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If you use the 36 Week File system...


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Do you keep notes of the lessons you do daily?

I mean im just wondering if this is necessary??

 

I Live in NY, so Im wondering if I should keep track of what we do every day.

 

Before I started this 36 week file system , I was just writing down what we did after we did it on a daily class schedule with the date on it.

 

I had printed the quarterly sheets from Donna young to do my lesson plans. but I havent used tthem.

 

Just wondering what everyone else does, if you do it just for records etc. or is the binder of her work enough??

 

:D thank

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I do a few things to keep track of what we did. In the morning, I have the kids each write down in their daily planner what they are supposed to do for the day (subject, unit, lesson), and the time slot they will do it in. You can see a copy of our daily planner here on my blog, if you want to see how it's laid out. It has everything they need to do on 1 page, and spaces for their scores to be recorded. I have my oldest score her own papers.

 

We also keep things like writing assignments (narrations), and any other keepsake type assignments in binders.

 

We also use K12, which has online records. I take their binders, and sit down at the computer to enter their scores daily.

 

I've probably gone overkill, but I really like to have all my bases covered. It makes me feel good about our homeschool.

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I don't keep track of it. I just put the work back in the folder for the week once we're done with it so I can go back at the end of the year and still see what we did during week 2. Either at the end of the semester or year (haven't decided yet), we'll go back and make a notebook for the semester showing our best works. But I live in TX and we don't have to keep any sorts of records, etc.

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I write up lesson plans for each week for each child and stick them in the file. I don't have to keep track of what I do so I usually just throw them away afterwards.

 

I actually typed up my plans on my wordprocessor. I also typed up databases for each subject listing the main topics and/or work for the year. This is a nice visual that helps me plan library trips and such.:001_smile:

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We have no record-keeping or reporting legal requirements here, so what I keep is just for our own benefit. The way we do it is I take the things out of the file at the beginning of the week (actually usually the Saturday before) and put them into the kids' workbox drawers. Each child has a weekly schedule on their personal magnet board that shows which subjects will be done in which time-slots on which days, but I also have little velcro tags that I set up each day to reinforce the schedule (this is mostly because I am dealing with Asperger's in one child and ADHD in the other, which means they both have deficits in "executive function skills", aka being organized and I am working on transitioning Aspie ds from workboxes to a weekly class schedule).

 

I do have a sheet in my weekly file where I can write down which lesson we're on in math and spelling and some things like that which I don't keep in the file because the pacing of the lessons varies too much. But I haven't been very good about writing it down.

 

My primary methods of record keeping are their binders, and my grade book, where I write down the date and a brief description of the project (ex. Grammar, p. 6) and then record the grade after that.

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I used Homeschool Skedtrack to plan out the year, then used those plans to fill my folders. So all I need to do is go into the program once a week and check off everything we accomplished. It takes me less than 5 minutes once per week.

 

I do also take pictures to add to the scrapbook pages of our website, which take me longer than 5 minutes per week to do. However, that's for my benefit, not for the school district.

 

I'm also in NY, and I think having a binder of work is probably sufficient. I find it so easy to take the 5 minutes to check things off, though. Since most of their work is in separate subject notebooks it would be much easier for me to hand the district a list of printouts of what we've covered than to dig through 6 notebooks trying to find good examples. They like to flip through their notebooks and review things, so taking things out to put in a portfolio wouldn't work well for us.

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I am using and LOVING the filing system. I use planners for the kids and made my own, so the weekly lesson plans get put on paper, even though I have the folders. You can read about the planners here.

 

What is great is that I take out the folders on Sunday afternoon or evening and it takes a matter of minutes to have the lesson planner filled in.

 

It's the best thing I've ever done in my now 6 years of homeschooling.

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I've seen the loooooong thread on the system, but rather than wading through it, can someone point me to a blog post of the nuts and bolts of the system. My main question is how do this work for things that are workbooks, do you photocopy the pages or something?

I'm really trying to streamline for next year, and this in combo with the kids workboxes is appealling.

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I've seen the loooooong thread on the system, but rather than wading through it, can someone point me to a blog post of the nuts and bolts of the system. My main question is how do this work for things that are workbooks, do you photocopy the pages or something?

I'm really trying to streamline for next year, and this in combo with the kids workboxes is appealling.

 

The basic idea was to tear apart the workbooks (divide into 36 weeks) and place the lessons/pages in teh folder for each week.

