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#1 extendedforecast

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 08:06 PM

I am considering dividing up the coming year's worth of lesson plans by week. To keep everything organized, I'd like to use a filing system.

Does anyone have experience using such a method?

What are the pros and cons?

If you use such a system, do you have more than one child?

If so, how do you divide among the children?

What type of filing box or cabinet do you use?

Any other advice?

Thanks,
Cindy

#2 Geek

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:04 PM

I'm curious about something: when you say you want to use a filing system, do you mean for any associated worksheets, crafts, etc that go with a particular student for a particular week? Or are you referring to the lesson plans themselves?

Have you considered using a software program like Homeschool Tracker? You might find it really helpful.

#3 fhjmom

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 09:34 PM

I 'think' in weeks when planning so I can relate. I just purchased Homeschool Tracker + and I do my plans based on weeks by numbering each lesson starting with "11", the first number being the week and the second number being the day, so we skip from lesson "14" (week 1 day 4) to lesson "21" (week 2 day 1) since we school 4 days a week.

I liek that I can reschedule easily if we get through something quickly or we need to spend more time on something.

I plan on pulling the actual lessons (worksheets, reading, etc.) and using weekly folders for each DC with their lessons for the week, but I won't pull those earlier than the end of the week before. I think it would be too much hassle to shuffle everything if it was already in folders by the week if we needed to adjust the schedule.

I haven't actually worked through this yet, I am still in the planning stages for the upcoming fall. Check back in November and I might have scrapped it altogether. :D

#4 2cents

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:02 PM

When I had 3 to homeschool I had about a 1 1/2 yrs worth of weekly folders in hanging folders labeled by month. In those file folders I would put the work. That worked better when the children were young and their work was predominately worksheets or pages. Now that they are older and using texts and larger books and their work is more involved, I am down to a drawer filing system that has more room. Each child has a drawer for: Language Arts, Science, Spanish, Math, History/Geo, and Misc. Then I have my own files for Mon-Fri with paperwork I need. I have the schoolwork chart on a corkboard that tells us what do do for each subject daily. When the work is done each girl has a notebook to file it in. At the end of the week I file the completed schoolwork chart so we have a running record of the work that was assigned and completed. I do still plan a little over a year in advance but it is done on a spreadsheet. HTHs. :)

#5 catholicmommy

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:20 PM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.

I was tired of always finishing math in august instead of may, and it dawned on me one day that we always fAll behind because of all of the extra unexpected things in life that take over like sick days, etc...

In the school system, if one person gets sick, the teacher doesn't stop teaching while that child is missing. They keep on going and the child either skips the work, or does only the important parts (even if just orally).

So, I decided to split up all of our work into 36 weeks, and told myself that if the week got away from me, we would just keep on going the next week, by either throwing out the work we missed or doing it quickly out loud. This was crazy, but worked so well for us. You see, it's ok to miss a math sheet here and there throughout the year. There's enough review etc, that it's not a big deal... But it IS a big deal if you miss the last big chunk of your book. This way of doing things helped me to finish the whole year by may with lots of breaks throughout.

Here's is what we did:

I bought one of those plAstic bins that hold files. A plastic crate would work fine too. Then I bought 36 hanging folders, and a set of 36 file folders for each child. You could use different colors if you want, but it was cheaper to get a big box of manilla ones, so i labeled each folder (with a different color marker for each child), with a number (1-36).

Now the fun part: I ripped up all their books -math included, and placed a weeks worth of work in each file folder. I made sure to photocopy any worksheets we would need and add them too, as well as anything that would make that week pick-up-and-go.

For example, my dd (gr 4) had in week 1:

Math lessons 1-5
Geography worksheet lesson 1
Latin worksheets lesson 1
Watercolor paper for our art lesson
Blank notebook page for history narration and stotw AG photocopies
Writing tales2 story and workbook pages for week one.
Blank note booking pages for science week one.
Small bag with bird seed for a pine cone bird feeder activity
copy of vangogh sunflower painting for our weekly art appreciation


Anything consumable was taken apart and filed. Anything non consumable was photocopied if allowed and I felt like it, or put in a basket kept beside my files. Each kid had their own basket of textbooks that couldn't be ripped apart like the tm for aas, wwe, and sotw.

Each week the children knew that they had to complete all the work in their file folders by Friday. This helped them to have more responsibility with their work, as well as giving them the opportunity to work ahead if they wanted to.

I was very happy with this approach. It held me accountable to gettinG enough work done each week, while still being able to be flexible and extend one week over two if I really needed to. Mostly though, if we missed a day or two, we would quickly review what we missed orally and then keep going. Before, if we missed a day, we would wait and start where we left off, but this had led to the school year dragging on and on, and me always feeling guilty about not doing enough. Now I fee, though I am the one managing things, not the curriculum. It is there to serve me, not the other way around.

