On this page, I will discuss the pros and cons of the homeschool weekly planner and I will list recommended forms for the weekly planner.
A Weekly Planner the most commonly used planner and with it, lesson plans for each week and for all subjects are laid out together on one or more pages. Lesson plans are usually listed in a daily format, but, depending on the form style, lessons plans can be listed in a weekly or a chapter format. Donna, what are you talking about? Read my examples of the lesson planning formats below.
The Lesson Planning Formats, one example of each format
The words in parenthesis are implied and do not necessarily need to be written on the planner.
Daily format: (Today) Read pages____ and do this...
Weekly format: (This week) Complete the following... Be prepared to discuss at class meeting on __date__ .
Chapter format: Read chapter # and complete ... . Assignments are due on __date__ by the end of class.
All of the lessons plans for all of the subjects are laid out on the same page or two. As many of you know, having all of the lessons plans on display like this is incredibly convenient.
When a planned lesson is not completed on the day that it is written in the planner, then it must be completed the next day, which might already have a lesson plan slotted. The resulting overlapping lesson plans can affect the rest of the planner pages that are filled in with lesson plans. If you plan two weeks or more ahead of time, then you will end up with a big sloppy mess. I know.
Bring on the liquid paper! I covered up and re-slotted lesson plans countless times during the school year because I tended to plan six weeks or more in advance during my early homeschooling years. I preferred to plan in advance and that is probably what led me toward making subject planners so that I could make lesson plans for the entire school year.
Having one major drawback is not necessarily a deal-breaker. If you write up to three weeks of lesson plans into your weekly planner then you might not experience this drawback to an intolerable degree; however, if you plan a month or more in advance, keep reading.
If you write lesson plans for several weeks or as far ahead as the entire year, write all of your lesson plans into subject planners and keep the subject planners in your homeschool planner. Each week transfer lesson plans from the subject planner to the weekly planner. See: Transfer Plans from Subject Form to Weekly Form for an illustration of transferring plans and for more information on the topic.
While I do not recommend planning on the fly, you can do that if you are comfortable with living on the edge. Or, more realistically, write lesson plans in your planner for only one week, or two weeks at most. Of course, this requires diligence on your part, so make sure to decide when you will write these lesson plans each week. If the weekend is the only free time you have for planning, then I recommend Solution 1 and plan ahead for at least six weeks using a subject planner form. Why, you might wonder? It is my opinion that you will need most of your weekends off.
Use a daily planner. I have never used a daily planner but I know some very organized homeschoolers who do. From my limited conversations with them, I gather that they tend to love planning, they plan each subject separately for the entire year, and then refine the lesson plans on a daily basis with a daily planner form.
Use Donna Young's V Planner, a spreadsheet file that requires Microsoft Excel. V Planner allows you to plan ahead as far as you need and then it allows you to send any lesson plan to its various planners. Lesson plans can also be placed automatically by date and imported to Google Calendar. V Planner is available via a subscription to YoungMinds.
Below I have linked the forms I usually used and placed in my weekly planner in the following order:
See also Essential Homeschool Forms
Please keep the following tips in mind when you use your weekly planner:
Key differences are underlined.
Note: Despite the representational images, planner styles vary at donnayoung.org.
The subject planner form (aka term, quarter, semester) is meant to have lesson plans for one subject. Generally the squares on the subject planner are not date specific. In other words, the 5th column does not necessarily indicate Friday.
The weekly planner form is meant to have lesson plans for all subjects. Generally the squares on the subject planner are date specific, in other words, the 5th column usually indicates Friday.