What are Teacher Manuals and the lesson plans within?
Teacher Manuals include 35 lessons each for History, Literature, Science, and Geography; 18 lessons each for Art and Music. An additional five “Foundations Week” lesson plans are included exclusively online at TheFamilySchoolOnline.org and are used at the beginning (or foundation) of each school year. Each Teacher manual is three-hole drilled and unbound, designed to be inserted into binders (not provided). The lesson plans contained in the Teacher Manuals are the central teaching tool for parents and teachers. Lesson plans contain the subject materials, scripts, instructions, and activities for teaching multiple children together of various ages. Each lesson contains an academic concept and a gospel principle, an attention activity idea, a teaching script, several discussion questions, and various project-based activities designed to help students master the subject material and demonstrate their learning to parents or evaluators.
Excellently written, easy-to-use lesson plans are central to The Family School curriculum. They are provided in two formats: (1) Web-enabled manuals via TheFamilySchoolOnline.org and (2) printed “Teacher Manuals” as a supplement to the Web version. Although both formats contain the same written information, each has advantages described in the section titled “Tips and Reminders” below. Lesson plans for these subjects are written so that teachers or older students can guide lessons with children of various ages and help them learn together.
Because Math and Language Arts are organized more sequentially, and therefore are typically skills-based and more closely tied to a child’s age or ability, we have not included them in The Family School format, which is a “one-room schoolhouse” format. Math and Language Arts program recommendations can be easily found or solicited via our private Worldwide Facebook Group.
Important Tips & Reminders:
Tip 1: We strongly recommend teaching from the digital lesson plans available on TheFamilySchoolOnline.org whenever possible, for two primary reasons:
Tip 2: The printed Teacher Manual Supplement is a great resource for times when Internet access is interrupted. Additionally, some families prefer to use the printed supplement for lesson preparation, marking, and note-taking.
Tip 3: Using three-ring notebook binders for your teacher manuals (not included) facilitates the gathering and adding of resources and curricula to the lesson plan, including materials or information for enrichment beyond The Family School. Alternatively, some families pay a local print shop to bind their teacher manuals (e.g. spiral binding, or other book binding).
Reminder: Remember, you have received more material than you have time to teach each day. Do not feel responsible to teach everything provided! Preach My Gospel adeptly reminds missionaries, “Your purpose is not only to cover the material; it is to help others come unto Christ. . . . Rarely should a lesson go over 45 minutes" (“Introduction: How Can I Best Use Preach My Gospel?” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, , vii–xii). We feel this bit of counsel extends beyond the preaching of the gospel. Many Family School lessons contain more material than can be taught in 45 minutes. Do not feel pressure to teach everything. Completing a lesson plan by using every handout and finishing every activity or assignment is often not a reasonable expectation for your children, or for you.
Reminder: The Family School, above all else, invites the Spirit as you intentionally teach academics in light of the revealed principles of the gospel. You are using the language of history, literature, science, and other academic subjects to allow Heavenly Father to communicate with your children. As you do this, you will find that your outcomes may far exceed our “Desired Results.” Consider your children’s ages, abilities, attention, interests, and your desires for them. Let this be your guide in connection with the curriculum. Curriculum, although a very important and helpful resource, is simply one of many tools needed to be successful in educating your children.
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