I was also able to get a lot more of the fun subjects done because it was already photocopied and easy for me to pull out each week, and i was finally able to finish a year of Latin and stay on top of the daily review that is so important on learning a second language.

I am definitely doing it again next year.

#6 Geek

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:35 PM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.

[snipped for brevity]

I am definitely doing it again next year.

This is brilliant.

Edited by Geek, 22 June 2010 - 10:37 PM.


#7 KJsMom

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 10:52 PM

:iagree:I'm driving myself crazy trying to plan next year. My youngest will start her first "real" year of school and I will babysit a 1 yo 4 days a week. I LOVE the weekly folder idea. You have made my night!

#8 Sugarfoot

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:53 AM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.


Here's is what we did:

I bought one of those plAstic bins that hold files. A plastic crate would work fine too. Then I bought 36 hanging folders, and a set of 36 file folders for each child. You could use different colors if you want, but it was cheaper to get a big box of manilla ones, so i labeled each folder (with a different color marker for each child), with a number (1-36).


I am definitely doing it again next year.


This is so timely, as I've been working on a similar system all week.

I've been referring to this blog quite a bit, as it has a ton of helpful information on this very topic!

http://dawnathome.ty...and_candlelight

#9 funschooler5

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:29 AM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.


Wow, thanks for posting this! Right now, we are finishing up history, but are a couple of weeks behind in grammar. My son finished his math before my daughter, but she's ahead of him in grammar. It seems like we are always behind. Even when I write lesson plans, it's hard for us to stay on task. Your system sounds great!

#10 Geek

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:16 AM

This is so timely, as I've been working on a similar system all week.

I've been referring to this blog quite a bit, as it has a ton of helpful information on this very topic!

http://dawnathome.ty...and_candlelight

Hmmm. I'm just not finding the relevant information on this blog. Would you mind linking us?

Thanks,

#11 KristenD

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:10 AM

Hmmm. I'm just not finding the relevant information on this blog. Would you mind linking us?

Thanks,


Here is a link to her posts about organization. I found a couple of posts about her file folder system on the page. The longest, most detailed one was about half-way down the page (it's a long page, keep on scrollin').

http://dawnathome.ty...t/organization/

#12 Geek

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:00 AM

Here is a link to her posts about organization. I found a couple of posts about her file folder system on the page. The longest, most detailed one was about half-way down the page (it's a long page, keep on scrollin').

http://dawnathome.ty...t/organization/

Thank you so much. I did scroll down but just couldn't see it. Perhaps this is part of why I need organization help? :p

#13 *Jessica*

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:00 AM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.

<snip>

I am definitely doing it again next year.


This is brilliant.

:iagree: I tried to do something similar this year for our first year of schooling, but this is so much better than what I did! On Sunday, I was putting everything for the week in a folder with the intention of finishing everything in the folder before the week was through. It didn't always work out (a kindergartener can't always do the work by themself, after all) and I got very sick of spending every Sunday evening working on it. I really like planning at the beginning of the year, but after that I just want things to be ready to go so I can spend my time teaching and having fun! I think I'm going to try out catholicmommy's system this year and see if it works better for us!

Edited by *Jessica*, 23 June 2010 - 08:01 AM.
spelling error


#14 Guest_mrsjamiesouth_*

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:06 AM

I am considering dividing up the coming year's worth of lesson plans by week. To keep everything organized, I'd like to use a filing system.

Does anyone have experience using such a method?
I put all our worksheets, math drills, coloring, instruction sheets into folders. I will paperclip the week's worth of math pages and write on the outside what child it is for.
What are the pros and cons?
Pros: During the year, everything is already prepared and you don't have to search for anything
Cons: It takes a lot of time and space
If you use such a system, do you have more than one child?
I am homeschooling 2
If so, how do you divide among the children?
I put the week # on the outside of the File Folder and inside I have paperclipped all papers with a sticky of that child's name
What type of filing box or cabinet do you use?
I just put them on the bookshelf
Any other advice?
Don't try to do it all in 1 day :D
Thanks,
Cindy



:D I also took apart all of our books, peeled the binding off and put the pages into each week they belong. For Example: We have WW and I pulled the binding off and put 1A through 1E into File Folder #1. Part of 2A is on the back, but I will just move it over to folder 2 as we are finishing week1.

Edited by mrsjamiesouth, 23 June 2010 - 08:09 AM.


#15 TN Mama

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:14 AM

Hmmm. I'm just not finding the relevant information on this blog. Would you mind linking us?

Thanks,


Here are her posts on the filing system:
http://dawnathome.ty...e_crate_system/

#16 dmmetler

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:17 AM

Uh, is it really needed to write lesson plans in advance? I have to admit that right now, I'm mostly teaching day-by-day, where each day I look at what we did the day before and decide what to put in the workboxes for tomorrow. If we need more materials, we go online or to the library. And I've been enjoying the flexibility, after years of being a ps teacher.

