To get started you will need: a 3-hole punch, a large clip, possibly some hole reinforcement circles, dividers, the binder, and the planner.
For some of you this next step will feel very scary. Take a deep breath and repeat after me, "I can do this. It will be okay and I won't get in trouble." I want you to tear out a weeks worth or even two weeks worth of the worksheets for each subject and put them behind the correct tab.
As you begin planning out your weeks, you may notice that Thursday is consistently a busy day away from home so your lesson plans for the day may be smaller like this example. You can see the math assignment and corresponding lesson.
The child will have most of the work they need right with them in their binders for two weeks out. You may need to bring along a reading book. Our older kids often have to bring along a textbook but, it still eliminates carrying all the work texts around. I have discovered another advantage to this system is that when it comes time to report in or create a transcript, you have all the information you need regarding what your child has covered quickly at your fingertips. By scheduling out your days, you are helping to create a routine of school for your children. Once established, this routine frees you up to be more hands on with the younger kids.
The clip is used simply to hold the at a glance month and the current week open. I am primarily using the month at a glance with my two older kids. The goal here is getting them comfortable with the idea of being responsible for commitments they have. I think it is important to teach them early on the value of their time as well as others. If they have committed to be somewhere for a lesson at 4 and then show up at 4:20, not only do they miss 20 mins. of their lesson which isn't very good stewardship of funds, but it doesn't honor the other persons time and obligations they may have. I am not talking about the occasional running late because you got caught at the train, behind the school bus parade, or your car got a flat tire. I think being good stewards of our time is just as important as being good stewards of our funds. They learn primarily by watching us so we have to try and set the example on this one.
When the kids have completed an assignment we mark it of with a highlighter. This allows me to easily see at a glance what work is completed and what things still need to be done. The paperwork gets turned in to a turn in box. It is collected here until the end of the month. At this time, I go through them all and type up my report. I have the older kids keep all their work in their binders until after a test so they can use it for studying.
If you have any questions or would like to see first hand what this looks like and how the kids use it on a day to day basis, please feel free to ask me any questions or give me a call. Good luck with it. It has been a great source of sanity for me.