Planning Tools

Homeschool Convention – Come in Your Pajamas!

Homeschool Convention in Your Pajamas? You Bet! 🚙 No need to fill up the gas tank when you join us online for this brand new homeschool convention! 🚙 Click for lifetime access! I’ll be speaking twice, so please join me and learn how to work smarter, not harder during grades k-8, plus I’ll be showing…

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Homeschooling the Classical Way

Classical Homeschooling:  It’s a Fun Ride! I grew up in southeastern Tennessee, home of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, so hearing a train whistle brings back memories of childhood.  When I was a little girl, my grandparents lived across the street from a train track, and I still remember the way that old house shook at night…

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What Happens When You Cultivate Your Child’s Natural Talents? {true story}

Look For Learning Opportunities that Nurture Your Child’s Interests Homeschool curriculum doesn’t have to come in a workbook, you know! In my book on classical education, Trivium Mastery, I advocate spending some quiet time reflecting upon your child’s unique gifts, interests, and abilities so that you can intentionally tailor the complete homeschool curriculum and strategic semester plan to capitalize on…

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10 Qs that Reveal Your Beliefs about Home Education {video}

What’s Your Home School Philosophy? Before you do too much homeschool planning, ask yourself a critical question: What is my family’s philosophy about home education? Answering this not-so-simple question can save you a lot of time and money as you think about your core family values and capture your homeschool vision. Homeschool planning without strategic vision…

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Homeschool Sports: 7 Reasons to Make Time for this Extracurricular

Team Sports Can Teach Some Great Lessons Although a classical Christian home education is academically rigorous, you should still make time for meaningful extracurricular activities like organized, team sports. In the early childhood years, experiment with a variety of activities so that you can be more intentional in the high school years as you are preparing the…

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Why I Believe in the Redeeming Power of Stories

Stories Have the Power to Change People I like butterflies, blue hydrangeas, white swans, period costumes, and homemade biscuits (butterflies have a significant place in my own story, but more on that in a jiff).  True to my Southern heritage, I’m a realistic optimist who believes in the redeeming power of family, history, and stories. …

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Homeschool Curriculum Kits: You’re the Boss!

Who Says You Have to Complete Every Lesson in a Homeschool Curricula? Have you ever felt burdened by the massive amount of content in prepackaged homeschool curricula? During homeschool planning, it seems like you can get it all done, but distractions and unexpected events derail your plans.  Perhaps you start out in the early fall with…

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How to Craft a “Coordinate Geometry” Homeschool Lesson Plan | 5MLP Podcast {ep 005}

How to Measure Slope Using Graphs & Coordinate Geometry SKILL:  Thinking | Problem-Solving In today’s episode of the Ask Diane podcast, I’m going to share a homeschool Logic Lesson Plan (skill # 2 of the classical trivium) for measuring slope using coordinate geometry. We’re going to capitalize on what your child is already learning (or has learned) in his packaged math curriculum…

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Homeschool Planning 101: What Skills Should You Teach?

Homeschool Planning Doesn’t Have to Feel So Overwhelming What’s the Secret to a Fantastic Homeschooling Plan? Homeschool planning for the new school year is so much fun!  First, you get to buy yourself a pretty new planner to decorate and crisp, clean school supplies for the kids.  Then you pull out all the homeschool curricula that you bought at the…

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21 Low-Cost Ways to Save Money Homeschooling on a Budget

How Much Money Does It Cost to Homeschool? Homeschoolers take a triple whammy when it comes to funding education.  How’s that?  First your real estate taxes go toward funding the local public school even though your kids don’t attend. Next, you don’t get a tax credit to offset your contribution.  Finally, no matter how diligent you are in…

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Homeschool Curriculum: How to Make Wise Decisions Before You Buy

Are You a Spontaneous Homeschool Curriculum Buyer? I still remember going to my first homeschool convention and walking into the curriculum vendor’s hall. What a sensory overload with colorful curricula, chatter, movement…that place was packed with people like a tin can is crammed with sardines!  Moms, dads, kids, and strollers were navigating up and down the aisles…

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12 Punctuation Facts Every Home School Kid Needs to Know

All the Punctuation Facts You Need to Know for Teaching English Grammar Woohoo…my new punctuation infographic is ready for your Homeschool Planning Notebook! Personally, I’m not a big fan of pre-packaged homeschool curriculum (like punctuation workbooks, printables, or textbooks); that kind of passive learning is not as effective at really changing a kid as a more hands-on approach…

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What Have I Learned Since I Wrote My 1st Book, Trivium Mastery?

Lessons I’ve Learned About Classical Education It’s been 15 years since I started down the classical education homeschool road and five years since I shared my discoveries in Trivium Mastery:  Classical Education From Birth to ‘Tween.  After all this time, perspective, and evidence of successes with my kids and the families I’ve mentored, I’m even more persuaded that authentic…

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Would Dorothy Sayers Be Happy with Her Classical Education Handiwork?