#17 *Jessica*

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:37 AM

This is so timely, as I've been working on a similar system all week.

I've been referring to this blog quite a bit, as it has a ton of helpful information on this very topic!

http://dawnathome.ty...and_candlelight

I have to say a huge thank you for the link to this blog! I love her organizational systems.

#18 johnandtinagilbert

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:21 AM

I do this via subject for myself in the summer, then take things out weekly and put them in the right place for my grammar students each week. Instead of file folders, I simply put their weeks work in the front pocket of their notebooks, via subject. It certainly helps for topics like history, where each child has a variety of papers.

I don't do this for WB consumables (anymore) b/c I found it a waste of time...just do the next page, dude! ;0)

I just hand out lesson plans for my older kids. They get an identical copy of mine, so we know what's next and we simply check it off the list. These plans are broken into "days and weeks" but if we skip or miss a day, we just keep moving down the list. I plan "catch up/work days" in case we get delayed for any reason.

I label like this TOG 3:3:22 (that's year 3: unit 3: week 22), then I pull the file for the week, which already has everything in it. Works great. I follow the same for science, reading lessons etc.

I put craft supplies in boxes in a special closet that say: "Science" and separate supplies as needed, with general supplies on top. I am sure to include materials needed lists in every folder, so I can look ahead, shop or pull as necessary. The Materials list is really helpful.

One of my favorite things about the system is to make a "master" copy of everything I'll need on the next go 'round. I.e., I'll print out every level of map and have the master copy. When I come back around, I not only have the plans filed, but also a visual of each material I'll use. It allows me to glance and change (as per student need), but also a quick refererence or resource if someone loses something...no digging, simply copy.

HTH!

#19 LoveBaby

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:22 AM

I was just going to suggest the File Crate System. I am working on figuring out something similar for our school year. I am going to use it along with workboxes, I think. I haven't exactly worked out the details, but I think it will work really well!!

#20 MamaMamaMama!!

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:36 AM

I have a filing system. We use MFW so any of the worksheets are filed by week. Bookbasket books that I already own are filed by weeks as well. I leave all workbooks intact for the most part and just assign like Tina (do the next page) mainly because its less sheets to keep track of. I also have each study group in seperate drawers. So this year I have an ECC drawer for my 4th and 2nd graders, a 1st grade drawer for my 1st grader and a preschool drawer for the two younger ones.

#21 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:26 PM

I'm curious about something: when you say you want to use a filing system, do you mean for any associated worksheets, crafts, etc that go with a particular student for a particular week? Or are you referring to the lesson plans themselves?

Have you considered using a software program like Homeschool Tracker? You might find it really helpful.


I was thinking of having a place to file each child's work for the coming school year, whether that be worksheets, assignment lists, book lists, etc., as well as each week's lesson plans.

This year we just worked on the next thing in each subject, and it was a disaster. I found myself unprepared a lot of the time. I don't want to have to be spending hours per week getting everything ready when it could have been done in advance. Plus, some weeks I am busier than others. It would be nice to have everything laid out in advance.

Cindy

#22 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:30 PM

I 'think' in weeks when planning so I can relate. I just purchased Homeschool Tracker + and I do my plans based on weeks by numbering each lesson starting with "11", the first number being the week and the second number being the day, so we skip from lesson "14" (week 1 day 4) to lesson "21" (week 2 day 1) since we school 4 days a week.

I liek that I can reschedule easily if we get through something quickly or we need to spend more time on something.

I plan on pulling the actual lessons (worksheets, reading, etc.) and using weekly folders for each DC with their lessons for the week, but I won't pull those earlier than the end of the week before. I think it would be too much hassle to shuffle everything if it was already in folders by the week if we needed to adjust the schedule.

I haven't actually worked through this yet, I am still in the planning stages for the upcoming fall. Check back in November and I might have scrapped it altogether. :D


I tried Homeschool Tracker this year, but I didn't use it as much as I thought I would. I suppose if I plan the whole year ahead I might use it more. The sentence I highlighted above is one of my worries if we get behind. I just don't know if I'll have the time this year with a new baby to get all the work sorted out in each child's binder (I have three students). Thank you for your input. It really helps.

Cindy

#23 KJsMom

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:42 PM

This year we just worked on the next thing in each subject, and it was a disaster. I found myself unprepared a lot of the time. I don't want to have to be spending hours per week getting everything ready when it could have been done in advance. Plus, some weeks I am busier than others. It would be nice to have everything laid out in advance.

Cindy

My thoughts exactly! I don't know why I never considered this before, I have a hanging file box sitting empty in my classroom. I am so excited by this idea that I've been working on it all morning!

