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How to Use Homeschool Lesson Plans Effectively

Mar 20, 2008
Theme-based learning, believe it or not, is a fun way to homeschool your child. You can brainstorm a theme with your child using any topic your child is especially interested in.

Young children might prefer themes around things like apples, the zoo, birds, stars, or a favorite author. 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.

It depends largely on how much your child wants to learn the theme, how deeply he or she wants to explore it. You could spend anywhere from a week to a month on particular theme. I suggest spending just two weeks on a theme.

Blending themes into your homeschool lesson plans isn't difficult at all. Before long, you'll start noticing how much fun you and your child are having by basing your learning around a 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 important idea to consider is involving your child in the planning process. Let your child choose some of the themes to focus on.

You'll enhance your children's interest in the lessons when you involve them and give them choices. I think it's very important to get your child involved as much as possible in all aspects of lesson planning and preparation.

Let's go over an example as to how you would build on themes in your homeschooling lesson plans. Take, for example, using apples for your thematic unit. You could have a lesson on how apples grow as part of a science lesson.

We could work on fractions by dividing the apple into various slices. We could learn about Johnny Appleseed in Social Studies. We could even read all sorts of books about apples and write a paragraph about apples in Language Arts.

It gets even more fun: We can take those apple slices from the math lesson and transform them into stamps for the art lesson. We could sing songs that have apples in the lyrics. We could conclude it all with a cooking lesson, teaching your child how to make applesauce or apple bread.

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.
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