Beginners Guide to Homeschool Lesson Planning with Google Calendar

There are many advantages to lesson planning and keeping your sanity is one of them.  When I finally came to my senses it was back in the middle ages (late 1990’s) of easy to use online lesson planning printables.  There were some that I truly liked such as the free planners at  She also created an Excel spreadsheet that was simple to use.  The only downfall to online printables and spreadsheets is having to write everything into the planner or a lot of copy and paste.  However, It was still more efficient than the other options.

I don’t recall where the idea of using Google Calendar came about but I thought it was a brilliant idea. It was one of those “Why didn’t I think of that.” moments.  At the time I was already using a pre-planned curriculum and while our homeschool would have run much smoother if a lesson planner had been used I didn’t try it until this year.  Sometimes I wonder why I waited.   I can color code, repeat days without using “copy and paste”, share and easily add unexpected activities and lessons. It will make your homeschool life easier. You can watch the short video or read how I plan my lessons with Google Calendar below.

“If I had my way, I would remove January from the calendar altogether and have an extra July instead.” ― Roald Dahl Click To Tweet
  1. Login to your Google account.  If you don’t have a Google account you can visit here to create one.
    Login on to Google
    Login on to Google.
  2. Once you have logged in open Google Calendar 
Google Calendar in month view.
Google Calendar

Creating the Calendar

3. On the left side, you will see ADD A FRIENDS CALENDAR.  Click on the plus sign and click the drop-down and go to New Calendar.

Create a New Calendar
Add a Friends Calendar.

4. You are on the Settings page where you will create your new calendar.  This is where you add a name and description for your calendar.  I have named mine Homeschool and in the description, I like to have the school year and maybe the students’  name. If the state you live in requires more information you may want to add it to the description or add a link to a Google Doc that has the necessary details that your state law requires. Save your new calendar by clicking Create Calendar.

Creating a new calendar

 Tip #1

You can share the calendar with your students!  To do that click on the calendar you just created that is visible on the sidebar.  Click on the arrow and a menu appears.  There are several options but for now, you are going to Share with Specific People. Click and on the right, you are taken to the section to Add People.   Follow the prompts and remember to SEND.

Tip #1 Share your Homeschool Calendar
Tip #1 Share your Homeschool Calendar

5. Let’s add your main lesson/topic/unit study to the calendar.  For this, I prefer to be in MONTH view which you can find at the top right between the search icon and the gear.  Select the date you are going to start and click in that box.  You can also click on the RED circle located in the right corner.   A pop-up will appear.  Go straight to MORE OPTIONS. That will take you to the page where you will be able to add all the details.

Adding Your Main Lesson
Adding Your Main Lesson

6. For this example, the main lesson is named LITERATURE/LANGUAGE ARTS.  Because this study will last 4-6 weeks the date range will reflect that.  Select ALL DAY.  Make sure you have your HOMESCHOOL calendar selected not your personal calendar.  You can see that in the sidebar on your right.  Then SAVE.

Adding the main lesson/unit study/theme
Adding the main lesson/unit study/theme

What you are seeing here is how the calendar looks with the main lesson/unit study/theme/ for the weeks that it is being studied.  Time to add the assignments for your study.

Homeschool Lesson Planning
This is the MONTH view showing your Main Lesson/Unit Study/Theme

Creating the Assignments

7.  To create the assignments in your lesson plan have the calendar in WEEK view. To switch to WEEK view go to the drop-down menu at the top right between the search icon and the gear.  Choose the date and the time you will start the assignment.  Click on that location and the details box will pop up again. You are going to select MORE OPTIONS.

One method to create lessons.
Creating the assignments

8. This is where you enter the name of your lesson.  To make it easy to read for our homeschool portfolio I name the event; Lesson Plan and then the topicIt looks like this Lesson Plan: A Wrinkle in Time.  

9. In this example, we are going to have the class show daily, Monday through Friday, on the Lesson Plan Calendar and just for 1 week.  Select the date of the week and the time the class will start and what time the class will end i.e. 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm.  The dates should be the same.  Below the date and time selection, you have the option to click off ALL DAY or choose what days the class is going to be on.  click on the down arrow and click on  EVERY WEEKDAY.

10. After the dates and times are filled out then you can add the assignments for the week in the description.   You can read how I detail this in my blog post about lesson planning here.

The completed lesson plan in Google Calendar

This is how it will look after you have added the class to your Lesson Plan.

Tip #2

Color code each class for easy reading or color code each student.

Color code
Tip #2 Color code your classes and or your students.

After you set up your lesson plan in Google Calendar you will see how simple this is.  Watch the video at the beginning of the post then read through the guide.  Share how you use Google Calendar for lesson planning for your homeschool below.  I’m sure there are some creative approaches out there!

For the Love of Books

“you may never come out”

From a young age, I have loved books. Loving books means that your heart beats faster when there are shelves and shelves of books.  When you go on a vacation you are sure to look for the local bookstore. Hours can be spent thumbing through each page of a book but it seems like moments.  Your friends and family know that if you go into the bookstore you may never come out.


Books, books, and more books


That’s why when I first discovered Classical Education I was ecstatic, to say the least.  Lots and lots of wonderful stories! Sadly, for my sons, the approach was a bore.  They were young and they loved when we would read stories together but the lack of hands-on studies made the subjects lifeless.  As they matured and a third little boy was added to our family, we didn’t get to read together as often.  We also moved four times in 2 years (my excuse for reading to fall by the wayside.)

Now enter Charlotte Mason (another schooling idea that I’ll talk about another day.)  This, to me, is the best educational approach using literature as your homeschool curriculum.  Having met several homeschool moms through groups I had been convinced that a Charlotte Mason education would be the best especially for my boys and for this homeschool mom that loves books.

“homeschool supplies and our curriculum was limited to crayons, pencils, sketchbooks, and books from the library.”

We ended up moving to Oahu’, Hawaii and that’s when we started using Charlotte Mason. When we first moved there we lived in a hotel suite.  The room for any homeschool supplies and our curriculum was limited to crayons, pencils sketchbooks, and books from the library.  We didn’t live there long but it has been one of the most beautiful places to learn about and observe nature.   By the way, we only lived in the hotel for 2 months until we found a place to live.

Only living in Oahu’ for a short time my family boarded a plane to Juneau, Alaska. A big change from the warmth of the islands. The means to grow a new book collection literature was plentiful. In this small community, I would never have thought it was a literary place.  Four bookstores, three healthy libraries including a wonderful Friends of the Library bookstore where I could find any book I wanted or needed for homeschool and my growing personal collection of children’s vintage books.  Juneau, Alaska turned out to be the place where I could share my love of books with other homeschool moms who had the same desire and that was to open our children’s imagination with books.

“they appreciate quality writing and a good storyline”

You know, I love books so much that I have worked for the exchange of books.  This book craze of mine has definitely shaped my sons’ opinion of the written word.  While in all honesty not all of my son’s read as much as I do but they appreciate quality writing and a good storyline.  They can read a book and share their thoughts about the story and internalize the writer’s message.  In this, I feel that I have succeeded in creating that love for literature.