#24 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:46 PM

When I had 3 to homeschool I had about a 1 1/2 yrs worth of weekly folders in hanging folders labeled by month. In those file folders I would put the work. That worked better when the children were young and their work was predominately worksheets or pages. Now that they are older and using texts and larger books and their work is more involved, I am down to a drawer filing system that has more room. Each child has a drawer for: Language Arts, Science, Spanish, Math, History/Geo, and Misc. Then I have my own files for Mon-Fri with paperwork I need. I have the schoolwork chart on a corkboard that tells us what do do for each subject daily. When the work is done each girl has a notebook to file it in. At the end of the week I file the completed schoolwork chart so we have a running record of the work that was assigned and completed. I do still plan a little over a year in advance but it is done on a spreadsheet. HTHs. :)


I'm intrigued by your system, fhjmom. Let me see if I got this right. You plan ahead for the whole year and break down the lessons per week on a form that you post on the cork board. Your children are responsible for completing the work on the list and keeping completed work in their own notebooks until you come along and file it away. How do you plan ahead for library books and special materials that you plan to use for a particular project? Are the children's drawers used to contain text books and materials? Last question-I promise-could you give an example of the paperwork you keep in your own files?

Thank you so much. I am so much closer to figuring out how I want to plan my year. This is huge; I don't have much time left with a baby due in August, but more likely to be born in July.

Cindy

#25 4blessingmom

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:50 PM

I tried doing this for each week last year...it didn't work out mainly b/c my ds7 just doesn't learn in a linear fashion.:001_huh: He stagnates and leaps in a hugely contrasting pattern. For the same dc this year, I am going to make copies of everything we'll need for sci/hist/extras and then "fly by the seat of our pants" in the skill areas...well, it's more planned than it sounds...just more based on his mastery level than a weekly progression.

I will probably just have a history file, a science file, and so on...then just pull the next thing.

#26 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:55 PM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.

I was tired of always finishing math in august instead of may, and it dawned on me one day that we always fAll behind because of all of the extra unexpected things in life that take over like sick days, etc...

In the school system, if one person gets sick, the teacher doesn't stop teaching while that child is missing. They keep on going and the child either skips the work, or does only the important parts (even if just orally).

So, I decided to split up all of our work into 36 weeks, and told myself that if the week got away from me, we would just keep on going the next week, by either throwing out the work we missed or doing it quickly out loud. This was crazy, but worked so well for us. You see, it's ok to miss a math sheet here and there throughout the year. There's enough review etc, that it's not a big deal... But it IS a big deal if you miss the last big chunk of your book. This way of doing things helped me to finish the whole year by may with lots of breaks throughout.

Here's is what we did:

I bought one of those plAstic bins that hold files. A plastic crate would work fine too. Then I bought 36 hanging folders, and a set of 36 file folders for each child. You could use different colors if you want, but it was cheaper to get a big box of manilla ones, so i labeled each folder (with a different color marker for each child), with a number (1-36).

Now the fun part: I ripped up all their books -math included, and placed a weeks worth of work in each file folder. I made sure to photocopy any worksheets we would need and add them too, as well as anything that would make that week pick-up-and-go.

For example, my dd (gr 4) had in week 1:

Math lessons 1-5
Geography worksheet lesson 1
Latin worksheets lesson 1
Watercolor paper for our art lesson
Blank notebook page for history narration and stotw AG photocopies
Writing tales2 story and workbook pages for week one.
Blank note booking pages for science week one.
Small bag with bird seed for a pine cone bird feeder activity
copy of vangogh sunflower painting for our weekly art appreciation


Anything consumable was taken apart and filed. Anything non consumable was photocopied if allowed and I felt like it, or put in a basket kept beside my files. Each kid had their own basket of textbooks that couldn't be ripped apart like the tm for aas, wwe, and sotw.

Each week the children knew that they had to complete all the work in their file folders by Friday. This helped them to have more responsibility with their work, as well as giving them the opportunity to work ahead if they wanted to.

I was very happy with this approach. It held me accountable to gettinG enough work done each week, while still being able to be flexible and extend one week over two if I really needed to. Mostly though, if we missed a day or two, we would quickly review what we missed orally and then keep going. Before, if we missed a day, we would wait and start where we left off, but this had led to the school year dragging on and on, and me always feeling guilty about not doing enough. Now I fee, though I am the one managing things, not the curriculum. It is there to serve me, not the other way around.

I was also able to get a lot more of the fun subjects done because it was already photocopied and easy for me to pull out each week, and i was finally able to finish a year of Latin and stay on top of the daily review that is so important on learning a second language.

I am definitely doing it again next year.


This! This is what I had in mind. Thank you for all the detail you included. Your reasons for your system are spot on. I was thinking it would be nice for my older children to be able to work at their own speed. I was planning on making myself available to each child (and only one child at a time) for at least an hour a day to go over lessons and then let them complete their work on their own. What do you do after the work is completed? Do you re-file it in that week's folders? Also I was thinking of having a binder for each child to keep her work for the week.

