Isn't it fun to get organized? For me, it's actually MORE fun than doing the work you I carefully organized over the summer ;-) It's one of the biggest reasons I started filing our school year, because I would have so much fun making these wonderful plans over the summer and then never use them past the first month or so of school. I needed everything concretely laid out for me.
Here are a few more tips about filing, and some answers to some questions I have received:
1) Add a file for yourself for each week or each month:
-This is a perfect place to store library lists, craft lists, feast day craft ideas, recipe ideas, supply lists for the next week. Some people have even suggested taking apart the Teacher Manuals for various courses and filing them in your own weekly folder. To make them last longer, some have put them in page protectors.
-Maybe this is the year you are finally going to get to doing all those wonderful Ambleside Online study ideas:
-You could even include a weekly menu plan if you were super duper organized :-) (but then, super duper organized people aren't even reading this blog, because they are smart enough to know that reading online is really just a form of procrastination from doing all those things that we like to -talk- about instead of -do-.)
2) What about the preschoolers and toddlers?
3) What happens when you get behind in one subject? Does it mess up your whole system? Aren't you losing the flexibility of homeschooling by filing everything ahead of time?
. The very fact that you can be flexible with your speed at which you accomplish subjects caused me to fall behind every single year. Not necessarily because the kids needed time on certain tasks before it clicked for them (so we worked at their own pace), but because after things 'clicked' we didn't take the time to catch up so we would reach the finish line at a reasonable time.
Basically what I discovered about myself, is that I was great at being flexible enough to SLOW DOWN our work, but I wasn't so good at being flexible enough to SPEED UP our work when I needed to. I seemed to be more concerned about doing every. single. page. in the book, rather than getting to the end of the books in a reasonable time.
If you don't have the end in mind when you start, then you will have a harder time getting there.
I still believe a little bit every day is far more beneficial than the spurts and stops that I was doing before. That being said, if the kids do need a bit of time for the material to 'click', or want to work faster, than there is nothing stopping you from pulling out the math from the next week's folder. It's not as though the pages are glued on there right? For me, the inconvenience of having to do that helped me decide if it was really worth it to go off my planned schedule. It was almost like a check and balance.
As well, having all 36 weeks filed helps you see the big picture, so you clearly see that delaying math for a week will delay your end of school date. At which point you can either decide that you are ok with that or try to find some way to skip some easier math down the road so you do end up finishing on time.
In my mind, there is a big sense of discouragement for both teacher and student when you get to the end of the year and see that all other subjects are done except the last 78 pages of math. In our experience, it has led to a viscous cycle, because we get burned out on math and then end up starting the next year already behind.
4) On that note: Don't be a perfectionist!
The All-or Nothing attitude is what caused me to always fall behind in the past. It had to be PERFECT or we wouldn't do it at all. Don't let that attidtude creep into filing your homeschooling. Get what you can get done now and know that whatever you do, even if it's just one subject, you will be further ahead than you were last fall.
You don't have to have the PERFECT folders (oh, and there are so many beautiful ones out there), or the PERFECT case to hold them in. You don't even have to have history or science filed if you are running out of time, or it is causing you stress.
When trying out any new system, always ask yourself if it is something that is going to make your life EASIER or MORE DIFFICULT, because if it's the latter, you will likely not be following ANY system by the time Feb rolls around and it's a struggle to keep going even with the BEST system.
5) What about courses that you don't have concrete things to put in the files like All about Spelling or SL read-alouds?
6) What do you do about long weekends and other short weeks (i.e. dr appts, sick days, 'I just don't want to do any schoolwork today' days)?
Yes, this can be a problem, but it is easy to solve. For us, we decided it was worth keeping the simplicity of the system to squeeze 4 days of work into 5, which usually meant that we picked the work that was the most important and tossed the rest LOL. It sounds awful, but it was so freeing to be able to keep moving forward each week.... (And this was our best school year yet). The other way to do it, is to fit one week of school work across two weeks of real life. We did this a few times too. Just keep in mind that every time you do it, you are pushing back your finish date. In my yearly schedule, I left a bit of wiggle room for that (meaning we started a few weeks before the school kids so we could have that flexibility.
Any more questions? Give me a shout and I'll do my best to help you out!