Prep - Poll on how long you spend, & when?

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Prep - Poll on how long you spend, & when?

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Wed Jul 11, 2007 10:11 am

mrs_mike98 wrote:After box day, how long do you take to look over everything, gather supplies, and get started?

I'm anxiously awaiting my materials for K and I can't wait to dive in, make my plans and get started!
Hi Erin :)

Well first, I'd have to say it depends on whether you stay up all night devouring the TM like some of us do... ;) When I got home from the NC convention this year, I spent an entire evening with my ECC TM & a box of tissue!!

For most of the MFW programs, the supply list is pretty straightforward & simple. Mostly household items - typical crafty things, you know? One trip to WallyWorld & you're set.

With K, there is a suggestion to make folders to correspond with the units. You spend time gathering articles, recipes, science experiments, puzzles, activities, etc., to be used when you get to those units. My sister added to hers all summer before starting in the fall. I opened my K the first week of August (ack!), so what I used was gathered within a couple of weeks. Most of what I found was free on the internet. :) Disclaimer: After the first couple of units, I didn't really use these extras as much. We used library books & the internet to introduce the topics. Plus, my dd was participating in ADV with her big brother. We had plenty to do! My sister was using K with a firstborn K'er so she did a lot more from her folders. I think it's one of those parts of the K curriculum that is adaptable to suit each family.

HTH!! Have fun! :)

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Unread post by Poohbee » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:37 pm

Well, I'm kind of doing the immersion method, myself. :-)

Box day for my MFW 1st materials was in March for me, so I knew I had a long time before I'd actually be using it. We do a "traditional" school year. Shortly after we finished K, I gave myself about a week or two, and then I dove into my TM and read it cover to cover.

Now, I keep coming back to it for the various subjects and looking over it again and again, and I am starting to make plans for math and art, etc. I have already gathered a bunch of children's lit. books for science and math.

I found that it is so good that I familiarized myself with the curriculum. That way, when I go to rummage sales or find good deals at the store, I know what we will be studying next year, and it has helped me purchase appropriate things that I know we will use.

Oh, I just love Box Day! :-)
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Unread post by Mom2MnS » Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:47 pm

Hi Erin :) Paige shared with you above something of what I did/do. I love to read through, then read through again. And then I begin brainstorming for creative ideas. I write notes all through my TM of things the Father brings to mind, and then when we are in the middle of it I can make use of the ideas or not. It's fun! It's a great way to immerse myself and prayerfully prepare my heart to lead my sweet girl through the year :)
We had such a lovely time with K - we learned and grew so much! May it be a blessed year for you!
WLiC, Quinne

MFW since 2006
ECC (8th, 4th & 2nd) 2015-16


Unread post by cbollin » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:43 am

Prep time isn't a lot of time in MFW. So, you can start the next day, but I don't really recommend it.

Last year, I had to wait for my teacher's manual for Exploration to 1850 because it was the new program. I was soooo excited on box day last year. It came on a Monday. We started Tuesday. After all, I was familiar with MFW after using it for 3 previous years. I read the intro, I got online and got my book basket, I zipped off to wally world for some extra supplies for that week. Got my copies done ahead of time. And even cleaned off the kitchen table! sigh. sigh.

My dh keeps telling me --- you don't have to start the day the box arrives or the day after.

Set your start day for that school year and enjoy it. Read through the manual a little or a lot (I can't do the whole year at a time. that's just me)

-crystal (still waiting for year 5 box day)

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Unread post by kellybell » Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:48 am

Prep? We're supposed to prep?

Oh, just kidding.

The way the TMs are laid out, it's very easy to see what you need (a paper towel tube, vinegar, a pipe cleaner). Just add what you need to the weekly shopping list or make an August Run to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and get the crafty things.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).


Unread post by cbollin » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:34 am

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:41 am

I love that my prep time is just in gathering supplies and library books. It’s not in lesson planning or figuring out what not to do and what to do.

Here is where my prep time has been spent for the last 4.5 years of using MFW:

*check my library’s online catalog for the call numbers of book basket recommendations for the week. 5-10 minutes. Factor in time to go to the library and grab the books off the shelf and socialize with the librarians and check out staff. I sometimes go once a week or maybe every 2-3 weeks just depending on what else is up. That is the bulk of my prep time --- getting to the library and picking up the books that are already suggested.

