Making lesson plans for your homeschool doesn’t have to take a lot of time! You can plan your homeschool lessons in just 30 minutes. Learn how in this post!
Whenever I talk about time management in your homeschool, I get asked about finding the time to plan. (In my ebook Large Family Homeschooling, I dedicated an entire chapter to planning methods because this is such a frequently asked question.)
For several years now, I have been planning our homeschool week in 30 minutes increments of time. I have learned to be efficient and concise with my time so as to get the most out of my planning sessions. Often, I can get even more than a week planned out!
So, today I want to give you some ideas for having your own QUICK homeschool planning sessions!
How to Plan Your Homeschool Lessons Quickly!
Planning your entire week (and possibly even your entire month!) can easily be done in just 30 minutes, but there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind…
1 -Be familiar with your material.
You aren’t going to be very quick or efficient if you don’t know what you are using to plan and the basics of how to use that curriculum. So, be aware you won’t be doing 30 minute planning sessions if you are just starting out with a curriculum or if one of the components of your curriculum is new to you. Give yourself some time to get used to the curriculum.
Most of our current curriculum is very familiar to me, but I recently started using a new spelling curriculum with my middles. Because of this, I have to take a little more time with any materials I am not familiar with.
2 – Have curriculum and planning materials on hand.
It might seem obvious that you need your curriculum to plan, but it’s important you have the right planning materials on hand as well. And the “right” planning materials are subjective – you get to choose what you like best!
For instance, I’m a fan of a certain kind of pen, and I love sticky notes, plus I have a favorite notebook I use to lesson plan. But, I’m not going to be able to plan quickly if I don’t have the materials I prefer in my home or I can’t find them quickly.
So, the bottom line is that you need to know where everything is. This is best accomplished by having a Homeschool Mom Basket.
For more organizing ideas including the Homeschool Mom Basket, READ –
Organizing the Large Family Homeschool
3 – Have a place to plan.
Having a place to plan makes getting started so much easier. I’ve always preferred to lay everything out on the dining room table because it is nice and big and I can see everything all at once.
You may like to plan in your favorite chair, on your bed, or on the floor in the basement! Wherever you are comfortable and can easily access everything you need in order to plan will be YOUR perfect place to plan!
4 – Choose a time to plan.
You aren’t going to be able to plan in 30 minutes if you keep getting distracted by chores, children needing help, phone calls, or any other number of “needs.” It is imperative you find a block of time that is the least likely to be interrupted.
That means the best time of day to plan is…whenever you have time!
When the kids were all little, I used Sunday night to plan. Some of the kids were in bed and Daddy could watch the others.
NOTE: During these Sunday night planning sessions, I was also meal planning and working out chore lists.
READ >> Homeschool Mom Planning Period
When my husband was deployed, I planned first thing every Monday morning while the kids ate breakfast or did their morning chores.
Lately, I’ve been planning in the afternoons while the kids are watching shows before dinner.
Perhaps you have a block of time during the afternoon that would be a good fit for a quick planning session. Maybe you need to wait until the kiddos are in bed at night to have enough breathing room to plan.
Whenever it is, make sure you aren’t taking too much time or your “quick” planning time will crowd into the rest of your day (or night).
5 – Work quickly and efficiently.
When you sit down with your curriculum and begin planning, stay on task and focus on one thing at a time. Look through the lessons, jot down notes, avoid jumping around from subject to subject.
And if you are having a difficult time staying in your allotted time, set a timer and stop when the timer goes off. This will help you see where you are getting tripped up and where you need to streamline your planning efforts.
6 – Have a planning template.
A planning template can be in the form of planning software (however, you need to be familiar with the software or it will trip you up!) or a simple paper template with all the subjects each child does and blocks to write the plans in, or some other method that works well with how your brain works.
Having a template you use each week will streamline your planning time so you aren’t reinventing the wheel every single time you sit down to plan.
7 – Gather your supplies and extras AFTER you plan.
Don’t gather extras during your planning time. Make a list of the things you need (I do this on index cards!) and wait until the end to gather.
Extras would be things like flashcards, card stock, and books. I do not include internet links in here because quite often I need those links to fully plan; however, beware of running off on bunny trails through the corridors of the internet! Stay on task!
Try a few 30 minute planning sessions and see how they work out for you! I’d love to hear your experience with them!
More planning posts: