Evening friends! We just got back from doing our weekly grocery shopping (I totally filmed our haul for you. More on that next week) and I now have a few moments to sit down at the laptop, so I thought I would get a post/video up for you all to enjoy this evening. Today I wanted to focus a little bit on homeschool and how we organize our homeschool binders. I wanted to make sure I got this video made before these binders get packed away, in anticipation for our big move to Arizona.
This is our first year using homeschool binders. It is something I had read about on a few different homeschooling blogs and I thought it was such a neat way to journal what your kids do during the year. I totally wished I had started this when my kids were younger. It'd be really cool to look back and see what they did each grade year.
So this year, I went to Big Lots and purchased two huge binders. I also printed out two quotes for them to use as covers to their binders. These were words or phrases I wanted them to focus on throughout this year. As parents, Hubby and I talk and pray about our goals for the kids. We do this throughout the year, but specifically at the beginning of a new school year. We always come up with individual goals and some goals that we'd like to achieve as a family. One goal we had for each of our kiddos was to be able to search for knowledge. We didn't want them just spitting back words and facts they had memorized, but we wanted them to develop a thirst for knowledge and discovery. We really focused on taking time to answer questions and research different topics. Anytime we read a book and we come to a word that is new or we are only kind of sure what the meaning is, we look it up.
We then talk about the word and how we can use it in different ways. At the beginning of the year, they were a little hesitant to this approach. I honestly think they felt it just took extra time when all they really wanted to do was move onto the next page to read. Now they have learned to like it. They will now ask me to look up all kinds of words or they will look them up themselves. When we are in our daily conversations with each other, I find them using brand new words and using them correctly. That is a mama win friends. I love it when the light bulbs go off and things start to click. This has been a simple way to incorporate vocabulary into our every day, without needing worksheets or curriculum. I also showed my kids that when they read ebooks on their Amazon Kindles, they can highlight words to figure out the meanings. This has been very helpful for them.
Hubby and I have also made sure there was plenty of time for them to research things throughout the day, using different tools. We have DK Encyclopedias on many topics. From Sea creatures to Dinosaurs to the Solar System. This year we invested in about 6 books for our kids. These books sit on a shelf in our living room. I often find my kids pulling one out to look up an animal species that popped into their head or a science term. I love seeing them looking and seeking answers on their own. To me that is what homeschooling is all about. I plan to add a few more to our collection each year.
As we have gone throughout this past school year, we have added our final drafts of writing assignments, art pieces, etc to the binders. I date them and laminate them, then they get put into the binders in chronological order.
For each unit study we have done, there are projects to go with. If any projects are too big to fit into the binders, we take pictures and I have the kids journal about what they did. I plan to do this a lot more next year. I also want them to start journaling about field trips and other activities we do. It is a great way to incorporate writing into our everyday and into more subjects. Writing doesn't have to only be for English :)
I also have the kids add any other papers or projects that are important to them. Libby has added a lot of her artwork. She is a budding artist this year. It has been her obsession. :)