Organization for HOD Revival to Revolution

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Welcome to another organization post for Heart of Dakota! I will preface this post by saying that much of what I do to organize our school is not required. Many folks use HOD as soon as the box arrives on their door step. My brain just doesn't work that way, so it takes me a while to work through how our days will run "smooth and easy" as Charlotte Mason said. Back when I still had a paying job I worked like this too. I noticed then, too, that I'm the weird one that set things out ahead of time. I don't do all of this at once. I have chipped away here and there as I read though the guide to see what might save time later. I really don't like time wasters in the day. I'd much rather be outside with friends than cutting, pasting and printing during the day when I could have done it ahead of time. The more spontaneous folks may be a rollin' their eyes, but this is what works for me. 

I hesitated to write another one of these posts as it seems when my blog is mentioned there are those that love these posts and those who, well, don't. Bloggers are people with feelings too, y'all - just saying. I know I drive the die-hard "do it exactly the HOD way or not at all" folks crazy. Homeschoolers in general march to the beat of their own drum, and I definitely have my own kind of rhythm (as do you.) I love how different we all are :) It tickles me to see how different families can take the same book or program and do it in a completely different way than I. I love that! I am sharing what works for me, but I absolutely know it isn't the only way. HOD is totally open-and-go for you spontaneous folks, so don't let this scare you off. Take and leave what works or doesn't work for you. It's my heart to share anything that might help.

These are the elements I used to organize our coming year in Rev to Rev.

I have chosen to get the spine from my HOD guide removed. This is a completely unnecessary step. Many folks leave it as. Others use the original binding and add tabs for each section, and others have their guide spiral bound. Do what works for you :)

I take out about 8-9 weeks of the guide and place it in a smaller binder. I have shared the cover HERE.

I added our scripture memory in this binder. Aedan will memorize Hebrews 11 - Romans 12:1-3. I made these sheets and laminated them. He will refer to them often and then they can be passed along to his little brother. I have shared this file HERE.

I printed one sheet front and back and the third page separately.

 This is what the inside of the binder looks like. Kids in these middle guides use the guide themselves. The page protectors will keep the pages in great condition. Last year I spilled a cup of coffee on my guide (because I pretty much always have a cup o' joe in hand.) My page protectors totally saved the day and made this whole thing worth it for me. I will re-use this guide again and then sell it when we are done with it. It will be like new when that time comes. I am always disappointed when I buy a used book and it isn't in the condition that the seller says it is in. I hope to pass on these books in great condition. Fortunately HOD has a great re-sale value even if you leave your guide as is. I have seen some cray-cray guides for sale, and even they get snatched up!

This is Aedan's student binder for the year. 

All of the things we need fit in a 1 1/2 inch Better Binder. We use this binder more like a workbox. I've heard many times that people don't like to use binders because the holes on the sheets rip. I would highly recommend not having your kiddo working out of the binder. It is way too clunky to work from comfortably. I take out all the sheets needed for the week and clip them to a simple clipboard (see below) that way they holes don't rip, but it also works as a portable writing surface. When we are done for the week, we return all the sheets to the binder. I've divided the binder into the following sections:
  • History Notebook
  • Inventor Notebook
  • Signer Study & Cards
  • Map Trek
  • Map Trek State Maps
  • 50 States Under God
  • HOD Dictation
History Notebook

I am always excited to see what each guide's pages will look like. They never disappoint!

Inventor Notebook

This year Aedan will study inventors. These pages are optional. A mom created simple printable pages that are available for free on the HOD Rev to Rev FB group.

 Aedan will research the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He will add information to each card throughout the year. A mom suggested using baseball card holders to house these cards. I thought that was a great idea!

 Map Trek is scheduled. You print student maps. It is optional to print the teacher maps. Last year I printed them, but this year I opted to buy the hardback version of this book, so I never have to print them again. It's a beautiful hardback book that will be easy to reference.

 This year we will do a 50 States study. This section is not in the HOD plans, but the hardback Map Trek version had state maps. Each week we will study 2 states. I thought I might have Aedan do a quick map of each state for review.

I ended up separating the appendix of the 50 States Under God book. 

I added the 50 States tests to this section.

I normally print the dictation list each year and place it in the binder.

This year I went ahead and printed them off and bound them, so I never have to do it again. I have shared the cover file HERE.

Silas and Aedan will be able to use this until they are done with all the dictation lists.

We will use several composition books for Dictation, R&S Grammar and Writing. 

This is our clipboard that I mentioned above.

We will re-use our Common Place Book from last year.

This year we will do the scheduled science Exploration Education. The student logbook comes bound. You do not have to unbind yours like I do, but I like being able to take out all our sheets for the week and put them on our handy clipboard.

The TM has the grading scale for tests and work for the year. This science is high school credit worthy, so it will be good to have a permanent record.

I also copied the tests as well. I wish these had been in the student book, but you can't win em' all. I copied them, so we can use the TM for my youngest later.

