Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sonlight Notebook

Sometimes the most difficult part of using a big lovely curriculum that has lots of papers, schedules, timelines, & other bits with it is deciding how to store & use it. Over the years I've used a variety of ways that have worked for me during those times. This year we're using an older version of Sonlight's Core W for Morgan's year of World History. The older versions were thinner as the language arts weren't included in the main core.

I've bound the older ones with spiral binding before, & I was going to do that with this one too, but I've misplaced the booklist, which I use all the time! So much so that I tend to run off copies or retype it on the computer "just in case" I lose it. I know the crazy thing is around somewhere in a page protector, but until I found it I wasn't willing to bind the core.

Instead I stuck it in a Hybrid Flex-Notebook that I'd picked up while in the USA last time we were there. Hybrid Flex-notebooks are really lovely if you have US sized paper. They work like a 3-ring binder, but they  can lay open like a spiral bound notebook. I love that! I also love the little dividers that come with it which have perfect big pockets for things like our timeline figure sticker sheets, but they also have lovely little pockets for notecards, the stickers I slap on the side of our books, bookmarks, & so forth.

Unfortunately, if you're using A4 paper these notebooks will not work because they are too short, but since Sonlight Cores are printed on US paper before they are shipped to you I was in luck! The Flex notebook I have is the larger one, which I think is 1.5 inches, but I'm not certain. I picked it up at a Walgreens in the little town mom lives in. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was the very last one on the shelf & I was super disappointed there was only one, but really excited it had the clear view pocket on the front. Am I the only one who gets excited about clear view pockets?! Amazingly enough the notebook was green, which is the same colour as Core W!

The notebook was a pretty quick set up, & laid out the same way I would have done it if/when I bind it. The clear-view cover houses the nifty Core W cover. Inside I have one of those lovely dividers I mentioned which has our timeline pieces. As we cut things off we stick the smaller sections into that smaller envelope pocket. I get asked a lot about Sonlight & Winter Promise so I keep website info & referral cards in my notebook. I'd love to give out catalogs of both curriculums to the people who ask, but I don't actually have any of those to spare.

Next are the weekly schedules. In the older Cores you put one side up for a 5 day schedule or flip it over for the 4 day schedule up. While we do tend to only school 4 days a week with our core, I still use the 5-day schedule because there's often a few books we really want to read included in that schedule. We just take it at our own pace & it all works out.

After that I have the History Notes, Reader Notes, & Read Aloud Notes. The various flags/tabs at the top of my notebook are just marking where I need to be. The red marks the week we are on for our spine & generally our read aloud. Pink marks our timeline figure schedule. Green is marking the reader that Morgan is on, Blue marks the read history spine notes, & the yellow one marks our read aloud spines.

I like to read the notes about a given book prior to our starting so I'm forewarned if there's anything I want to skip or avoid. I pre read anything I have him read on his own & then refresh myself with the synopsis in the notes as well as the questions. Morgan's an amazing narrator about what he's read so I don't often use the questions in the book unless they hit on something he hasn't mentioned & I know it'll make a lovely discussion.

I also write changes we make to anything on our schedule in there as we go along so I don't scratch my head wondering when it's Jaden's turn. In other words, if I swap out one book for another I simply make a note of it on the week where it best fits in & the schedule we used. I'm pretty big about keeping notes on what we do/did so that I don't have to fuss about it when we come to it again with the next one in line.

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