It is so easy these days to find your lesson plans online though you can quickly become overwhelmed with the amount of choice. The internet opens up perfectionism and discontent; we start to think that there is always something better out there, and we are never satisfied. When these things grip our heart we lose sense of time and responsibility. It is important that we start off with clear boundaries on ourselves.
- Know what to search for. Have a very clear idea of what it is you are looking for – what is it you want to teach. Once you know this you will have key words to use in your search and you won’t be distracted by other lesson plans you see. You also need to take into consideration who you want to teach this lesson to (where your child is at, their abilities or difficulties) and how much time you want to spend on the lesson. There is no need to book mark other ideas, they will be there when the time comes to teach that – stay focused on your goal for today.
- Know when to stop searching. I discipline myself to go no further than the first 3 pages of a search. If I really haven’t found anything by then I will change my key word search and try again. If you have found an idea on pages 1, 2 or 3 it will be as good as any idea on page 4, 5 or 6. I also limit myself to 5 choices from those 3 pages. Otherwise it is simply too overwhelming and I start going around in circles not being able to make any decision to work with.
If you’ve not searched on the internet for specific lesson plan before give it a test. Do a search on “lesson plans (insert whatever topic)” and see what comes up. Recently I’ve done a search for
- topics such as Shakespeare and Japan,
- names of books such as “The Apple and the Arrow” and “Ben Hur”
- movie titles such as “How to Train your Dragon”
- skills such as “writing a five sentence paragraph”
When you find a lesson plan you can tweak it, you don’t have to use what you find in its entirety. The lesson plan maybe too long but it may have a good objective. Use what you want and leave the rest. The lesson plan may be written for a different age group – just take the bits that will be helpful to your child. You may decide to only use the hands on activity or writing assignment. Either way you are under no obligation to use the whole lesson plan – it is simply a resource to help you teach the things that you need to teach your children.