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If the 36 Week Hanging Files didn't work for you....


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#1 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:30 PM

Could you please explain why?

I'm doing a demonstration of how to put together the 36 Week Hanging File Folder System for my homeschool group the first Friday in March and I want to objectively list in the introduction who it might work for and who it might not work for because we have quite a few new homeschoolers with younger kids who might not have enough experience to have a stronger sense what's a good fit for themselves.  I'm also trying to make sure they understand that when I say, "This isn't a good fit for everyone." it isn't code for, "Not everyone can handle being this organized and together, so don't bother." I want them to know that there just are people, situations, and seasons of life where a perfectly valid approach isn't a good fit.

It's worked well for me, so I while I can easily see some situations where it's not a good fit or have read about here at TWTM baords, there are likely others I haven't thought of or don't remember reading about.



#2 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 01:51 PM

Caveat -- I am not super organized. I was super happy this year that I made a list of assignments that totaled 180 for every subject, and while I don't keep up with updating our weekly schedule, I do work off those lists and we are roughly where we need to be. 

 

Main reason: I have never known what to put in the folders. Maybe it's the type of curriculum we use, or the fact that I usually change one subject during the year (this year it's writing -- I am just totally jumping around doing different things because the kids were not thriving with just straight WWS. But seriously, what would I put in the folder?

 

1.My son's math is all online through AOPS, so he doesn't have any paper really. My daughter works out of the textbook and does some work online in Alcumus. That's math.

2.For Big history (science and history combined) there are a lot of videos, there are some articles so I guess I could print those off ahead of time, but I really would drive myself crazy trying to anticipate when we will use them as I speed up or slow down the material depending on the week. For instance, I ended up cutting some of the essays out but we are doing this essay and they needed it to take four-five days, not two. Add in a surprise field trip and we would have been off by a week. 

3. Literature -- we just read and discuss mostly. 

4. Writing: when we do WWS they work out of the book. No photocopies

5. Independent seatwork: They do cursive copywork out of a workbook, sentence diagramming out of a workbook, they do have vocab words which are photocopies as well as editing once a week, photocopied. So those last two could go in.

 

So I guess our homeschooling pretty input heavy, not a lot of output, and we make a lot of timing changes based on the week's flow. What works for us -- I just started this year and LOVE it -- the KanBan system.  I have post it notes of each of their daily tasks, with a couple of post it notes for subjects we do together. They move the subject they are working on to the middle of the board, and then when they finish they put it in the complete side. Some people do it for the whole week. Right now we are doing just day by day.  

 

 

So that is how we do it and why I feel folders would not work with our curriculum or style. 



#3 Hobbes

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:22 PM

Not a fit for me because while I thoroughly plan the school year during the summer, I leave space for adapting, adjusting speed, adding new studies and removing others. At this point this year I would have moved files for every single subject.

Some of our subjects couldn't be filed ahead of time (ex: WWE done with excerpts from current read alouds. I make those pages up weekly. Also, BW projects). We also do a lot of work together in morning time (ex: grammar, French, literature) and while I plan an overall structure for that, it develops organically as we go along. So that's another huge chunk of work that couldn't go in folders.

I love the concept of the 36-week files, but I can't make it work for us.
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#4 mom2scouts

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 02:40 PM

I tried the 36 week file folders. It was a huge fail. It doesn't leave any room for adjustment. If we get behind the plan, decide not to do something, or need to slow down in a subject, the entire thing needs to be redone. The only thing I really put in them were maps and literature worksheets from TOG. There are lots of much better organization methods that allow for easier adjustment.


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#5 wendyroo

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:07 PM

I am super-duper, Type A organized, and file folders did not work for me.

 

- I got stymied early on because a lot of worksheets from books have backs...how was I supposed to put the front in one folder and the back in another.

 

- Like SanDiegoMom said, lots of our curricula doesn't lend itself to being put in folders (literature, Beast Academy, Rosetta Stone, Anki, AAS, MCT, etc).  Plus, even when there were worksheets corresponding to a curriculum, I never knew what to do with the books and teacher materials, so I ended up having to house all of those separately which meant digging out various things (two kids' worksheets, book, teacher guide, coloring supplies, etc) from different places before a lesson could start.  

 

- I never knew what to do with curricula that is done as a group.  Where does that live?