Thank you so much,
Cindy

#27 abc123mom

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:58 PM

I have 36 pocket folders labeled,"Week 1", "Week 2", etc. I take all the work for week 1 and put it in its marked folder-I also include extra writing paper and scratch math paper-(cant stand taking the time to hunt down more writing paper)--I then add a index card w/ a list of all the art, science, etc. supplies we will need-So on the weekend before Mon I just pull out the index card, see what supplies we need and gather them up.

As we finish work I put it back into the Weeks folder in the left pocket. Then when I have a free moment(seldom) I can catch up stickingt the papers where they need to go-Sci notebook, history notebook,etc.

This system has served us well these past few years so I plan on continuning w/ it next year. Actually, I started filling folders last week and am almost all set for next year.

#28 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:58 PM

This is so timely, as I've been working on a similar system all week.

I've been referring to this blog quite a bit, as it has a ton of helpful information on this very topic!

http://dawnathome.ty...and_candlelight


Thanks for posting that blog. I'll be sure to check it out.

Cindy

#29 Geek

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:07 PM

Uh, is it really needed to write lesson plans in advance? I have to admit that right now, I'm mostly teaching day-by-day, where each day I look at what we did the day before and decide what to put in the workboxes for tomorrow. If we need more materials, we go online or to the library. And I've been enjoying the flexibility, after years of being a ps teacher.

It's not necessary, but it's nice, especially if you have more than one. And the older they get, the more they do. I've been doing what you're doing for seven years now and I've had enough of it because it's just not working anymore now that I have an 11yo, an 8yo, and a 6yo. :)

#30 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:10 PM

:D I also took apart all of our books, peeled the binding off and put the pages into each week they belong. For Example: We have WW and I pulled the binding off and put 1A through 1E into File Folder #1. Part of 2A is on the back, but I will just move it over to folder 2 as we are finishing week1.


Thank you for answering my questions. I was planning on keeping the workbooks in tact so that we do not have so many papers to keep track of. On the other hand, I can see how helpful it could be to just be able to hand over exactly what needs to be completed. What do you do with the work once it's completed? I re-read the last sentence and I think you just file completed work back into each week's folder. Is this correct?

p.s. I'll try not to do it all in one day, but I can't promise; I'm really excited to get started.

Cindy

#31 2cents

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:18 PM

I'm intrigued by your system, fhjmom. Let me see if I got this right. You plan ahead for the whole year and break down the lessons per week on a form that you post on the cork board. Your children are responsible for completing the work on the list and keeping completed work in their own notebooks until you come along and file it away. How do you plan ahead for library books and special materials that you plan to use for a particular project? Are the children's drawers used to contain text books and materials? Last question-I promise-could you give an example of the paperwork you keep in your own files?

Thank you so much. I am so much closer to figuring out how I want to plan my year. This is huge; I don't have much time left with a baby due in August, but more likely to be born in July.

Cindy


For example: Math-if it is 169 lessons then I go to my calendar and work out the days we do math and pencil it in. That gives me a rough time frame for finishing. Having a year plan lets me stagger curriculum easier. Instead of doing it all at once it is easier to start some at different times or as one curriculum finishes. Makes for a more consistent workload IMO. It is also helpful in remembering when we want to start a unit study. It is a organized but flexible guideline.

Weekly: This is the less flexible further breakdown based on what our year plan has for the week. Instead of already having folders for every week in advance, which I used to do, I found this to offer a little more flexibility. Example-The A Beka math is a workbook so on the Sat or Sun before the week starts I tear out the sheets and put them in M-F file folders. The Alg for my older one is a book so no sheets but her assign is on the assignment printout on the corkboard (as is the A Beka-every assignment is on the list on the corkboard). The M-F file folders are mostly for loose pages or copied material since I don't want to have to hunt that stuff up every morning. Our Unitedstreaming Spanish worksheets I print out from a pdf file would go into the appropriate day folder (in Mon, Wed. & Fri). It just saves time during the week to have it all ready to go. The girls each have a set of drawers-science, math, LA, Spanish, History, Misc. These drawers have their books that they use for the assignments on the corkboard list. Other worksheets that they may need I will have in my folder to hand out at the beginning of the day. Hopefully this helps explain my system...it is really pretty easy and straightforward with flexibility to adapt when life happens. When I did the folders for the year in advance I found that it was a lot of folders and I got tired of the juggling if the schedule changed. With my system now, I can easily re-work things as I need to and still keep up with our year plan guidelines.
For special books, labs and videos. With the year plan in place I have time to start getting those resources ready. I usually know at least a few weeks beforehand what I will need and start working on getting things together. It hasn't been a problem. Let me know if I can help or clarify anything more. It is kinda hard to explain without being able to show someone. :)

Adding- The notebooks are just for completed material. The girls use them to refer too. We don't do portfolio but I do keep records for 2 years per regulation so they are part of this record. I also keep a notebook that I file the assignment sheets in as well. The notebooks become part of recordkeeping.

