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Author Topic: Time Management for Materials Preparation  (Read 20485 times)
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Ayesha Nicole
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« on: April 10, 2009, 03:22:26 PM »

Dear Everyone,

How much time do you spend preparing materials for the various programs on a daily basis? 

I still feel overwhelmed with creating sets in LR in English - and have to create Classical Arabic/MSA materials, AND still set up the schedule/categories in LM.  I could not imagine doing this by hand - whewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

- Ayesha  sleep


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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 05:23:45 PM »

Yes, I know that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I'm still trying to work out a good schedule for my little ones. Not to mention, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly to teach my boys. This is very important for me because I plan to homeschool so having a good foundation starting early will make it easier for my children to know what to expect as they age and learn.

Currently I've been spending about an hour a night researching online (looking at posts from the brill baby forum, seeing what Elizabeth (Domanmom) and Texaslady are doing in their blogs, looking at Montessori home school sites, keeping in touch with the birth club on pregnancy.org, and so forth). More time is spent gathering materials for a montessori-like activity that is planned for the next day and for downloading, printing, and laminating LR cards.

I'm still very much in the learning phase in this adventure. I feel like I'm stuck still in researching what I feel I should try to teach them. I feel like the education that I received wasn't good enough. I need to try to learn about music when I don't play an instrument, be more physically active (when I'm lucky just to pop an exercise tape in), learn foreign languages (when I've only had Spanish and German), and learn about tons of subjects ranging from cloud types to Asian fruits.

When I start feeling overwhelmed, I try to remember that I have gotten along fine in life not knowing a lick of Chinese and not knowing the name of the Danube Waltz if I heard the song. This process has for me really pointed out my lack of knowledge in a lot of areas. It is really quite embarrasing in a way.

I can easily see how time consuming teaching preparation is. No wonder why most parents don't want to teach their young children. I've decided that I am going to take things slower this month while I try to formulate a solid teaching program. So in other words, I'm going to continue doing what I am doing, however I am preparing material that will last a month and start on that material when I am confident with it.

Here are my thoughts:

Curriculum

Physical activity
Summer will be coming soon, so geting enough activity won't be as difficult. I'm currently having a hard time "running" my toddler because I can't go outside with a little baby when it is freezing out. I'm thinking of teaching my two-year-old some simple yoga. When it is warmer, I'm going to literally run with him. All he wants is to go, go, go. I would take my sons swimming, but I need another person to help me hold one child while I'm working with the other. Why didn't I think about child spacing! Wink I would absolutely love to have a brachiation ladder, but I'm afraid to even ask my husband to help me make one. I don't want him to think that I've gone off my rocker or anything. My youngest is doing well with tummy time. I would love to have a crawling track, but I'm afraid to ask my husband to help me make one and they are a little expensive to purchase premade.

Music
I want to start taking piano lessons. Once I get my tuition reimbursement, I plan to purchase a keyboard and maybe a program like Soft Way to Mozart to help guide me. I've also thought about having my sister teach me how to play the violin. Furthermore, I've thought about playing a well-known classical song several times daily and telling my children who composed it and what the name of the song is. I have one semester of free tuition for Kindermusic that I might take take my youngest to. I've thought about having some "music time" set up like Kindermusic, but my oldest is completely uninterested (I had to take him out of Kindermusic because he hated it). My oldest has been watching Trebellina. Wink

Languages
Oh man. I LOVE foreign languages. I've got a list of languages that I want to learn and languages that I want my children to at least be able to speak a little of such as Greek, Latin, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Korean, and Russian. Currently I'm taking a German class at my local community college, and I'm listening to the short series of Pimsleur Japanese. I'm thinking about paying my brother to teach me some Japanese. Currently, we have been listening to a Lyrica language CD in German. I still need to work out my foreign language program for my children more.

Science
At this point, I just want to be able to introduce my toddler to basic ideas about astronomy, biology, earth science, physics, chemistry anatomy, geology, and etc. This will be done at this point through LR picture and words.

Reading
I've just put together a list of about 200 words that he can say or that I am 100 % sure that he understands. I'm in the process of making physical cards for them now. I don't feel so bad making the cards because I know that they are personalized for our family and that my youngest will be using them along side of his older brother. After I am done, I will be following Doman's reading program pretty closely. I want to try to read more books to my little ones. My oldest has a hard time holding still to finish a book though.

Math
I'm thinking about purchasing Doman's math cards. Pretty soon I will get LM. I've printed our math cards, but my lamination machine ruined about ten of them so I haven't shown my sons any cards yet. When I do get things in order, I will be following Doman's program closely.