 

I did this for all of our books except her history book because some of the pages were back to back for different lessons, so I didnt want to have copy them etc. it was just easier to leave that one in thebook, I then just put a post it note in her folder with the chapter and questiosn she needed to do for that week.

This is very new to me, but so far I like it. Just trying to get her into as much as I am. LOL and also Im trying to figure out a grading system.

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My primary methods of record keeping are their binders, and my grade book, where I write down the date and a brief description of the project (ex. Grammar, p. 6) and then record the grade after that.

 

Can you explain how you do your grading system?? Im trying to figure that all out also! Id appreciate seeing how others do it. Thanks :D

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Can you explain how you do your grading system?? Im trying to figure that all out also! Id appreciate seeing how others do it. Thanks :D

 

Well, I have to say I'm still working it out myself. I didn't really worry much about grades the first few years of homeschooling. We had some major behavioral and emotional issues to iron out and not only was grading pretty nearly impossible, it was way too much work on top of trying to retain control and actually teach something, and didn't seem all that important. I made a half-hearted attempt at grading last year, but I don't think I set it up well and I petered out pretty early on. Last year was our first year with both kids home and I had a lot of adjusting and figuring out to do. So THIS year, I'm determined to keep grades because NEXT year my son will be entering 9th grade and I'm going to want to be able to produce a transcript. So there are probably people here with a lot more competence and experience than me, and you should take what I say with a grain of salt.

 

But anyway, the way I have it set up this year (which is working out well for me) is that I have a "grades" tab in my teacher binder, behind the "attendance" tab (where I mark off school days on a calendar for each child) and in front of the "goals" tab (where I can look to remember why I am doing this in the first place and what I had decided we HAD to do or die trying). I've attached a stick-on file tab to the first page in each section (subject) with the tabs at the top of the page, and the name of the subject written on each tab. So looking at my binder, there's a "grades" tab on the side of the pages, and then "Language Arts", "Math", "History", etc. going across the top. I have two children, so each subject has two pages. I've put my daughter's page on top in each section, so I know it's the one with her grades, and the page behind is my ds's, which makes it easy to open to the page I want at any given time.

 

In the grades section I have one page per child per subject for grades. Each page has the subject, child's name, and page number at the top (ex. "Studentname", Math, page 1). The rest of the page is divided into columns. On the left is a date column, next is an "assignment" column for me to write the page number or what the notebook page was supposed to be about, or whatever, and then there are several columns for recording grades. I wanted to record the test grades separately from the daily work grades so I can weight them differently if I want, though I'm still vacillating on how I want to do that. Right now I'm just collecting grades. Anyway, there's a column for daily work, a column for tests, a column marked "other" (because it seems like there's always SOMETHING that defies categorization), and a column for a cumulative score (which I haven't been using. When I got to the end of the first page on ds's language arts--which is the only page we've filled that far yet--I just added up each column and forwarded the totals to a new page, which I placed in front of the old one so it'll be on top when I open that section (I'm thinking I may need to add another section to my binder for the older grade sheets and just keep the one's I'm currently recording on in my grade recording section so I don't have to shuffle through lots of pages). Also, each of these columns is sub-divided into two columns, one for points earned, and one for points possible.

 

So say ds does a math assignment. I would open to his page in the math section, record the date, the page number, the number of problems he got correct, and the total number of problems. If it was just a regular assignment I'll put it in the daily column, if it was a test grade I'll put it in the test column. That's all I'm doing so far. When I get to the end of the page, I'm totalling all the columns and making an entry at the top of the next page (which I number) that says something like "totals forwarded from previous page". Then I just keep going. At the end of the quarter I'll add up the totals and divide the points earned by the points possible to find a percentage grade. (I may add in the test score twice to give them more weight.)

 

There are some things we do more or less "together", in spite of their age difference. For example, we might read aloud together a book for history, and then they would each go write something about it, each at their own level. Also we do dictation "together", meaning they both sit at the table at the same time, and I give a sentence to dd, and then a longer selection to ds and they turn them in at the same time. Then I can just flip to the language arts section and put a grade on each page.

