With just under a month until school starts, I finally have one entire quarter completely planned (actually just over one quarter is planned – I’ve completed 10 weeks since the sixth Layers of Learning unit will be done over the 9th and 10th weeks). To be fair, it’s only the Layers of Learning units (history, geography, science, and the arts, each done once a week, plus pre-reading for all three boys) that still have to be planned. Everything else is already done. I’m hoping to have at least half the school year planned out before the first day of school.
This is part 2 of how we use OneNote. Part 1 was about how I use it as My Brain. Part 2 is on how we use it for school.
I have five notebooks in my school section. The cleverly named School notebook is where I keep files and information I’ll need later. Together contains my lesson plans for the work the boys do together. Cameron, Fritz, and Adrian each have a notebook with their assignments for each day of school. Those notebooks are shared to their OneNote accounts so they can use them each school day (they get to choose how they access OneNote: computer, phone, or iPad).
I am currently spending most of my time in the 2017-18 tab in the School notebook. It’s where the lesson planning happens. The Subjects section in the 2017-18 tab has a page with a list of what we are using for each subject, a page with a running list of general school supplies I need to get as well as specific things I’ll need listed out by week, a page with specific needs (which are mostly food so cannot be bought before the week we’ll need them), and a page with our school year calendar. The Subject Notes page has links and passwords and other notes like what days of the week they do certain subjects.
The answer keys for various subjects are each on separate pages in the 2017-18 tab. The answer keys for Latin (Fritz), Math (Fritz), and WWS1 – that’s Writing With Skill 1 – (Fritz) are attached pdfs.
The rest of the answer keys, NLE/NME – that’s Latin and Mythology exam practice – (Fritz), CW1 – that’s Creative Writing 1 – (Cameron), and WWE3 – that’s Writing With Ease 3 – (Adrian), are written directly on the pages with no attachments.
There are three reading pages, one for each boy. As I pre-read the books I assign to them, I come up with questions for them to answer. Their books are from what we are studying (usually history, but sometimes science or geography).
The final page in the 2017-18 tab is for Planning. I use that page kind of as a holding tank as I work through a subject in the Layers of Learning units. Once I’ve got a subject all planned and divided into two days worth, I copy and paste it onto the appropriate day in the Together notebook. Most of the time this page is blank and it will get deleted once planning for the year is done.
Most of the remaining tabs in the School notebook are past assignments by Ani, Cameron, and Fritz. One tab holds their report cards and transcripts. The Files tab has pages for various things I use occasionally as well as my Layers of Learning Year 2 master plan.
The Together notebook is for me to use during school. There is a tab for each month of the school year and then pages under each tab for every Monday through Friday of the month (school holidays are marked and have blank pages). Each page is my guide for what to do during together work time.
The notebooks specifically for each boy tell them what to do each way. They are set up very much like the Together notebook. Their assignments for the day are all laid out for them.
Some days there is additional information on their daily page for them to look at and refer to during all together work.
In addition to the daily assignment tabs, they have some additional tabs. The Spelling tab has daily pages for the boys to record their personal misspelled words and also to take their weekly tests. The Interest Led tab is for them to work in however they want about whatever they want each day. The Writing tab has a page for each writing assignment they will complete over the course of the school year.
Fritz’s notebook has two additional tabs. The WWS 1 tab has a page for each week’s worth of assignments. The Latin tab has a page for Memorization and a page for Vocabulary.
So that’s how we use OneNote for planning school, keeping school records, and as we go about our daily school activities. OneNote is an amazing tool for keeping us organized. (One more thing… the boys are color coded. Their folders and things have always been certain colors in school – orange for Cameron, blue for Fritz, yellow for Adrian, and green for Together – so I chose to make the notebook icons next to the names of the notebooks color coded with those colors as well.)
A month ago I got the flu. And then I got an ear, sinus, and throat infection and bronchitis. And then I got mild pneumonia. Fun times, I tell you.
But I’ve been very productive during my mostly sitting in my chair coughing state. I’ve been lesson planning and organizing school for next year like crazy. I even got a filing cabinet and hanging file folders (purple because it’s my favorite) and colored manila folders (orange for Cameron, blue for Fritz, yellow for Adrian, green for all of them together).
I’ve got the first four weeks of school almost 100% planned. Only 31 more weeks to go (those are all about 75% planned already so it’s not as bad as it sounds).
A few days ago Facebook’s On This Day thing told me that I had finished my lesson planning for the 2016-17 school year on that day last year. This year… Not. Even. Close.
But I have been working on them!
I’ve got grammar, spelling, and vocabulary for all of them and Adrian’s writing all done. Now I’m working on Cameron’s creative writing. We’re going to use The Well-Trained Mind’s Creative Writing I and it just has the lessons divided into 36 full weeks all at once so I’m having to split it up into daily activities however it makes sense to me.
I made a list of what subjects I still need to plan and I’m pretty sure our 2017-18 school year plans will be done sometime before 2019.
I’m making progress on lesson planning finally. I think I’ve got what we’re going to used all picked out, I’ve got the calendar set and the days off picked, and now I’m doing the actual lesson plans. That’s the part, along with pre-reading, that takes forever.
Currently, I’m making the lesson plans for grammar and spelling. We’re going to use Fix It! Grammar (The Nose Tree). All the boys will do it together on the awesome new whiteboard I got. They’ll do the parts of speech labeling and vocabulary and copying and everything as written and then they will use colored dry erase markers to do the letter chunk marking like they have learned to do in Spelling You See over the last couple years.
Also, check out the beautiful new maps I got. They are huge! I splurged and got the laminated kind. Definitely worth it. The paper ones we’ve had on the wall (and use surprisingly frequently) for the last three years were getting pretty grungy so it was definitely time for new ones.