First, Patricia and I spent several hours in the kitchen prepping food for tomorrow and freezing one bushel of peaches. Yum! What a blessing our daughter is!
I also spent several hours prepping for our new academic "year," which will hopefully begin in August. (It's kind of hard to find a beginning & end for us because we educate year-around, taking breaks when we need or want to. Learning never stops either, even when we're on a "break.") It's fun & motivating to end one thing and start something new. I feel like we especially need the motivation this year.
Once my plans are made, I make of list of what I need to buy and print. Then I start to buy & print things. I still need to finish buying things for this "year" but I'm close to being done! If the item we are planning on using is new or if I'm uncertain I truly want to use it, I print just a few weeks worth to make sure we truly like it. If it's something I've used in the past & fairly I'm confident, then I print EVERYTHING we will need for that set curriculum! EVERYTHING! It's A LOT. I'm trying to print less because it's both costly and time consuming- I'd much rather just buy each child their own book but I still print previously bought material that upcoming littles will use.
A key to all this printing or buying is to be organized. What do you do with it all? Well, that's the next step. New books get stored on every one's selves in our educational room, affectionately called the "ER" around here. :) It's a rule that everything needs to stay in it's place! I store all of our printed items in a milk crate with hanging files that are labeled according to subjects. Every child has their own colored folder within each hanging file. History is organized by weeks. Now we can grab & go! Lovely! It's the key to my sanity with teaching so many littles! Look see (I haven't totally updated it for this new "year" but you'll get an idea of what I do):
The last step in my planning is to prep every one's binders, print out spreadsheets of lesson plans (one spreadsheet per subject) & put away old material. I keep the children's work in labeled boxes in our storage area. I'm still not done with the printing, so I haven't started this last step yet. Maybe I can share a post on that when I get it done. I've never been good at getting to lesson planning in one large lump but it's my goal to do so this year. Less scrambling on the weekends would certainly be nice!
Phew! There is a lot to prepping to teach but I enjoy organizing. Especially when my dear hubby runs and gets Starbucks for me! (Did you notice the cup in the picture?) Music & chocolate help a lot too!