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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thoughts on tearing up workbooks

This is a workbook type curriculum that we use, Spelling Workout. Horizons Math is another we use that is self-contained in a workbook. Self-contained. This past year we used these as is and there were times when Camille would feel overwhelmed and procrastinate. I wonder if this is because I kept the workbooks together instead of providing daily sheets for her.

I asked her and in her soon to be 7 glory said, "Having a daily folder would be great Mom!" Now I'm wondering about the wisdom of tearing up these workbooks. I could set up file folders for each day of the week and on the weekend fill her daily folders with the pages she'll need to do for the week. On the positive side, providing a daily folder might help in the long run- in it I could put:

In the left pocket
- Daily nobility record
- a copy of the week's lessons or each day a copy of just that day's lessons
- book report form for the week (only 1 a week)
- reading log form, she's to read two books a day and record title/author

In the right pocket
- Daily work for her lessons

If I did this, this is how I THINK it would work. I would remove all the workbork pages and 3 hole punch them, the Spelling pages would be put into our Language Arts binder, which I'll talk about in another post. The math, hmm. There's no reason to do anything with the math but once a week rip out the pages from the workbook and hole punch them.

Each week as I sit down to plan our lessons, I'll put the corresponding workbook pages in the a file folder for each day: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. We are adopting a 4-day schedule so Friday is sort of viewed as an extra day. In each day's folder I would put (which would be transferred to her daily folder):

- a copy of her Explorer's Bible questions
- math lesson worksheets
- whatever is needed to complete grammar/spelling
- science or history notebook pages as it applies
- classical music notebook pages as it applies
- french work as it applies
I can see how this would be "easier" on the eyes for her and have that sense of "I'm almost done with today's work or I don't have that much to do". But is this going to be an organization nightmare for Mom? I could have her put her work back in the daily file folders after completion and then file them all away on Friday. If I wanted to get really creative I could "grade" her papers every night and give her a progress report each day. Nah. It would give me a chance to really see where we need improvement though.

What do you think? Is this a good idea? I have a feeling it is but I also feel rebellious for ripping up the workbooks! I know public school teachers do it all the time, I even have a friend who encourages her children to throw away their worksheets after she checks/corrects it.

UPDATE: I did it. I took Spelling Workout C and torn out the pages, 3-hole punched them and put them in our Language Arts binder. I am going to do the same for Horizons because there are extra worksheets for practice and I want to go ahead and put them with their lessons to truly make it "do the next thing." Guess what, I think this is going to be great and even though I held my breath while I ripped pages from their spine- it felt GOOD! Lol. Thank you all for your encouragement, many blessings- Jessica



ThoughtfulMom said...

We've had several workbooks to deal with this year, including Horizons K - and I got frustrated with having to tear things out page by page because they kept tearing wrong. So, I took the books to the local copy shop and had them cut and drilled. It cost $2-3 per book, but the I just stuck them all in a 3"binder (covers and all) and I pull each weeks work from that and put it in daily folders. And when the work is completed, I stick it back in. At the end of the year, we had all of the stuff he had done in one 3" binder and that's all I have to store. Of course, most of it is preK/K following directions stuff aside from the math and tracing work, so I don't have to keep it at all, but this does work for me for the moment, and I can see it working into at least the near future.

So I say - disassemble those workbooks and enjoy it!

Kim said...

Sounds like a great idea! Right now most of the work books I'll be using this year are reproducable for family use. So I plan to photo copy a few weeks worth at a time and hand them out as needed. They'll be stored in there notebooks as they finish them.

Mrs. "M" said...

The paper shuffle deters me. Because I notebook every subject but math and spelling (this is a workbook and also a notebook) I like having an all inclusive workbook for something :o)

Isaiah5513 said...

I know a lady with 8 kids who takes one week each summer to off all alone to do just that. Each child has a banker's box with 36 file folders. She takes their workbooks and pulls them apart, putting a sheet, or two in each week. She said that if they didn't finish any, they'd just move the undone sheets to the next week. Worked for her.
I take workbooks apart because for some reason it's easier for my left-handed son. And it is less-overwhelming for my middle, perfectionist son.
Make the curriculum work for you, not you work for the curriculum.
Yes, tearing up books will be hard at first, but you'll soon enjoy it, then watch out! Nothing will be sacred.
Just kidding, I think I need somoe more coffee...

Lisa said...

I actually do almost this same thing. I posted about it on my blog, It's worked great for us. I don't tear up the workbooks, I make copies of the pages and put the copies in the folder. I have 2 kids behind my now 3rd grader that I know will need most of these same books, so if effort of not having to buy them all again, I do copies. Sounds like you have a lot of great ideas for this coming year! Good work...

5atkins said...

I do worksheets for several subjects. Last year I gave them one sheet at a time. I kept them in my planning book (all the sheets for the week in order). This year I have started giving them a pack of stapled, hole-punched sheets for the week (just math). They know how much they are supposed to do each day. When they finish they bring it to me to check. If it is mostly review, I will give them the answers to check for themselves. If it is new material I check it right then. They take the paper back and correct any mistakes immediately! Then they put these in their binder in the math section. Here is FL we have to keep a sample of their work from the past two years. I find it easier to just keep everything than to try to figure out what is a good representation of their ability.
Even when I taught 45 kids math in public school we always checked their work the next day! It really only takes a minute if you have an answer key. I can do the math, but it is faster to just look at the answers!

I kept their spelling work in the notebook last year. Half way through the year Hannah lost hers. Now we have no past work to show, and no pages for the rest of the year! If I had separated them I wouldn't have had that issue. At least I would have had the finished pages! That was very frustrating! I guess it got thrown away somehow. (I don't think it was intentional, but who knows?? :)
If you decide to tear them out you can try different method of handing out and storing until you find what you like best!
I am so glad that you are enjoying homeschooling your children!
In Him, Eva

Jennefer said...

I think this is a great idea. I had already been thinking I wanted to do this with my very distracted, ADHD son. It is just too much temptation for him to turn and look ahead at all the pages anytime I step away for one minute. Giving him only one page at a time would help him tremendously (too bad that I just figured out that the pages were perforated the last week of school this year!)

A good friend of mine does this and it works beautifully for her as well. She loves it too because if they have to pick up and go somewhere she doesn't have to lug all these workbooks with her - just 2 folders and they are out the door! :)

Julie said...

We do this for just the space saving option since I have two kids and myself at a not so big table.
I have a folder for each subject and the day, Karly Spelling Monday, Kelsie Spelling on. I have milk crates for each child that holds thier books and thier folders. We just pull the subject for that day and off we go. When all their work is completed and checked they file it in the appropriate folder. I just spend a few minutes Friday afternoon or Monday morning setting up the folders for the week. We love it.

Linda said...

I've used a similar system that I read about here a few years ago
it's been a great help with the younger children.