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Lesson Plan Guidance For New Home-schoolers

By: Krystle Crossman

When you begin to home-school your children thinking of a lesson plan curriculum can be tough. You want to make sure that you are teaching them enough but still getting your family values in as well. Home School Legal Defense Associates Early Years Coordinator Vicki Bentley has shared the curriculum that she has set out for her family. She states that she makes sure that character building and the basics were at the forefront of their schedule.

Bentley’s family started by planning out how they would run “school”. They came to a schedule of eight weeks of schooling, one full week off, another eight weeks, and then four weeks off. She said that the one week off is enough to take a nice break and have them work on a small project and the four weeks off is enough for a bigger project or just time for relaxing. Some families choose to base their school schedule on the schedules of the regular public schools. Bentley states that their family has 40 weeks of schooling and the state requires 36 so it gives them leeway for a random day off here and there.

Once the curriculum and books come in she sits down and goes over them to see what she is going to leave out and what she wants to teach. She will look at how many days she has to teach the subjects and go from there. Bentley tries to use Tuesdays as a light day/catch up day but sometimes she wants to use a lot of lessons from one book so she will forego these slack days. From there she creates a basic schedule based on the subjects so that she can get a better idea of how to break them down later on. For example for her oldest daughter she had one math lesson per day except for Tuesdays plus multiplication drills. Then she would have one language lesson per week plus daily activities.

After she is done with the overview of the lessons she created a sample schedule and tried to figured out how much time to devote to each subject. Everyone’s schedule will be different depending on their children and how quickly or slowly they learn. She states that they changed their schedule quite often as well. Below is a sample of her daily home-school schedule:

We start at 9 a.m., after morning jobs, breakfast, and family devotions. Our plan looks like this:

– OT/Bible—30 minutes: (if they finish early, they move on, but at 30 minutes when the timer dings, we move on anyway)

– Math and speed drills—60 minutes: This is a still a labor-intensive area for us. This includes learning wrap-ups, math games, or multiplication table work, etc. as well as lesson and timed speed drills daily (same drill for a week to compete against her own previous record)

– Daily Grams/GEAS—15 minutes: (so I can target problem areas)

– Language Arts (LLATL and/or writing assignments)—30 minutes: (mine are quicker to catch on to language than to math)

– Maps/Art—30-60 minutes: (Mapping the World By Heart on Mon/Thurs takes about 30 minutes, but art on Wed/Fri runs over. When we start doing art in our Tues co-op, we will probably shave some time off our home schedule.)

– Lunch: (They SHOULD have finished all of the above at this point; sometimes we eat a little late!)

– Quiet time—60 minutes: (naps, personal reading, Bible reading – on their beds)

– French—15 minutes

– Unit study (mainly history and/or science)—60 minutes: (activities for younger grades are geared to whatever Rebekah is doing in her high school Far Above Rubies studies)

– Reading—30 minutes or more: (literature books, school-related reading)

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