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kentuckymom

JAWM (mostly): When in the world am I supposed to PLAN my homeschool coop classes

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So I'm two weeks into teaching two classes at our homeschool coop. I'm really enjoying the teaching, but, wow, the planning is really stressing me out. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Planning my beginning Spanish class isn't too bad because I used to teach Spanish for pay and I'm pretty good at winging it, but History of WWI class, wow, I feel like the planning for that one is hanging over my head all the time. I spent a large portion of the summer reading books about WWI, but I didn't do any actual planning of lessons and now I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. I don't know how people who are homeschooling multiple kids every teach coop classes. I'm only homeschooling one and I'm just hanging by a thread.

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Only, like, 22 weeks left, right? Maybe 30? I start by sketching out a guess at topics for each week. It is important because come January I am really, really uninterested in planning.

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I am in a similar boat. I need more hours in the day!

 

I'm teaching a co-op class for one of my kids, so that does take some things off of my plate for home. But still, for a one hour class, I do have many hours of prep time involved. That's usually what I do the weekend before class. I do have a loose plan for the year though, in that I do have the topics more or less planned. (They're planned, but if we have a zillion ideas for colonial days, that might be two classes.). But my first class went so well, and the kids seemed to love it, so that totally makes it worth it.

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This very reason is why I'm suspect of women who teach CC challenge classes. Can you imagine prepping for a full class load?!?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This is why I plan all my classes (for just my own kids) out in the summer - or they won't get done.

 

I couldn't teach religious ed classes because I don't have time to plan them.

 

If I have the plan (and photocopies all made in advance), I can open and go. Otherwise, it all goes proof!

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Give yourself a few minutes to sketch an outline/syllabus. It's a lifesaver. Each week you only have to look at the topic list, gather the resources, and do a basic lesson plan.

 

I like this site to spring from: http://wars.mrdonn.org/WW1.html

Planning classes do take time, but it does get easier. I'm not certain if you have lots of plannig experience or not since you mention teaching for pay. At the simplest level, I'd recommend an outline as Home Again says. You'll probably get the quickest organization and stress relief by doing something like the plan below.   This is advice that I've gotten from friends and some things that I've learned along the way.  I hope it's helpful. 

Look at the number of weeks you have left, decide which topics you wish to cover, and whether or not you want to do any projects or field trips. Sit down with your group's calendar and plot your desired topics on it including any assignements that will span several weeks. This should give you an overall plan. Next grab any of your resources that are handy and you know that you'll need. Place those items in a seperate container or on a shelf. Declare those items off limits so they won't "walk away". Block out a time this week to prepare at least three weeks worth of plans to give you some breathing room. These can be basic plans with only topics to be covered, class activities, and the time needed for each item on your list. Don't think they must be perfect. Decide on how long you'll spend on each of these three plans and stick to it. Teachers ( myself included ) love to keep tweaking so a timer can be a BIG help. Include activities that focus on the students participation and don't leave you with the bulk of the time to fill in the classroom. Now that you've got some breathing room and a plan, your prep will probably be much easier. Going forward check your family's schedule to see if there's a consistent time each week that can be your plan time. Finally, save all of your plans so that you can teach this class again with much of the work already done.

 

Best wishes as you continue teaching!

Edited by Artichoke

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First make sure you even have to reinvent the wheel. Look at curriculum suppliers, currclick,TPT, and Google unit studies for your topic. If your topic is too big, break it down into smaller topics and find ready resources for as many as possible. If you're teaching elementary, look for lap books, lit studies, and activities. If you're teaching teens, look for MOOCs, vintage textbooks with excellent discussion and essay questions, British Pathe, documentaries, local field trips.

 

If you can gather these free lessons, you're just down to scheduling.

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Planning a class when you don't have an open & go, do the next thing resource takes lots and lots of time.

 

Here are things that help me:

Have a scope & sequence and map it to the weeks you have available.

Plan a few basic activities that you can do over and over with new content. Lecture, discussion, games, etc.

Decide how much the lesson plan depends on the kids doing their homework. If it requires homework, have a plan for what to do if kids don't do their homework.

 

Next year I need to tell myself to not teach a class from scratch again.

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I hear ya, sister.  Not enough hours.  I'm taking a tiny break from planning this week's work for my own kids and I've been at it for 4 hours today already.  I am so tired of planning right now.  And I'm using mostly open and go stuff this year.  I just don't understand why everything seems to take so long to plan?? 

 

I feel your pain.

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Same boat here. There are not enough hours. I keep finding all these amazing activities and they are so fun! But I have 3 kids at home, with various learning disabilities, and I feel like I am neglecting them. Next semester, I am only teaching 1 class, and in fact, I am co-teaching it. My friend is doing all the lesson planning!!!!!!

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I know this ship has sailed, but my secret is I do it the summer before. I teach science classes that are more academically oriented and has graded work. This year, I just switched over to google classroom, and it's all kinds of awesome.

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I feel the same way. I've been teaching co-op classes for seven years now and some certainly require more hours than others, but they are all time consuming. One tip is to work on planning during the co-op day while your kids are in other classes. My co-op consists of four one-hour classes with a 30 minute lunch in the middle. I try to devote one of those hours to class planning. Also repeating a class a year or two later for younger kids is easier than teaching it the first time.

 

 

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Perhaps not immediately helpful, but I also plan in the summer. I send the kids to camp for a week and go into full time planning mode. One week for planning our school year, one week for co-op planning. 

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My Syllables class is all planned out, I have taught it several times, all the activities you need ready to print for free, maybe a good option for some people for next semester! I should have a non-beta DVD by then, but you could use the transcript or YouTube red to teach as well.

 

The spelling and word root study and writing activities in the last half of the class make it useful for even students who are reading well, and they can help out the younger kids during the first half.

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/syllablesspellsu.html

Edited by ElizabethB

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