Art
I want to do at least one art activity a day. I am not picky about doing craft activities with my son since at two years of age, I feel that they might need some guidence. I just purchased a one-year subscription to Kidsoup for ideas.

Sensorial activities
I want my oldest to do at least one Montessori-like activity a day such as lacing beads, transferring materials, and sorting objects so that he can work on his fine motor skills. He likes doing it anyway, and it keeps him busy.

Themed activites
I'm thinking about having a theme to every week. I might try this next week with bats. We will work on the letter "b" and read books about bats, go over bat flashcards, make bat pictures, watch Stellaluna (Reading Rainbow), watch bat movies on You Tube, do bat crafts, and so forth.













« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 05:27:10 PM by purplefungi » Logged

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Joanna07
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 07:48:57 PM »



Currently I've been spending about an hour a night researching online (looking at posts from the brill baby forum, seeing what Elizabeth (Domanmom) and Texaslady are doing in their blogs, looking at Montessori home school sites, keeping in touch with the birth club on pregnancy.org, and so forth). More time is spent gathering materials for a montessori-like activity that is planned for the next day and for downloading, printing, and laminating LR cards.


I'd love to read the blogs and Montessori sites, could you please link some of them
thanks

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norcalmommy
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 10:01:33 PM »

I found that I was spending WAYYY too much time on this every day that it was becoming quite consuming.  So, I decided to prioritize and really focus my planning.   The short answer is that daily - I spend about 3 minutes updating my LR / LM.  Then, I have a planning week where I spend more time finding and preparing the materials.

I'm now planning out my LR/LM schedules a month in advance.  I have a great spreadsheet tracking system so it's become much easier. 

We're on couplets so one evening, I sat down and reviewed all my completed words, planned out my couplets for the next four weeks.  The next night I created the voice files, found the pictures and put them together in LR.   As the retiring process is not very easy in LR, I show the same couplets for one week. First half of the week is with images and the other half is without images (more Doman style). 

I spend another night looking for presentations others created within topics my son has interest. I plan those out for the month, make any adjustments to the audio/pictures and add it to my schedule.   These are also shown a week at a time. This week I'm showing Tools, Spanish Animals, YBCR Vol 1 words (review) and Music Notes. 

Within Little Math, I show Single Words doman style. Again, I plan those out a month in advance based on new words my son has learned and upcoming topics within our Art or Play programs.  We're doing Math as well. Currently I'm using the Random feature within Little Math to show my equations which saves me a lot of time preparing equations.   Each night I go into LM, update the sections to the next day's numbers and that's it.

The next area I'm working on getting a monthly plan are our Themes and other activities such as Art/Crafts/Science and more.   I find investing the time once a week to plan everything out for a month helps me tremendously. It lifts a huge daily burden and is so great to know every night I'm prepared for the next several weeks!

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purplefungi
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 11:07:15 PM »

I'd love to read the blogs and Montessori sites, could you please link some of them
thanks

Doman websites/blogs
http://www.childandme.com/
http://worldsbesteducation.blogspot.com/
http://domaninspiredparenting.blogspot.com/
http://thedoubleds.typepad.com/the_double_ds/
http://journeyofadomanchild.blogspot.com/2009/02/math.html
(If there are anymore Doman-related blogs, I would to know about them!) smile

My favorite Montessori blogs
http://chasingcheerios.blogspot.com/
http://spiralmontessorimama.blogspot.com/
http://mymontessorijourney.typepad.com/my_montessori_journey/2008/12/an-experime nt.html
http://theadventuresofbear.blogspot.com/2009/04/collages.html
http://just4funwithsandy.blogspot.com/
http://homemademontessori.blogspot.com/  (has awesome downloadable materials)
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/ (not necessarily Montessori but has awesome materials)
http://www.kellyskindergarten.com/science/science_center_activities.htm (has awesome materials)








« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 11:09:46 PM by purplefungi » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2009, 01:55:26 AM »

Wow!  Purplefungi, you are an absolute inspiration.  You seem to really have a handle on this. I hope to one day have it all worked out like that and still keep joyous about it all!

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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2009, 02:07:54 AM »

good job!!

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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2009, 02:37:32 AM »


I'm now planning out my LR/LM schedules a month in advance.  I have a great spreadsheet tracking system so it's become much easier. 


Wow, very nice! It sounds like a dream to be so organized!  wub Would you mind sharing your spreadsheet tracking to have an idea? I have one, but I'm trying to see what is going to work best for us.

