Can We Really Do It All?
Often a pre-planned curriculum leads to a compelling need to “do it all.” The reality, however, is very different. Few curriculum plans – in homeschooling or traditional education – are intended to be completed in full. Instead, they include enough planning to fill the day of even the most aggressive student!
Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to determine which activities constitute the essentials and which can be skipped. That’s why Well Planned Gal designed her lesson plans to include clearly note Essentials, Enriched, and Comprehensive categories specially created to allow you to structure a day according to your needs.
Although we all want to make sure that our children receive a well-rounded, academically solid education, some days – and even some months or years – only allow us to cover the necessities. Whether it’s a day shortened by an enrichment activity, a week full of appointments, or a year in which a new baby, move, or illness changes the plan, you can confidently know you are still covering solid basics.
Some parents also want flexibility in adding Bible, fine arts, and supplemental reading. Choosing the Essentials portion of the plan allows parents to proceed through a trustworthy plan for the basics while spending more time and energy exploring enrichment opportunities that fit the unique personality of each family.
The Preschool Essentials plan requires about forty-five minutes of interactive schooling per day. In kindergarten and first grade, active teaching and learning will only increase by fifteen to thirty minutes. In second through eighth grade, interactive teaching time may require as much as two hours, with some additional independent work required as the children grow older. By the time a student reaches high school, parents will invest about an hour in interaction and grading while independent study will require an additional two to three hours.
Enriched assignments offer exactly what the title suggests: an additional depth to any basic curriculum. Including enrichment assignments in a curriculum reinforces the well-rounded education that homeschoolers so greatly love.
With assignments in Bible, art, and music, Enriched activities can spark interest in younger children or add essential credit hours to a high school transcript. These activities also introduce opportunities for discussion and increase appreciation for lessons heard in church or trips to a museum or concert.
For preschool through first grade, enrichment activities add fifteen to thirty minutes of active school time. Second through twelfth grade students can see an increase of up to an hour in interactive and/or independent learning time.
Just as there are some days when it’s hard to get anything more than the essentials completed, there are other days when a child wants to do more, even when all of the Essentials and Enriched activities have been completed! That’s where Well Planned Lessons’ Comprehensive assignments come in handy.
Comprehensive assignments allow parents and students to dig deeper, reinforce lessons that need more work, or simply grow understanding. Complete math activities that strengthen spatial reasoning or critical thinking, read an additional time-period biography, add one more title to the literature list, or dig more deeply into a science or history topic of interest.
For any grade, comprehensive activities can add up to an hour to the school day of children who hunger for more learning. They can also enrich a high schooler’s portfolio.