Creating Homeschool Lesson Plans
Creating homeschool lesson plans from a homeschool curriculum may require some thought. This article provides tips on how to create lesson plans for homeschooling that help meet your curricular goals, and a format for homeschool lesson plans.
A lesson plan is your notes on your method and approach for delivering one “serving” of curriculum. It is where you create a meeting place between what must be taught and your particular child or children.
Things to Consider When Formulating a Lesson Plan
- Curricular Goals - The curriculum you are following will, of course, be one of the prime guides for the content of your lesson plan. Identify as specifically as you can what the student(s) will accomplish. You may find Bloom’s Taxonomy•which lists verbs that fit with educational objectives•helpful for this. It divides cognitive skills into 6 areas: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, and each of these areas has specific abilities and skills within it.
You may also consider cross-curricular lessons • lessons that combine goals from different subject areas into a single coherent presentation. You might, for example, create a lesson that combines language arts and science, or visual arts with math.
- Other Goals - When curriculum is presented in a context, sometimes there are other skills or items to be learned as well that are outside of the curriculum you have chosen to present. It’s still worth noting such accomplishments. Suppose, for example, that you are doing a lesson to teach the shape of certain letters. You decide that today you will have students use a tapestry needle and yarn to stitch the letters on plastic canvas. In this case, one “other goal” might be that the students learn to thread a needle.
- Time - As you progress, you will learn the cues that help you estimate how long a lesson may take (and how to adapt if it’s not going according to plan). Keep in mind the student’s attention span(s) as you decide on a task.
- Learning Style - The term learning style alerts us to the fact that people have different preferred • ways in which they can best interact with the world and ways of learning. The student’s preferred learning style(s) is a factor to take into account when preparing a lesson plan. For more information about learning styles, you might start with one of these sources (the second provides material that is both more thorough and more sophisticated, so this may help you choose the material that’s right for you):
- Association for Childhood Education International: Multiple Intelligences
- Center for Teaching and Learning at University of Georgia: Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences Resources
The Other Plans for the Day
Providing variety in the daily work is another item to keep in mind when creating a homeschool lesson plan. This can apply to:
- Length of time it task takes to complete
- Means of accomplishment (computer use, paper and pencil, painting, talking, pantomiming, etc.)
- Alone or in a group
- Many steps or few steps in the procedure
- The kind of thinking involved
Model Homeschool Lesson Plans
Here are some lesson plans you may find useful as models (and for use in your homeschool, too!).
- DiscoverySchool New Lesson Plans (Discovery Channel)
- Food Network Cable in the Classroom
- The Kennedy Center ArtsEdge Lessons
- Nova Teachers Guides by Program Title
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Exemplary Lessons Initiative
A Homeschool Lesson Plan Format
Here is a homeschool lesson plan format that you can use/adapt for your purposes.
Students: Summary: In this activity, the student/students will learn by
Goal: The purpose of this activity is to:
It meets State Standards as follows:
Objectives: [the various component steps that will lead to the goal being achieved]
Resources: [references, including on-line information, videos, books, etc.]
Written by Mary Elizabeth