Where Did We Get Today’s Interpretation of Classical Education? Nearly thirty-five years ago, a new interpretation of classical education was adopted in a remarkably swift homeschooling renewal movement. Inspired by Dorothy Sayers’ “Lost Tools of Learning” lecture (Oxford, 1947) and rediscovered in the 1980s, the revival embraced Sayer’s speculation: Perhaps the three skills of the classical trivium might correlate with…

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12 Grammar Facts Every Homeschool Mom Should Know

All the Grammar Facts You Need to Know for Teaching English Language I often talk to homeschool moms who feel inadequate when it comes to their own education whether it be English grammar, science, or math.  Over the course of many years, your memory has faded; maybe there are gaps on your knowledge.  How do you…

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Homeschooling Mistakes I Made in My Zeal to Craft Well-Trained Minds

My Classical Home School Was Like Public School on Steroids! When I began my journey toward an authentic classical Christian home education, I initially welcomed the strict boundaries of the commonly-held notion of a three-stage, four-year cycle known as the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages.  Since I wasn’t classically educated, I was ignorant and needed…

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A Quick Primer: Classical Education “The Well-Trained Mind” Way

The Well-Trained Mind Launched Homeschooling Families Like Mine When I first embraced homeschooling, I built my house upon the rock of The Well-Trained Mind, an interpretation of classical education which systematized the “lost tools of learning” educational theory of Dorothy Sayers. Authors Wise and Bauer are wildly popular within the classical homeschooling community (claiming 500,000+…

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Can Unschooling and Classical Homeschooling Work Together?

How Can You Take the Best of Both Homeschooling Methods? More often than not, I hear from homeschooling moms who burned out trying to do the neoclassical (12 year, 3 stage) version of classical education, but occasionally, I hear from the other end of the education spectrum: a homeschooling mom who wonders if she can merge the…

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How does Charlotte Mason Interpret Classical Education?

Why Is the Charlotte Mason Method So Popular? The profound influence of Charlotte Mason, a dedicated educator of young women in Victorian England, continues to shape the classical home education philosophy of many contemporary homeschooling parents.  During the mid to late 1800s, Miss Charlotte Mason served as headmistress to an “infant” school, founded a teacher’s college…

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How to Write an “Active Learning” Homeschool Lesson Plan | 5MLP Podcast {ep 001}

A 6 Step Formula for Writing Homeschool Lesson Plans Welcome to my new podcast, The 5 Minute Homeschool Lesson Plan.  I’m your coach, Diane Lockman, and I’m passionate about helping you become a better homeschool teacher. Now that my kids are adults, I encourage other moms and dads on the journey with simple, time-saving tips on classical lesson planning, teaching strategies, and college prep. After nearly 20…

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What’s the Secret Behind a Christian Education?

Education and the Transfer of Knowledge is Never Neutral The difference between Christian home education and secular education is Bible study…right?  Actually, no; it’s so much more than that.  First let’s look at how the world see education. In contemporary Western culture, education is defined as… …the objective transfer of knowledge from an expert to a novice.”…

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Homeschooling Myths: 5 Things You Don’t Need!

5 Homeschool Myths: It’s Time to Put Away Your Preconceived Notions When I was a little girl, my best friend, Rhetta Vance, and I copied our 3rd grade school room in her unfinished basement.  Her mama bought some old scribbled-on school desks at a neighbor’s yard sale, and we lined them up facing the (much) bigger…

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9 Tools to Keep Your Homeschool Organized

Clutter Robs Your Home School of Peace Homeschool demands can threaten your peace, especially if the house is a mess.  Expanding clutter, unfolded laundry, misplaced assignments, telephone interruptions,  and scraps of scribbled “to-do’s” are only a few of the many things that threaten to rob you of your daily peace. When you add multiple children…

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Homeschool vs. Public Schools – What’s Best?

What Was the Original Purpose of Public Schools? Lately, I’ve been feeling convicted about holding my tongue when comparing homeschooling to public schools. While Connor and I were watching the Hillsdale College free series, Constitution 101, I found one more reason why I need to watch my tendency to glorify homeschooling. The Founders, many of whom…

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Maximize Learning by Taking Regular Teaching Pit Stops

Limit Homeschool Planning to 15-18 Week Periods Professional race cars make a pit stop for one reason: maintenance. After so many laps, the driver pulls into the pit for fuel, tire changes, and for other engine or body work. The experienced crew member assesses the situation, and prescribes a solution. Personally, in the “Lockman Racing League,” we…

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Why You Should Use “Facts” Books to Plan Homeschool Curriculum

Use Facts Books as a Homeschool Planning Tool When you plan your homeschool curriculum each summer, do you approach knowledge as a bunch of isolated facts to teach…math facts, science facts, English facts, and social studies facts?  The vast majority of traditional public schools customarily teach using a facts-based approach, so you may find yourself…

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A Homeschool Curriculum Challenge for a 10 Year Old Kid

Let Him Write His Own Homeschool Curriculum for One Week Here’s a homeschooling challenge your 10 year old is sure to enjoy…have him write his own (one week) homeschool curriculum to develop critical thinking skills. You’ll be surprised by how creative your ‘tween can be! Young kids have more self-motivation and daring than we adults give…

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Are You Surprised at USA Reasons for Homeschooling?

Homeschool Kids = 3.2% of Total 2012 U.S. k-12 School Population Are you a homeschooling novice (teaching less than 3 years), a homeschooling veteran (teaching more than 3 years), or still on the proverbial homeschooling fence (interested, but not yet fully committed)? According to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2012 Digest of Education Statistics, total…

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