Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lesson Planning Pages

I just want to say that Melisa Nielson has a wonderful Waldorf homeschool planner and that you can see sample pages from it here. It is a dandy combo of homeschool planner and daily appointment book. To order ($40.00) click here (visit the Shop and type "planner" in the search box).

However, I find that a 3 ring binder with 9 tabs in it works fine for me. 9 tabs, or 12 if you homeschool all year round, one for each month. I find that I'm always printing things off the internet that I want to remember -- directions for a seasonal handwork project, for example, or Eugene Schwartz's notes on what is taught in each school year. Find a poem for the block you're doing in May? Punch it and put in in behind that tab. Come May, you'll be able to find it! Or I'm making spreadsheets of things I'm ordering to help me keep my budget on track. Or endlessly making lists of the books that would be good for a block. If I'm going to do that, I may as well keep my daily/weekly lesson plans there in that binder too, so that it is all in one place.

Type up a sheet and slip it in the cover of the binder with the child's name and the school year. Simple is the key. I like a blank white piece of paper so that I can sketch or draw diagrams, webs, or lists, etc. and I'm not constrained by those nasty little lines. You can buy plain white 8 1/2 x 11 paper already hole punched, which is handy. Three columns or three rows for Head, Heart, Hands. Date at the top of the page. Then plan your day. I write daily reflections on the back. That way, my notes on what worked and what didn't are also in the same place. I don't want to carry the binder around during the day so I usually make notes at night about what I'm thinking for tomorrow, take out that sheet and clip it to a clipboard, hang the clipboard on a nail on the wall -- or it will get L O S T -- and then take the paper back down and put it in the binder at the end of the day with my reflections. Think about it at night and plan for the next day. Some people do their notes in colored pencils so you could assign a separate color to Head, Heart, and Hands and do away with the lines completely if you wish.

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