Debunk 3 Myths of Written Lesson Planners + {Round 2 printable curriculum covers}

Posted on June 4, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Will you watch the transit of Venus later today? We can't wait and I love the free android app that I can download.

However, when it comes to lesson planning, I say Let all the apps for lesson planning and on line based lesson planners come. There is a group of homeschoolers that like them, but uhmmm, I am not one of them or at least not for lesson planning.

I am not a rebel -- okay maybe. I love all my techie devices and apps have their place in education. My Kindle Fire stays with me and the kids love all the learning apps.  Next on our list are iPads but we have been playing with them for a while.

There is something different though about writing lesson plans. The physical act of writing and handling my lesson planning pages make it "stick". The physical act is like a review for me and keeps me thinking clear. One piece of information I read about the physical act of writing and memory said it is like a "mini rehearsal" of what we want to get done for the day.  It is associated with visualization and we need that in homeschooling. Visualizing my end goals keeps me journaling and writing brief lesson plans. Because lesson planning is like short note writing, it  does not take so much time that it detracts from thoughts flowing. 

Let me debunk a few myths about writing lesson plans because the flexibility of written lesson plans over using a web based lesson planner can be an absolutely pleasant part of teaching..

{That  every page should be predated}Making the mistake for many years of predating my pages, I learned a valuable lesson. Even if you teach in a public school system, there will be sick days, holidays and vacations just like the homeschool world, so why date every day? If you school year a round, fill it in as you get to it. It is better to have a plan for the year {I have a form on my site for planning your year} than date every page and IMMEDIATELY feel behind on the first sick day you have to take. My 180 page planner is undated but it has milestones like Lesson 45 which is the end of Quarter 1 and Lesson 90 which is the end of Quarter 2 or End of the 1st Semester. These can be hallmarks for anybody's school REGARDLESS of which date you got there.

{That you have to fill it out WEEKS and MONTHS ahead of time} Who does this? {clear throat} ME! Did I tell you that when I started homeschooling I filled out the WHOLE year? INSANE, I am telling you insane. I was behind on the SECOND week of school starting. A valuable lesson I learned on what NOT to do.

Unless you work for a school district which most of us do not, we can fill it in each DAY if we want to. Yes, that is right. Lesson planning is part prior lesson planning and part journaling.

How can you fill something in that you haven't done yet? The beauty of the written lesson planner is that it lays right there beside you to fill it in as needed. The hard part is going back to an on line web based planner and filling in journal notes that you may not even be able to keep unless you print off. Then you have a bunch of loose paper.

The tip that works best for me is to have a skeleton or frame for what we are doing for about 2 weeks ahead. Again loose planning, UNLESS I need to specific.

How much does journaling the teachable moments and milestones in your child's development mean to you? They mean a lot to me. 

Doesn't teaching come from the heart? This may sound a little dramatic but my view of my planner each year is similar to the baby book I want on each child. I never dreamed of JUST keeping all things on line when they were born. My initial thoughts of each baby book would be that some of "me" would be in each book. Because my planner is full of last year's pictures on field trips, co-ops, projects and teachable moments it becomes like a memory keepsake.

It becomes so much more than a WEEK by WEEK cold lesson plan.

{That you have to erase} If you did what I did when you first started lesson planning by writing out your whole year, you would have to forget erasing and throw away the whole book.

The priceless tidbit that a web based planner does not provide when you simply forward or bump lesson plans to another day or week is in learning how much to plan for a day. When you plan and see that you have an unrealistic picture of what you can actually accomplish for the day or week, you have your mistakes to review and learn from.  I do NOT erase but leave mistakes along with completed work all in one spot to learn from my unrealistic teaching. If I want to bump something to the next week, a simple forward arrow tells me that and then it gets a completed check. I learned and remembered exactly what we could do AND what what a pie in the sky dream.

Make your lesson planner memorable by being creative AND a hardworking tool.

Here is the next round of printables for the planner, Round 2. These covers are the "keepers" meaning they do not have a dated calendar on the page and will stay on my website unlike the academic covers that get deleted each year.

I have added something new to them this year and that is an editable section or two of dates you want to remember to  go on the front of the cover. Also on a few of them, I have a place to fill in the school year.

I have gone a little chevron and pattern crazy this year but hope you like them. Can you stand another round or so? {hee hee can't tell you what I want next for my planner}

Download here blue chevron

Download here orange and pink

Download here blue and green bubbles.

I was moved by this quote today and talked about it some at my Overcoming Organizational Hurdles workshop. I will share some tidbits from that workshop in an upcoming post. But isn't this one reason to organize?

 "Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision."

~Paul Wellstone~

Hugs today and I hope you enjoy today's printables, love ya!



Categories: New Bee Articles-Curriculum/How to's/Teaching/Subjects, New Bee Articles-Organization (Home & School)