“It’s like trying to get a snake in a ziplock bag!”
– My friend Jennifer when speaking of getting her 9
month old son into his footed PJ’s at night. I seem
to find the same to be true when trying to get all of
my lessons planned and put where they belong.
Tonight I have spent most of my time trying to find my lesson plans from last summer which I prepared for the 2012 – 2013 school year. Due to not being able to make a decision fully, my husband and I decided to put our kiddos back in the public schools last year. After all, not making a decision is making a decision in this situation. They were already in public schools so without a new decision being made, they stayed where they were. The curriculum I purchased to use for them are such that they can be beefed up or watered down depending on the student’s age and academic level. I had most everything planned last year, including internet links saved on my computer, encyclopedia pages written in my lesson planner…you name it I had it completed. It took me all evening to realize that the computer I had done months of work on had been wiped clean last fall. As the proverbial towel wiped the hard drive, along with all of the junk and cobwebs went my lesson plans. Here I sit, just two weeks away from the first day of school and I have to start my planning from scratch.
*Take a deep breath, Andrea. You will make it. The only place to go from here is forward.*
I’m pretty sure I’ve told myself that several times tonight. With hiking boots and work gloves on, I began to dig through my piles and piles of curriculum in front of me and recollections in my head of what system I had in place last July. Though I don’t have it all on paper yet, I have a pretty good idea where I am going.
For example: As I get finished planning a day out, I am printing anything that needs printing and filing it away in folders. Each of my boys have a different colored hanging folder that will be put in my filing cabinet. Those folders will be labeled “Week 1” through “Week 40.” Each of those folders will have five folders inside, labeled with the day of school those papers correspond with. Here, let me just show you, this is getting confusing even for me to follow and I’m the one who made the system up!
Once I have all 40 hanging folders labeled with the week number on it, then I put manilla folders inside each folder with the respective day of that week at the top.
Once all 140 days are labeled, I begin planning each day out. When I complete a day, I put all printed materials in the respective day. This makes it super easy to know what my boys will be doing at any given day. This is also very helpful if I were to get sick. Someone can step in very easily and take over for me (HA! Mom never gets a break does she!).
Each night, I plan to go into the next day’s folder and retrieve the worksheets or project instructions. I have many clipboards for each child. On those clipboards I will put each subject’s work and hang them on 3M hooks where they can easily get to them. When the work is completed, it goes face down on the clipboard and put back on it’s hook.
I am also thinking of laminating pieces of brightly colored paper which has the word “HELP” printed on it. They can use it as a nonverbal way to tell me they need a little extra instruction on a particular assignment. They will simply clip that laminated sign with their work and put it back on the hook. During the Q&A time in the afternoon or the independent study time in the evening, they can bring those clipboards to me for additional help.
I really feel like this will be a very smooth system. I plan to have my teacher notes printed as I go along and put in a binder with one divider in it at the current day. I think that will make things easy if someone has to step in as well.