I get asked all the time that if you’re using laid-out lesson plans is it necessary to lesson track. My answer is always the same — YES. Tracking homeschool lessons is different than lesson planning although they are linked.
DON’T CONFUSE LESSON TRACKING WITH LESSON PLANNING
Look at these 3 risks of not tracking your homeschool lessons even if you’re using laid-out lesson plans.
One/ Kids can advance to a higher level mid-year. You want to be ready.
I had one son who struggled with spelling consistently each year until middle school.
He jumped a whole year in our spelling curriculum and I was ready to pull the trigger because I was tracking his progress.
I was writing down the words he was struggling with, writing down the errors he was making in his usage, and having him review his errors.
Checking off boxes is not tracking progress, it just shows completion.
If you don’t track progress, it’s easy to fall in a public school mindset.
For example, instead of homeschooling for mastery or being ready to move to another level in a subject, you may think that completing a laid-out curriculum is key to mastery.
Don’t fall for the mindset that completing a laid-out curriculum equates with your child mastering concepts. It does not.
Tracking and writing out progress lets you see a true picture of what is going on each day. Completing laid-out lesson plans means just that. It doesn’t always mean success.
I’ve always referred to my well-written notes although I didn’t start off that way.
Two/ NOTHING can replace your well-guided tweaks to a lesson plan.
The second thing I’ve learned is to not forget one of the most fundamental reasons that brought me to homeschooling which is to adjust the curriculum to meet each of my kids’ needs.
When I track lesson plans, I can adjust them immediately to fit my sons’ needs for the current moment.
For example, early on I could tell that one of my sons was advancing quite rapidly in math. Instead of having him do all the math lessons, I would pick and choose the problems.
Other days I had him do only the odds or evens. Tweaking lessons plans and tracking his progress while using a laid-out math curriculum, I knew he could maintain practice in whatever skill he was learning. But he could also move ahead.
If I hadn’t tracked his work in a lesson planner, it would’ve been very frustrating for him.
Doing work that has been previously mastered is a turn off for kids who are advanced or gifted and can cause them burn out. Then, as homeschool parents we wonder why our kids hate a subject that was previously loved.
Tracking progress on a lesson planning page you’re tweaking is key to looking back and planning forward.
Also, having a place to track your tweaks made to laid-out lesson plans reminds you of the progress your child is making or problems he is having.
Three/ Lesson planning and lesson tracking are inextricably linked when you need to view progress and when preparing for older grades.
Another reason lesson tracking is critical is because it prepares you for teaching the older grades.
It’s the difference between sailing effortlessly into teaching high school and drowning in feelings of being overwhelmed.
Doing both lesson planning and lesson tracking, the high school years were a cinch from a record keeping standpoint.
More important to me was that I had a good pulse on the skill level of my rising high school teen because I had journaled and tracked his progress along the way even while using boxed curriculum.
A teacher’s manual is a guide. Your lesson tracking is your child’s unique visual map of his strengths and weaknesses.
Through the years, it’s been easy to look back and read my notes on each child’s progress. Immediately I could adjust either my lesson plans I created or tweaked laid-out lesson plans.
PURPOSEFUL HOMESCHOOL LESSON TRACKING
I’ve come a long way since creating my own planners way back and I know you’ll really love my detailed and beautiful pages to use for either tracking or lesson planning.
You’ll gain some other valuable seasoned tips from these posts:
- How to Choose the BEST Homeschool Lesson Planning Pages THIS Year
- Lesson Planning Backwards! Part 1 of 2.
- Homeschool Lesson Planning Backwards Part 2 of 2.
- How to Write a Simple But Effective Homeschool Lesson Plan
Hugs and love ya,