Organization for Heart of Dakota - Resurrection to Reformation

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Welcome to my organization post for HOD Resurrection to Reformation! I will preface this post by saying that my way to organize is not the only way. I know you free spirited folks may roll your eyes at my being so fussy, but hey, this is how God made me! I just roll with it :) HOD can be open and go. You can totally just buy your guide, never look at it all summer and start! That would make this planner's heart very twitchy if any of you know what I mean. I love though that we are all made so differently, and that my strengths may not be yours, but holy moly do I love and need my free spirited and spontaneous friends in my life! So be yourself when planning your school year is what I'm saying. 
My goal is to just give you a few ideas :)

Here are most of the elements of my organization for the year. I will take shots of my bookshelves when I get my school room finished this year.

I prefer to unbind my guide. I take it to FedEx and get the binding removed. I three hole punch it at home to save the cost of them doing it, and put it in a Staples Better Binder. These are worth the money folks. I've never had to replace one in 4 years. Every time I buy a cheapy it's done-for by the end of the year. You can recycle your old binders at Staples and get $2 back for each one. That helps the cost some at least. They go on sale during back to school time, so grab them then, or you'll go broke! The 1 1/2 inch binder fits the guide perfectly. At the beginning of each week I take out the pages that will be used and put them all on a clip board. These binders are too big to work out of, but they make a nice place to store everything in one place.

I also love Staples Better Dividers. Again, these can be re-used over and over again. They come with printable labels. You can find the template here.

This is Aedan's student notebook for the year. I will probably buy a new one. They have fancy Better Binders that come out at back to school sales that they don't sell the rest of the year. 

I've divided the binder into these sections:

  • History Notebook
  • Shakespeare Notebook
  • Science Notebook
  • Exploring Planet Earth
  • Our Weather and Water
  • Poetry Study
  • Map Quest
  • Story Time Pages
  • HOD Dictation
  • Appendix

 I have stored the history notebook pages in the first section. I remove them for the week when he is working on them. If you don't, the holes do tear easily. The notebook is too big to work from comfortably anyway.

 The notebook pages are beautiful! This is one of my favorite part of the upper HOD guides. They make such a beautiful record of what we've learned.

At the end of the notebook pages is an Art Gallery. We will do Art Appreciation this year, and these pages will add so much to your CM style picture study!

 HOD RtR has an optional Shakespeare study. Optional? No way! I wouldn't miss it!

The Shakespeare study has these beautiful copywork pages to go along with our study. He will copy portions of each play we read.

This is the Science Notebook portion.
I made these science notebooking pages and shared them HERE.

 There is a Day 1 page for bible copywork, and for science notebooking activities. Vocabulary is done every other week on Day 3.

 Written Narration rotates with Vocabulary every other week on Day 2 of the guide's plans. Science Labs are always on Day 4.

 I didn't make pages for the portion of the science plans with Exploring Planet Earth. Someone already made these and shared them on the HOD RtR Facebook group.

 There are 2 options for science. If people already used Exploring Planet Earth in Bigger Hearts for His Glory's Extension readers, you have the option of instead using Our Weather and Water. I am going to let Aedan choose which he would rather do when we get there. I went ahead and printed out the pages from the Teacher CD from Our Weather and Water in case.

 We will study the poetry of Emily Dickinson this year. A creative mom from our FB group made these wonderful pages to go along with our study. I copied the poems from the back of the guide, and bound them.

This year we will study the geography of the time period we are studying with Map Trek. I printed out the blank student and put them in the binder. I printed out the teacher maps and bound them. I had planned on buying the whole Map Trek printed book and CD instead of doing this. Maybe next year I'll save myself this step, and the gallon of ink it took to print it all!

I can't for the life of me find where I found this sheet. It might have been on the HOD Yahoo group. It tells you what maps you will need to print for Map Quest. If I find the link I will share it, but you may want to also check the FB group.

There are activities that go along with our Story Time books. I found these pages on the HOD RtR FB group as well. You will need to print at least one per book.

Aedan will continue doing HOD dictation this year.

 I left room for an extra appendix should there be anything else that comes up. I don't think there's room though!

