How do you stay on track when your curriculum doesn’t follow the lesson-a-day rule?
In “Schedule or Plan: What’s the Difference?” we discussed benchmarks and the fact that daily and weekly planning are critical for keeping track of and hitting benchmarks throughout the school year. The example I shared was a math curriculum.
Honestly, that might not have been the best example because many parents tend to think, “As long as we do a math lesson a day and don’t skip more than a few days here and there, we’ll be fine, right?” For the most part, that is fine—well, as long as you don’t lose track of those “few days here and there” and end up getting further behind than expected.
The real issue, though, is that most homeschool curricula do not follow the one-lesson-per-day rule. Daily work is usually a little less clearly defined than that.
One day you might need to read three pages with your student while the next day your student needs to complete a worksheet independently. Or perhaps that reader has a couple of short chapters that are easily read in a day, but the next chapter is longer and must be divided into two days of reading. A science chapter may typically cover two or three weeks, depending on length, making it necessary to pace your student to ensure timely completion.
If you don’t plan out steady progress for each day, it can be difficult to stay on top of your benchmarks. As moms, we have to carry a great deal of information around in our heads. Do we really want to have to try to also remember how much progress we need to make in each subject each day?
Besides curriculum uniqueness, there are so many other things that can cause a school day to fluctuate. One child not feeling well while another struggles more than usual with a concept. Another child may speed through what would typically be three or four lessons in a day and earn a “break,” only to lose track of when the lessons need to pick back up again. A special play date here or a trip to help Grandma with a task there, and you can easily lose track of the progress you need to be making.
Targeted, daily planning helps you ensure that you know exactly where you are, can easily see how that lines up with your benchmarks, and can make adjustments necessary to stay on track. When you have those benchmarks on your Well Planned Day monthly calendar, you can easily create each new week’s lesson plans to keep you on track.
To find out the third why daily and weekly planning are critical to homeschool success, read my article “A Record of Homeschool Progress.”