Edited by 2cents, 23 June 2010 - 01:27 PM.
To add additional info...


#32 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:21 PM

Uh, is it really needed to write lesson plans in advance? I have to admit that right now, I'm mostly teaching day-by-day, where each day I look at what we did the day before and decide what to put in the workboxes for tomorrow. If we need more materials, we go online or to the library. And I've been enjoying the flexibility, after years of being a ps teacher.


For me, it's not working out very well to just do the next thing. It is such a simple concept that did work pretty well the first year I was homeschooling my two oldest in K and 2nd. Adding a third student and a toddler to the mix has made it pretty darn impossible. Granted, I got a late start to the year, but we are going to have to work through the end of July in order for me to feel comfortable calling it a year. And when we re-start, we'll still be finishing up a few subjects before we move on to the current year's studies. I'm glad it works for you and so many other HSers. Less work = more time for fun.

Cindy

#33 extendedforecast

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 01:24 PM

One of my favorite things about the system is to make a "master" copy of everything I'll need on the next go 'round. I.e., I'll print out every level of map and have the master copy. When I come back around, I not only have the plans filed, but also a visual of each material I'll use. It allows me to glance and change (as per student need), but also a quick refererence or resource if someone loses something...no digging, simply copy.

HTH!


Making a master copy is a wonderful idea. I'll be sure to incorporate it in my system.

Thank you,
Cindy

#34 T'smom

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 02:25 PM

Thank you so much for posting the link to that blog! I LOVE it!

#35 mereminerals

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 03:24 PM

Now I am totally rethinking how I plan out the kids schedule. It would be really nice for it all to be ready for them to just grab and start. Thanks so much for this thread!

#36 catholicmommy

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:39 PM

This! This is what I had in mind. Thank you for all the detail you included. Your reasons for your system are spot on. I was thinking it would be nice for my older children to be able to work at their own speed. I was planning on making myself available to each child (and only one child at a time) for at least an hour a day to go over lessons and then let them complete their work on their own. What do you do after the work is completed? Do you re-file it in that week's folders? Also I was thinking of having a binder for each child to keep her work for the week.

Thank you so much,
Cindy


Glad I could help! We have six kids under ten, and I really needed a way to get organized last year, and I was so happy it actually worked out. It's the first system that I've used over more than one year LOL.

Regarding the work that is completed: I filed it back into the numbered folders, and took a small sampLe from each subject every few weeks and kept those in a binder for each child as a portfolio to show our school board. I'm just starting to clean out last year's work and it's mostly just going in the recycling bin. I'll reuse most of the file folders.

One of the things that I didn't mention is that for most of the year, until I got lazy, I took the papers from the file folder each week and filed them into a six pocket folio thing divided up by days.

Also, if there was a lesson we didn't get to and it was important enough not to skip, I just moved it to the next week's file folder and we squeezed it in with the following week's work.

As well, I did use homeschool tracker, sometimes, LOL. It's hard to stay on top of. Basically I printed out a checklist of what to do for the week and included it in the folder, but it wasn't really necessary.

And, do the next thing worked fine for us too, except for the fact that I kept falling further and further behind in many subjects, because instead of skipping the next thing when we were sick etc... I -did- the next thing and was behind by more than a month or two by the end of the year.... And the system allowed my husband to keep on doing school with them when I was sick or with the new baby, because it was already filed for them, ready to go.

The amount of effort required to set up the system isn't really that much if you have a few days to sit on the floor in a pile of papers. It's fun to organize everything, and very helpful to get your hands on the materials and get a quick preview of what is coming up through the year.

For exampLe, instead of just knowing we will do SOTW and read it with the kids one day at a time, I actually had a sense of what topics were coming up because I had already done the photocopying.... Does that make sense?

I still like to have flexibility in what we do, so I don't tie a week of school to a specific week on the calendar, but it helps me to see the big picture and let's me know that if I drag one week out across 14 days, my end of school date gets pushed farther out. I felt like I had a bit more accountability that way.

Hope that helps!

Melanie (catholicmommy)

Mom to six littles, age 9,7,5,3,3,8 mo.
Using:aas, stow, history odyssey modern times level one, JAG, WWE , CW homer, FLL, apologia science tbd, horizons, LoF fractions, first form latin

Edited by catholicmommy, 23 June 2010 - 07:14 PM.
Silly typos


#37 laurad1125

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:48 PM

This is brilliant.


:iagree:

I love the idea of skipping (if possible) things when life gets in the way. Definitely better to skip a lesson here and there than the whole last quarter of the book. I will have to think about this....

#38 Geek

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:15 PM

This is the idea I'm playing with now: How to combine this folder file system with workboxes? :001_huh: We do not use the large workboxes recommended by the program's inventor but rather stackable plastic drawers. I'm wondering if I could set up the drawers on a *weekly* basis for my 11yo and 8yo and just keep things as-is (daily) for the 6yo. For the olders I could have each of their drawers designated as a subject or "to be checked, I'm done with this" drawer.