 

For a lot of these things my grades are pretty arbitrary. I mean, math is pretty straightforward, you either got it right or you didn't. For things like dictation, though, or a writing assignment I just pick a grade based on whether they followed the directions I gave them, wrote about what they were supposed to, have their page formatted properly, wrote legibly, etc. And I admit that sometimes this is influenced by my mood and their level of cooperation...lol. But it's for our own information, so I don't sweat it. It helps them know where they can improve and what they did well, even if it isn't very scientific. And improvement is what we're after, not precision grading.

 

So that's how grading works at my house, at least for now. It's easier than it sounds. And I'm finding it gratifying to watch the pages fill up with assignments. Makes me feel like we're actually accomplishing something. :) Dd is especially invested in getting "good grades", so it's very motivating to her. Ds doesn't care as much about what grade he gets, but at least this way I'll have something on which to base a transcript as we move ahead.

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I've seen the loooooong thread on the system, but rather than wading through it, can someone point me to a blog post of the nuts and bolts of the system. My main question is how do this work for things that are workbooks, do you photocopy the pages or something?

I'm really trying to streamline for next year, and this in combo with the kids workboxes is appealling.

 

I have some links on my blog You will need to scroll down the page to file folder system. There are lots of nice blogs that show you how they set it up.

 

Hope this helps.:001_smile:

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I have a lesson plan book that notes what we are doing each day, it's done for the 36 weeks.. I made it as I was filing into the sections.. I then just place a check mark to indicate we did it..

 

I keep all their weekly work in binders for the year too.. just in case. I have them date the pages but other than correcting mistakes, I don't grade them.

 

I figure between these two records, I'm covered in case the school ever has questions.. (I'm in NY too)

 

I loved the long thread on the whole system.. and here is how I made it work for our family..

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Thanks Amy.

 

I know my dd is motivated by grades, she likes to see how shes doing. ( also use to ps grades) but I really would like to just have her see that shes accomplishing things in a positive way.

 

appreciate your input on your grading system! :001_smile:

 

No problem. :)

 

I have mixed feelings about grades too. After all, the grade shouldn't be the "goal" of education, LEARNING should be the goal. And as I say, I'm doing grading at this point mostly to work out a system for it before I need to produce a transcript for ds. A lot of the time we sit and look at some of their work together and I just say, "Tell me one thing you're proud of in this project, and one thing you think you could work on improving next time." And then I give them one of each as well. Or...y'know...however many seems appropriate to the project. I think it's good for them to learn to evaluate their own work, not just for mistakes, but for successes as well.

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The basic idea was to tear apart the workbooks (divide into 36 weeks) and place the lessons/pages in teh folder for each week.

 

I did this for all of our books except her history book because some of the pages were back to back for different lessons, so I didnt want to have copy them etc. it was just easier to leave that one in thebook, I then just put a post it note in her folder with the chapter and questiosn she needed to do for that week.

Thanks :)

And what if you don't get the work done for a particular week. Say for instance, a child gets sick or you have an unexpected outing. How do you adjust the worksheets then?

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Thanks :)

And what if you don't get the work done for a particular week. Say for instance, a child gets sick or you have an unexpected outing. How do you adjust the worksheets then?

 

We have had this happen already. I went through the work in the folder and decided that some of it didn't have to be completed. Some of it we completed orally and some I moved to the next week. We typically only have a four day school week anyway. This gives us one day for field trips, coops or just life in general. Also we don't have any subject that we do everyday written work in.

 

For example I schedule FLL by their 36 week schedule which works out to 3 days a week. So in the week we didn't finish I skipped on lesson (picture study), we completed one lesson and I moved one lesson to the next week. So in that week we have 4 days of FLL to complete.

 

I took all our work and divided it by 36 weeks and none of it requires that we do work everyday of the 36 weeks to complete it. For Math (MUS) I schedule one lesson a week, so if something happens and we miss a day then they can usually just skip those worksheets since they don't have to have a full week to understand and complete the work.

 

One of the things that helps me do this easily is how I set up our file system. I have 36 files for each of the boys (so three sets of 36 files). Then I have 2 pocket folders for each boy (all of these are in their own colors). One pocket folder is labeled daily/weekly and one is labeled finished. On the weekend I move their number folder work to their daily/weekly folder. In this folder I have their work divided by day and paper clipped together. Then each day I take their work out and give it to them. When they finish they put it in the finished folder and I grade it and at the end of the week, I record any grades and then file their work in their big binder (3 in binder for the year). I take any other things like FLL and OPG and file it back in the appropriate binder.

