Mega-Planning Strategies

We talked about planning everything for the school year all at once here. It's a HUGE undertaking, but one that frees you up for the whole rest of the school year.  No more Sunday night planning marathons!  That's worth it, isn't it?

Dana emailed to ask me some questions as she was working steadily on her mega-planning this summer.  I thought I'd share our dialogue since I know some of you have the same questions.

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Question: After I make the binders with ALL of the photocopies, and I make spread sheets for the subjects I do with them (like history) what do you use to communicate with the kids what you want them to accomplish each day in their individual pursuits? Checklist or spread sheet? I assume you load that into the binder also.

Answer: A little of each.  I have spreadsheets that I put into page protectors and that go into binders for the older guys.  They keep them where ever it is boys keep those things.  I have a checklist for the others.  But truth be told, this summer everyone got a checklist that I have been updating weekly.  It's a "quickie" checklist, made with capital "o's" to bubble in and printed out on Sunday nights:

Jack- Checklist for the week of August 2nd

Breakfast prep               


Circle Time                   



Lunch Prep                    

Omnibus Reading            

Red Herrings                  


Fold Laundry                 

Weed Trampoline             

Clean Timmy's Cage       

Evening Chores & Zone    


Question: Do you ever take apart a book and put it in the binder simply to have it all in one place (to lessen the chance of it being misplaced or lost)? Am I going overboard?

Answer: Yes, I do.  Definitely.  And the year I did Story of the World III I interspersed the text pages with the student activity pages and maps, etc., just so I could see what was on tap for each week.  In other words, I took the binding off the book, punched holes in it, then organized it by weekly tabs.  Then I did the same with the student pages and maps, filing them in the correct week as well.