I love technology, don’t get me wrong. I spend way too much time on my laptop and my iphone. I love discovering new ways to use technology to learn things and to help my children learn things. But when it comes to keeping my personal calendar and my weekly lesson plans, I am a paper and pencil kind of gal. Maybe it’s something about being able to see it all laid out before me and jot things down in the margins, or maybe just having that book in my hands, with it’s colorful dividers and pocket folders. Maybe it’s because I am forty-something. Very early forty-something. Ahem. I try not to overthink it. It is what it is.
While I do love the idea of having lesson plans in a software program in theory, I just haven’t been able to find anything I like. The closest I’ve come to using lesson planning software is Skedtrack, a free product with lots of features. The appeal is that you don’t have to re-enter things if you get behind or have a week where everybody is too sick to do schoolwork. There is one major drawback: You can’t print it out. Remember how I like to have things on paper in front of me?
So what I have found that works for me thus far in my very new career as a homeschooler are free printables from Donna Young. Isn’t it so nice of Donna to make all of these great printables and share them with us? I think so. I use her basic weekly planner and have tweaked it to fit our needs. Because I can download it as a Word file, I can add or delete columns and rows, change the font, type in info that is the same every day/week, etc.
Here’s how I’ve adapted it to use with two kids, one who is in preschool and doesn’t do quite so many subjects as her first grade brother.
On my first grader’s page, I’ve put the things at the top that we all do together, like Out and About activities, Five in a Row, and Science. My preschooler’s page is half the size and goes over top of my first grader’s page. That way I can still see the things on her brother’s page that also apply to her.
I think this system also works because currently, I only plan two or three weeks at a time. We are still so new at this, that I have to see how things go week by week in order to know what will work next week or next month.