How do I give up writing weekly homeschool lesson plans?

Heart of Dakota Weekly Plans

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Dear Carrie

My question is, how do I give up writing weekly homeschool lesson plans?

Before I found Heart of Dakota, I wrote up weekly homeschool lesson plans for each of my children. I kept one copy for myself and gave another copy to them.  This way, they would know what to do even when I’m not at home (I work part-time). This kept us all accountable to making sure we were getting everything done. It also served as my “record” for what we did each day/week/year. I have to keep some kind of records…just in case, you know?

But, now I have these fabulous open and go guides! Honestly, I think I’m making things too hard on myself because I’m trying to still type up a weekly lesson plan for the kids. But, I’ve done this for pretty much the entire time I’ve homeschooled (this will be our 8th year). I don’t know how else to do this! Is there an easier way?

Sincerely,

“Please Help Me Let Go of Typing My Own Weekly Lesson Plan”

Dear “Please Help Me Let Go of Typing My Own Weekly Lesson Plan,”

This is a terrific question! It is so timely as so many of us have kiddos moving into middle school/high school years! One thing that I know has really helped me shift my thinking in this area is to think of the plans in the guides from Creation to Christ on up as being the child’s daily plans and instructions, rather than MY Teacher’s Manual. Middle school and high school is a time when it helps a child so much to have a daily planner of what to do each day, where he/she can move through and read instructions and check off work as he/she goes.

Using the guide as a student planner is excellent preparation for high school and college!

This is outstanding preparation for high school and college style learning and is what the guide becomes. It is actually the child’s planner and your Teacher’s Guide rolled into one. But, it is meant to mainly be the child’s for you to borrow, to refer to as you teach your items, and to check and track work. The child is responsible for it, should be able to have complete access to it, and will likely spill or mar it, just like a planner. Without complete access to it, the child won’t be able to successfully do what we’re asking. The instructions keep getting longer and more detailed and the assignments continue to grow in difficulty.

The guides are sturdy and meant to be shared as teacher’s guide and student planner!

A blessing is that we have found our guides to hold up very well! We have all pages still in their bindings of all of our guides we’ve used, and even the ones that we’re on our third use with look pretty good. You can wipe the guides clean on front and back, which helps so much!  While my guides do have a few stray stains inside, the boys do a pretty good job keeping them intact and functioning well in one piece! The guides travel around the house (and other places) with my boys daily. They would be lost without them and so would I.

The guide (along with the portfolio your student creates) doubles as your documentation of work completed each year!

A final thing you can do to keep track of your student’s year is to simply date the Table of Contents. Jot the date of each unit’s completion next to the unit as a record of completing each week. The Introduction of the guide shows the skills that are taught each year, so keeping the guide next the portfolio your student creates is ample ‘proof’ of the work completed each year. The portfolio binder you keep of students’ work offer further documentation of all the wonderful work your kiddos have done each year too! This is also excellent prep for college, as portfolio assessment is common. I hope this helps you let go of all the time it takes to create a weekly planner!

Blessings,

Carrie

P.S. To read more about how Heart of Dakota’s plans function, click here!

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