I Skip Lesson Plans & Other Honest Answers
Welcome back to Making Everyday Magic! I’m Shanna, and if you’re new here, we’re a homeschooling family with a sixth-grader and a second-grader in our seventh year of homeschooling. Today, I’m going to answer some of your questions and share why I skip lesson planning. Before we dive in, subscribe, and give this post a thumbs up. You can also find me on Instagram at @makingeverydaymagic. Now, let’s get started!
I Skip Lesson Plans
I know this might raise some eyebrows, but I want to be honest about my approach to lesson planning. I spend a lot of time planning our yearly curriculum, mapping everything out, figuring out timelines, and organizing resources. But when it comes to weekly lesson planning, I don’t do it. I understand this may not be the conventional approach, but it works for us. Here’s what I do instead.
Our Flow Chart
We have a simple flow chart that guides our daily routine. It outlines the order of activities and subjects we cover. This helps us stay on track without the need for a detailed lesson plan. For example, we do our all-about-reading and all-about-spelling activities, and we move on to the next step without the need for a written plan. Page flags do help a ton to mark our place. We just move them along as we work.
We use curriculum pieces that provide a clear path for us. For instance, with the Michael Clay Thompson curriculum, we found it more effective to follow one book at a time rather than trying to blend multiple books at once. This streamlined approach works well for us, eliminating the need for complex lesson planning.
We also use Khan Academy for various subjects. I’ll bookmark specific lessons or activities, and we’ll go through them together on our big TV. Khan Academy makes it easy to track progress, and it offers interactive quizzes and lessons, eliminating the need for extra planning.
I’ve found that keeping our approach simple and flexible works best for our family. We focus on completing one task at a time and don’t overcomplicate the process with excessive planning. It keeps our homeschooling journey more relaxed and enjoyable.
Michael Clay Thompson Curriculum
I love the Michael Clay Thompson curriculum, especially the approach to writing. We don’t stress writing for the sake of writing; instead, we focus on teaching the art of writing effectively. This approach suits our family’s preferences and ensures our kids learn to write well rather than just accumulating word counts.
Recharging and Hobbies
Recharging is essential, especially when managing a homeschooling family. To recharge, I enjoy reading, and setting aside time for myself before the kids wake up. I also have creative outlets, like running an Etsy shop, which allows me to express my creativity.
Favorite Starbucks Drink
My go-to Starbucks drink is the London Fog Latte, which I also enjoy making at home. Additionally, I love Nitro cold brew with a splash of heavy cream and some sugar-free vanilla. Finding your favorite Starbucks drink can be a delightful way to treat yourself.
When kids don’t want to do schoolwork and resist, it can be challenging. Our approach is to set clear expectations. School is a non-negotiable part of our daily routine, and resistance doesn’t change that. We provide choices but within the framework of our expectations. Consistency is key in handling resistance.
Staying Present and Routines
Staying present can be tough when your mind is racing with what’s next. To stay present, I try to incorporate routines into our day, which helps us stay on track. Consistency is vital to keep routines intact, and involving the whole family in setting goals makes achieving them more manageable.
I admit that I’m not the best at record-keeping. My goal is to improve in this area, but it hasn’t happened yet. Finding a system that works and suits your needs is crucial for effective record-keeping. I am planning to make my own template since I think that will serve me best!
If you want to include preschoolers in family subjects, you can provide age-appropriate activities, like dot markers, stamps, and simple workbooks. Let them engage in the family learning process, but establish clear expectations to prevent disruptions.
Dealing with Sibling Arguments
Kids arguing with each other is a common occurrence in many households. In our family, my daughters sometimes argue too. Setting clear expectations and emphasizing teamwork helps manage sibling conflicts.
Choosing the Right Geography Curriculum
For a first-grader, the Evan-Moor skill sharpener workbook is a great start. If you’ve completed it and want more geography content, consider geography puzzles, maps, and learning about flags and landmarks. Interactive and hands-on activities can make learning geography fun. Both of my girls love to explore on Google Earth.
Decision to Homeschool
Our decision to homeschool came when our oldest child showed that she was a little ahead of her peers. We considered public school but ultimately chose to start with homeschooling. It was a decision we reevaluated regularly to ensure it was the right path for our family. We wanted to maintain the flexibility to adapt as needed.
Thank you for joining me in this Q&A session. I hope you found these insights and answers helpful for your homeschooling journey. If you have more questions or need guidance on specific topics, feel free to ask in the comments or connect with me on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, and comment to stay updated with our homeschooling adventures. Have a fantastic day!