This is probably the #1 question I get with the crate system, “Do I really have to tear up everything?” Ha! Yes and no! I don’t want you to be afraid to tear up workbooks just because they come to you with pretty binding. However, if you are not going to tear apart a particular subject, then share about techniques to use to make sure they are still “placed” in the crate. I’ll also be talking about how to organize specific curriculum with your crate: Apologia, Sonlight, My Father’s World, Math U See, IEW, and more!
Highlights, Set-up Tips, Supplies — & Printables!
*You’re going to love this video…since so many of you have asked for it! Hope this helps you to feel more confident to tear!
Highlights from the Video
- Easy answer: Yes! Tear as many notebooks and workbooks apart as you can!
- Place any work that either you’re not sure how to divide out weekly or just not getting to as fast as you thought (so you consistently have papers leftover at the end of the week) in extra hanging folders at the front of the crate. Then you can pull work as you need to and can get to it.
- I keep any kindergarten sheets that I’m not getting to in the front (mainly because I was overzealous in stuffing my daughter’s weekly folders).
- Instead of simply moving undone work to the next week’s work, I move it to a labeled hanging folder in the front if I feel like it may take us a while to get caught up or to maintain the schedule that I created for the year.
- Some years with some kids I put math in front knowing that it’s sometimes hard to know what rate to go at with math — same is true for phonics and reading.
- My “Math U See Tip”: Make sure you pull all the tests from the test booklet and file them in with all the daily work in order. So, after lesson “G” or “H” your kids have the test they need to take.
- It’s okay to adjust your crate! Just don’t do big adjustment weekly. I wait several weeks, sometimes months, to adjust pages in the whole crate. But if I am finding that we are ahead or behind in our weekly work consistently, then I either refile those pages for those subjects — or I start putting them in a front folder.
- Sometimes I decide to put the work back in the weekly folders after they’ve been in the front folder for months. It may just take me some time to get a better feel for the speed that we are getting work done.
- Slowing down to enjoy what you are doing is NOT falling behind!
- “Slowing down to enjoy what you are doing is NOT falling behind!”…I repeated that! It’s so important to remember this!! Enjoy homeschooling…don’t try to get through folders! Take the weekly tabs off if it’s driving you crazy and making you feel behind. Fostering a love for learning and taking time to really enjoy topics is the best part of homeschooling!
- If you are in a co-op or intend to make the “pretty bound notebook” a keepsake, then don’t tear it up.
- I usually divide up our chapter work as one whole chapter with all the notebook work together (in case we decide to do some extra pages). However, I don’t put them in weekly. I use the table of contents to determine our schedule for the year and just place the chapter work in the first week that we’ll start working on it. So, for Apologia, I put my work in every other folder. So, Week 2 has Chapter 1 and Week 4 has Chapter 2…and so on.
- TRY to tear apart your notebooks!
- Books that you will use with multiple kids and can’t just make photocopies of it because of copyright rules…use my plastic sheet protector trick!
- Depending on the records your state requires, you can take a picture or a photocopy of their work when it’s completed on the page with the plastic page protector over it and file it away. (In California, we are only required to have samplings of work to show that learning happened. Since I have other books we use for history, I won’t even bother with the book I showed you…unless it’s cute work!)
- You can always just buy new workbooks for your other kids and save yourself the headache…just be sure to tear apart the work.
- Any curriculum that has weekly work is really easy to use with your crate, like Sonlight, My Father’s World, and Tapestry of Grace.
- Placing work in your crate helps you remember to get to it!
- Tip for High School science notebooks that you may not want to tear apart…just put the tests in the crate for the week that you know they should be getting to it.
- I always look at the table of contents and divide all the work to get done for the year up by week. This helps me to know how much work we need to be getting done each week.
- Workbooks that have lessons that face each other each week, you have a couple of options:
- Don’t tear it apart and just move the whole notebook from week to week.
- Tear up the notebook and photocopy one side and put an “x” over the duplicate side. Then file it in the crate.
- You can also just keep it in one spot where it’s visible, so you don’t forget to get to the work.
- Again, I share how I organize by sticking all the lesson’s work in one weekly folder with everything I’ll need with it (like with Sing, Spell, Read, and Write…I put the reading book and the worksheets in the crate, too). Then I just stick the next lesson’s work in the week that we’ll be starting it. If the teacher’s manual says to allow two or three weeks for the lesson, then I just put the next lesson two or three weeks ahead.
- With math I often assign two lessons for a few weeks at the beginning of the year when math books tend to be a bit repetitive. Then I slow down in the middle of the year so they have more time to tackle the new concepts.
- What to do with work that is not getting torn apart and placed in the crate — like reading assignments, etc.?
- Use an index card to write the assignment for the week on there (especially helpful if you aren’t being really detailed on your checklist). If you do this think about using an Avery index card product that you can print from your computer. This way you can have a template to write on like below.. and thus save yourself a lot of time since you’ll only have to write in basic information. For example:
Week # ______
* History Reading: Pg. __________
* Read Aloud Book: Pg._________
* Science Book: Pg. ___________
* Memory Verse: ______________
- Write assignments on their weekly checklist
- Write the assignments on the white board for your children to write on their own checklist.
* See the “Crate System” video for tips on how to set up your crate.
- Check out my Homeschool Resource Page on my site for more specific information on the different curriculum we’ve used.
- Also, check out my new Homeschooling Page on my site! I’ve broken down everything into sections…including what curriculum I’ve used through the years!
- My Father’s World
- Apologia Science
- Math U See
- Tapestry of Grace
- Rod & Staff
- Sing, Spell, Read, and Write (Level 1)
- Again, here’s the link to my Organizing My Messy Homeschool Room video. I show more on how I use the plastic page protectors
The best way to get questions answered is RIGHT HERE! Just leave your questions in the comments section below. You may even find that your question has already been asked and answered.