Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Reorganizing Sonlight

Almost three years ago, I shared my method to organizing our Sonlight Core Instructor's Guides.  However, since then, Sonlight has completely remodeled their Instructor's Guides, which means I had to do some remodeling of how I organize things.

I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the remodel on Sonlight's part.  However, I am still a huge fan of Sonlight, so I'm working with it.  For those who don't know, the changes were basically taking the notes for each week and placing them behind the schedule pages, whereas previously the notes were sorted by each book.  Also, in Core D and beyond, LA is included with the notes.  What this means for me is, 1. a lot of flipping, as we don't always stay on schedule for each book, so now I have to flip back and forth between weeks, and 2. a very cluttered (to me) notes section, due to the LA I don't use mashed in there with everything else.  I am very visual, and it was becoming very difficult for me to smoothly use my notes.

So, I got brave.  I colored all over my IG.  First, I scribbled out all of the notes for LA.  I really hesitated with this, because it just seems... wrong... to scribble in an IG!  But, it's mine, so I might as well make it work for me, right?  And since we don't use the LA at all (tried it, quickly realized it didn't fit us), I'm not losing anything by scribbling. 

Scribbling done, I then went on to color-code (yes, there's a similar theme with my previous method!) the different note sections.  History notes are highlighted in green.  Read-Aloud notes in Purple, and Reader notes in pink.  I don't highlight the Bible notes simply because I rarely use them.

Here's an example of what I mean:

This way, even though I still have to flip around the pages, my eye easily falls right to the section I'm needing to see, rather than trying to scan through everything with little differentiation.  For some reason, the headers they provided just weren't enough for me.

I still don't love it as much as I loved the older IG's, but I'm happy to have found something that works to make the new IGs less cluttered and frustrating to use!

And speaking of Sonlight, we're now doing 3 Cores - Core F for Isaac and Ezra, Core A with Joel and Nathan, and we're finishing up Core P 3/4 with Judah and Rachel and about to move into Core P 4/5, sometime in June.  Despite my less than thrilled feelings about their IG changes, we still LOVE Sonlight.  I was talking about a different curriculum a few weeks ago, and one of the children said, "Mom!  Don't switch from Sonlight!  We'll miss all the awesome books!"   That about says it all, for me!


Luke Holzmann said...

Thanks for sharing your method. The Instructor's Guides are a tool, not a taskmaster, so I'm glad you've been able to find a way to still make the IGs work for you. Keep up the great work!


Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for writing this. I will be embarking on our homeschool journey this summer. I have 4 little ones (will be ages 2,3, almost 5 and 6). I'm planning to jump into Core A, but am pulling in appropriate language arts/math/handwriting for the older 2 and getting some supplemental read-alouds and art books, etc to use for the family (rather than using the pre-school cores as I already have many of the titles). It seems like it will be difficult to organize, so I enjoyed seeing the photo of your marked up IG. I'm a color coding person myself and I may just steal that idea! :)