Well, so far, everything was very simple and easy, and you can limit your preparation for lessons down to the essential and take baby steps from there.
But, honestly, for events, I would lie if I told you it is that easy.
It takes time.
It needs skill.
It needs experience.
It needs responsible people you can get feed back from and juggle around with ideas.
So, again, my only advice here is: Start small! and take Baby Steps.
Let the time and experience teach you and go with this flow.
Let me concentrate on PERFORMANCE today:
I had my first performance of the kids in front of parents more than 10 years ago: I held it in my house. About 15 kids and their moms. They were sitting on floor and sofa~very unprofessional but cozy and unforgettable for the ones who joined.
I did this about 2 times, after that we had a space that was a bit bigger.
30 kids and their moms, a piano and guitar.
Again 2 years later I rented a cafe for about 40-50 kids and it was the first performance with some handmade nice preps, and costumes.
From there I found a big community space for everyone to get to easily; and I kind of know how to create my program and when to start.
Basically I am just NOW (February) writing down what plays, skits, songs, dances I want to do with each class end of July.
I actually wrote the scripts already and am thinking of who gets what role.
I have my notebook and whenever I notice something or see something that gives me more of an idea for anything concerning the performance I write it down and see how it fits in.
Doing it now, gives me an idea of what topics to cover, still~ and what other skills to pull out.
In April I start with the actual topics they will need for the performance. I don't want them to get too stressed right before, and in my experience the whole thing will stay longer (for ever) if they have practiced the same sentences for a longer time.
Also I do all the other stuff (Phonics, some new topics and review of GE topics) during that time.
July then is run-through ONLY! Getting the right expressions, being genki having fun and feeling comfortable with the whole thing. We also make props here.
If anyone is interested in how a program looks, what is on, let me know.
This is our last performance, by the way.
This was a 3 hour special event, so we balanced the activities everywhere between quiet and active, meditative to play.
The kids were between 4 and 14, challenging, but it went really really well, and everyone was very happy.
Here's a short clip:
I think, this is a very Japanese way of paying lesson fees, and I don't know if this idea helps you in other countries at all.
I also don't think that it is the most convenient. Obviously getting monthly fees transferred to a bank account is much more simple and avoids problems.
However, here it either costs a bit of extra charge to transfer every month, AND for a cheaper charge I'd need a 200 students to open up an account for transfer.
So, not for me.
Well, and if you look at this picture, I am sure many of you will say:
"Wow how pretty, I want this, too."
These are the envelopes where parents put the lesson fee in.
I write the sum into the field of the coming month, the kids take it home at the end of each month, parents put in the money and the kids bring it to me in the first lesson of the month.
I sign it and keep it till the end of month again.
I just ordered these:
And the picture below is a little gesture that makes my day, every time I order something here:
This time they added this cute little mini envelope with a handwritten message: "Thank you always for your order. It will still be cold for a while so please take good care of yourself."
I think no only what I do matters, but who is connected to my work, even when that work has nothing directly to do with the kids, their parents and is as far away as a company on the net selling envelopes!
"So, do you `only` use Genki English?"
If you talk of Genki English as a method YES! I can't do without.
If you think of Genki English as a collection of topics and expressions and words:
No! When you have a look at my website, even though it is in Japanese, you will see that there are lots of ideas and materials.
For Example, the introduction of activities:
the first group is doing "I love my white shoes", from Pete the Cat
another group is doing an original play
a third one is reading "Frog and Toad".
We make easter crafts, play handbells and other instruments around Christmas;
we use picture books, Super Simple Songs, Pop and Rock songs, movies!
I also do LOTS of fine motor skill activities.
For this I have my drawer on its own, filled with tiny, colorful, character pegs, bells, beads, ...! So, just pull it out and go! NO prep, either:
Once we get into projects, wether it is creative writing, reading, video letters or community exchange it goes beyond the words and phrases we have in the GE Program.
The planning process is the same as I described before, and usually doesn't take much longer.
There is still a bit more I will write about "planning", as, how do I plan for events or extra activities.
But first let me get away from this topic a bit and write about the accounting part.