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My Homeschool Binder

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I promised that I would share photos of my homeschool binder…

I discussed my homeschooling binder in a previous post – My Homeschool Binder – and I finally took some pictures. These pictures were taken a few weeks ago – before the big bedroom move around – and the photos were just on the camera waiting to be downloaded onto my computer.

You might also be interested in this post – When School Is Going Well – as I talk more about My Homeschool Binder and our new system.

The homeschool binder is working for us and making everything that much simpler. I need one binder for the whole family, every subject is in there.

Here is a picture tour of My Homeschool Binder:

Here is the binder. It is fun lime green colored one that I picked up for 50 cents at the Salvation Army in the summer of 2009. It has a matching blue binder buddy that has become my new idea notebook. I outgrew the other one because I have too many ideas. Does anyone want any ideas? I’d be happy to share.

When I started using the binder, I had the pencil case inside, but now the binder is very full and it doesn’t fit anymore. I still keep it handy though and loaded with everything we need – pencils, pens, a mini ruler, a sharpener, scissors, etc.

I cut one of our Saxon Math hundred number charts up the sides so that it would slip into the front flap of the binder. We were pulling the chart out for activities quite often and it just made sense to have it handy.

I have the tabs all labeled according to the order of our day (the ideal day, of course). Bible, Language Arts, Math, History, Science, Art, and Read Alouds.

Each section has a chart for Term 2 (because that is the term we are in). I guess I will have to make another chart for Term 3 when we get closer.

This is the first page of our Term 2 chart for Bible. It has been great to be able to pull out the binder and see what we need to read. We finished Genesis early and then moved on to reading James and now we are reading Acts. It has been refreshing to read the New Testament with the kids after spending so much time in the Old Testament.

This is the first page (of two pages) of Malachi’s Language Arts. We are taking Language Arts slow because he needs more time to practice.  It’s not clicking yet, but I expect it will very soon (no worries here).

This is the first page (of two pages) of Moses’ Language Arts. Readers, workbooks, writing topics, etc. It’s all listed here.

This is the first page (of two pages) of Elisha’s Language Arts. Readers, workbooks, writing topics, etc. but also Grammar Ace and English From The Roots Up.

I cut up a file folder to make two dividers (see one in the picture above). This worked great so everyone now has their own Language Arts section. I did the Language Arts sections and the Math sections by order of age (it was just easier that way).

I repeated the process for Math (only with a different color).

We usually do Math before Language Arts, but I have not changed the order in my binder yet. The boys all seem to be able to focus better on Language Arts if we have done Math first.

Here is our Sonlight History Core 1 with Story of the World 1 added in. We do History and Core readings at lunch time.

Here is our Sonlight Science 1. We do Science readings at lunch time too. We are considering alternating the weeks – History one week and then Science the next. I think it might be easier to focus. We’ll see.

One thing that I really like about this system is that I can pull out some paper and work on anything that needs working on right there. Moses needed to review his 3+ one day because he had misplaced them in his memory.

For Malachi, I was able to whip out a sheet of paper and review his numbers. He put stickers over the numbers as he identified them. Here, he could not identify 12, 13, 14, 15. I am happy to say that he can now count to twenty, despite being unable to remember the number thirteen most of the time.

Malachi has been worked really hard to learn his alphabet, but still has a few letters that he can’t remember consistently. On this sheet (above) he was to put a sticker on the letter that I called out. He only missed a few letters.

We printed out many of his lessons as we went through them. The visual aid really helps him (so do manipulatives).

A few things that I love about My Homeschool Binder:

  • I have more one on one time with the children.
  • The school work is in one Teacher’s Manual.
  • School is always ready to go.
  • The completed work is all in one spot and ready for portfolio time.
  • I only plan once a term and photocopy once a week (although, I tweak as needed).
  • My oldest can look at his sections and know what he needs to do.
  • My husband can look at the Bible, History, Science, and Read Alouds, and know what to read.
  • We can school anywhere as long as I have my binder and any related books we need (listed in said binder).

