I love planning I get into this creative little cocoon, me and ideas, a little removed from reality! Then the kids call, it is meal time, and I have to put away all those wonderful ideas that would take eternity to achieve and I have to face reality.
These two thoughts creativity and reality are the key to successful planning. We need to be creative not only in the fun hands on activities that our kids love but creative in the sense of problem solving, being resourceful and innovative. But we also need to remember reality who our kids are, who we are, what our kids needs are, what resources we have including time!
I keep my lesson planning to a few key subjects the rest I try and find resources or curriculum that just roll over by themselves either the kids do by themselves, or I can pick up a manual and run with it. The subjects I plan for are the ones that
- touch our childrens hearts
- are key to developing their love of learning
- address a particular area of concern for an individual student
- and I have a few interactive type lessons, just for the fun of learning together as a family!
My time is precious and I need to wear many hats. I cannot spend all weekend preparing lessons. Most of my lesson teaching is directed towards my younger two who are yet independent learners.
In order to prepare for my week, and to prepare those things that are important I have prepared a Prep Sheet. I print this off each week, prepare the lessons I need, and then I use this sheet as my study to-do list (I think I mentioned this in an early post I dont look at the schedule with time slots, that was purely for finding balance and reality in my plans, once that is settled, I use a to-do list a running list of the subjects we want to cover for any given day.)
My Prep Sheet also lists big picture stuff such as:
- Goals for each member or an overall goal for the week (like last week my goal was to re-establish focus times in our day)
- Character focus what character trait are we looking at and its application
- Read Alouds and conversation starters I want to keep in mind.
I try and get my week (including lessons) planned by Sunday night but sometimes (like this week) I cram my time on Monday morning. My prep time includes:
- Checking my diary familiarise myself with extra commitments that we may have, housework goals, and any other notes I have in my diary
- Check and organise my office work to-do list
- menu planning including starting my shopping list
- heart focus check I have a quick think/pray about each of my children to see if there is something in their individual life that needs our attention or training
- Finally – study goals and lesson plans
Once all this is done Im ready set . Go!