Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekly lesson plan organization

We hold Kitchen School and Baby School on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays--the days Q doesn't go to kindergarten and I am not at Bible study.  However I typically write 5 days of plans so we have something to do after school and before dinner.

I usually do my lesson planning on Sunday afternoons.  I have manilla folders (and a pile on the desk) of ideas/books that I want to get to, so it's typically pretty easy for me to pull together my week. 

I start with a read aloud book for each kid each day.  Sometimes Beck's is repeated during the week.  I introduce new books that correspond to our seasonal study this way, then once I've shared them with the kids they go on our little bookshelf (actually a rocking chair) in the living room to be revisited whenever we read books. 

We also do rhymes, songs and fingerplays as well as a poem for the month.  I love when I can find a poem illustrated through a book. 

I like to have my plans up where I can see them.  I have an old frame that I glued scrapbook paper over the picture inside.  I use overhead markers to write my plans for the week by the corresponding day. 

Under the squggily line are just ideas of "things to do" if we get bored.  Sometimes when we need something to do I go braindead, so I like to keep some suggestions on hand!  They are simple things--playdoh, board games, etc. 

We also have a memory verse (either weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the verse) that is posted on the little chalkboard next to my plans.

Now, about my lesson plans.  My kiddos are 4 and 1, so our learning revolves around play.  We get to the lesson plans if we get to them.  I find that usually spending an hour or so doing structured activities works well for us.  However some days we totally scrap them.  Playing outside, visits with friends or family, or even the kids being really involved in play are all reasons to put our lessons on hold.  As a result we NEVER get to all of the things I have planned in a week, and that's just fine!  I move things I still want to do but didn't get to over to the next week, and some other things may just get scrapped.  My plans are very loose and sometimes I even move activities around from day to day at the spur of the moment--depending on my kids moods (or mine!) or the weather, etc. 

I do think it's important to plan in time for art experiences, sensory exploration, literacy experiences and for my kids to practice listening and following directions/take turns.  They actually LOVE Kitchen/Baby school!

I don't even type out my plans.  I write them in pencil on scrap paper while I plan and then transfer to the board in the kitchen. 

This is just what is working really well for me at this stage of our lives!  
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