Lesson Plans and Record Keeping for Your Homeschool


Planning a a School Year What Are My Options at ApronStringsOtherThings.com

There’s that old saying “Plan your work and work your plan.” Wise words, indeed. But frustrating if you are not sure where to start. A long time ago, when I was a new homeschooling mom, I received some great advice from a more experienced homeschool mom. She told me to start simple, and try something new if it wasn’t working. Sounds obvious, right? Well, it was a revelation to me. That meant there wasn’t one right way to plan our lessons, and I didn’t have to have it all figured out ahead of time. And so I learned to begin, to plan, and to be flexible.

What works for me and my family may not be just right for you and your family. That’s as it should be! I’m listing today several options you can choose from when planning your homeschool lessons. There are pre-printed planning books, downloadable plan sheets, and make-your-own ideas, too. I’ve added an (*) next to any resource the takes you to my affiliate link. You are welcome to use it or search for your own source.

Traditional Lesson Planning – We’ve all seen those (*) Teacher Planning books with boxes spread across the page for the days of the week and the subjects being taught. It’s a pretty classic system. If you have one or two in your homeschool classes. I always drooled a bit over them, but they didn’t work well for me since I was scheduling several students at different levels. A mom could use multiple books, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with more than one. There just wasn’t enough room for all I needed to record, so I adapted my own. I created a two-page spread on excel with shape and space that works for me. I print these out, enough for 36 weeks of school and keep them in a 3-ring binder. Easy-Peasy.

I found it helpful to plan out a month (or even a year’s) worth of lessons so I could clearly see what direction we were headed and what goals to set each week. I still to this day write my plans in pencil – there are always changes to be made! Whether you follow a typical school year or follow a year round homeschool (*) schedule having a planner with space to write assignments for the week (month, year) is essential. It’s helps you know where you are going and how far you’ve come.

Journal-Style – For some family’s, making notes about what was accomplished and what they learned together is a better way to document their schooling. Have you ever sat at the end of the day and reflected on all the learning that took place while you worked and played and lived life together? Have you ever started your morning by looking back over the previous days, reminiscing on all that has been happening? As a form of record-keeping, you have the option to write down all the education that took place in your homeschool at the end of your days, weeks, months. I love this idea for it serves not only as a school record, but a memory book as well. This is a terrific family project that serves a practical purpose as well.

This style of record keeping works well with the unschooling lifestyle. When your education method is child-led, the children follow their interests and passions, so making notes of what they’ve accomplished makes more sense than plotting out their lessons.
2018 Planner
An Ordinary Calendar – A plain old calendar can turned into a planner. On each day you can make note of lessons to be worked or lessons that have been finished. A calendar already has boxes marked off for each day of the week. All you have to do is jot down assignments for the week or month, check them off when they are finished. Voila! Record-keeping at its finest! I use my Day Planner to track field trips and co op dates and such. It has month-at-a-glance pages that come in handy for tracking these sort of things.

Digital Lesson Planning – Now that we are all so fully entrenched in the world of high-tech gadgets, digital and online planners are becoming very popular. A mom can enter and store all her lesson plans for each of her students into her computer, or cloud, or digital device of her choosing. There are new programs and apps available every time I turn around. It can really streamline things, making it easy to sync social calendars and the schedules of all the family members. School schedules and doctor appointments and extra-curricular activities can all be accounted for in one place.

I am an old-fashioned sort, pencil/paper type of planner, but I have tested the waters of digital planners. I am being won over. I have not given up my paper yet, but I have tried and recommend these:

How do you plan your homeschool lessons?


What Are My Options for Planning a Home School Year Back to Home School Series at ApronStringsOtherThings.com

This post is the third in my Back to {HOME} SchoolΒ  5-Day Series.

Back to Home School A 5-Day Series Homeschool Review Crew at ApronSTringsOtherThings.com

All week long I’ll be joining my fellow Homeschool Review Crew Mates as we all get ready for a new school year. Check out their best tips, just click the image above. You can see their tips for planning and record keeping and visit the terrific posts in our linky party below!

Back to Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017







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  1. so many different options if you just sit down and think about them eh?

  2. I never thought of journaling as a way to do record keeping/planning. I like that perspective. In my home it looked like journaling but was just a desperate attempt to get things written down before I forgot, things that I meant to write down BEFORE we did them! Some of my planners would have MONTHS that were empty as we just kept toodling along with our work! And I loved keeping my back planners to refer back to so I could remember when we did what. Nice post!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, Diana πŸ™‚ I know exactly what you mean, those blank pages and all. Getting things down on paper is the biggest hurdle and however it we can get things down is a good thing! I, too, enjoy looking back now and then. Happy schooling!

  3. Oh! I love the idea of doing a journal instead of more formal record keeping! We are just starting out this year, so we are very much still figuring out what works for us. We are kind of “unschoolers” and I follow my daughter’s interests. Thanks for the idea! Stopping by from the This is How We Roll link up.

    • I’m am so glad you stopped by for a visit today, Alicia πŸ™‚ Journaling as a form of record keeping fits very nicely with ‘unschooling.’ Be sure to know the homeschool law in your state so you are not caught off guard at a later date, but enjoy the journey!

  4. Lisa Gard says:

    I work in 5-6 week blocks. I plan those, get my materials and experiment supplies. Then we take a one week break to plan again. I adjust for around the holidays where we have quite a bit of off time. Smaller chunks makes it easier on me and the Kids get a much needed break.

  5. Thanks so much for linking up your post with us at Encouraging Hearts & Home. It’s always fun to get new ideas! I hope we will see you again next time. πŸ™‚

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