 

- It was very inconvenient when the school day had to be unexpectedly cut short for some reason.  For example, a rescheduled doctors appointment on a Friday could mean that we had to skip writing that day.  With my current system, that just means picking up where we left off on Monday, but with a folder system it meant either shifting a whole bunch of worksheets or cramming in an extra lesson over the weekend even if that didn't feel right for our family.

 

- Conversely, when the kids get on a roll and beg to do "just one more page", the last thing I want is to have to dig through next week's folder and screw up the organization just to let them progress at their own pace.

 

Wendy


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#6 Lotsoflittleducklings

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 03:23 PM

I don't consider them a failure at all, but they have been great for some things and not so great for others.  I've tailored it over the years to work for us.  

 

Essentially:

 

-I like to print things off over the summer, when I have the extra time. So I need to organize them.  If you are a print-as-you-go person, a file system probably isn't necessary. 

 

-It's best for papers that I KNOW I will need on a given week, so I use it primarily to organize my co-op related materials.  Because it's a co-op, there's little rescheduling.  

 

-Sometimes I also use it for short-term blocks on a given subject.  But I don't like to lay out all 36+ weeks, because I'm guaranteed to fall way behind.  I have lots of young children, though, so this is to be expected.  I can see parents of older children having greater success laying out a full semester or more of work... maybe?

 

-And of course if you don't use a lot of paperwork, it isn't necessary.  

 

 


Edited by Lotsoflittleducklings, 14 February 2018 - 03:25 PM.

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#7 La Condessa

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:16 AM

I followed a similar concept, but with weekly dividers in binders. It was a big bother to be constantly adjusting subjects forward and back as the kids grasped some concepts more quickly or slowly than planned for. Now I still prepare all the worksheets similarly, but I have them organized by subject in order of use. I just transfer over approximately a few weeks’ worth of pages to the kids’ binders whenever that subject is getting low, and this allows me to have the ease of the advance prep that the file system allows while still allowing the flexibility for my kids to move at their own paces.
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#8 MotherGoose

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:01 AM

We would get ahead in one thing, and behind in another, and then the folders would be a mess. I loved the concept though. I printed things off and put them by subject in three ring binder, so I could take out what I needed individually by week. That worked much better for me.
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#9 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:45 AM

I have never tried the approach bc I know it won't work for us. We don't use worksheets or textbooks except for math. I am constantly adapting my plans to fit my kids' needs as we go through what I have planned. It has nothing to do with being organized or not. It has everything to do with our approach.
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#10 Laura Corin

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 07:38 AM

I planned my year in terms of what I wanted to accomplish, then just divided it into weeks (twenty chapters over forty weeks, so roughly half a chapter a week, etc.).  Some things moved faster and made time for things that moved slower.  Planning everything in advance would have driven me crazy.  Instead, with my one-page goals in mind, I planned each Sunday and made up a list for each child for that week.


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#11 TracyP

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:22 AM

I used the file folder system one year and it worked great. We moved multiple times in just a few months that year. The file folder system was a huge help in getting school done. However, that was 7 or 8 years ago, and I haven't used it fully since.

1) I see this system as one that helps when you struggle with organization (like I did in the midst of moving) not the other way around. Since then I have found more efficient ways to organize.

2) I hated ripping workbooks apart. That seemed like a huge waste of time.

3) It is too easy to get off in a subject and mess the whole thing up.

One way I still use this system is to organize history by the week. That is the only subject for me that has loose pages. It is great to have them printed and organized by the week. It might be helpful to describe ways to tweak the system.

#12 boscopup

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 09:26 AM

I've tried it on a 6 week basis and found it didn't work for me either. The materials I use often don't have worksheets to file. Like a PP, we're input heavy (mostly books/literature) and not as much output (one kid has dysgraphia, so most of his output is typed on the computer anyway). Also, we tend to change things up throughout the year, not necessarily go at the intended pace (faster or slower), etc. So if week 1 has all the subjects in it and we get ahead in one subject and behind in another, I then have to move everything around for the following weeks.

 

Now it IS helpful for me to print out everything I'll need for a subject ahead of time and file that by subject. I also use Homeschool Planet (and previously Homeschool Tracker Plus) to plan my school year. So the subjects are all planned, possibly with dates not attached. Or if dates are attached, it's easy to move them in the software if we go faster or slower in a subject.

