Thursday, August 15, 2013


For me summer time means planning and prepping for the next school year.  I feel very confident that the more planning I can get done now the more we'll be able to accomplish during the school year.  Without the dreaded...."oh, we can't do that yet, I don't have it ready!"  So, August has found me working diligently, every chance I get, to prepare for our coming school year.
Summer Time = Planning Time Series: Part 3

I am preparing 2 sets of binders right now: a binder for me and a binder for each of my children.  Last year, we developed a new binder system that really worked well for us.  You can read about that here.  This year, I am planning to keep the same system in place, with a few minor adjustments

One of the favorite parts of the binders for my kiddos was the checklists for each subject.  They basically had to put a sticker on a number chart for the corresponding lesson they just completed.  Nothing like a sticker of approval for a job well done!  I tweaked them a bit to give us a fresh look to start the year.  They are all uniform, even though some curriculums have 170 lessons and some have less.  I just "X" out the numbers we don't need for that subject.

Here are our Subject Trackers:

{UPDATE: I just printed my Subject Trackers and found the colors to be a little too pale.  So I have adjusted the colors a tad from the original download.}

Looking at the chart at the beginning of the year can feel daunting, but by the midpoint of our year (or sooner!), when they see all they have accomplished, it can be empowering!  And as we approached the end of the year last year, I began to see a drive in them to complete more lessons.  The end was in site...and they could do it!

I added tabs to the Subject Trackers in their binders, so they work like dividers to help keep schoolwork organized behind each one.  Last year, I pulled one week at a time.  This year, with my new monthly approach to planning, I am hoping to pull a whole month worth of schoolwork..............hoping it will all fit!

The front of their binders is their individual Curriculum Line-Up.  Just a cute way for them to remember all the fun things we are covering this year.  Then in most cases, all they will need is their binders and their pencils and they will be ready to go!  I love the simplicity!!!

I have a binder, as well, to house my planner and more.  I happened to have these dividers already on hand, so I can quickly flip to the section I need.  My binder has 3 sections: 1.  Planning    2.  Encouragement    3.  Fun Ideas

In my planner section I have:
I use my encouragement section to hold copies of homeschooling blog posts, articles or whatnot that was encouraging to me.  There is so much encouragement and great ideas out there for moms and homeschoolers, that I am already working to keep this section from getting out of control.  Only keeping what is relevant to me in the moment and the articles that I may need to reference a few more times.  ;)
My fun ideas section was made to simply be the holding spot for a few items that I didn't have a different home for.  And they are fun things that I want to keep in the fore front of my mind so I will remember to do them!
Last in my binder are these binder pockets I found at Target; one for each child.  I have no real set plan for them, just to hold a mish-mash of resources pertinent for each child.  Or maybe I'll come up with a different plan for them as time goes on!
Hope you all are having as much fun as I am preparing for the coming school year!  Stay with me, I have at least one more part planned for the Summer Time = Planning Time Series.  Next, I will share some of the other household helps that I have established to help keep things running smoothly once were going strong with school. 

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