Lesson planning for eTAP users

Lesson planning for eTAP users

If you’ve been using eTAP for your homeschooling curriculum and feel a bit lost around planning your days and weeks. I’ve developed a schedule for my daughter that I’d like to share with you. In this post I’ll show you how I to do my lesson planning for eTAP.

This is still a work in progress and may change as we become more familiar with the curriculum, and find the best way for her to use it to learn and retain the information in the lessons.

But I’d like to show you what we are doing currently so that it may help you if you feel the same way I did when we began.

Basically there are two different schedules we follow, a daily schedule and a weekly schedule.

First of all, we’ll talk about the daily schedule

This is just how we schedule out the time for lessons and course work for each day. This should vary depending on what times your family is awake and prepared to start, without having to drag them out of bed, of course.

We wake up later than most, so we start later, as you’ll see below. You do what works best for you.

Here is what our schedule looks like:

Math: 10-11
Language Arts: 11-12
Social Studies: 12-1
Science: 1-2
Other: 2-3 (Foreign language, home economics, art, music…)

Special note: if your child struggles with a particular subject, I find that it works best to schedule that one first.

Basically each core subject (math, language arts, social studies, science) is scheduled for 1 hour per day. This is broken down further into two 20 minute work sessions with a 5 min break in between and a longer 15 minute break after the subject is complete before moving onto the next.

This may sound confusing, or hard to keep track of, but it’s not with the right tools.

I use the BeFocused timer for the iPhone and iMac to keep track of the schedule.

This ensures that my daughter is taking the regular 5 minute breaks in the middle of the subject to give her brain a rest while making sure she isn’t spending too much time in between the subjects so that she can get done in a timely manner.

Plus it keeps her motivated because she gets to click the done check mark as she completes each interval.

We all know how satisfying that is.

Here is what this tool looks like…

(VIDEO TUTORIAL COMING SOON)

Second we’ll discuss the weekly schedule

What we work on every day of the week actually varies because of how the curriculum is laid out, so that can make your lesson planning with eTAP a bit more challenging.

From their website: “The curriculum is assessment-based learning, and includes instruction, practice exercises and pretest, practice and post tests for each unit. An extensive collection of relevant learning resources are directly linked to lessons, including audio/video tutorials, supporting text and video content, and interactive activities to motivate and engage students.”

Since there is no fluff in this curriculum, there are not lessons to assign for every day, it’s more like just one per week and that’s why I came up with my weekly schedule below.

Basically, what I do is have her choose aspects of what she is learning about in the lessons that most interests her and take a deeper dive into those to create a special project that she can share with the rest of the family at the end of the week.

Here is what it looks like:

Monday: take the pretest, read through the lesson content, watch the videos or dig into the resources provided.
Tuesday: finish up any remaining lesson content if any then brainstorm the project she’d like to complete. If time allows begin the research.
Wednesday: work on the chosen lesson project (so far we’ve done worksheets, maps, timelines, oral and written reports, field trips)
Thursday: finish the project, take the practice test, if needed review the lesson material again, or search the net for related resources and videos to enhance learning.
Friday: take the post test/present the project to the family.

The next issue we faced when doing lesson planning for eTAP was keeping everything organized.

I needed to have a planner of some sort. You can buy them at Walmart if you want, but I wanted something digital.

I went on the hunt again.

After Googling for what seemed like hours, I found one that was the perfect fit for my needs. Best of all, it is totally FREE!

Homeschool Panda to the rescue!

This wonderful software allows you to do many things. I’m currently using the lesson planner and calendar, but they also have a to-do list and budget manager as well as a messenger app and community so you can collaborate with other homeschoolers.

And let’s not forget the all important mobile app, so you can plan things when your away from your main computer.

I’ll show you how I use it in the video below.

(VIDEO TUTORIAL COMING SOON)

I hope this post was helpful and gave you some good ideas on how you can do your lesson planning for eTAP too.

If you use some cool tools, please post them in the comments below, I’d love to here what you’re doing to manage your homeschool as well.

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