I have spent the last three years working on finding a method of lesson planning that works well for our family. Now that we have five children doing school work a good lesson planning system is essential to my sanity. It has taken a lot of experimenting but we finally have it worked out!
We are using My Father's World Exploration to 1850's as our core curriculum this year. One of the benefits of this core curriculum is that they include weekly lesson plan grids. The lesson plan grid however is too small for our family to use for five children. It is difficult to write the individual assignments in the tiny little boxes included. We needed to use a second page for the individual work assigned to each child.
My Father's World allows for their grids to be copied for personal use. After learning this I struck upon the perfect method of lesson planning for our family.
I purchased a standard full sized yearly planner from the office supply store. This is not a lesson planner. I have found those to be way too expensive and the blocks are too small for planning for 5 separate children. Instead I use a regular planner and then tweak it to my needs.
I copied each weekly lesson plan from the teachers manual and then cut the empty blocks intended for individual assignments out of the grid. I taped the group lessons on the left hand side of the weekly planner. On the right hand side I custom made my own grids for each child and taped them into the planner.
As we work our way through the weekly assignments we simply check the item off.
Super simple and easy to maintain. I love having the lesson plans for all five children in one place. I feel less scattered having everything in one planner. So far we are loving our new system!