When we set off on the alphabet path last fall I knew I wanted to design a way to keep a master notebook. This would be in addition to the story book in which I placed the actual story and illustrations in sheet protectors. I started by purchasing alphabetized dividers. Each letter would have its own section. I used a 2 inch binder, although I think I may split this into two binders this year. This year I also had a section for math and lively language lessons in the same binder. This coming year they will be placed in their own binders.
Each week I printed off a hard copy of the lesson plans. There are times I need paper. I needed to scribble notes and my own extension ideas as we worked with each letter. I found that I liked to print a copy of the botanical information about the flowers as well as a picture for some of my older children to work off for their nature notebooks. I printed out the recipes. Sometimes I printed the picture study painting. Then came the fun part as I would add in our mini rabbit trails. For example, when we were on A, I used these cards from Montessori for Everyone to extend the our science lesson. I put them in a sheet protector right in the notebook. I have one child that loves bats, so when we got to B, she read about bats. Into the notebook went some illustrations and information about bats.
This is where I admit how woefully behind I currently am in keeping up with the notebook. Early pregnancy has definitely put a bump in road (so to speak). But I still love that notebook and will be working through it in the next weeks to update and plan for Kay who will revisit the alphabet path this fall. This will essentially be her school. I'm sure as we hit on Kay's interests other information and pages will be added.
I also plan to create a similar notebook for the history trail this year. I still have to decide how to organize it (by week? by level? by term?). I also hope to put together a fine arts notebook to include music, art and poetry and a science notebook. These will be in addition to new math and lively language notebooks.
Wow! I have my work cut out for me. Its all good though. I can't tell you what a relief it is to know I can have this year of school ready and at my fingertips. We don't do well here when I try to wing it. And this year is certainly not a year for disorder, chaos and children with no idea what to do each day when called to the table to begin our work.