Or I could keep them daily and just load them from my weekly folders.

Gotta chew on this a bit. Anyone else using workboxes?

#39 Sugarfoot

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:23 PM

This is the idea I'm playing with now: How to combine this folder file system with workboxes? :001_huh: We do not use the large workboxes recommended by the program's inventor but rather stackable plastic drawers. I'm wondering if I could set up the drawers on a *weekly* basis for my 11yo and 8yo and just keep things as-is (daily) for the 6yo. For the olders I could have each of their drawers designated as a subject or "to be checked, I'm done with this" drawer.

Or I could keep them daily and just load them from my weekly folders.

Gotta chew on this a bit. Anyone else using workboxes?


Yes, I've got stackable drawers, too, for my older two, and I'm trying to figure out how to combine.

"Thanks" to those who pulled details out of the blog I posted earlier. I've been out most of the day. She does have some amazing organizing ideas.

#40 thowell

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 06:50 AM

This is the idea I'm playing with now: How to combine this folder file system with workboxes? :001_huh: We do not use the large workboxes recommended by the program's inventor but rather stackable plastic drawers. I'm wondering if I could set up the drawers on a *weekly* basis for my 11yo and 8yo and just keep things as-is (daily) for the 6yo. For the olders I could have each of their drawers designated as a subject or "to be checked, I'm done with this" drawer.

Or I could keep them daily and just load them from my weekly folders.

Gotta chew on this a bit. Anyone else using workboxes?


This is exactly what I was wondering. I have just purchased plastic bins to set up for the girls as their workboxes. So you place the work in the bins on a daily basis but have a separate file system with work divided by week and just pull from that each day?

#41 2cents

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:13 AM

This is exactly what I was wondering. I have just purchased plastic bins to set up for the girls as their workboxes. So you place the work in the bins on a daily basis but have a separate file system with work divided by week and just pull from that each day?


That is similar to what we do. The 'workboxes' are drawers in our case and their texts/supplies that they always use for that subject are kept there. Our drawers are labeled generically (math, science, history etc.). The folders I have are M-F and I use those for loose paperwork or resources that I need for that particular day. So the drawers are really just a way that the girls can find their subject materials quickly. I don't go through the drawers to grade. We do that as they complete a lesson. Example: Today I pulled the Thurs file and in it was an A Beka math sheet for one, UnitedStreaming Spanish worksheets, a weather LAB sheet, grammar worksheets. I hand out the worksheets and the girls go to their drawers to get the books they need. There are no books for Spanish so we watch a video lesson so this is where the folders are handy, a preprinted worksheet is in the folder. Instead of having to spend time printing stuff out, I already have it ready. Saves time. Our printed lesson chart details everything the girls need to complete for the day. I get the folders and the weekly assignment charts ready on the weekend and that takes maybe an hour or two.

Edited by 2cents, 24 June 2010 - 07:28 AM.


#42 Geek

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:00 PM

This is exactly what I was wondering. I have just purchased plastic bins to set up for the girls as their workboxes. So you place the work in the bins on a daily basis but have a separate file system with work divided by week and just pull from that each day?

I am not currently doing that but it's an idea I'm exploring based on mental wanderings inspired by this thread. :D

#43 T'smom

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 11:52 PM

I'm enjoying this thread so much, I have to bump it up!

Anybody thinking of using two versions of the file box system- one for school and one for 'life'?

#44 extendedforecast

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 02:03 AM

I'm enjoying this thread so much, I have to bump it up!

Anybody thinking of using two versions of the file box system- one for school and one for 'life'?


At the moment, no. Despite the fact that my household includes 6 people and one on the way, our lives are pretty boring. Perhaps when life gets crazy, I'll be able to incorporate this idea for our lives. I read the blog that was linked earlier in the thread, and while I admire the blogger's organization, I can't see myself holding on to so much stuff. I love the idea of the clipboard to hold the day's tasks. I'll definitely use that idea.

I'm currently working on dividing the lessons from each subject for each child. I'm still debating whether to pull out the worksheets from the consumable books or to leave them bound together. If I rip apart the books, I'll have to deal with lots of paper after the work is completed. However, if I keep the workbooks in tact, there will be more books to shelve each day.

How is everyone else doing?

Cindy

#45 ourjourneys

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:41 AM

"we would just keep on going the next week, by either throwing out the work we missed or doing it quickly out loud. This was crazy, but worked so well for us. You see, it's ok to miss a math sheet here and there throughout the year. There's enough review etc, that it's not a big deal... But it IS a big deal if you miss the last big chunk of your book. This way of doing things helped me to finish the whole year by may with lots of breaks throughout."

Thank you for this! Your words just made so much sense to me and it was like an AHAH! moment :)

#46 MamaMamaMama!!

