Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lesson Journals

It's that time of year for us. We are about to begin our "new school year". We are year round schoolers and like to take our breaks when the weather is more pleasant and enjoyable. I've got most of our materials ready so we are going to start some new things while finishing up some old things. The last piece I needed in place was some lesson plan books for the older kids. I say lesson plans, but really they are lesson journals. For a long time we used checklists very similar to Sarah's and even today we have a "schedule" printed out for the week of what needs to be done each day in a checklist format. But as my bigs have gotten older (freshman in high school EEEEK! Yes, I will be blogging it!, 7th grade and 6th grade) we've discovered that they enjoy logging their lessons for the day themselves. I had purchased some generic lesson plan books for them last year which they used and the girls asked if they could personalize some new ones. I figured, why not just make our own!

I found an image for each girl of something they love and added some text using PicMonkey (love that site!). Can you guess which one is Sunshine's and which is Shortcake's? Of course you can! Then I made up these simple spaces for the inside. "Week of_______" on the top left and "Prayer intentions______" on the right. They like to have their week flow down the page. They will write the subject in the first column on the left and then log what they do each day. Something as simple as Lesson 23 #1 for spelling or what pages of their literature book they read (ex... Little Women pgs. 37-52). It worked well last year and gave them a space to journal other things like "Baby Cupcake is here! No school for two months! Whoo hoo!" BTW... the cost of having two spiral bound at the local copy shop was less than one of the lesson plan books at the local teacher store! Yay!

Edited to add: Here is a link to my master copy if you want it. Just print the pages front and back with an extra page of each at each end.

Now, I did just recently read Sarah's post about progress sheets (how did I miss that? Oh... that's right. I had a baby) and definitely will be incorporating those into our lives as well as soon as I can figure out how they will work best for us. BigBoy will still be using his checklists and The Professor has opted for this style of journal: The Complete Homeschool Planner and Journal: A 180-Day Record Book for Homeschoolers and Involved Parents.

But in the meantime, we are going to jump in, feet first so things might be even quieter around here than they have been.



  1. I love the personal journals. We've been using the computer for lesson plans, which seem to work for us. But I may have to re-think this for the older grades.

    Welcome to high school learning! I just 'survived' my first year with a 9th grader. It was way cooler than I first panicked about. She's off to 10th grade now and graduation is approaching way to fast for me (sigh)!

  2. I think the computer is a great alternative. I admit that part of my reasoning for having them hand write their lesson logs is that they needed some penmanship practice. The computer might be an alternative when it's time for more typing practice. We also use our computer for math, typing and writing so it get's used already quite a bit.

  3. How do the kids know what they're supposed to be working on? Do you keep a master plan that they refer to?

    Did you print the journal pages on your computer, or did the copy shop work from digital files that you supplied? LOVE the personalization of the covers!

    1. I do keep a master list of lessons on some things, others are more simple in that they know to do a lesson a day. I'll try to show you what I mean in another post.

      I printed the pages myself so I only paid them for the binding. It didn't take very much ink because when I started my ink supply was low. I kept waiting for it to tell me it was empty so I could replace it but it printed over 100 pages front and back without running out.

  4. Oh I LOVE the planners, they are so cool! I need to do something like that. also another point in having it handwritten is if you have a lot of students someone is usually on the comuter. It would be impossible for us. I tried it a few years ago and the kids were always stressing about seeing their schedule and not being able to get to the computer. I imagine with little ones though, or if you had more than one computer, it would be great!

  5. Oh, I love the idea of prayer intentions, too. Are you going to share a master for this, perhaps? :) Not like you don't have anything else to do, lol.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!