How to Use Binders (and Individualize Lesson Plans for BiblioPlan or Preprinted Plans)

by GfG on August 8, 2013 · 18 comments

A few years ago, I made the switch to binders for each kiddo and it has been a huge help to our homeschool.  Let me show you how they work.  Specifically, the lesson plan binders.

Each child has binders for different areas of our homeschool and they are color coded (this is another terrific time saver and organization tip I highly recommend).

The contents of the binders change every year or so, but they always have the lesson plans.  Last year and this year, the binders are also for memorization work, Latin, science, grammar, and writing (the high schoolers don’t have the grammar and writing binders, but ones that match specific courses).

Binders WEB

Today, I want to show you how the lesson plan binders are set up and share why they work so well for us.

Each binder contains the following:

  • Set of 1-36 tabs (to correspond to the week of the school year)… behind each appropriate number:
  • Printed copy of the BiblioPlan  lesson plan sheet for the week 
  • Printed copy of the BiblioPlan Cool History question paper for the week
  • Printed copy of the quiz or test for the week (yes, I put them in the binder)
  • Printed copy of the BiblioPlan Hands On Maps (usually only junior high and up)
  • Printed copy of my homemade lesson plan chart for all remaining subjects

I print all (except the homemade lesson plan papers) of these in the summer and place them in the binders before our school year starts.

Next, to individualize the printed BiblioPlan (or My Father’s World or some other curriculum) lesson plans:

  • I highlight the work the child is to do for that week (I use “their color”, which helps keep me focus on the right kiddo)

Highlights WEB

 

 

  • I write in book titles for books I’m substituting or adding and highlight that too

Highlight add ons WEB

  • I scribble any notes or extra activities I want the child to do, yes highlighted 

The homemade lesson plan chart:

I make this on the computer each year, so that it matches the child’s subjects for the year.  It’s a very basic chart.  I do not print out all 36 weeks’ worth because sometimes I add or delete subjects mid year.  I usually only print a few weeks at a time of these and fill them out every couple of weeks.

Other than the history and reading, most of our curriculum is just “do the next lesson” so I don’t always fill in these completely, but offer a check box so the child can check off that they have done their work.  The often fills these in themselves.

Lesson Plans WEB

This system creates an open and go lesson plan binder for each of my kiddos.

Sure, I can get that with Sonlight or WinterPromise, but I can’t get it for each of my kids and still study the same time period (read why I switched from Sonlight here).

No, it isn’t every subject preprinted, but it’s as close as one can get and still move at an independent pace.

Yes, it takes me some effort and time to make, but I only spend a week (NOT non stop) making these, deciding which books to order or substitute, and ordering.  That really isn’t bad.

The end result is individualized and requires no prep work for me for the rest of the school year.  If I get sick or something unexpected happens, the children all know what they are to do.  It is not dependent upon me (except for the really young kiddos, but that is always the case).  Very much worth the time.

This system works especially well for BiblioPlan (and I’m sure there are others I’m unaware of that could use this).

It seriously works wonderfully for us.

Could this system work for your family? 

ETA:  Link to a post on my homemade lesson plan papers, since so many have asked.  :)

 

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