IEW Medieval Writing lessons is scheduled in RtR. There is a free printable Student Resource book that you can print out that goes with the lessons. In the front of the HOD RtR guide it tells you what pages you will need to print. I went ahead and printed the whole thing, cuz that's just how I roll. I just figured we'd use it again in the future, so why not? I went ahead and cut out the vocabulary cards, so we're not messing with that each week. We will store them in a index card file box. I also printed out Scholastic's Banish Boring Words. I have about 4281 Scholastic E-books that I got during the dollar sales each year that I rarely use. I finally have a binding machine, so I printed that bad boy. IEW doesn't allow boring words to be used, so I thought this would be a fitting resource.

Last year I didn't have an official Common Place Book. I wish I had bought one. I used regular notebook pages. This year I went ahead and bought one that would be sturdy and last for the long haul. HOD has the kids copy poetry, scripture, and quotes from Preparing on up. A Common Place Book is a great way to keep all those memory verses and poetry that has been memorized stored in one place. This should hold most of it for years to come. Last year I bought a 5 subject binder. It had too many sections. This 3 subject will hold Grammar, Writing, and Dictation exercises. I bought both at Target (because that's where I live thank you very much.)

This year I did something different for my official teacher schedule. You may have noticed quite a few spiral bound books. I finally invested in a ProClick, and that thing is dangerous in the hands of a office supply lover. I will write a post on that soon! This thinner schedule will keep me from hauling around the teacher binder that I used last year, and be a permanent record of what we did each day in case anyone should every have to ask. Unfortunately, I can't share the actual schedule for copywrite's sake, but if you'd like to use my cover I've shared it here.

I have stored things I will refer to often in here.

 Here is my official attendance sheet. Someone shared this on the FB group as well. I edited it and added our vacation days etc. We plan to take off 4 full weeks. I have schedule 3 off, but have a 4th in reserve depending on how life goes. We will do a co-op on Fridays. I will be the science teacher for 1-3rd grade with a friend who will switch with me. This introvert is going to be on the move this year!

 This is our field trip log. One of Aedan's old school friends questioned why he would ever want to homeschool. She said that he would never get to go on field trips. He of course laughed maniacally! Muhahahaha! No field trips for homeschoolers!? Yeah right. I logged so many I stopped counting. I love this part about homeschool!

Aedan will be memorizing Philippians 1 this year. I made this so he has an easy reference for his memory verses, and copywork. I laminated his on card stock, but also made one for myself. This teacher gets to memorize right along side her students! This is in the NIV version and follows the Philippians CD that is scheduled in RtR. I've shared this sheet here.

Well there you have it...a glimpse into my madness. I hope it helps some of you. If not, then roll your eyes and laugh at me. I won't be offended :) I laugh at myself often! I do love knowing that I've done what I can to make this year run smoothly. My knees are always knocking at the beginning of each new year, but it always seems to work out. I'm so thankful that I know that God will give me my measure of what it takes to do what he has called me to do in this season of my life. I can't wait to chat with some of you in our FB group. I sure love having you ladies to walk along side on this journey!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! This was extremely helpful!

  2. I am slowly working on getting ready for RTR and your post is extremely helpful. I did find the Map Trek page on the Yahoo group.

  3. Hi Tara!
    I've looked on the FB files....have you shared your science pages? They're crisp and colorful and just my kind of "organized." Where can I find them?

  4. I'm so glad you can use them! There is a link under the cover of the science notebook pages. Click that link or find them here:

  5. Thank you again for posting all of this! I am getting ready to start RtR for my oldest by September and this is such an encouragement to read through.

    Just curious though - did you end up completing the weather book? I didn't get a chance to look through your blog to see which one you chose. Just curious which one you picked or if you chose to do both.

    1. We did, but it was totally unnecessary and I wouldn't do that again. I thought it might be nice to cover things that weren't in Exploring Planet Earth, but it is too much. It didn't take a lot of time, but there is plenty of science without it.

  6. I know this is an old post, but heavens to betsy, that planner you created is downright amazing. How long did it take for you to input all of the lessons for each subject, each day? I've been dreaming of doing something like that, but every time I sit down with my guide on unit 1, day 1 I feel so defeated already!

    1. There was a file that someone made like this and shared on the HOD FB group. I just tweaked it for what we were using and added a little color. Fwiw, it's totally not necessary. I just like having a permanent record of what we accomplished. It definitely did take time, but I chipped away at it here and there. Heavens to Betsy! Haha! Blush :)


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