As a virtual schooling parent, you have plenty on your plate each day. There are dozens of things that need to be accomplished, from childcare to house care to education. There are meals to be cooked. Messes to be cleaned. And if you have younger children at home at the same time…well, there are many, many demands on your time, energy, and attention.
You may laugh at the “advance prep” links in the OLS.
You may glance at them from time to time, wonder how on earth they’re ever going to be useful to you, and then pretend that you didn’t see them.
You may assume that you have most of the materials at home already anyway, and if you don’t, well, you can always skip the activity for the time being. Most of those are just science experiments anyway, right?
On the other hand, taking a good, long look at the advance prep can do a lot of things. First and foremost, it tells you what your child is going to be doing the next day (and the next…and the next). It tells you at a glance if you’re going to need to prepare, and it’s a fast way to tell whether or not you’re going to need to help your child more than usual with a given lesson. It also lets you know when you’re going to need to plan a trip out, or when a special item needs to be acquired ahead of time.
Looking over your advance prep instructions the night before (or even for a week at a time) gives you the chance to get your day started off right. It lets you prepare the materials ahead of time, so you aren’t scrambling to get everything together. As an added bonus, if you have an older child, it’s an extra tool in your arsenal to tell you whether or not your child has completed all of a given assignment, instead of just a small portion of it.
Advance prep is a valuable tool if you choose to use it. In general, it makes your day run smoother, keeps things happening the way they’re supposed to, and lets you keep up with what your child is doing.