So far in this section of the Getting Started with Preschool at Home series we’ve explored where to find materials for home preschool and tips for setting up your home learning space. Now we’re going to move toward developing lesson plans for home preschool. First we’ll look at the benefits of using lesson plans…hello, sanity saver! Then we’ll decide what kind of home preschool lesson plan template will work best for you and your home preschool style.
Benefits of lesson plans
Lesson plans include the outline of the activities you plan to do for home preschool. I personally like to use them because they:
- help me stay organized
- help make sure I address the goals I have for each child
- help me monitor the balance between adult-led and child-led activities during our days
What kind of home preschool lesson plan template will work best for you?
“Lesson plans” sound very formal, but they don’t have to be. You can add as little or as much detail to them as you see fit based on your home preschool style.
Below are some lesson plan template options for you to consider. You can get the sample templates included in this post to get a clear picture of the option that will work best for you.
If you prefer less structure and do not want to plan your activities day by day, then a checklist format might be best for you. You can list out the priorities you have for home preschool, and check them off as you move through them. Then when you complete the checklist you can begin a new one based on new goals, themes, or activities.
You might consider using a:
- Goal checklist-Short list of learning goals you want to focus on with your child
- Activity checklist-Short list of activities you want to try in a given timeframe
- Theme checklist-Activity and resource list of ideas related to a particular theme of study
- Workbox checklist-Specific workbox activities you’ve set up so you can check off the ones that have been completed and are ready to be refreshed
If you prefer more structure to your days, then you’ll want to use a schedule format. You’ll want to look back at the weekly schedule and the home preschool routine you created in the last part of this series and develop a template that aligns with those. The partial day and full-day template examples can be found free printable at the end of this post.
Tips for using your lesson plan template
I like to print out multiple copies of my blank lesson plan template. Then I can grab them easily when I’m ready to start planning for a new week (or theme).
As I mentioned previously, we often used three-week themes. We took the fourth week off for child-led passion projects, and I also used that week to outline the lessons for the upcoming theme. I found planning three weeks at a time easier than planning every week, because I was focused on the overall theme and I didn’t feel like I was always planning. However, do consider the planning approach that you feel most comfortable with.
Also remember that your lesson plans are a guide, activities you think your child might enjoy. But do be flexible and follow your child’s lead if an activity you had in mind isn’t as engaging for your child as you envisioned. I can’t tell you how many times I had an idea of how a project would go, and my kids had an entirely different thing in mind. And you know what? When I let them follow their imaginations they learn more, create more, and are even more proud of their creations and discoveries.
This is Unit 4, Lesson 3 of the Guide to Getting Started with Home Preschool Special Training. Return to the main Teaching Home Preschool Guide or proceed to Unit 4, Lesson 4: Organize Home Preschool Materials.