 There are vocabulary terms for each section of Exploration Eduxation. I created flash cards for each  section. You can either print them out (small, large or as a glossary) or use Quizlet as a means of learning the terms and definitions online. I chose to print them large and double sided. These are definitely not required, but my son can use all the help he can get for memory work. There is a Quizlet app you can use to review these cards rather than printing them. If you did choose to print them I would just do the Quiz cards. They have all the terms the sections have. These are definitely not required, but they will save us some precious time next year.

Exploration Education Vocabulary Flash Cards

Section I - Forces & Motion:

Section II - Machines & Energy:

Section III - Electricity:

Section IV - Magnetism:

Section V - Chemistry:

Section VI - Mixtures & Compounds:

Section VII - Sound:

Section VIII - Light:

Quarter Exam Flash Cards

And then there's the composer study. I have a love/hate relationship with lapbooks. This will be a great study, but it was recommended that we do some of the prep-work for the lapbook ahead of time. I don't like anything that eats away at time during our day. I don't really want to wait for cutting and pasting - definitely not at this stage. This is a beast to print and put together. I put in a movie and got er' done. I think I will be glad I did it later, but whoa. I've read that there were some moms that completely skipped the lapbook. That is totally an option. I think it will be a nice record of what we learned now that I'm past the trauma of putting it together.

You need 3 file folders. There are very good directions for printing out each section.

This is part of what it looks like on the inside. Little composer books will be pasted on the blue folder.

This section has the music appreciation sheets and timeline.

This is my little do-dah box that holds all the little pieces of things that don't fit anywhere else.

I have some of the composer lapbook elements, bible quiet time book, and state study cut and paste thingies in here.

These are things that will be added throughout the year in the lapbook.

There is a Bible quiet time sheet in the back of the guide. I bound it into a little book he can use.You could just copy it out of the back. I just bind everything that is made of paper apparently (blush.)

I copied the poetry from the appendix and bound it. Again, not necessary if you want to keep it simple. I shared the cover file HERE.

I separated the appendix from the student portion of the book. This book is not super user friendly. It would drive me crazy to have to flip back and forth for information, but sometimes I get a unnecessarily crazy with my ProClick. I tend to do stuff like this knowing that I will be reusing this all again with my little guy. I'm a fan of hitting 2 birds with one stone if at all possible. I have shared the cover file HERE.

Lots of little cut and pasty things this year. The kids have to cut these out and add them to the 50 States student book. I went ahead and removed them from the back to make them easier to cut out later.

This is my teacher book. I have shared the cover file HERE.

 It's where I keep our schedule and all other things for our permanent record.

This is our attendance sheet. We usually schedule 3 full weeks off and reserve a 4th for where we need it. It was really nice being done by May 1 this year. I'm not sure if we will swing that this year, but we will see.

Field trip log

I added scripture memory for me too :)

I added the TM answer key for Exploration Education to my teacher book.

This is where I keep our schedule. While HOD has a beautiful schedule I tend to tweak things or add things here and there. This schedule keeps me accountable and is our permanent record should anyone ever need to ask. Well, that is a glimpse into my madness. Here's to a great new year!


  1. Brings back memories when I used this program with Daughter M :) I remember all the printing from the Composer study.

    Awesome organization!!

  2. I need to put a link to your Rev to Rev post!

  3. This is so AMAZING and helpful. We are doing RtoR next year and I plan to begin organizing this June! Thanks for posting.

  4. Thank you so very much for this post! We are planning to to RtoR next year and this is getting me motivated to get organized this JUNE!

    Heather jane

  5. Thank you for sharing your ideas! What a blessing to us as we start Rev to Rev this fall. I want to use a literature study as well. How do you incorporate this into your learning? Do you use DITHOR? Thank you!

    1. You're so welcome! We won't be using Dithor this year. It's a great program, but we've used it a few years now. When we did use it we followed it pretty loosely. Sometimes we might do a whole Dithor unit, but be pretty relaxed at other times. I'm looking into some options and will try and share what our plans are soon :)

  6. Thank you SO MUCH Tara for posting this! I just don't know what I'd do if I didn't have your blog to come to. It really helps me to figure everything out. I think I'd be lost without it. I LOVE YOU!!!

    1. Jimi - You are so sweet. Much love right back at you <3

  7. Love your posts! Please don't stop based on negative people! Your Res to Ref posts are the only reason I felt that I have made it with HOD. I was totally overwhelmed when I started as this was a new curriculum for us. I loved how you share everything that you used - it gives me so many options and ideas what will work for my family. My dd loves HOD so I know we will be using Rev to Rev next year. I love being able to see how you organized your new year! Thank you for sharing!!

  8. Totally agree with the last comment. We never would have been able to start this curriculum without all your great ideas and layouts. They have really helped me get organized and see how to use HOD to the best of our ability. PLEASE keep on posting!!!

  9. I love that you post your organization of HOD! so helpful! Please continue with the rest of the guides :).

    I have a question about the composer study that you have pictured. What portion of the study do have bound in the picture? I have my lapbook put together but I am not sure what part of it could be used to bind. Thank you!