*2-5 minutes per week to check over the supply list that is in the teacher’s manual and add any needed items to my grocery list. Usually the stuff is available at grocery store.

* I have an all in one printer/copier with my computer. So any necessary copying I do the morning of each lesson. Some pages in the appendix of the teacher’s manual are needed for each student. This takes 1 minute or so. Some people will do all of their copying way ahead of time. I’m not that organized. And in year 5 this isn’t an issue!

* Once every other week I go looking on youtube for a recording of the hymn that we are studying. This, in theory, should take less than 1 minute on a good google search. This is just totally optional and something I do – it is not part of MFW. Then I have to watch the video and bookmark it.

* In theory – I like to glance over the week’s science and other hands on projects and at least glance through the week’s assigned readings so that I am prepared as a teacher. That time will vary, but is usually on the couch for a few minutes. I don’t do the projects ahead of time. I just glance ahead for a few minutes on the weekend. This is a time of “oh, we’re doing this” instead of “oh, what should I do and when”. It’s a time to enjoy someone else’s diligent work and just being ready to do it.

*make sure that the supplies are out and ready to go in the morning. And then spend time in prayer for the kids and thanking God for Marie Hazell, the author of MFW.

I love that my time is in teaching, not in lesson planning.


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Unread post by Jenn in NC » Fri Mar 21, 2008 2:34 am

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:38 pm

Prep time is pretty minimal. In our earlier years with mfw it was a bit longer, that was when I was having to "tweak" things more for my ds8, who is just now beginning to be up to his grade level. It is easier and quicker now, but even then it wasn't too lengthy.

So, that little bit of nebulous info distills down into: I spend about an hour a week overall, some of it in advance, some on the morning of. (Not counting time at the library.) It is very doable in my real life.

Weeks that I don't have the time to look ahead in the tm are a little frazzled for me, mainly because I don't have that calm, all my ducks are in a row feeling. But even then I find it pretty easy to "open and go" with the tm as it is written. To do that you would have to have the photocopies done in advance. I do mine at the beginning of the year. Not because I am ultra-organized. Just because I prefer not to have to do it every weekend. Or morning. But it works either way.

I used to plan my kid's stuff out myself, too. This is MUCH better, imo.

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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by hsmomof5 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:35 pm

sandi wrote:Just needed some ideas. I know that MFW does not require alot of planning and for that I am very thankful, but there are things I still need to do to get ready for school. There are the things like ordering books, looking over the lessons for supplies needed, and just working out my schedules for the week.

Do you have a certain time every week that you do your weekly planning? Or do you just look over it as you can? Just wondering how others do it. I know our school would go so much better if I would just do this. Thanks
I usually plan every two weeks after looking ahead. I really just assemble our books for our book basket, art supplies (if needed) and food for any recipes. So if we are on Week 9. I look ahead at week 10 and 11 to assemble what we need.
ds 19 (college freshman), ds 12, ds 12, and ds 10 (ECC '08) (CTG '09), dd 3 (Preschool)

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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:54 pm

My kids and DH are at AWANA on Sunday nights, so in those 2 hours I pretty much make copies, read the TM for what we will cover for the next week, and print out anything extra (spelling lists, verse copywork frame, etc). I pay attention to how long we are on each country/continent (I'm doing ECC), and will sit down Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday afternoon before we switch, and get on-line and request holds for books that are needed for book basket for the next country/continent.

I'm really bad about not checking the Art book or Cooking recipes, but sometimes I remember, and then I'll add to grocery/Walmart lists.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
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Julie in MN
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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:18 pm

I try to do most of my planning in the summer. I make copies, mark calendars, check off book basket books we have & put a star by ones I want to order from the library, & write notes in the grid or along the margin for things I want to remember to do.

During the school year, I enjoy having a little time to just sit with our school things & absorb where we're at and what I want to accomplish for the coming week. I may put away books I see we won't need & take out ones we will, or I may write something on the grocery list, and I may mark something in the margins that I want to remember. But mostly it's just a sort-of beginning the week in my mind.

Usually I find time on Sunday evening, but I don't have a particular day; a spot of time just usually appears.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by RachelT » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:57 am

I try to get online and request book holds at the library on Saturdays or Sundays. Usually I can find a few minutes to do it while the kids are watching Sat. cartoons or when my husband works on the weekends.

