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Many homeschool parents like to personalize their curriculum to meet their children’s individual needs and preferences. Learn how to create plans, schedules and records on the computer to tailor your curriculum to your liking.
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Programs to Create Lesson Plans
There are various programs available that help homeschool parents plan out their schedules, lessons, projects, and to-do lists. I’ve found that using the simplest of programs, widely available and user-friendly, is one of the best options.
A general word processing program can make the majority of the lesson plan pages most homeschool parents need. Only basic computer skills are necessary and you can tweak a basic lesson page to make it practical for different subjects. For example, make a homeschool lesson sheet that has space for categories, such as:
- topics to cover;
- projects to do;
- dates lessons should be completed; and
- resources needed.
Use the general layout you create to plan lessons for history, science, literature, and other subjects. After a little practice and creativity, you’ll become familiar with all the tools of your word processing program and will be able to use it for a wide range of plans and schedules.
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A solid planning method is one of the most useful tools a homeschool parent can have. Scheduling helps a household and homeschool run smoothly and helps coordinate everyone’s activities and to-do lists. You can use simple tables in a word processing program to create your family’s school schedule.
For example, try adding a column for each person in the family and a row for each half hour slot. Draw the table, add the appropriate number of columns, and color code each column so that each person has a different color, making it easier to organize. When the scheduling sheet is completed, each family member should have a slot for each half hour of the day to plan the day’s activities.
Depending upon your needs, there are lots of options for scheduling sheets including:
- daily agendas;
- weekly project planning;
- month-at-a-glance pages; and
- yearly planning sheets.
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General Course Study Planning
A great homeschool lesson planning file to create on the computer is a general course of study. These helpful files can serve as a record of your studies throughout the years and help ensure that you cover all the topics you intend at the beginning of each school year.
To create a general course of study, simply create a blank word processing file and list all the topics you’d like to cover for specific subject. For example, if you’re creating a science course of study, you might list subjects such as chemistry, light, electricity, Benjamin Franklin, and astronomy, among others.
Then use that list to organize your monthly and weekly planner. If you realize that you have 13 broad science topics you’d like to cover in a 36-week school year, for example, you know to create lessons to cover one lesson every three weeks. Refer to the file often and check off the subjects you cover.
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Weekly Assignment Sheets
Try creating weekly assignment sheets to help children see at a glance what they’ll be covering for the week. This encourages personal responsibility and fosters planning and organizations skills in your homeschoolers.
To create a weekly assignment sheet, label a file with the child’s name, and create a block for each subject for the week. Don’t forget to include any extra-curricular activities or field trips on the assignment sheet to help motivate them. In each block, you can add the week’s assignments and projects your kids will be responsible for. It helps to add additional check boxes next to each item so the kids can check off them off as they complete them throughout the week.
Have fun coming up with personalized charts and plans! You’ll likely appreciate the tailored lessons and scheduling planning that you create, which will help keep you organized throughout the school year.