This page explains how we stay organized and I stay sane : )
Each child has 3 large sturdy notebooks to hold seven years worth of work. We keep most all of our work, but we don't do any busy work so we have less paper. Everyone is expected to do their very best too, so the work is worth keeping and showing to others. Here are the notebooks:
1. Writing : (use the same notebook for grades K-6) 3 sections
Copywork- begin in Kg
Dictation/Spelling- begin in 3rd gd
Narrations (written)-begin in 3rd or 4th gd
2. Numbers: (use the same notebook for grades K-6)
Math notebk pages
3. Artwork: (use the same notebook for gradesK-6) 2 sections
Sketches and Paintings
Handicrafts (photos of finished projects with instruction sheets)
US History Notebook
Each child keeps a US history notebook that houses copywork selections and drawn narrations in chronological order from This Country of Ours using half-lined paper. There are six sections. We decorate a medium sturdy binder and write on the front 'My America':
(use the same notebook for grades 1-3)
Grade 1 The Explorers, The Colonies
Grade 2 The Colonies (continued), Revolutionary War
Grade 3 A New Nation, The Civil War, Growth of America
I keep memory work in small individual, sturdy binders because we use them almost daily. It has three tabs, one for each term. Memory work from previous years is kept at the back so that we can review them from time to time on group days.
Fine Art Album
Children keep 4x6 prints of the artists we have studied in their own large photo albums.Here are some other important organizational tools we use:
(use for three years- or 1st through 3rd grade)
Use 3x5cards with pics the child colors weekly and attach to string
At the end of third grade, we take it down and place cards in a notebook along with the following dividers:
Grade 1 Before the Flood, Ancient Empires (Creation -100BC)
Grade 2 Ancient Empires, Middle Ages, Exploration (100BC-AD1500)
Grade 3 Rulers and Wars (AD1500-1920)
Note: In 4th grade we study the 20th century and fill in a century chart rather than a wall timeline. (American and World history merge at this point.) We don't put US history on the wall timeline.
Personal Journal: lined (KG should be unlined) Written in weekly; uncorrected and the purpose is to collect memories.
Bible Journal: lined Sermon notes, verses and thoughts from Bible readings, prayer requests.
Nature Journal: (unlined) Pencil drawings of nature observed firsthand, labeled and colored. Poetry, facts, fancy writing, borders can be added as student matures. Color pencils and watercolor can be used.
Writing/Poetry Journal: Rough drafts, poetry, songs, story ideas collected here (They will most likely want to have a poetry journal as well)
Note: The children may want to start other notebooks according to their interests. My kids have kept notebooks about horses, coins, recipes. They've had paper doll and stamp collections, Lord of the Rings club notes and literary society newspapers.
CONTAINERS FOR COLLECTIONS
Clear, plastic, stackable, flat containers of various sizes to hold children's collections (eg... pressed flowers, feathers, rocks, fossils, shells, sand, leaves, butterflies, coins, pictures, etc)
OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS
Magnifying glasses, binoculars, field guides, reference books, small pets, plastic human body model, contact paper for pressing leaves and flowers, watercolors, color pencils (good quality!) construction paper, drawing paper, lined paper, glue, markers, scissors, wall maps, globe, file, computer, printer and a hole punch.
one step at a time...