Thursday, July 4, 2019

MFW 1850 to Modern Times: What I Did to Prepare

Happy Independence Day to my American readers! Although it is July 4th today, we actually began our current school year back in January. However, since I never got around to typing up what I did to prep for the year, and have had several inquiries about it recently, I figured today was as good as any to show you what I did!

Since my kids are getting older and are less taken by cutesy decorations, I didn't really do much in the way of posters or decorations in our homeschool space. A little negative space in the room has been nice this year!

I started off by separating the president and state pages from this year's pack of Student Sheets. Since we already started the 50 states and all the presidents last year in Exploration to 1850, I simply punched the ones for this year with my spiral binder and added them to the state and president books I made for the kids last year. Now each book is a complete set!

Next, I sat down with my teacher's manual and the Story of the World Activity Guide and made a long list of all the pages we would do this year. I ruthlessly pared down the possibilities. There's a lot in there, and I can't imagine anyone could ever do it all!  Then I printed out what we needed and collated them with the remainder of the Student Sheets from MFW. I spiral bound each set.

The State Flower and Bird cards were added to the card holder sheets I used last year, and I pinned the boxes of President Flash Cards to my bulletin board where they'll be just in reach.

All the rest of our books for 1850 to Modern Times were organized by subject into some magazine holders from Ikea and shelved nearby. These magazine holders have been in use about 3 years now, so they're starting to look a little battered, but they're so cheap and I just love how they help hold floppy books erect! Otherwise everything tends to slip, slide, and fall over when you take one item out.

Each kid has their own little desk with more magazine holders to keep their independent subjects tidy. My 8th grader has the most since she has a separate science in addition to the separate math and language arts.

For math, she has the text and a 3-subject spiral notebook. I picked 3-subject because it has room for lecture notes as well as her homework. I didn't like the suggestion of using a separate notebook for notes and assignments. That just means one more thing to try to keep track of!

For science I bought the notebooking journal that Apologia sells and a lab kit from Natures Workshop. Of course, just after we started our year, Apologia released a brand new edition of General Science. It looks amazing! And I'm a bit jealous that we couldn't get it before the start of our year.

For English this year we are using Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind, Vocabulary from Classical Roots, and Writing With Skill.  These are all pretty rigorous programs and we will end up only getting through half of the grammar and writing books this year.

I got two notebooks for English. The first is a 3-subject, wide ruled notebook for copying out vocabulary definitions, assigned copywork, and writing assignments that are not typed up on the computer. The second is a dotted grid notebook for diagramming sentences.

My youngest is still following MFW's math and language recommendations, so all he needed was a 3-subject spiral notebook to do his written assignments from Language Lessons for Today, and the occasional textbook assignments in Singapore Math.  Rather than have him doing his copywork lessons in the spiral as well, I used a handwriting worksheet generator to create a copywork book for him with all our Bible verses and passages from We Choose Virtues.

And that's about it! The biggest task this year was getting the Story of the World Activity Guide pages sifted through, printed, and bound.  I hope this helps a little for those of you prepping to begin 1850 to Modern Times soon!

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