Do you have any specific advice about moving from the tubs to the binders ? I want to get started this summer.
In a previous article
I talked about record keeping strategies, and said there are three kinds of homeschoolers; tubbies, cubbies, and binder queens. Are you looking for ways to stop being Tubby?
Like losing weight, you have to be committed if you want to avoid being Tubby. First of all, whatever you do, make sure you KEEP records - don't let your frustrations with being a tubby make you give up record keeping altogether.
Second, buy a big three-ring binder and a couple of sets of big tab dividers. Put a piece of paper behind each divider with a label for what you "hope" to put there. Keep the labels very general: math, English, PE, science. Have a label for every subject. If you don't know what subject something is, or if it crosses over many subject areas and you can't decide which one it is, then make a label for that. For example, dance: Is it PE or Fine Arts? Don't spend time deciding, just label a divider "dance" and decide later. Have a label for every item required by state law. Our state requires a declaration of intent, annual testing, and immunization records, so I had a tab for each of those. Finally, add a tab for a transcript and for your reading list.
Each time your child produces something, use a three-hole punch and put it into the binder where it most likely belongs. You can always change your mind later, so don't spend too much time worrying about whether a report on Lincoln goes in History or in English. Just guess for now, and re-adjust later if you need to.
Next to your binder, have a place where you can collect papers as they are produced. Some people may be good about putting papers in their binder every day, but I wasn't that conscientious. I had a pile of papers that collected through the weeks, and would file them all at once. At least every month, file all the papers in your file.
Once a month, or once a quarter, go through your binder and see what you have kept. Is there a section that doesn't have anything behind it? We found that our PE section was completely empty. Spend some time brainstorming ideas that would be records for that class. For PE, we decided to keep ribbons from swim team. I have consulted with others about cooking classes, and suggested they keep shopping lists, menus, and recipes. Brainstorm ideas, then see what you can accumulate for those blank sections.
What to keep in your binder? Tests, lab reports, art work or photos of art work, written reports, anything printed from the computer, awards or certificates of any kind.
I hope this helps!
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