- Before beginning a new year's planning, get yourTips for House Organization
house in order. I have found that once my house is
in order, I am more open to hearing the Lord's
guidance and to think and plan with a clearer mind.
- Begin your actual planning at the throne of the Lord with your Scriptures in hand. Ask his guidance for each child and make your prayer specific. "What do you wish for me to teach little John about Your Word, Lord? What spiritual lessons do you feel are most important this year? What academics should I concentrate on and what means should I use to
teach them with? What gifts does this child have you
wish me to work on training more?" Such prayers coupled with a serious study of God's Word bring
about answers in ways that might surprise you, but
please begin at the Lord's feet. Remember why you are
- Write down your goals now so that you can refer back http://www.worldbook.com/ptrc/html/curr.htm .
to them often. You might wish to include spiritual goals
with your academic ones, depending on your own
preferences. Some of you who are testing your children
at year end may wish to use the state learning objectives that the Board usually sends out to us at the beginning of each school term. Another book often referred to is What Your Child Needs to Know When by Robin Scarlata or you could try this site
For those of you who do portfolios, you may wish to make your own learning objectives based on the unique needs of your child. I would still suggest that you use one of the above mentioned sources to act as a framework, but you pretty much know what your child needs to learn this year better than anyone else could. You may like to look at my Learning Objectives this year for my youngest child to see how one person does it. However, it is offered only as one example of the many out there that is available. Third Grade Learning Objectives.
- After determining your objectives comes the curriculum hunt. This needn't be an expensive ordeal. Subjects on the Web you will find many free sources of help. Think over your decisions carefully, and then buy or gather with confidence. Fill out your Plan of Study for your files or portfolios. Some portfolio examiners like having a copy for their files, so make two. My form for my third grader may give you some ideas as I demonstrate how I plan to meet the curriculum challenge.
Often in dealing with textbooks, less is best. Ask yourself lots of questions at this stage. Why do I want this curriculum? How will it meet my goals? Would simple hands-on experiences and the library do as well if not better? How else might I go about reaching my goals without this particular curriculum? In the page off Homeschool Heartline called
- Next, it is time to get a feel for your yearly layout. Look at your curriculum. How much a material do you need to cover each week to reach your target date of completion? You could rough draft what needs covered each month on your calendar or mark in your teacher's manual your target dates for each section. This isn't an etching in stone kind of deal. It is just a time to get a feel for the year ahead. Then, when something comes up (and believe me, something always comes up), you will have a general feel on what you may need to do to adjust your schedule to still meet your target date or, if need be, adjust the target date.
- If you plan to do unit studies, now is a good time to dounit planning. You can get more specific later. This is just your rough draft time to get you in the frame of mind to be looking out all year for the unit studies ahead. It is amazing what you will find if your mind is prepared to be on the lookout. For some planning forms, unit studies I've prepared, and other such ideas, look at the unit study section on this site or check out my school website at http://www.geocities.com/highland_heritage
- Okay, you are getting there. Don't you feel betterhttp://www.geocities.com/highland_heritage/Forms.htm
already? Now you can prepare your first weekly lesson plan. Some prefer doing this each week for the next one coming. Some do a month at a time, and some do a quarter. Do what works for you. There are some great lesson plan forms you can purchase or even find some out on the web. Again, I have some forms you might find helpful at
- In my teacher's book (a notebook that includes all
the year's forms mentioned thus far) I also include a
calendar page. A simple calendar that you tear apart
will do just fine. It is good to put on your calendar right
away everything your group has coming up so that you
can incorporate it into your weekly plans. Is a field trip
coming up? How might you teach a mini-unit that could prepare your students for the big day?
- Remember, never become so bogged down with
planning that you let it overrule your life. Be open for
God's daily leading for your lives. Sometimes calls
or needs will present themselves that you hadn't planned on. Rejoice in those! The Lord has given you an
opportunity to model service in His Kingdom to your
children. Wasn't that a much more important lesson
than what you had previously written down? Your
plans are to help you, to act as an oil that lubricates
your day for smoother sailing. Never let them or some
curriculum become your master. They are to be your
God bless you this year as you walk in this ministry, and may He bless you in so many ways!