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
I am always excited to see what each guide's pages will look like. They never disappoint!
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: https://quizlet.com/_1dulof
Section II - Machines & Energy: https://quizlet.com/_1dunmi
Section III - Electricity: https://quizlet.com/_1duq8n
Section IV - Magnetism: https://quizlet.com/_1durop
Section V - Chemistry: https://quizlet.com/_1dusvb
Section VI - Mixtures & Compounds: https://quizlet.com/_1duu53
Section VII - Sound: https://quizlet.com/_1duvg2
Section VIII - Light: https://quizlet.com/_1dux7m
Quarter Exam Flash Cards
Exam #1: https://quizlet.com/_1dy0e1
Exam #2: https://quizlet.com/_1dy330
Exam #3: https://quizlet.com/_1dy6h5
Exam #4: https://quizlet.com/_1dya3v
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!