Lesson Plans (LP) are not a required part of Sunland's record keeping process, but we believe home schooling can be accomplished more successfully by planning your school week in advance. Relying on your own brain to remember and decide what lessons will be completed each day can sometimes lead to burnout or short-changing your child in their education.
LP can be used to determine your child's learning process. New families might over schedule or under schedule work for their student. LP are a help in establishing whether too much or to little work is being expected of your child. If they do not complete the amount of work you planned for them, it is important to find out why. It may be the pace you have set is unreasonable, or they are having difficulty in understanding the directions or material. If they complete the work too quickly, it may be they need more assigned to them or they are not concentrating on the content. Learning how to plan lessons takes time with trial and error. You will not ruin your child by experimenting to find out what works.
Grading their work on a daily basis can help a parent to know if the student understands the material or where they are having problems. Grading is not purely for awarding a mark for completed work, but a means to identify problem areas in the learning process. Grades can be recorded on the LP sheets in a different color to simplify averaging grades for reporting on record keeping forms.
How to Plan Lessons:
1. Once you have received the curriculum, the next step is determining how much work a student should do each day per topic. This may vary per child, but setting high, reasonable expectations are better than setting them to low.
2. If your goal is to complete the curriculum during the traditional school year (some families may be on a year round schedule), divide the number of pages in each book by 175 days to establish the approximate number of pages to cover per day. You might add tests, reviews and other materials not printed in the curriculum to the number of pages. This will give you an idea of how much work to plan per topic per day.
3. As you begin home schooling your child, adjustments might be necessary to slow or increase the work pace. Sometimes you will deviate from the LP to cover basic material the student needs to rehearse in order to understand the current content. A field trip, unexpected circumstances, following a topic beyond the curriculum, and illness may also create adjustments to the LP. These are normal and fine as long as they do not become a permanent diversion from a regular schedule. Children need regularity in establishing study skills and learning habits. We want our children to develop lifelong study habits.
4. Initially, LP might take an hour or so to plan a week's work. Writing a LP on Friday or during the weekend can help you organize your next school week. Eventually, one might be able to write a weekly LP in 10 to 15 minutes.