Thank you in advance!  smile

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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 02:50:15 AM »

That's very organised! I'm personally writing up an overview of what I want bubby to learn by the end of this year, which means she'll be 2 and one and a half months. Anything she might learn (as in, really know) beyond this is a bonus.  That includes encyclopaedic knowledge stuff, as who knows what she knows already and will know, as I dont test her. So I have a list specific things I want her to know or do, certain animals to know and read their names, the alphabet song, recognising the letters, body parts, be potty trained and count to 10 minimum (recognising the numbers), and certain sign language signs.  My list also includes what I plan to have exposed her to, whether or not she has learned anything specific (that will show up later)...such as languages French, german, Spanish, japanese and Chinese (mandarin). And nursery rhymes, classical music, ABBA, 70's and 80's etc. And lots of sight words, maths spots etc..

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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 03:36:31 AM »

Wow!  Purplefungi, you are an absolute inspiration.  You seem to really have a handle on this. I hope to one day have it all worked out like that and still keep joyous about it all!

Everything is still in the planning stages. I will feel so good once I have at least half of it up and running. It'll take a good month to get everything organized at least. I think the hardest part is getting a clear picture of what is important and what is not. smile

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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 04:45:08 AM »

Quote
I think the hardest part is getting a clear picture of what is important and what is not. smile
Purplefungi ~ You are Sooo right. That is still the most difficult thing for me.  I know I have bigger planning to do for the overall things I want my son to learn and that will take time to pull it all together! 

Would you mind sharing your spreadsheet tracking to have an idea? I have one, but I'm trying to see what is going to work best for us.

I'm happy to share.  There was a spreadsheet created by someone else on this board which I modified that to fit my needs. Maybe you can further modify these to meet your needs.  For Reading, I'm doing Doman Style words, Your Baby Can Read words, Little Reader Words, Couplets, etc.  There were so many words to keep track of, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  The spreadsheet really helped me get it all in order with a tab for each and an All Words tab, so I can see at a glance which words I've shown and use that to make couplets, phrases etc. It was a life-saver for me.

Math is really basic, but it keeps me straight on which numbers I'm showing and when we're due to be completed. I didn't create a tab for Stage 2 since I'm doing all my equations in Little Math.  However, I will have to create a Stage 3 tab to do the Problem Solving since I will need to use the actual cards for those.  I will prepare the Problem Solving Equations a month in advance and pull the actual cards together a week at a time.

Foreign Language:  I'm using LR for my Foreign Language right now, with a focus on Spanish. At the end of the week, I enter in the words shown into the spreadsheet to help me keep track.  This is an area I'm just getting started and looking for the best way to really teach foreign language.

Please note: This is a real, living document for me and doesn't reflect perfection :-)  When I started tracking my work, I realized that I was ahead in some areas and behind in others. Therefore you may notice there are times when words/numbers were shown shorter or longer than typical.  This was due to my lack of prior organization and had to be corrected to move forward. Also, there was another week my son was sick and not really interested in doing the program, I just decided to still retire all the LR subjects at the end of that week - even though they were not shown 15 times.  We just incorporate them in occasionally to our other sessions as "retired" topics.   

Anyway, I hope these are helpful as we all try to get better organized.  If others have ways they are tracking other areas of learning, I'd love to see those too!

« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 06:12:14 AM by KL » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 05:41:02 AM »

thans norcalmommy and purpule fungi. these posts helped me a lot  big grin  big grin

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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2009, 08:01:30 AM »

thanks - I've found it a good base to try and work out how I'm going to approach organising my materials!!

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« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2009, 10:08:01 AM »

I'm tackling things the reverse way, I think.  Get the big picture of what to achieve this year, then break it up into months...what to achieve per month... I couldnt go by a daily schedule it would have to be more fluid than that for me, like a weekly schedule...what to achieve in a week. Mainly because life is so unpredictable... for instance, this week I planned to concentrate on potty training, but bub immediately got sick and thrrew that plan out the window!!

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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009, 01:11:30 PM »

I'm tackling things the reverse way, I think.  Get the big picture of what to achieve this year, then break it up into months...what to achieve per month... I couldnt go by a daily schedule it would have to be more fluid than that for me, like a weekly schedule...what to achieve in a week. Mainly because life is so unpredictable... for instance, this week I planned to concentrate on potty training, but bub immediately got sick and thrrew that plan out the window!!

Yeah, life is totally unpredictable. I think that it is very important to maintain a flexible schedule and not to get too worked up about completing every last thing. Our children have a life time of learning ahead of them. smile

I hope that bub is feeling better! Potty training for me has gone out the window. I think that I'm going to wait until the summer so my toddler can run around half naked and sit on the pot all day if he wants. It is one of the only things that I'm not going to work on at this time.

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