A year's worth of file folders - ready to "report!"
From Lori I have this question:
I have a question, when you finish your year ... you said "I go through the old folders when I write up the year-end reports over the summer." What are you reviewing that you report? Do you put the kids school papers in the file folders? I'm confused on this. I guess I'm not sure on what all is left in the folders.... Thanks, Dawn. p.s. I am going to be doing the FCS this year ;)
First of all, thank you so much for leaving your question! I'm so excited to hear you'll be using the FCS this year - please let me know how it goes for you! :)
Now as to your question, re ~ the year-end file folder review ...
I use these folders as a holding station - a means of reminding myself of things to come and, on the other end, of things that have passed. When I go through the folders at the end of June, I find all sorts of memorable things that remind me of our experiences throughout our academic year. Some things help me with the year-end reports, some things help me in planning our new year ... while other things are helpful in a more domestic-planning sense.
(And some things just make me smile and remember why we it is do what we do. :))
Above you see last year's folders all ready to be perused. Here's a random list of items I found in my folders - with an explanation of how I handled them in italics. I hope this will give you a better sense of how I use these items in my reporting/planning/reminiscing etc. ... and maybe give you some ideas of how you can use the FCS in your household. :)
*A library request form for the audioversion of A Christmas Carol. We spent a few weeks in late November listening to this story in spurts in the car ... in advance of seeing the play in early December. I made a note on the reports and recycled the sheet.
*A fact sheet on evergreens we were given by a tree farmer the day we chopped down our Christmas tree. This launched a whole unit study on evergreens, so I made note on the reports, and refiled it in the Nov-Dec hanging folder because I may like to revisit the unit at Christmastime.
*My "2011 Easter" menu and preparation notes. I filed these into the folder for next year's Easter - they'll provide handy reference (and fond memories) as we plan a new Easter Sunday.
*An invitation to a nativity play we didn't attend. I refiled it in the Nov-Dec hanging folder in hopes we can make it this year.
*An email listing details from a holiday potluck we attended with our homeschool group. I made some notes on my report and recycled the paper.
*Information on the "Perseids" (meteor showers that occur every year on Crackerjack's birthday eve). I made a note on my report that CJ watched for meteors and researched Persius (while reading the Percy Jackson series) and refiled the papers in this year's August 8-14, 2011 folder. We'll surely be watching again - and who knows how we might "spin" the event!
*A Barnes & Noble Storytime flyer. I noted the book titles on EB's report and recycled the paper.
*A library request form for a Liberty's Kids video. I noted on the reports that CJ did much personal reading and research into the American revolution and recycled the sheet.
*An email on a water main break we experienced in our area last year detailing emergency information for affected households. I noted that we investigated water city systems when this happened then recycled the paper.
*Emails from the grandparents (both sets) during their travels to various locales - Alaska, Spain, Hawaii, etc. I noted on the reports the geography work we did and culture/art we viewed thanks to those messages (and vacation photos).
*A site map from a local sanctuary we happened upon one weekend. I made note on EB's reports of the habitat study and map work then recycled the map.
*A whole bunch of activities for an egg unit I did with EB in April (we didn't do all the activities). I made notes on EB's report then refiled the stapled papers in the Mar-Apr hanging folder in case we want to revisit the theme next spring.
Now, I don't keep the "school" work in the folders because there's just too much of it. The older boys now keep their work in their subject notebooks (math, English, history, science, etc.). Earlybird's worksheet pages, craft projects, paintings and drawings and writing practice I put in a general "in basket." (After they've spent some time on the wall or the fridge, natch.) I look through those notebooks and the in-basket before finalizing the reports as well.
Ok, I hope that's been helpful to you, Lori - or anyone who's trying out the FCS. I sometimes wish we could all just sit down with a big pot of tea and lay everything out and just CHAT! Lol. In lieu of that, I hope my posts, answering the questions you all have, do make some sense and do help a little. Please do not hesitate to ask for further clarification. Sometimes things make perfect sense in my head - but don't necessarily translate in "type," if you know what I mean. ;)
So I'll leave you all, for now, with that food for thought ... and speaking of food ... those beef/veggie kabobs we made last night? They made for wonderful pizza toppings and calzone fillings tonight!
Have a good one, my friends ... thanks so much for stopping by. I will see you all again very soon!