Lesson plans are the “bread & butter” of Homeschooling. Creating lesson plans with your child using theme-based learning is a fun way to teach and learn. Your child can be involved as you brainstorm them from virtually any topic your child shows an interest in.
Different themes may suggest themselves to different ages. Young children might prefer themes around things like flowers, birds, the zoo, or stars for instance. Whenever you tailor your homeschool lesson plans around a theme, learning becomes a lot more fun and creative.
When you base your homeschool lesson plans on a thematic unit, you will also want to determine how much time you’ll need to cover that theme. To save money – make sure you research how to find used homeschool books for your lesson plans.
You could spend anywhere from a week to a month on the theme, depending on how much your child wants to learn the content. I suggest spending only two weeks at most on one theme.
It’s not difficult to integrate themes into homeschool lesson plans. You’ll also come to realize just how much fun you and your child are having to learn so much through a particular theme.
You don’t actually have to integrate all subject matter into a single thematic unit. In fact, you don’t even need to do theme-based learning all the time when coming up with your homeschool lesson plans.
One of the most important things you can do is involve your child in planning the themes. Let your child have some freedom in choosing themes for the lessons.
By giving your child choices, you help build his or her interest in what you’re teaching. I believe it’s essential to involve your child as much as you can in all aspects of lesson preparation and planning.
Let’s have a look at an example to see exactly how you would use themes in your homeschooling lesson plans. Let’s say you chose apples for your thematic unit. That being the case, you might have a science lesson on how apples grow.
When we do the math, we could work on fractions by dividing apples into slices. Learning about Johnny Appleseed could be a lesson for Social Studies. We could study books about apples. For Language Arts, we could write a paragraph about apples.
But there’s more: We could turn those apple slices we used in the math lesson to create apple stamps for our art lesson. We could sing songs about apples. We could finish off with a cooking lesson and make apple bread or applesauce.
The important thing to remember when you’re putting together theme-based homeschool lesson plans is to use your child’s interests. You’ll make learning even more enjoyable when you use thematic units to enhance the curriculum you already have planned.
In the beginning, the idea of making lesson plans may be intimidating because it seems to be such a large task. As my father used to tell me “You can eat an elephant if you just take one bite at a time”. This loose analogy goes with lesson planning too. First, write down your long-term lesson plan goal, say the goal you want to accomplish over a one year span. Then ‘back into’ the shorter term sub goals starting with a six-month goal, then a one-month goal, down to a one-week goal. Now that you have your goals on paper it’s much easier to see how to accomplish your long-term goal. Five daily goals equal a one-week goal, four weeks done and you’re at your one-month goal. Three of those and you’ve made your first quarter goals.
By breaking down the task in smaller, and if you will allow me, ‘bite-size’ tasks it allows see the long-term goal as something that can definitely be done. Plan with the end goal in mind.