 

I have not yet found a perfect system for me, and part of that might be my own inability to stay on task. :lol: My kids are well educated though. They're pretty flexible with my whims. :)



#13 SilverMoon

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:09 AM

We really need our subjects to function independently of the others and not be bound to another's schedule. Sometimes a kid needs to camp on one for it to sink deep. Others they've had a mental growth spurt and holding them back would be frustrating for them and me. Forcing multiple subjects into the same schedule has never worked for this family, at any time. I do plan each subject separately over the summer, print out what they'll need, and otherwise prepare it so it's completely grab and go throughout the year. So it's not about organization. (Big kids, say middle school up, have their own planners that they fill out one week in advance using those pre-made schedules. Younger kids can just keep doing whatever's next.)

 

For a very recent example, my youngest is going to finish SM math 2 in less than three months. He started 2a in December and he'll finish 2b this week. If everything was tidy in folders and math was forced to go as slow as everything else, the subject he's naturally good at and thrives in would become drudgery. Attempting to speed up writing and other work would drown the guy. I'd have to redo of allll those folders.


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#14 texasmom33

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 10:18 AM

We really need our subjects to function independently of the others and not be bound to another's schedule. Sometimes a kid needs to camp on one for it to sink deep. Others they've had a mental growth spurt and holding them back would be frustrating for them and me. Forcing multiple subjects into the same schedule has never worked for this family, at any time. I do plan each subject separately over the summer, print out what they'll need, and otherwise prepare it so it's completely grab and go throughout the year. So it's not about organization. (Big kids, say middle school up, have their own planners that they fill out one week in advance using those pre-made schedules. Younger kids can just keep doing whatever's next.)

For a very recent example, my youngest is going to finish SM math 2 in less than three months. He started 2a in December and he'll finish 2b this week. If everything was tidy in folders and math was forced to go as slow as everything else, the subject he's naturally good at and thrives in would become drudgery. Attempting to speed up writing and other work would drown the guy. I'd have to redo of allll those folders.


This. Trying to accelerate math was hard. We used RS which didn’t have that many worksheets anyway but putting them in the weeks in advance then meant me digging through files for 5 minutes because we didn’t have daily worksheets and it wasn’t a matter of grab the next folder. Who knew what week it would be in when you jump 5 lessons ahead. I could’ve kicked myself for taking the workbook apart. And ditto other pp’s- at younger ages everything else is in a do the next thing workbook- like handwriting. Why dismantle?

I am a big fan of printing off in advance and binders, but the folders were a fail for me despite spending countless hours reading about the implementation thereof. They’re hard to flip through, things stick together.....they just were more work than worth for me. I now have boxes of file folders with no calling in life. :)

#15 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:11 AM

I'm surprised to hear so many people included math in the file folders.  When I was taught to do it they specifically said not to put subjects like phonics, math, and possibly (depending on approach) grammar because those need to be mastered before moving on and children vary so much in how quickly they master them.



#16 CPSTAnne

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:19 AM

- We ended up changing a few things which left a lot of pulling and resorting. I had only filled the folders for the first semester but that was still a lot to have to go back and adjust. I was pretty sure on everything before the year began, but I ended up wrong!

 

- I didn't end up liking having all the papers loose. It's better for my sanity if they remain in their original workbooks. Or if it comes loose/pdf, then I pro-click it myself. All in one place is better for myself and my DD. 

 

- Turns out we don't use very many things that can go in a folder in the first place. At the beginning of the year we did. But as we made adjustments it reached the point where daily writing was the only thing that could go in there. I didn't want to tear apart math and nothing else is worksheet based. 

 

- Pacing. When the folders did have several things in them, it meant having to stay together at the same pace on everything. So if we did a week's worth of writing and a week's worth of word roots, but only got through half of critical thinking....then I had papers left over that needed to carry to next week. But next week would have it's own set of critical thinking pages. I had to have a folder that was just for stuff that didn't fit in our daily folders for the week because of carry-over or an unplanned day not at home day (field trip, sudden nice-weather-play-date....) Then I'd fill the next week's daily folders from that before getting out the next weekly folder. It became a mess. 

 

A lot of my problems with it would be a non-issue for someone who is using all curriculum they are already familiar with and knows works for them, that they know their child's pacing of well, and that can easily be pulled apart and sorted. 



