Yes, made easy. It is easy. You can do this!
Kindergarten homeschool lesson plans are pretty straight forward. You should be planning to work with your kindergartner about 2 hours each weekday, or ten hours a week. Some homeschooling families have a four day school week for their younger children. This is still more than adequate, and allows for a homeschool cooperative day or weekly field trip. This doesn’t mean you forgo those all important teachable moments! If a mere ten hours a week of structured education seems brief to you, then remember that your child is constantly learning. You can teach your child a great deal by simply sharing your life an tasks. Talk to your child as much as possible about what you’re doing and allow the child to help in age appropriate ways. This is tremendously educational!
Don’t Over Plan!
Start the school year planning cycle with a clear idea of what you want to cover. There are many excellent sources to help you decide what must be covered each year. One excellent source is The Core Knowledge Sequence. (Attribution: — This work is based on an original work of the Core Knowledge© Foundation made available through licensing under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This does not in any way imply that the Core Knowledge Foundation endorses the work.) Divide the material so that you have roughly equal amounts of topics from each subject planned for the first, second and third quarters of your school year. Examining only your first quarter, divide the material further into months. Zero in on the first month, and divide the material into weeks. Now look at the work you hope to accomplish in the first week, and plan a reasonable schedule for yourself. DO NOT plan detailed lessons beyond the first week! By lesson planning for one week at a time, two when you become more sure of yourself, you will be able to take advantage of everything you learn about how your student learns and the two of you work together. You will be able to exploit every teachable moment and unexpected opportunity that comes your way. The right degree and type of planning is very empowering! Trust me, this is a great way to start. You can tailor this minimal but thorough planning tactic to your personality and situation as you go along.
That First, All-Important Week of Lesson Plans
Kindergarten homeschool lesson plans should not be complicated. Remember that your kindergartner does not have a long attention span, and should not be expected to engage in any one activity for very long. Plan at least two one hour lessons in each day, possibly three forty minute lessons. Incorporate as many academic goals into a single lesson as possible using connected learning, and never expect your kindergartner to engage in the same activity for more than ten minutes. Make your lesson plan out on a very simple form, like this one.
Own Your Lesson Plans!
Personalize them and make them yours! I have given you a three page PDF. The first two pages are for people who might want to print out the form and fill it out by hand. (If you do so, please print it back to back. I’ll feel better believing you do this. ;^) The second page is for your notes. (I’ll get into that in a minute!) The third page is for those of you who choose to use the form in a word processing program on your computer, another perfectly lovely option! There are some very real benefits to lesson planning on spreadsheets, and those of you who are comfortable with that idea require no advice from me in order to put that plan into action. Obviously, the headings I have given you are the columns I suggest you place in your spreadsheet. The lowest tech, least expensive method is to do all your lesson planning with a pencil and a composition notebook. I am not ashamed to admit that I have done exactly that! No matter what else you do, modify this lesson plan format to suit your needs. This is about you – not me. Lesson planning is a critical component to your success.
Two Sample Lesson Plans
These sample lesson plans are based on the Core Knowledge Sequence for Kindergarten. They contain no curriculum elements you would have to purchase. The materials are very inexpensive. I made the sample plans to make the most important point – KEEP IT SIMPLE! Particularly when you start out, do not spend a lot of money, and do not over-plan. Stay flexible. Horde your cash. Jealously guard your flexibility and your free time. DO NOT put as many details into your plans as I did. I wrote out all those details to explain what I would actually do. Write down just enough to jog your memory and keep yourself on track. Do not make the slightest effort to be perfect! Lesson plans are like grocery lists. Yes, they make you more effective at accomplishing the task, but they aren’t graded and they don’t go on your permanent record! Be casual about them, as you would to any other note to yourself. Don’t forget to record how your plans work out, and remember to stay flexible. What do I mean by flexible? Well, sometimes things get crazy.
Crazy Day Lesson Plans
I’d call ’em “Rainy Day Lesson Plans,” but honestly – rain isn’t the only thing that happens! Life gets crazy. Be ready for it. Have at least three crazy day plans on hand at all times. Have a plan for a substitute teacher, have a plan for rain or other minor inconveniences, and have a plan for a day when you must “take it on the road, homeschooling your kid in offices, waiting rooms, rest areas, hotels rooms and restaurants. Make these three plans around review material or specific skills that can be taught stand-alone. That way these plans won’t expire for a few months. They’ll be good whenever you need them.
In it for the Long Haul
After that first week or two of lesson plans, you should have a really good idea of how much you can squeeze into a lesson. You should also be able to figure out which topics you have covered will need more attention in the weeks to come. Look over your notes and plan another week, and then another! Allocate a few weeks each school year for holidays, and about the same number of weeks to make up for missed work or spend more time on difficult material. You are going to be amazed at how easy it is to cover everything in the Core Knowledge Sequence. What are you going to do with
All that Extra Time?
Something really cool, I hope. The sky’s the limit. What would really enhance your child’s life? What extra course of study would bring the greatest added value? I think this is a question you and your family will want to explore. Whatever you choose, I know it’s going to be wonderful!
Please let me know what you think of this post, what you’d like to read about next and anything else you’d like to share.
All the best,