Homeschool Tip: Independent Notebooks

I want to share something that has been a game changer in our homeschool, especially as our kids have gotten a little older: independent notebooks. 
Here's what I do. 
  • I've created weekly checklists for each of our kids (you can find a free editable version here), and I print one for each week.
  • I clip the checklist to the front of a 3-ring binder, and inside, I've included what they need to complete the work, placing their work behind weekly dividers. So if you look behind the Week 1 tab, you'll see almost everything they need to complete that week's work. 

What we love about this system: 

  • We've found that this gives our kids autonomy to get their work done without having to ask, "What do I do next?" Sometimes they'll even do some of their work before breakfast. 
  • If we're homeschooling outside or on the road, they can grab their notebooks and a pencil, instead of bringing a stack of books or workbooks with them.
  • They can get their work done in any order, as long as it gets done by the end of the week. 
This only includes the subjects they're working on independently. It does not include the subjects we do together: Morning Time (Bible, hymns, Scripture memory, artist/composer study), history, science/nature study, and read-alouds. They also do the majority of their math online (Beast Academy), but do have some practice sheets in their notebooks.
For some of their workbooks, I took them to Staples to have the binding removed, then I used a 3-hole punch to put the papers inside.
Our family loves this system and it's been working so well for us. If you need a little more organization in your homeschool and want to promote independence, I hope you'll give it a try!