So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90.12

Monday, 8 April 2013

Homemade Lesson Planner

I hope this isn't so simplistic a post.  There seems to be so much information, reviews, etc about homeschool plannners.  I don't want to add to the confusion but I would like to share my planning/record keeping system.  If you already have a wonderful, organised system that is working fine for you, please feel free to disregard this post.  You have my permission ;)  If you are feeling overwhelmed or simply don't know where to start, read on!

I have tried all sorts of things - free planner printable forms, free samples of  homeschool planners, and "real" teacher planners.  The problem was I was always modifying all these in some way and it was frustrating.  I was also surprised that some planners have rules - never write in pencil, use this planner exactly as it's laid out, etc.  I was ready to admit I was a complete planning failure.  Then I got a bright idea.  Instead of wasting printer ink printing out pages I wasn't satisfied with, I decided to design my own low-tech version.  By looking at other planners I got an idea of what I wanted my planner to look like.

These were my final guidelines:
-one week's lesson plans per page
-lots of space to write
-a place to put extra notes for the week
-separate sections for each child and myself
-lines for writing on

I decided what I needed was a large divided notebook with 3 sections.  Last July, I found Mead Five Star notebooks at a dollar store in Charlottetown for $3.  They had enough pages to lesson plan for both children for the year plus an extra section for me to use for other purposes.  The notebook was divided into 3 sections with pocketed dividers made of heavy cardstock, perfect for storing loose papers.

Once I got the notebook home and decided on how things would be laid out, I simply got out a ruler and pen and divided the pages (front side only) into 5 sections horizontally leaving a section at the bottom for other notes.  I labelled these 5 sections Monday to Friday down the margin.  I wrote the child's name and the week at the top of each page.  Then I simply write in pencil the subjects/activities/assignments on the lines.  I've developed a system for what order I write everything down in for a uniform look and to make it easier to find things.

I didn't sit down and draw up a full year's worth of pages at a time.  Whenever I have a few minutes, I can fill out a few pages so I generally have them ready to go when I want to write down my lesson plans.

I hope this hasn't been too basic or boring for anybody but this is just another way I have found to stretch my homeschool budget.  It may be labour intensive to some, but as I enjoy the planning process of our homeschool journey, making my own planner is a fun thing to do.

I have to say, I love the idea of some of those beautiful planners out there.  I also love having exactly what I need.  It's a pretty low-tech solution (notebook, pen, ruler) but it works for me!

Thanks for visiting today!