This year, I go to the library on Mondays when my son goes across the street for OT, so I have that hour to just plan on going every week, if I need to. It helps to have it planned in my schedule.

Since I've been in Adventures, there has been less planning because of the wonderful weekly grids in the TM!! I love that becuase for the two years prior to this one I always wrote everything out in my own planner and it was more time consuming, but necessary for K and 1st. Now, with the Adv. TM I look over the grid on Fri. when we are done or over the weekend sometime and it just takes a little bit of time to look ahead and what I need. I still end up not getting to the store to get something for a lesson before I need it, but then I just do it the next day or make do with what we have.

Happy planning!
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
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Jenn in NC
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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by Jenn in NC » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:18 pm

Well I'm not very good about planning a week or two in advance. Maybe someday. Right now I have a lot of littles who keep me very busy and very tired :)

But I do get up in the morning before my kids do, and I use part of the time while the house is still quiet to look over the day ahead of time, make any needed photocopies, gather books, get things in order. That doesn't take very long.

And I do try to remember to check for any unusual supplies I will need for the upcoming week before I make my shopping trip.

But I gotta tell ya, I love MFW! Because on most days I just open up the manual and start teaching. It is really great.
mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:43 pm

I made all of my photocopies during the Summer and they are stored in a binder. I take a quick look over the supplies and make sure I have them on Saturday because I do my shopping on Sunday night. I rearrange my week so color the boxes on the MFW week plan to match my needs (each day gets a color). My LA and math planning take longer but that is the extent of my MFW planning.

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Re: when do you plan?

Unread post by Winkie » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:41 pm

I plan on Thursdays, usually right after my boys finish their schoolwork while all the books are still out on the table. I check for any supplies or groceries needed for the following week, so I can pick them up over the weekend, when we tend to be out running errands anyway.

I also order my library books online Thursday night and pick them up on Wed. which is almost always enough time for them to come inter-library if needed. We go to the library every Wed. which helps me avoid overdue books. I get videos for one week and books for 3 weeks, with the option to renew twice.
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how are your preps coming along?

Unread post by RB » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:38 pm

club190 wrote:I've finally finished organizing and arranging books on shelves, punching papers and filling binders, and reading up on all things Geography/Culture/Earth Science. I still have to make a new schedule for us, but am pretty much dreading the exercise since I've been basically making myself crazy every time I think about how my oldest leaves the nest in just 5 short weeks! What's up with you?

Does it count as "prep" to bring the teachers manual to the beach? I mean, I never opened it but at least I thought about it.

We start in two weeks and I plan to prepare a bit (organize school room, buy school supplies, read the TM for real) the last week before we begin. I have found in the past that getting ready takes me as long as I have, so if I start 4 weeks ahead it takes me 4 weeks, if I start 2 days before we seem to get by OK, too.

I'm inspired by both the super-planners and the open-and-go-ers, and it's neat to read how MFW works well either way. I can get "stuck" by waiting to make everything perfect, so I was starting to consider pushing back our start time. Now I think we'll just jump in in two weeks regardless of whether the preparation is complete.
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Re: how are your preps coming along?

Unread post by SandKsmama » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:21 am

Glad I'm not the only one on this thread saying "Prep???" :-) I really have never done much prepwork at all (thank you, MFW!!), and this year will be no exception, but I *do* need to do at least a little something, so I know what we are doing! ]I HAVE cleaned and organized the school room and school books. I have gone through all the school supplies, so I have an idea of what I need (definitely NOT crayons - my goodness, how did we get so many crayons???). I have chosen curriculum for next year, just need to buy it, and get started, I guess!
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: how are your preps coming along?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:00 pm

Tammie - it sounds like we will be running very closely together in ECC. That will be fun. If we actually have a "normal" year, we'll keep up with you. :-) My dh said to me over the weekend, "whacky IS normal to her -- she doesn't know what a normal year looks like! She's our daughter!" Oy. But you don't have to have a normal year for it to be successful.

I'm so spoiled with MFW, I don't feel like I need to prep. That's the problem. I'm spoiled. That's why I'm back on the computer instead of going through the last 2 boxes in here . . . I have everything we need already, what could be left in the packing boxes???
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

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