Preparing a unit that is made by another company can reduce the work on your plate. For late spring into early summer we will be completing Gather Round Living Off The Land. I prepare my unit studies early. It gives me time to print, find extra materials I want to add, and plan out how many lessons we will be doing each week. I plan our extra unit to be completed on Fridays since we do not have any Bookshark curriculum that day. This is how I prepare a Gather Round Unit:
Print out the teacher guide and go through Pre-reader and Early Reader guides and print which pages I want to use. The reason I combine both guides is because I have two kids using Gather Round at the moment. I have one student who can read a little bit and another learning how to read. I print out three copies of the student guides, one for each of my kids and the extra copy for future use. The reason I print out a copy for future use is to reduce the time I will need to plan next year for my kids that will be using this unit. I have two other kids who will be using Gather Round Pre-reader and Early Reader in 2023/2024. After everything is printed and in their own pile, I go through each chapter and find any extra activities I want to add. I printed out an activity on all about butter since we will be making homemade butter with this unit. I also printed out extra coloring pages that my kids can color while I read the teacher guide. After I am done printing any extra pages, I add them to the chapter they belong to. The last thing I do on day one is make a list of any materials I need or want to buy. We will be buying Lincoln Logs and a few books about specific trails.
Hole punch or bind all the guides. We personally hole punch our guides since I try to keep all paper curriculum in one binder. After we are done with the Teacher guide, it will go in our Gather Round binder that holds all our units we have completed. Since we are using this unit soon, this is when I break apart the teacher guide and split it into my main binder. Gather Round Units have twenty lessons. For Living Off The Land we will be completing it during end of April, May, and June. I have ten weeks planned for this unit and each week we will be doing two lessons. I do have Fridays planned for Gather Round, but we can finish anything we did not complete and finish it on Saturday and Sunday. I have a post about my main binder here: https://homeschoolingonahomestead.com/2022/02/03/how-i-plan-a-homeschool-year-in-advance/
For the student notebooks, I stick my extra copy in our Gather Round binder for future use and I will add the student guides with our April work.
Find any books in our personal home library that I will want to use as a recourse. For Living Off The Land we will be growing our own potatoes and I have quite a few farming books we will be using.
That’s all the time it takes to prepare our Spring Gather Round unit. I will be purchasing any materials and games we need over the next few weeks. Majority of our planning period was printing the material. It took me three hours to print the teacher guide and all three student guides. Hole punching and splitting everything up, takes an hour and the third day takes less than thirty minutes. I am so excited to be starting this unit especially as our homesteading spring list will be starting soon. We will be chopping wood, growing our garden, and preparing for summer while learning what life was like many years ago. What spring plans do you have?