 

So on the week I had to move things around, I just keep the work we needed to move to the next week in the daily/weekly folder. Then I added the week from the next weekly folder. Does that make sense?

 

I found a pocket binder this week with 8 pockets and I want to get them for the boys for their daily/weekly work (right now I have a cheap pocket binder with 2 pockets).

Edited by RobinF
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Thanks :)

And what if you don't get the work done for a particular week. Say for instance, a child gets sick or you have an unexpected outing. How do you adjust the worksheets then?

 

We've had that come up twice already too, a couple of times. I'm finding that having most of the week's work in the folder has made it a lot easier to readjust my plans.

 

Actually, I was quite concerned about this before doing the filing because I KNOW things don't always go according to plan around here, one way or another. There are a couple of subjects that I didn't file at all because I knew that our pace going through them would not be regular. Math is one of these. We're using MUS too. Some chapters are really easy for them, everything just clicks. Also ds is backing up and doing some skills review right now so a LOT of it is super easy for him. He's currently doing one lesson a day, watching the video and doing the test--UNLESS he hits something where he needs a little more review, in which case I have him do a practice page or a systematic review page or two before doing the test. Dd has hit a patch that's quite easy for her too, so she's usually doing only one practice page and/or one cumulative review page or so herself before going on to the next lesson. But I KNOW at some point with both of them we're going to hit patches where we need to go through at a much slower rate and really hit those practice and review pages. Instead of one lesson every one to three days, we might need a whole week per lesson, or even longer. Knowing this up front I figured it would be counterproductive to file the pages. I'd spend the whole year shuffling through files trying to find the next lesson and rearrange things to fill in the gaps. I had waking nightmares just thinking about it. So I just left those workbooks as they are and pull out pages as they're needed. I do the same with the All About Spelling lessons, since again we move through some faster than others.

 

BUT. I am determined that we are going to get through a certain list of science topics, and a certain number of chapters in the history book, and I was NOT going to spend another year scrambling for an art lesson, or a health lesson or whatever. If I have one in my folder I can always decide to skip it in order to fit in something else, but if I don't have one planned I'm too prone to just blow it off because I'm too tired to deal with it on the day before or the day of, or whatever. And then I also filed some things like ds's vocabulary pages (we're using "Words On The Vine" for him this year) where there are lessons each week, but they don't build on each other so it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things if one week's list of words gets skipped.

 

So.

 

When the week isn't working out as planned I can open up my folder and decide which things are critical, which are pretty much expendable, and which would be nice to cover but nothing's going to crash and burn if we don't get to it. This week is a case in point. I wasn't feeling well on Monday, so I had to decide how to scrunch the whole week into four days and/or bleed it into next week. I decided I'd rather scrunch because we'd all feel a nice sense of accomplishment at the end of the week if we could chuck another file.

 

I ditched music for the week. It's a review of what we learned last week, and next week's lesson is a review of the same thing. We'll just do next week's review and call it good enough (it's a basic music conducting course). There's lots more reinforcement of the concepts coming down the road. We are making good progress in math, so I could skip one day's worth of math without feeling "behind". For our lesson on personification in poetry we did the reading and the writing about it on the same day, instead of splitting it into two days as I normally do. I left out one day of spelling practice for each of them and just gave them their tests. We did all the reading for history and science, so we covered the topics, but I only had them do one notebook page for science instead of the usual two. The health lesson I stuck in next week's folder and we'll cover both weeks' lessons next week. They're on the same subject, more or less, and that'll work out pretty well. Anyway, you get the general idea. But having it all in a folder is nice--for me--because I can lay it all out and make that kind of decision, and I feel like I'm in control of the situation and it's not all getting away from me. The books aren't taking over, I'm still in charge around here, IYKWIM.

 

HTH

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Thank you Amy, that does help a lot. And this in particular is the attraction for me:

 

BUT. I am determined that we are going to get through a certain list of science topics, and a certain number of chapters in the history book, and I was NOT going to spend another year scrambling for an art lesson, or a health lesson or whatever. If I have one in my folder I can always decide to skip it in order to fit in something else, but if I don't have one planned I'm too prone to just blow it off because I'm too tired to deal with it on the day before or the day of, or whatever.

 

I have exactly the same issue, and I can see the value in taking time over the Christmas holidays to really prepare the year ahead.

I'm thinking that I might spend this coming week making up folders for the next 10 weeks, that way I can have a practice run before I do a whole year.

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