#17 SilverMoon

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:23 AM

Even reduced to just the content subjects like science and history it would have flopped here this year. My younger two started out with a carefully crafted schedule for history, pages printed and everything planned ahead of time. These are the youngest two out of six; I've done this many times already! I have two graduates and I know what I'm doing! :lol: Less than a third through the school year that schedule just wasn't working. We scrapped it and just read history books with SOTW coloring pages.

More impacting than subjects being bound to other subjects, my mother-in-law spent 1.5 months with us. You don't want to know how jacked up our schedules/plans are after that.... :svengo: :tongue_smilie:



#18 AMJ

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:57 AM

I haven't tried using weekly file folders, but things that have shot down other attempts of mine to organize the school year in advance:

 

  • Allergies!  Allergies plague our family, and some spring and fall seasons are worse than others.  Ability to concentrate and do work can vary wildly from day to day during allergy seasons, and allergy seasons for us can last for many weeks.
  • Needs of others (not the students or teaching parent).  Every year something comes up regarding other family, causing us to change our vacation plans (always use vacations to visit far-flung folks) or to make additional trips on short notice.  This has always been one issue for us since we would visit the kids' great-grandparents every year.  Now I have an additional, more frequent demand to meet -- my 85-year-old Dad now resides near me, and I have his POA.  We are still working out what will be our new normal, but there will be short-notice items regarding Dad that will crop up.
  • Our own health problems, be they injuries, doctor diagnoses, catching the latest bug to go around.

For us it is largely health issues (ours or family's) that tend to derail us, though those derailments can be short (day or days) or long (weeks or months).  Getting my Dad moved from out-of-state to near us derailed us for a good 2 months (though that kind of interruption shouldn't occur again).  I guess the point I'm trying to make is that both known and unknown issues like these can heavily impact execution of the overall plan.  The way to handle such interruptions is to work on what you can when you can (without overmuch stress over it), and when you can get going again pick up where you left off, drop some stuff, quicken the pace on other stuff, and/or just plan to work longer into the summer.



#19 AMJ

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:58 AM

Even reduced to just the content subjects like science and history it would have flopped here this year. My younger two started out with a carefully crafted schedule for history, pages printed and everything planned ahead of time. These are the youngest two out of six; I've done this many times already! I have two graduates and I know what I'm doing! :lol: Less than a third through the school year that schedule just wasn't working. We scrapped it and just read history books with SOTW coloring pages.

More impacting than subjects being bound to other subjects, my mother-in-law spent 1.5 months with us. You don't want to know how jacked up our schedules/plans are after that.... :svengo: :tongue_smilie:

 

 

:grouphug:  I can imagine the impact that had!



#20 Chelli

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 12:04 PM

As a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, we only use worksheets for math. There would be nothing to file since we use living books for everything else.

I do plan for the year, but a folder system wouldn't work.
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#21 Hobbes

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 01:33 PM

I'm surprised to hear so many people included math in the file folders. When I was taught to do it they specifically said not to put subjects like phonics, math, and possibly (depending on approach) grammar because those need to be mastered before moving on and children vary so much in how quickly they master them.


I think this is because of approach - for us this year, math is the only thing that could go in file folders (and it doesn't work for the pacing reason). Everything else is not primarily workbook-based, so pages are added here and there as needed.
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#22 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:07 PM

I'm surprised to hear so many people included math in the file folders. When I was taught to do it they specifically said not to put subjects like phonics, math, and possibly (depending on approach) grammar because those need to be mastered before moving on and children vary so much in how quickly they master them.


So basically what you are saying is that the approach is a match for content subjects that are workbook based?

#23 MerryAtHope

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:24 PM

We rarely used worksheets. When I did have digital books that needed printing, I filed them by subject in my teacher box rather than by week. The kids or I could simply pull out the next page as needed. I appreciated the flexibility in pacing that filing by subject afforded us. The one year I tried to schedule everything out week by week was too stressful. I found that a yearly plan with workboxes allowed us the flexibility we needed with family, health issues, etc... while still keeping us accountable and organized. 

 

For workbooks (math, phonics, handwriting)--I almost never removed the pages. I prefered to keep them bound. In the few instances where I do remove them, they are perforated and designed to be used that way--and I just removed them along the way. 

 

We did a lot of lit-based homeschooling, lots of read-alouds, and most hands-on projects were not worksheet based--so there was nothing to file for many subjects.

