Homeschool Lesson Planning

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Homeschool Planning & Prep

Planning Lessons

Planning lessons for your homeschool kiddos doesn’t need to be an overwhelming task, find out how preparing in advance and holding weekly homeschool lesson planning sessions will help!

Homeschool Planning & Prep

Preparing to homeschool for the first time can feel completely overwhelming!

From picking the right curriculum to organizing the supplies.

With that said, I’m a huge planner girl and homeschool planning is one of my absolute favorite parts of the homeschool process.

Homeschool Lesson Planning

When it comes to homeschool lesson planning, the best place to start is with the curriculum itself.

I always dig through my children’s curriculum to get a good idea of what we will be doing in the upcoming school year.

Then, I ditch the plans and schedules included with said curriculum, leaning on my own pacing guides instead.

Lesson Planning with Personalized Pacing Guides

 

Since our family homeschools year-round and utilizes a 3-day homeschool week, our pacing guides rarely match up with standard curriculum plans and schedules.

So, I always create a customized plan for our homeschool.

Once our pacing guides are complete, I plan out our first 12 weeks of school using our file folder system.

While 12 weeks is ideal for our full-time RV family, planning out a full semester or the entire school year might be a better fit for your family!

Check out how I throw our lessons together on a weekly basis!

Weekly Lesson Planning

Since our family currently lives in an RV, we tend to buy as little physical curriculum as possible, leaning on PDF versions when we can — printing every 12 weeks like clockwork.

While both our living situation and the form of curricula we use have changed over the years, the steps I take to prep homeschool lessons have not.

I’ve only made slight adjustments to this method over the past 8+ years of homeschoolingbecause it just works, you guys!

Lesson Planning Breakdown

Believe it or not, but you don’t need a fancy homeschool room or a multitude of extravagant items to lesson plan like a pro!

Supplies for Lesson Planning

Our current lesson planning setup is pretty simple and only includes the following items:

  • Sticky Notes
  • Daily Folders
  • Weekly Folders
  • Student Planners

Once pacing guides are created and our curriculum is printed, it’s officially time to begin our 4 step lesson planning process.

Starting with folder stuffing and ending with copy work.

Weekly Folder Stuffing

Folder stuffing is seriously my biggest secret to a well-planned homeschool!

We leaned on this file folder system in our sticks-and-bricks home and we still use it today in our tiny home on wheels!

Using our pacing guides as a guide (pun intended), we prep 12 weeks of homeschool lessons in a single blow.

Utilizing an assembly line method, I form separate piles for each subject and utilize the help of my homeschooler to get folders stuffed in a matter of minutes.

This system seriously rocks, you guys!

File Folder System for Homeschool Lessons

Having everything prepped and ready to go in advance makes all the difference.

*Pro tip: Utilize sticky notes for supplies needed or grab our supplies needed free printable (coming soon)!

Simply glance over lessons as you stuff folders and write down any additional items needed for upcoming projects or recipes, sticking it to the proper week folder to remind you before the week starts (or if you are a procrastinator, like me, put it on the week before).

While I’m a 12-week planner girl, you can totally use this very same method with any number of weeks — from as little as 2 weeks or to a full 36 weeks!

Sticky Note Lesson Planning

When it comes to weekly lesson planning, I always start by looking over the previous week’s work to make sure everything got completed and no adjustments need to be made for the upcoming week.

Then, I look over our pacing guides and began our weekly lesson plan.

First, I create a sticky note for each (school) day of the week.

For example, my daughter is currently only working on core lessons Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Mondays are for possible makeup work from the week before, lesson planning, and extras while Fridays are considered free days.

Next, I begin with one subject at a time, splitting the work for that subject across all 3 days.

Moving from one subject to the next, till each subject is accounted for.

Finally, each sticky note gets placed on the front of a daily folder.

Lesson Planning Using Sticky Notes

I chose to get our school sticky notes custom-made (through Vista Print) to cut down on prep time.

*Pro Tip: Utilize whiteboards on the wall in place of sticky notes.

We did this when we lived in our sticks-and-bricks home and I totally loved it!

With that said, I have actually fallen in love with the simplicity of our sticky note system and may never do the whiteboard thing again.

Daily Folder Stuffing

Once sticky notes are placed on the outside of each daily folder and my kiddo knows what to expect for the day, I have her empty the weekly folder and stuff the daily folders.

Again, we use an assembly line method for this step!

