I am up late working on getting set up for our next school term. This is our week off, and so it's time to look ahead to the next six weeks and get things ready.
I am still really loving this "six weeks on, one week off" schedule. Six weeks is enough time to really get things done, but it's short enough that it doesn't sound daunting to the kids. And I get a chance every few weeks to catch my breath, catch up on essential matters around the house, and maybe, just maybe work on a fun project or two of my own. I have done a little tiny bit of sewing this week. I have also been working on the yard and garden. It's time to plant cool weather crops, and it's time to start weeding (there will be a LOT of that this year!)
And then there's homeschool prep.
Organization is really important in my homeschool. So is preparation. Everything goes so much better when I'm prepared.
What's hard for me is finding time to prepare. At the beginning of this school year I made a list of Mom Prep tasks that I was supposed to complete every week. Stuff like "look over the kids' math scores to see how they're doing" and "look at the coming week's history lesson to see what enrichment activities we can do." Having it all on a checklist was great because in the past I was always forgetting to do most of that stuff. Now I could just go down the list. I figured Friday night would be a good chance to do that, to close up our week before the weekend.
Well, I've found that on Friday nights I am TIRED and sick to death of homeschool. Saturdays are hit and miss, and ideally Sunday is not a day when we work on school work. So sometimes I do some prep, but honestly I haven't done a very good job.
But if I take some time during the week off to really plan ahead for the coming six weeks, making sure pages are printed and lessons are ready, my lack of prep time during the week doesn't hurt me too bad. (And this is another way that the six week schedule is perfect: it's not too overwhelming to put together six weeks of lessons at a time.)
I don't even have to do it all at once; I have all week, right? Tonight I worked on Latin. This is a subject where I have found that advance prep is really crucial. It's not really hard, I just have to go through all the pages for each chapter and divide it into four lessons to be done over two weeks. Then I have to print extra work pages for my two other students. Some paper clips, some post-it notes, and then all I have to do when it's Latin time is grab the approprite packet and dive in.
Here's one of our file trays. The top tray has some new All About Spelling word cards that I need to punch out and put in the card boxes. The next tray down is six weeks of Latin lessons all ready to go. Below that is blank copy paper for the printer (looks like I'm running low, as usual) and on the bottom are some old assignments that I need to sort through.
Also, you can see our school pencil cup. It never ceases to amaze me how, despite the fact that I restock it with 15 or 20 good new pencils at the beginning of each term, there are never more than a couple decent pencils with any eraser left in the cup. And usually there are none. It's a wonder, I'm telling you.
Oh, I hear a baby crying. I guess tonight's prep session is over!