 

I hope your talk goes well!


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#24 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:25 PM

So basically what you are saying is that the approach is a match for content subjects that are workbook based?

No, not necessarily.  There are people who do projects who print out instructions for activities and those who do literature on a schedule you print out discussion questions to be used certain weeks. People can use Latin and Greek Roots and those that are mastered are put aside and those that need more work and put in next week's file folder.  Assigned reading lists and essay topics can be printed and put in them too.  None of those things are workbook based.



#25 importswim

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 02:55 PM

It didn't work for me when I pre-printed everything and put them in the hanging files. I now use it for "organization" after the fact. I put our work that we've completed into the hanging files during the week. They keep the work somewhat orderly and at the end of the year it makes it easier to compile our portfolio. They are mainly used for history papers (SOTW tests and maps), Latin (I photocopy out of the book) and special projects. 

 

 

When I started with all of the work divvied up it was frustrating and overwhelming when we'd get off track, which invariably happens a lot! I am NOT type A!



#26 barnwife

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 03:41 PM

I'm surprised to hear so many people included math in the file folders.  When I was taught to do it they specifically said not to put subjects like phonics, math, and possibly (depending on approach) grammar because those need to be mastered before moving on and children vary so much in how quickly they master them.

I have read about this system and can't wrap my mind around it. I have no idea what we'd put in the folders! We are just not (at this time in our HS journey anyway) worksheet driven. So what goes in them?

For example, we are reading through SOTW1 as part of our morning time. Once a week-ish we pull out our globe and identify places from SOTW or other things we've read. So what should be going in the folder?

In another post you mentioned a literature list...but why wouldn't that just be a big list that you check off as you go? Why does it need to be in a specific week's folder? What if a book is more difficult than expected so it takes longer? What if you dive deep into a book and need longer for discussions? What if student starts reading a book and hates it? (I mean, sometimes it's worth asking them to finish. But there certainly must be times when a students hates a book and you need to switch?)

My mind just can't understand this system. To me, if you take out the math and language arts, what's left for the folders?



#27 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 05:52 PM

I have read about this system and can't wrap my mind around it. I have no idea what we'd put in the folders! We are just not (at this time in our HS journey anyway) worksheet driven. So what goes in them?


For example, we are reading through SOTW1 as part of our morning time. Once a week-ish we pull out our globe and identify places from SOTW or other things we've read. So what should be going in the folder?

When we did SOTW 1-4 we put in things from the Activity Guides like the supplies for the projects, the coloring pages, the outlining from book 4, and the maps.

In another post you mentioned a literature list...but why wouldn't that just be a big list that you check off as you go? Why does it need to be in a specific week's folder? What if a book is more difficult than expected so it takes longer?

Literature is independent reading and divided by so many pages a day if it's so difficult to work through then we choose something closer to their current ability level.  I have the discussion guides in the folder so it's on hand when we discuss it.  Some discussion topis I assign as essays and some as discussion.

Often in different curricula there is assigned fiction (literature), non-fiction, and hands on projects related to each reading or section.  If I want to assign some and not others, I simply have a list of which ones need to be done.  There's master chart for each kid for mom with what needs to be done in each subject each week listed with the most important assignment first, and working down to the least important assignment.  We start at the top and work our way down.  If we're out of time we know which ones to skip. The master chart serves as a check off list. 


What if you dive deep into a book and need longer for discussions?
Then our day is a little longer and we talk about for another half hour or whatever.


What if student starts reading a book and hates it? (I mean, sometimes it's worth asking them to finish. But there certainly must be times when a students hates a book and you need to switch?)

Then  I replace that book with another book that can either be finished in the remaining time (so many pages a day) or if it's longer then it's what the kid reads as "homework" in our hour of independent reading before bed for a few nights to get us caught up. Usually they pick their own reading for that time but every now and then I assign catch up reading in a school subject.

My mind just can't understand this system. To me, if you take out the math and language arts, what's left for the folders?

I didn't say Language Arts. I said phonics and some grammar depending on the approach. As I stated upthread, you can be project oriented and put the assignment and supplies list in the folder.  We did an entire semester of biomes with living books and projects with one biome covered each week and I printed out plants and animals from coloring pages reduced to smaller sizes for a food web/classification project.  We did weather items like volcanos where we read about them, built one, did a discussion about what it must've been like seeing Mt. Vesuvio, etc.  All those projects directions went in the list.

