Is lesson planning taking over your life? For many homeschoolers, lesson planning becomes that dreaded task we never look forward to doing. Sure, it makes teaching lessons easier but at what cost? If you’re sick of feeling stressed about lesson planning, try using online tools and/or apps designed to make this task a tad easier. And, take my Tip for Lesson Planning to heart!
Best Advice for Homeschool Lesson Planning
As a homeschool mom of six that has been homeschooling for 15 years, I’ve learned to keep it simple! I was a classroom teacher/administrator in my past life (pre-homeschooling) and so lesson planning was part of life. But I quickly found that in a home environment with (dare I say) A LOT of kids my typical lesson planning was overkill.
Most homeschool curriculum comes with pre-made lesson plans often referred to as “open and go” curriculum. This is perfect for the busy homeschool mom. All you need to do is keep track of where you are in the book! Truthfully, a sticky note works… but I love paper so I usually just write down the page numbers I want to cover in my planner. If there is an upcoming quiz or test – I’ll notate that so I can warn the kids!
Simple. (Breathe… you got this!)
However, there are cases where you might put together your own homeschool course. If you’re doing that then you’ll want to use traditional lesson planning. Yet, in today’s world technology is here to help! Below you’ll find some of my favorite online tools and app for homeschool planning!
Trello for Homeschooling
Trello is a free organizational tool that acts as a visual pinboard for users. As a Trello user, you’ll create “lists” and each list will have “cards” on it. For instance, you could create a list for each day of the week with cards for each subject. Or, you could create a list for each quarter with a card for each week in the quarter. However you decide to organize it is completely up to you.
Google Classroom for Homeschooling
Google Classroom is another free organizational tool you can use for your homeschool. Once you set up a “classroom” in Google Classroom, you’ll have a “feed” (similar to your Facebook newsfeed) where all assignments and announcements you post for your students will appear on the home page. Easily add assignments and your students can communicate back with you. You assign deadlines and Google keeps track of what’s overdue for you. This tool is especially beneficial if you have older students who are gone frequently.
Homeschool Tracker Online
Homeschool Tracker Online (formerly known as Homeschool Tracker Plus) serves homeschooling families who have needs that extend beyond just lesson planning. While you certainly can do lesson planning with it, it has so many more features that users find helpful. For instance, you can keep track of attendance, grades, school subjects, and report cards. Its built-in features will even generate high school transcripts for you.
Homeschool Minder is similar to Homeschool Tracker but has a different price point. You can input lesson plans, track assignments, add events to your calendar, record courses, monitor reading lists, and generate as many reports as you need.
Lesson Planning Apps for Homeschoolers
Lesson planning apps are similar to online versions except that they’re configured to run on mobile devices such as tablets or phones. If this suits you best, you may be interested in one of the following apps:
- Homeschool Helper – This app is consistently rated as one of the most helpful apps for homeschooling families. The app was built specifically for homeschoolers and it allows you to track field trips, assignments, events, grades, lesson plans, and more.
- LifeTopix – This iOS-based app is an all-in-one app that allows you to keep track of your personal and business life all in one place instead of having various apps for different aspects of your life. Since education is at the heart of your life as a homeschooling parent, you’ll appreciate the ability to track and manage lesson plans, add events to your calendar, create reading lists, keep track of field trips, and more.
- iPlan Lessons – This app really has a ton of things for homeschooling families. For lesson planning, they have a Student Information System you’ll find useful whether you’re using it for your own family or in a co-op setting. You can upload lessons, track grades, create task lists, manage your children’s activities and so much more.
- Evernote – Evernote is a great app for people not quite ready to take the plunge into the digital age. You can store files, images, to-do lists, and more. Of course, that means you can also create lesson plan lists and portfolios of your children’s writing assignments. Since it’s an app, you’ll have access to it either online or on the go.
Our Free Tools for Lesson Planning