Daily folders are laid out in a line and worksheets are separated by subject.

Daily Folder System for Organizing Homeschool Lessons

*Pro tip: Get personalized sticky notes.

I totally did this, you guys!!

While I love writing and planning, I got tired of the time-consuming process of writing subjects on sticky notes every single week.

With that said, regular Post-It branded sticky notes do stick better to slick folders than the personalized ones we currently use.

Planner Follow-Up

While this step isn’t technically necessary, it is definitely a great bonus!

We utilize planners in our homeschool for a few simple reasons:

  • To promote responsibility
  • To prepare for the future

I keep my young homeschooler involved in the planning process from start to finish because one day I will pass the torch and she will be doing this all on her own — just like her older brothers did during their middle and high school years!

Using a Weekly Planner to Set Goals

Whether she uses the sticky note method or simply leans on a planner, either way, she will have all the skills she needs to plan her school week all on her own!

With that said, you can definitely skip the student planner when lesson planning if your homeschooler isn’t into it.

While my 2 older kiddos left the whiteboards behind (prior to our sticky note method) when they began planning their own work and clung to the aid of their student planners, my youngest seems to be leaning towards sticky notes over whiteboards.

She has definitely gotten lax with this part of the planning process over the summer months and I just don’t push it much as long as she’s getting her work completed.

I will likely put the pressure back on come fall when we start our new homeschool year, simply for the copy work and as a simple encouragement to try utilizing planners one final time before ditching them completely.

The Ultimate Homeschool Plan

While homeschool lesson planning and prep are essential for a smoother homeschool week, the ultimate homeschool plan involves a healthy mixture of flexibility and fun.

Creating The Ultimate Homeschool Plan

Whether you homeschool 5 days a week Aug-May or do something totally wacky like homeschooling over the summer, as we do, creating a homeschool plan that flows with your family is key.

This method of lesson planning totally works, you guys!

Try it. Tweak it. Perfect it.

Happy planning!

Homeschool Lesson Planning

Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the homeschool planning & prep portion of the blog! 

I am a huge planner and thrive with a to do list or schedule in my hand! If you have recently embarked on the journey of preparing to homeschool your own kiddos, this section has all the helps you need to get started!

I hope you found this article helpful and come back to visit us again soon!

Want to connect on social media?

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

Summer Homeschool Planning

How to plan your homeschool year over the summer!

Summer Homeschool Planning

Printable Homeschool Schedule

Creating a homeschool plan that works for you!

Printable Homeschool Schedule

Printable Supply List

Free printable supply list for lesson planning.

Printable Supply List

Homeschool Prep Schedule

Plan your homeschool year in 10 days!

Homeschool Prep Schedule

Follow us on Social Media

Connect with our brand on social media and join our homeschool group on Facebook!

Pinterest

Facebook

Instagram

Facebook Group

Meet the Author

Life & Homeschool Author

Hey guys! I’m Mary, homeschool mom of 3 amazing kiddos.

I’m so excited that you decided to check out my little corner of the world!

If you have been following our journey for any length of time, you already know that I’m obsessed with coffee, organization, and all things simple.

I’m also a huge dog lover and introvert 💗

My homeschool style is very eclectic.

I enjoy a solid mixture of structure and free range. I set goals for myself and my children each week, but I put no pressure on perfection.

We use a wide variety of curriculum in our home.

Some of our current favorites are The Good and the Beautiful, Life of Fred, Beautiful Feet Books, and Lifepac.

While my kids do spend a good amount of time learning at desks, they also spend countless hours exploring their creativity and practicing a little independence.

I love mountains, rainy days, and sitting by the campfire. 

Our family recently relocated to the PNW and we have been enjoying finding new nature spots to explore together 🙌🏼

I can’t wait to connect and share all the things I’ve learned on our new journey! 

Just a Note…

Thanks for checking out the homeschool planning & prep portion of the blog! 

I am a huge planner and thrive with a to do list or schedule in my hand! If you have recently embarked on the journey of preparing to homeschool your own kiddos, this section has all the helps you need to get started!

I hope you found this article helpful and come back to visit us again soon!

Want to connect on social media?

You can find all of our social accounts below!

FacebookInstagramPinterest

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook group too!

This group is open to all homeschool moms.

Whether you are already knee-deep in your homeschool journey or just dipping your toes in — all homeschool moms are welcome!

Looking forward to connecting! Simply Be Wild & Free Life + Homeschool Blog

Share
Pin