One of the major reasons for choosing the approach is to have a way for kids to work independently while mom works one on one with another child.  People who want that aren't choosing intensely mom dependent materials. 

 

 



#28 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:51 PM

My kids can work independently. I write lesson plans for them in their lesson planner. I know what we need and what we are going to do bc I wrote down the plans. A simple planner seems less complicated to me.

If your method works well for you and others, then great. That is what you should do. But I am sure that others like me who are orgsnized, know exactly what we are doing and have our supplies listed and ready and think our system is simple and clear.
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#29 desertstrawberry5

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:06 PM

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    Is it a ton of work upfront to do it this way? With all of the subjects and projects and reading assignments and everything. Do you plan the whole 36 weeks all at once?

    When we have done it, we have had a daily folder of math, phonics, and handwriting worksheets. Just the basics, just a single day's work. Worksheets only. I've never planned more than 12 weeks at the most at a time. The shorter time allows me to revisit often what is working and what needs more help. 

 
    I've always thought this system was really only compatible with a worksheet heavy system like VP or Spectrum. 




 

Edited by desertstrawberry5, 15 February 2018 - 11:14 PM.


#30 Slache

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 07:58 AM

I didn't try it but won't because I need more flexibility. If my husband stays home school doesn't happen. Sometimes we go on a nature walk that turns into a Frisbee golf with random strangers adventure which ends in a phone call of "Hey, I'm off today. Wanna take the kids to the museum?" We school year around. We do the next thing. I think a 180 day folder system might be in our future.



#31 Heathermomster

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 08:58 AM

I tried a 36 week system, and it was blown out of the water due to death, illness/therapies, and/or me simply choosing to adjust materials on the fly. I like and need flexibility. My eldest has multiple SLDs, so I could never predict when difficulties with math or writing would arise.

I keep a simple planner. All my DD’s materials are kept neatly stacked in one location on a bookcase shelf. We sit together at a table near the shelf and do the next thing. Art supplies and paper are easily found and organized in the office. DS is 18 yo and graduates in May. He uses a simple planner too and completes his own work. I oversee and ensure work is getting completed.

#32 vonbon

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 12:47 PM

Did you happen to see this recent thread?

 

http://forums.welltr...-fail-what-now/

 

HTH!



#33 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:21 PM

 

Yes, it's all done up front so that there's no planning or prepping on weeknights or weekends. It takes a couple of weeks to do it all. No, it isn't only for worksheet heavy approaches.  It can easily include them, but it can be project and activity oriented too.
 



#34 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 01:28 PM

Did you happen to see this recent thread?

 

http://forums.welltr...-fail-what-now/

 

HTH!

 

Yes, I have but it's a little off topic.  I was specifically asked by my homeschool group to explain and demonstrate the 36 week hanging file folder system so people could consider it as a possible option for their homeschools.  I haven't been asked to explain other options of organizing the homeschool year.  

Right now I'm looking for input from people who meet the criteria of having used the system, but then realized it wasn't a good fir for them, and having them explain how it wasn't a good fit so I can give the new people some examples of how something can work well for one group of people, but not others.   


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#35 Meriwether

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 10:11 PM

Lots of impromptu long weekends that mess with that sort of planning. We visit family 5-6 hours often but not on a set schedule.

#36 Momto4inSoCal

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 01:23 AM

I semi used it this year but it wasn't as big of a help as I thought it would be. The first reason has already been mentioned. A lot of curriculum has a back page and it drove me crazy. Do I put an extra page in one file or leave a page out? We have a lot of books that don't necissarily have pages to be seperated. I don't like having seperate systems. I prefer everything to be in one place. What I ended up doing is putting pictures for picture studies in each file along with books that I wanted to read that week and some worksheets. It has been fine for that but that is only a portion of our work. I'm on the fence about using it next year. 



#37 boscopup

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 09:42 AM

I've never heard to use the system only for content subjects and not skills subjects. But I still prefer doing the planning (Including project lists, etc.) in Homeschool Planet (and previously HST+) and putting history in a binder and science in a binder. I plan out the entire year at the beginning and print stuff out so it's ready to go, but putting things in weekly folders would require separating all my subjects and then putting them back together in a binder later. I'd rather just start out with the binder. A lot less work (no separating). I just print out what we need and plop it in the binder. Homeschool Planet e-mails me a week before that I need to get certain supplies for a project. Also, my kids can login to Homeschool Planet themselves and access their assignments, click on links, check things as done, etc. They use OneNote to turn in typed work. I can access that from my phone, computer, etc.