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 09:23 AM

Remember the old binder system? Alot of pp used to do that I wonder if filing and then popping that weeks work into a binder with tabs for the days of the week or subjects in them so that work for the week goes into a working binder and then is filed at the end of the week.

now my wheels are turning.

#47 RobinF

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:30 PM

It Was the best thing I have done yet to keep myself on the ball.

I was tired of always finishing math in august instead of may, and it dawned on me one day that we always fAll behind because of all of the extra unexpected things in life that take over like sick days, etc...

In the school system, if one person gets sick, the teacher doesn't stop teaching while that child is missing. They keep on going and the child either skips the work, or does only the important parts (even if just orally).

So, I decided to split up all of our work into 36 weeks, and told myself that if the week got away from me, we would just keep on going the next week, by either throwing out the work we missed or doing it quickly out loud. This was crazy, but worked so well for us. You see, it's ok to miss a math sheet here and there throughout the year. There's enough review etc, that it's not a big deal... But it IS a big deal if you miss the last big chunk of your book. This way of doing things helped me to finish the whole year by may with lots of breaks throughout.

Here's is what we did:

I bought one of those plAstic bins that hold files. A plastic crate would work fine too. Then I bought 36 hanging folders, and a set of 36 file folders for each child. You could use different colors if you want, but it was cheaper to get a big box of manilla ones, so i labeled each folder (with a different color marker for each child), with a number (1-36).

Now the fun part: I ripped up all their books -math included, and placed a weeks worth of work in each file folder. I made sure to photocopy any worksheets we would need and add them too, as well as anything that would make that week pick-up-and-go.

For example, my dd (gr 4) had in week 1:

Math lessons 1-5
Geography worksheet lesson 1
Latin worksheets lesson 1
Watercolor paper for our art lesson
Blank notebook page for history narration and stotw AG photocopies
Writing tales2 story and workbook pages for week one.
Blank note booking pages for science week one.
Small bag with bird seed for a pine cone bird feeder activity
copy of vangogh sunflower painting for our weekly art appreciation


Anything consumable was taken apart and filed. Anything non consumable was photocopied if allowed and I felt like it, or put in a basket kept beside my files. Each kid had their own basket of textbooks that couldn't be ripped apart like the tm for aas, wwe, and sotw.

Each week the children knew that they had to complete all the work in their file folders by Friday. This helped them to have more responsibility with their work, as well as giving them the opportunity to work ahead if they wanted to.

I was very happy with this approach. It held me accountable to gettinG enough work done each week, while still being able to be flexible and extend one week over two if I really needed to. Mostly though, if we missed a day or two, we would quickly review what we missed orally and then keep going. Before, if we missed a day, we would wait and start where we left off, but this had led to the school year dragging on and on, and me always feeling guilty about not doing enough. Now I fee, though I am the one managing things, not the curriculum. It is there to serve me, not the other way around.

I was also able to get a lot more of the fun subjects done because it was already photocopied and easy for me to pull out each week, and i was finally able to finish a year of Latin and stay on top of the daily review that is so important on learning a second language.

I am definitely doing it again next year.


Can you explain this? I am having a hard time comprehending how this works out. If you have history scheduled and you miss it do you skip it. I can see how it would work for Math because of review but not sure how it plays out for other subjects. Thanks

#48 ssexton

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:09 PM

Hi Robin!!!

I'm visualizing it this way....We are using a lit based history program in which we read from a spine and then spend the rest of the week doing projects, writing assignments, map work, extra reading, etc. If I see that I'm going to miss a day of school this week, I might decide not to do some of the supporting work so that we can keep moving on. The hands on activity not get done, or we may not get to the extra library books. If Ben's really lucky, we might skip the writing assignment. :D

Science I can't really speak to, as we don't do it regularly enough to skip anything! I'm working hard to change that this year.

#49 extendedforecast

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:25 PM

Remember the old binder system? Alot of pp used to do that I wonder if filing and then popping that weeks work into a binder with tabs for the days of the week or subjects in them so that work for the week goes into a working binder and then is filed at the end of the week.

now my wheels are turning.


This is my plan. I am going to let each of m DDs pick out a new binder with dividers for each subject. Then every weekend, I will take out the completed work and transfer the new work for the week. I think I'll set aside individual binders for the completed work by subject in case we need to go back and find something.

#50 extendedforecast

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 01:27 PM

Hi Robin!!!

I'm visualizing it this way....We are using a lit based history program in which we read from a spine and then spend the rest of the week doing projects, writing assignments, map work, extra reading, etc. If I see that I'm going to miss a day of school this week, I might decide not to do some of the supporting work so that we can keep moving on. The hands on activity not get done, or we may not get to the extra library books. If Ben's really lucky, we might skip the writing assignment. :D

Science I can't really speak to, as we don't do it regularly enough to skip anything! I'm working hard to change that this year.


:iagree: This is what I was thinking as well for History and Science.



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