practices/rehearsals (ex: medical, athletic, etc.) should be considered. By blocking off the latter days, you will be able to see when you should begin your school year to complete the required number of days for school. Be sure to include some cushion days. You may want to include field trips too.

2) Determine Your Schedule
You should have a schedule in place, but also give yourself grace to make changes until you find your rhythm. Will you homeschool from morning to noon or afternoon? Will you start school later in the morning? Will you homeschool for four, five or six days a week? Also, consider how many times a week you will study each subject that is in your education plan.

3) Determine What Needs to be Done
Read through your teacher’s manuals or student books to help you with scheduling assignments. Just because it is listed in the book does not mean you must complete each lesson. Once you know what you will cover, divide the number of lessons into the number of school days you have to complete the work. Complete this process for each subject.

4) Determine What You Will Need
One of the things that can put a quick halt to an otherwise productive day in school is not having all of the supplies you need for an assignment or lesson. When a lesson calls for an item not regularly found in your home and you did not obtain it, you will be unable to complete a lesson. Make notes of all supplies and extra books/resources you will need for each scheduled day.

5) Determine How to Use and Distribute/Share
Once you have entered your lesson plans online or written it inside of your planner, save it and make copies. It is always nice to have a physical copy readily available to make edits after your school year has begun. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to print a copy for their reference. Because you will probably need to make changes along the way, only print a few weeks of pages at a time. This will give you flexibility for changes and cut down on wasted paper.

Having lesson plans for all of the subjects you will teach this year will give you a good base for when you begin teaching and your children learning. Creating lesson plans requires vision, thought and time. You are guaranteed to have more successful school year if you spend the time creating lesson plans.

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©2016 HomeLife Academy. Article by Jennifer Smeltser. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the publisher /.