 

Also, I use sticky tabs for EVERYTHING, so it's easy to get to where we are in the binder. Just turn to the sticky tab. I use them for bookmarks as well (they don't get lost AS easily). Love the 3M sticky tabs. :)


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#38 Where's Toto?

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 11:01 AM

I used it when the kids were younger and we were using a lot of workbooks and print-outs.  It definitely didn't work for many of the reasons people already mentioned.  They both worked at an uneven pace.  I had them read literature for an hour a day (stopping at a chapter), not a set number of pages so couldn't predict accurately when they would finish a book.

 

I also hated the worksheets with backs.  I had to put post-its on them to remember to stick them in the next folder.  Pretty much all of the below,except I am far from a Type A personality.

 

I am super-duper, Type A organized, and file folders did not work for me.

 

- I got stymied early on because a lot of worksheets from books have backs...how was I supposed to put the front in one folder and the back in another.

 

- Like SanDiegoMom said, lots of our curricula doesn't lend itself to being put in folders (literature, Beast Academy, Rosetta Stone, Anki, AAS, MCT, etc).  Plus, even when there were worksheets corresponding to a curriculum, I never knew what to do with the books and teacher materials, so I ended up having to house all of those separately which meant digging out various things (two kids' worksheets, book, teacher guide, coloring supplies, etc) from different places before a lesson could start.  

 

- I never knew what to do with curricula that is done as a group.  Where does that live?

 

- It was very inconvenient when the school day had to be unexpectedly cut short for some reason.  For example, a rescheduled doctors appointment on a Friday could mean that we had to skip writing that day.  With my current system, that just means picking up where we left off on Monday, but with a folder system it meant either shifting a whole bunch of worksheets or cramming in an extra lesson over the weekend even if that didn't feel right for our family.

 

- Conversely, when the kids get on a roll and beg to do "just one more page", the last thing I want is to have to dig through next week's folder and screw up the organization just to let them progress at their own pace.

 

Wendy

 

 

I'm surprised to hear so many people included math in the file folders.  When I was taught to do it they specifically said not to put subjects like phonics, math, and possibly (depending on approach) grammar because those need to be mastered before moving on and children vary so much in how quickly they master them.

 

If I didn't put in math, phonics and grammar there wouldn't be much to put in.  I didn't use it for Science or History because those weren't done every day or even every week sometimes.  If we had an opportunity to go on a field trip to a science museum or history program, that would take the place of our at-home stuff.  If Amazon didn't send something on time, I wouldn't have what I need to do a project or experiment.  Literature they read for a set time not a number of pages so I couldn't predict where they'd be.

 

I am thinking of doing something like this for history.  Not by day or week, by topic.  So, all the stuff I need for Egypt in a folder, everything for Indus Valley, etc.  I have things fairly organized but I think this could be helpful.

 

Most of our stuff now is textbooks and videos so it definitely wouldn't be worth it at this point.



#39 librarymama

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 12:27 PM

I used it previously on a short term basis (I think I planned 10 weeks?) back when my oldest was in 1st/2nd grade and he had a lot of worksheets for things like logic, spelling, handwriting, etc. It actually worked pretty well for that and I could just pull the folder and do whatever was in it in addition to our math and reading. I ended up just pulling out what we were doing each week over the weekend and working through it all week. 

 

I would say that now that would absolutely not work for me because we do the next thing and work through scheduled time amounts for each subject. (We are currently afterschooling and I plan to do this when we go back to FT homeschooling in the fall).

 

I also would say that it is important to do a test run as others have mentioned rather than planning all 36 weeks and risking crashing and burning. That could really discourage a new homeschooler. 



#40 Mimm

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Posted Yesterday, 04:44 PM

It didn't work for me because I chose curriculum that would work best with my organization system and not curriculum that would work best for us. I chose all curriculum with disposable work books so I could pull them apart and put them in folders. Then we were bored. Some stuff didn't get done and that didn't matter because we had another folder to do the next week. Yikes. This type of thing is exactly what the homeschool to avoid! I value flexibility way too much. :)