Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Sonlight Working Binder

I love my Sonlight instructor guides, but man, are they huge!! Way too big to pull out and use on a daily basis. I have tried a few different ways to organize our work for the week, and the "working binder" is my favorite so far. Basically, I keep a smaller, more manageable binder with just the Sonlight pages and other materials we need to have on hand for one week. This binder is easy to carry around room to room, though I usually have it parked open on the counter during the day. I adore my little binder but, in full honesty, I am pretty sure my kids try to hide from me when they see me with it!

I like to use a binder with a clear pocket to slip a cover page into, and of course it must be a fun color. Here is my binder for this year....

Not very creatively named, I admit! But the cartoon makes me laugh when I pick it up. I use colored tabs to separate my binder sections. I have five sections: Core P 4/5, Core C, Core F, Schedules, and Helps.

Behind each Core section I keep the Sonlight schedule for the week we are on. Core F comes with a nifty color map designed to be used as a bookmark, so I keep that right before the notes.

As you can see, I do write in my instructor guides. In the past, I only made check-marks next to items completed, but this year I penciled in our book substitutions and our non-Sonlight subjects too. There are several blank spots on the schedules for this purpose. Hopefully this will be an encouragement to fit in those things that fall through the cracks-art projects anyone??

The extras I penciled in for Core F include Grammar 5, MCT, Art (project and picture study), Music, Typing, Critical Thinking, Music, Spanish, Latin, and Math. I did schedule out specific things for art, grammar and music. Everything else just got a short notation or a little check-box on the days we should be doing them.

I used the "Other Notes" section to jot down supplies needed for the art project we have scheduled each week. After the Core and language arts schedule comes the science schedule for the week.

The corresponding notes for the week's Core and science come next.

Next up is the language arts activity sheet for the week.

Followed by the Eastern Hemisphere notebook pages (Core F only).

For P 4/5 we are using Sonlight's schedule for Getty--Dubay handwriting, so I have that hole-punched alongside  the weekly schedule.

Behind the "Schedules" tab, I keep a copy of our routine. Or, what I think our routine should be. I know better by now than to think that we can succeed at following a set routine around here. Still, it gives me something to shoot for! Right now, our routine is a work in progress. I will post a real copy when we iron out the kinks of what to do when.

Behind the "Helps" tab I keep any introductory or teacher material I think might be useful. I have a printout from Math Mammoth on using the curriculum, the introduction to Lively Latin, a page from Sonlight about writing mini-reports, and stuff like that.

This binder also has front and back pockets. Here I keep each child's checklist for the week, plus the science and language arts activity sheets they are currently working on.

And that's the tour of my current homeschooling binder!

Incidentally, just in case you are reading along and thinking:  Omg how on earth do they fit all that into a day?? and becoming depressed- please note that we are still working on Day 1 of the Core F schedule heading into our third day of lessons. Yes, I fully expect it will take us a small eternity to get through everything we want to do and read.

Trying to be okay with that!


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