Shannon asked me the other day why I lesson plan and log what my kids do when we don't have to in Kansas. She has a point. Then we figured out that she doesn't like to do it or want to do it, while I love having a record of what we've done (I log doctor visits, social stuff, everything in our lesson planner).
I realize everyone plans their homeschooling differently. I happen to make a lot of plans and then we do lots of other things instead, add things here, get rid of things there, take days off and then catch up, and so on. I think we're pretty normal. We're not unschoolers and we're not rigidly structured. I'm somewhere in between.
This system I'm trying out is new to me. I have previously had stuff EVERYWHERE all over bookshelves and it was a pain to find what I needed so I'm doing something different and sharing it with you.
First I had to TRY (key word) to block out some time and space so I could concentrate. I took frequent breaks and had my favorite beverage on hand and make sure I was eating regularly. I put on some music or talk radio. You might want to try to get the kids out of the house if you can. Get all your supplies together: trash can, pens, pencils, markers, paper, sticky notes, white-out, labels for notebook dividers and so on.
Step One is to get rid of what is not working. Weed out stuff you don't need anymore or need to update. File away things you want to get to sometime/deal with later.
Step Two is to find a system and get started organizing it. I have one binder with folder dividers that I got at Target (they are dividers that hold stuff on two sides) which holds papers by subject (like English, Math, Science, History, PE, Art, Music). Instead of loose papers everywhere, I have them all organized and can whip out a worksheet if someone wants to do one or if I need to demonstrate a concept and need help doing it. For instance, in my Math tab I have worksheets for different grades, math game ideas and funny math problems I make up. In Art I'll keep the snowflake making cheater sheets the kids love in the wintertime.
In another binder I have a tab for each of my kids. I might file the grade overview I got from the public school to make sure I'm hitting key points. I file a copy of the table of contents of the "What Your X Grader Needs to Know" books by grade and highlight things as we complete them. We skip around, so don't think I'm all anal and perfect. I'm definitely no Homeschooling Nazi.
Now we have a system all set up. Next week we'll talk about the actual lesson planning for multiple grades Kerrie Style. We're a little unschooly, a little structured, very eclectic, like I said, so if this system makes your skin crawl, Google something different or submit a guest post!