One thing that I will change when I am typing out Term 3 (which is way too quickly approaching) is to type out the page numbers “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” rather than “1-5” because then we can circle or somehow mark each page as we complete it.

Whew! I didn’t mean to make this post so long. I wanted to give everyone a really good visual of how I use my binder.

If anyone has any comments or questions, I would love to hear them.

When School is Going Well…

I love it when a day goes well.

I don’t know if you remember me blogging about My Homeschool Binder in a previous post?

Yes, I do still plan to add some pictures. I did take the pictures… now I just need to remember to download them from the camera and upload them to the website. Now, where is the camera?

Anyways… my homeschool binder is working well. Okay, we are all loving it and the organization and simplicity that it brings to our homeschooling adventure. We are taking a short break from workboxes and will add them in again soon. For now, school is going well. I feel much more connected to my kids and I am really enjoying the one on one time with them.

I have finally figured some things out.  I work with each child individually for about 1 to 2 hours (depending on the day and the work to be done by the children). We do our Math and Language Arts one on one. This is working out very well. I rotate through the kids and we work around meals, the twins naps, housework, and life. We also do our Bible reading at breakfast, our History and Science readings at Lunch, and our Read Alouds at bedtime. This system is working really well for us.

Today was a smooth day. Everyone worked really hard and we got a ton of work done. We have a very busy week this week (with many appointments outside of the home), so we need to be really diligent in getting our work done when we can. I am trying to push the children a bit harder to stretch them and grow them into doing more advanced or in some cases, just more work. I hope every day this week is as productive as today was.

I would love it if you would take a moment to share about something that is going well in your homeschool.

My Homeschool Binder

I got tired of so many teacher’s manuals and I spent some time (a day or two or three – it’s all a blur now) a couple of weeks ago and I merged everything into one binder.

I made a simple, blank, ten week chart  (to get us to the end of the term). I used a fresh chart for each subject and filled in weekly goals. My homeschool binder tabs (which have yet to be labeled) are blank paper, Bible (group work), Language Arts (all three kids behind one tab), Math (all three kids behind one tab), Social Studies (group work), Science (group work), Art (group work), and Read Alouds (group work).

We read our Bible and related texts (Sonlight K and 1) during breakfast time. Then we start in on the Language Arts and Math sections and work on them throughout the day. I am still toying with the idea of rotating days – Language Arts one day/Math the next.  Most of the day is spent alternating between teaching kids, nursing babes, and doing life. At lunch time we do our Social Studies and Science readings. In the afternoons we continue alternating between kids and their Language Arts and Math. At dinner or shortly after, we conclude our day by reading our Read Alouds.

I put everything needed for the week in that one binder (right behind the subject schedules) and then I have two baskets. The first basket has everything that we use when we are doing group work. In the second basket I put all of the items needed for individual work. This system is working out really well so far. When the boys come to work with me, they grab the basket and my binder and off we go. My oldest has even taken out the binder and his books and started working on his own (I love this) ticking off work as he goes.

Having a set of specific goals to work through for each week in each subject allows us to be flexible in our everyday (which is exactly what we needed). We just work around life and fit in school because most of life is school anyways… Like the other day when I made pancakes from scratch, Moses and Malachi helped and learned that oil and water don’t mix. They also learned that oil helps to brown the pancakes.

I have to say that after 4 years of homeschooling, I finally found something that makes sense for our family. I discovered that I have really missed sitting with the boys while they do their lessons. I am more clearly able to know what areas need to be worked on and what areas they are surprisingly strong in.  The boys work better without freaking out when I am sitting beside them interacting with them (independence will come eventually).

Where do workboxes fit? I have been asking myself that question. I know they do fit. I plan on weaving them back in sometime soon. I will post about that bridge when we choose to cross it.

I don’t know if that all was clear as mud (hopefully clearer). If you have any questions, I will try and clarify. I will try and post pictures too if anyone is interested.

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