We have three separate binders this year. The first is for our Science F IG and activity sheets. Monk (12), Twinkle Toes (10), Measle (8), and I will all do science together this year (this is a change from last year). It made sense to me to have a separate Science binder for our IG and student activity sheets. The activity sheets are at the end of each week's schedule. Hopefully we'll be able to keep up with them this way. As you saw in our schoolroom, the Science binder goes in the Science cubby with our other Science resources.
We also have separate binders for the two Cores we're studying this year. Measle's pink binder contains her Core B, Language Arts B, and 3rd grade reader IGs. Monk and Twinkle Toes will be using the red binder, which contains their Core F and LA F IGs.
Here's how I organized the Core and LA binders.
I used 3 sets of colorful 12 tab index dividers to separate each week's schedule and assignments. (They come in packages of 6 sets so one package should work for two binders.) I also bought these handy-dandy paper clip page markers and I'll explain their use in a second. First, I want to show you how I arranged the weekly schedules.
Behind week one's tab in this order is our Core schedule (Bible, History, Read-aloud, Reader), Language Arts schedule and notes, LA student activity sheets, and Core schedule notes, if any. The kids should be able to easily find what they're supposed to read and do, without my help. I've gone over the guides several times with Measle and I think she's got it!
Remember, I decided NOT to move up all the study guide notes this year. That would work fine if we read each book in a week, but that's not the way it works, so we need some of the note pages for several weeks in a row. It was even more complicated last year (Core 3 and 4) when some books were used off and on for months on end. I completely lost track of the study guide notes! I think what I've done this year will work great and be MUCH easier to maintain.
I used the page markers to mark the first book in each section (History notes, Reader notes, and Read-aloud notes). All of the study guide notes arrived in alphabetical order, so I took a few minutes to rearrange the notes according to the 4-day weekly schedule we'll be following. For example, Torches of Joy, seen in the picture above, is the first History book we'll be reading, so it's first. Then as we finish Torches of Joy and move on to the next book, I'll simply move back our page marker clip to the study guide for the next book. No hunting for the next guide required! (I moved the notes for the books in the 5-day schedule, that we won't be reading, to the very back of the binder.) I put the LA appendix, with info like how to do a research paper, after the Core study guides.
I arranged Measle's binder the same way. After her History and Read-aloud study guides, is a tab that marks her Diamond Notes for help with LAs.
I'm really excited about our binders this year. My goal for the kids is as much independence as possible. I'll go over our homeschool 2011-2012 plan of action, course of study, and tentative schedule in future posts.
What do your binders look like? Tweaking last year's system?