Saturday, June 6, 2015

Make Your Own Books

I feel so premature posting about NEXT school year but just had to share what I've been working on. We are going into year 3 of homeschooling, each year different from the last. I feel each year gets better and better.

Our first year we had way too much and not enough structure to hold it all. It was "fly by the seat of our pants" which does work for some. I found out it doesn't work for us.

So this past year, year 2, we used AmblesideOnline, a free Charlotte Mason curriculum. We like Charlotte Mason and really enjoyed AO. However it is very, very literary heavy which wasn't so great for my struggling reader. Unlike our first year we had a strict schedule. I found we stayed on track much better when I knew what was on the itinerary for each day, so that was a plus!

As we embark on year 3 we will combine the aspects we liked from each of our first two years of school: a  solid but flexible schedule and an eclectic mix of curriculum rather than one exclusive philosophy.

And so I have made my own schedule/outline for each of my girls in book form! Yes, I made our own books. I can already tell you that I'm obsessed and plan on making many more books. It's so so so easy and fun.

What started as just a stack of printed paper was then spiral-bound with a clear cover and clear backside at OfficeMax for about $4 a book.. Everyone asked if I drew the cover page but I didn't. It's a cool font called Fredericka the Great.

The clear cover and clear backside offer the book some stability so it's firmer and not so floppy. I specifically wanted clear and thus requested it but they may have other colors.

Each girl has her own schedule (Abbie's schedule is on the left; click to enlarge) and each girl has their own All About Me page to start off the year. At the end of each book is an End of Year page about what they learned, liked, didn't like, etc. I printed the cover, the All About Me, and End of Year pages on cardstock; the rest on regular printer paper.

The meat of each book is this: checklist for credits earned on a day (left) and the actual schedule/chores (right). There are 36 weeks worth of these pages, one for each week of school. I poured over so many other blogs and printables but in the end I made my own template on GoogleDocs because no one is going to be exactly like me and I won't be like them. I put exactly what I wanted on each. The only thing I didn't make were the All About Me and End of Year pages; I found those as free printables.

The reason I chose to make spiral-bound books was because binders weren't working. Binders were taking up a lot of space when stored on the shelf and when in use. With a spiral we can open up to the desired page and fold the rest back under it. So while I do own a three-hole punch and could have easily just used binders it wasn't preferable.

NEXT POST: I'll breakdown the grades that the girls are in with what curriculum books and websites we will be using.

1). Make/print all your pages and put them in the order desired.
2). Take to your local office store and ask them to spiral bind them ($2.99 each book, at OfficeMax, as of this date). Adding plastic covers and backsides will cost at least a couple quarters or more each, if you want them.
3). Pickup and pay for your finished books!

You could also buy your own machine if you plan on making a ton.

Happy book making!


The Mommy said...

Love this idea! I do a little lesson plan each day. I actually fill it all in as we are working that day to keep track of what we have done.i like flexibility, but I also need some good guidelines.

Elizabeth McKinney said...

Wonderful idea!! I may try to do something similar. We are also homeschooling and learning each year and I love to see tips like this. Looking forward to the next post.