Revamping Our Homeschool, Two Thirds Through the Year, Part One

On Friday, our girls left for an early “Spring Break” with my mom.  Mostly because we’ve been having a lot of cabin fever issues for the past two months and this pregnant mommy was on overload.  Recognizing that the arrival of our newest bundle is quickly approaching the Mr. and I decided to pick out, order and start planning for next years school work early.  
In the process of thinking through what was and was not working for us this year I found myself become more and more energized and excited about what we could STILL accomplish THIS year, with a little tweaking!
First step, let’s get Momma organized.  Part one of our revamp: My new binder.
I’ve tried binder systems before.  I don’t like them.  I find the binders bulky.  When they aren’t full, they don’t stack well.  Anything you set on top just slides off.  Drives me bonkers.
Saturday morning I found the almost perfect answer to my problem: The Five Star Flex Binder.  It holds more than a 1″ binder, but the spine is flexible. It is always flat (like a notebook) and you can flip the cover all the way around (JUST like a notebook!). 

It has five dividers total.  The first two have note card pockets, as well as full sheet pockets.  The next three are similar to sheet protectors.  All five are made from sturdy plastic.  It included some notebook paper and graph paper.

So far I only have one complaint and it’s tiny.  The flexible rings, which have no mechanism to open them, you have to open one at a time, open at the back of the binder.  This means if you want to insert pages to the front, you’ll have to remove pages first.  Not a big issue, just something I noticed.  For the joy of being able to use it like my notebooks, I’ll get over the ring issue!

So far I have four dividers in use: Schedule, Lesson Plans, Ideas, and Recipes.  Below is a sample of one of my schedule pages.  This is NOT my day planner. I have a BusyBodyBook for that.  This is so I can check off our basics every day.  I’m considering letting my girls mark their stuff complete with stickers!

Next section is my workbox planner pages.  I created this spreadsheet (a pdf is available for download below).  It’s set up for two kids, two days to a page OR up to four kids for one day.   These pages will change soon as I’m considering starting our new curriculum in mid March. We’ve chosen the Weaver Curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications.  It’s based on multiple subject unit studies with the focus being the Bible.  It covers multiple grades simultaneously and I think we can start now, do a little over the summer, and move right into full school next fall with ease.  Well, what we can do while getting used to a new baby!

“Workbox” Style Planning Pages for two children

My recipe section will have the recipe name and the url or book and page numbers of where I found it. That way I can go back and write up a note card for my recipe book.  (You know, when I get one of them Round Tuits!)  By keeping it to just the name and reference I’ll have a nice list I can use to help with meal planning. 

This was just the start of our revamping and reorganizing this weekend.  I’ll post some more tomorrow from the changes to our ‘set up’ and our workboxes!

Why system do you use?  Day Planner, Binder, Notebook, Electronic?  Why do you like it?

Have something in your binder system you can’t live without? Tell me about it!  My binder wants to hear all about it!