Education is a major investment that takes up about 12 years of a young person’s life, from age 5 to 18 years so it is important that this activity is organized and thought out for an efficient process that leads to success down the road. Parents who choose to homeschool their children can put together their own curriculum and documentation or they can partner with one of the many reputable accredited online elementary schools. The benefit of using the latter option is that there is less foundational setup that has to be done by the parent because the school provides the curriculum in the form of textbooks or e-books, creates report cards and includes lesson plans for the students to follow.
Elementary grades start by using print curriculum accompanied by lesson plan print-outs with a breakdown of each unit or chapter. This ensures parents have a plan to follow that keeps the student on track for completing the book within the standard range of time (usually about 180 days). It can be adjusted as needed based on life events, unexpected situations and health issues but parents do not have the stress or responsibility of having to build this as they do if they work on their own apart from a platform. Students also feel a sense of accomplishment as they see completion dates added or the online indicator reflect that the lesson has been finished.
Another benefit of using lesson plans is that it makes keeping track of grades and progress as easy as looking at the sheet. Depending on the state and county, documentation requirements can vary but a simple to follow lesson plan typically satisfies these and keeps the parent and student organized at the same time. Even when working with accredited online elementary schools, the parent has to send in the grades for each subject so the online instructor can build the report card and post that on the portal. These records are helpful in proving how a child is doing in their education and in building transcripts when they reach high school. Transcripts are official documents required for college admission and coming from an established school with an accreditation ensures they will be accepted at face value for the student’s accomplishments.
It takes the guess work and stress of trying to decide what needs to be done each day in each subject. Kindergarten has few areas and is more relaxed than any grade because this is the student’s introduction to education and a homeschool classroom. However, starting in 1st grade and working up each level, it is important to have the work planned ahead of time so the parent can focus on preparing for the lesson or make adjustments as needed based on what is taking place that day. Online lesson plans are the standard for students who make the transition to e-texts starting in the later elementary grades or middle school. These are just as important because they are displayed to the student and parent in their respective portals to show progress and status. If a student is falling behind the recommendation, they can do more lessons in a day or adjust their schedule to work on the weekend, but it also allows them to work ahead in anticipation of a vacation or event.
Set lesson plans provide transparency and a feeling of security and confidence that everyone is staying on task and moving at an appropriate pace. This is especially helpful for 1st time homeschoolers who are getting adjusted to the various tasks and components of the process. By working with the best accredited online elementary schools, much of the pressure is absorbed by the administrative staff and the online teacher assigned to your student. They are there to answer questions, give guidance or act as the primary instructor so the parent can remain a supportive role instead of the teacher. In this scenario, the posted lesson plans keep you informed on where your child is in the subject, what they are learning and provides reassurance that the school is using a formal method to set the student up for success.
No matter how much you love your children or whether you have a degree in teaching, the first year of homeschooling is always a time of experimentation, learning and making adjustments. The benefit of this approach is the flexibility it provides to make changes to the plan according to personal events and situations so your student never truly falls behind. When you partner with an online platform, the administrative work is handled by the professionals so you can focus on teaching and supporting your student while creating an environment that is fun and exciting for them to learn in. Organization through planning ahead in documentation is a necessary part of this process so you can get up each day ready to teach and help them get through the assigned work for that subject.