    1. Ok, so totally ignore that part :) It is totally uneccesary, but I printed the composer bio sheets off of the CD, so my son wouldn't have to get on the computer to search for those. It just seemed like a lot of stop and starts, so I was trying to save time later.

  10. oh, well that makes perfect sense! I am all for saving time since I have 4 boys I am homeschooling. Thank you for taking the time to explain that :)

  11. Thank you for everything. It's very helpful to a full time working mom who homeschools at the same time.

  12. To be honest, while I do feel HOD is open and go, I find I have wasted time during the year trying to organize the material in a way that makes sense to me. I love your ideas for the binder and what to print and how many tabs you need and all that stuff. I'm getting Rev to Rev ready so we will be able to open and go and not waste precious time during the school day. The composer study ideas are particularly helpful. I love the baseball card organizer idea, and will definitely be doing that. I hate cards flying all over the house that are rendered useless. I even love the idea of an index card box for all the stuff that doesn't fit anywhere. Thank you so much for posting!!

    1. It takes me a while to figure out each new year. I'm like you in that I don't want to waste that time during the day :) We actually had decided not to do Rev to Rev after I did all this crazy stuff, and then halfway at the year decided to come back. I was so glad it was all done! It made the switch back completely painless and like we had been doing it all along. I hope you have a great year in Rev to Rev. We are absolutely loving it!

  13. Love this blog! Such a great post. I just received all of my Rev to Rev materials in the mail on Friday... best day of the year. ;-)

    This past year, we have been using and loving your Res to Ref science pages. Liked them so much that I will probably throw together a set this year for my children to use with Rev to Rev.

    Every bit of organization helps, especially if it saves time in the long run, and if you can use it with more than one child. I have three kiddos who will be going through this program over the years, so I completely understand! It is so helpful to have your covers and ideas to use for inspiration. We are so going to be putting together a do-dah box too, great idea!

    Keep on blogging & sharing!!! <3

    1. Thank you for your kind words :) They mean the world. It makes doing these kinds of posts worth it if I know they are a help to someone out there in the world. We really loved RtR, but we may even like Rev to Rev even more. I think you'll really love it too. I'm so glad to know you are enjoying the pages too! Thanks for visiting :)

  14. Thank you so much Tara! I have one question about the science vocabulary cards. Do you have a link for the cards that you printed? The links above don't seem to work. Thanks!! Krista

    1. You're so welcome! You have to create a quizlet account to be able to print them. It's free :)

  15. Thank you . What a blessing that you can share this with others. I was trying to visually put together what I needed to printed out and if there was a different way to do it. My eldest is doing Rev to Rev this year, so it is the first time doing it and I was dreading it. Now I feel like I have a checklist I can follow to have everything done ahead of time. And my son uses your Art tutorials for every poetry unit in CTC. that is also a great blessing!

  16. I love this post. Thank you for sharing all of these ideas. I particularly like the science organization. And all of those flash cards! What an incredible tool. I'm excited to get started now!

    1. I'm so glad you can use the science cards! I look forward to doing that science again. It's not as hard doing all this prep when I know I can use it again in a few years with my youngest.

  17. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing organizational skills. It is so very helpful in my HoD journey!
    One quick did you remove the state study appendix? I wasn't sure if you just cut it out or copied it? I am having trouble figuring how to remove it and still have room in the left hand margin to bind.
    Thanks so much for your help~

  18. I unwound the spiral and removed the appendix, and then rewound the spiral around the remaining main student portion. I took my scrapbook cutter and cut off the spiral cut portion of the pages and pro-clicked it. That probably sounds super silly, but it made it I easier to work with :)

  19. Thanks so much for replying! Your way does not sound silly at all ;-). For some reason, this year, I am a little overwhelmed with school prep. Your site has made that seem more manageable. Thanks again for sharing your talent with us!

  20. Oh my! Love Love Love! I think we kindred spirits. I know HOD is open and go but I plan a lot or we are running from one room to the other gathering things. This year my son will truly be independent so I want to do my best to set him up well with his disorganized self. I'm still trying to understand the student notebook will hold everything for storage except what you minded separately and the clipboard will be where you put weekly work? Do you have a personal binder? Do you bind because it is more streamline?

  21. I'm so glad there is someone out there like me that finds this useful :) Each week what I do is I take out whatever pages will be needed which is usually the notebook pages for that unit plus any maps or other items that that week's plans include. I clip them on the clipboard, and when we are done with that week, we return them to the binder. I don't have a personal binder. I have a master schedule that I bind for our own records. I do bind it rather than put it in a binder because it is smaller and easier to tote around :)

  22. I wish I had found your blog years ago! I have spent far too many days with HOD trying to organize and gather mid-stream.

    We are using Rev2Rev and CTC this coming September. I am grateful for your organization ideas. You have given me a vision of smooth running days with everything organized ahead of time. It will be well worth the time spent this month.

    Thank you!

    1. I'm so happy it helps! I've never really been good preparing on the fly. If I don't have what I need it simply just doesn't get done. I admire the more open and go types, but I'm terrible at it!


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