Saturday, January 2, 2016

Getting Ready for Creation to the Greeks and 1st Grade

The past several days post-Christmas have been spent prepping for our upcoming school year. We school year-round from January to December. This year our schedule is blocked off in 5-week chunks.  We will have five weeks of school followed by a week or two (or sometimes three) break. There are many, many reasons we keep this sort of schedule, but I'll save all that for another day.

Since I am doing both Creation to the Greeks and First Grade from My Father's World this year, I had a little more work than usual to get ready.

I Printed or Copied

  • grid pages from both the CTG and First Teacher's Manuals to make my planner
  • pages listed in the Teacher's Manual from Drawing with Children
  • Science in the Beginning Notebook (get it under Downloads from Berean Builders)
  • Proverbs cursive copywork for my girl to tagalong with her little brother
  • English from the Roots Up worksheets (download here)
  • 100 chart from back of Singapore Math 4A Home Instructor's Guide
  • Song School Greek coloring pages (download here)

My Father's World generously allows for the photocopying of their grid pages for planning and record keeping provided you do not loan, give, or sell the teacher's manual you've copied from.  I copied the grid pages from both Creation to the Greeks and First Grade and affixed them to colored paper with wash tape. I arranged them so each week is on a single two-page spread. This way I can view both pages for Week One, for example, at once! I also included a little menu planner for each week since knowing what's for supper is handy -- especially when it means I should be taking out meat to thaw relatively early in the day.

In addition to the copies for my planner, I made a second set of copies of the Creation to the Greeks pages for Miss M's planner. She is becoming more and more independent and I want her to be equipped to move ahead at her pace when she can, so I want her to have her own planner.  Hers is a simple spiral bound notebook with each day cut apart from the grid and taped in (with pretty wash tape, of course). I add notes or further instruction as needed -- and hopefully by the end of the year she will have taken over this job as she continues to grow in her ability to manage her time.

The last prints I made were these really cute coloring pages to go along with Song School Greek's vocabulary lessons. There were a LOT of pages, so I printed them six to a page to save paper, ink, and eventually space on my wall!  I cut them all apart and am storing them in a little index card box.  Mister E will be coloring these while his big sister works on learning to write in Greek.

I Laminated:

  • timeline pieces from Creation to the Greeks (we will not use the First Grade pieces)
  • Books of the Bible chart from MFW 1st grade
  • 100 chart and 1-cm graph paper back-to-back (see below)
  • Greek Code Cracker wheel
  • Greek alphabet flashcards
  • Greek alphabet writing practice page

The kids and I enjoyed coloring the timeline pieces in advance so that I could laminate them. They are safely held in a ziploc bag awaiting their turn to be posted on our timeline, so there's not much to see at this point.

We are using Song School Greek for our foreign language this year.  I purchased the Code Cracker book (for help learning the alphabet in a fun and interactive way) to supplement the regular book.  It came with a code cracker wheel that you cut out and assemble with a brass fastener. I laminated it before assembling for durability.  I also printed a Greek alphabet writing practice page from the publisher's website and laminated it (both pages back to back) so it can be used again and again with a dry erase marker.

Up till now I have not felt the need to purchase a Home Instructor's Guide for Singapore Math, but Miss M is now in level 4A and things are finally beginning to be a little more challenging for her. This is a good thing! She needs to be challenged to be happy.  In order to be sure I'm equipped to teach her thoroughly and feed that thirsty mind of hers, I went ahead and bought the Home Instructor's Guide for this level.  It suggested we use a 100 chart and some graph paper for learning about factors and multiples, so rather than burn through a whole bunch of pages, I decided to make them reusable. I copied the 100 chart from the Appendix, layered it over a page of 1-cm graph paper, and laminated them together. Now she'll be able to use a dry erase marker to find multiples, draw arrays, et cetera.

I had Bound:

  • My planner
  • Science in the Beginning Notebook (just one for both kids to share)

Okay, by now you must know how much I love colors. Just look at this gorgeous planner!  Pretty colors on the cover! Colored paper! Washi tape!  The guy at OfficeMax even used blue for the back cover instead of the typical black.  I'm in love!!


  1. Hello fellow Missouri Homeschooler ;) We use science in the beginning too! I'd love more details on your notebook that you use for that. I'm a total planner girl too - in fact I just created a homeschool planner printable that fits the happy planner :D Hope you have a good school year!

    1. Hi Jeanetta! I downloaded that SITB notebook from Berean Builders, printed it out (it's a lot!), and had it spiral bound at OfficeMax. I printed just one notebook for my two kids to share. I expect them to collaborate on the science lessons and my first grader isn't the best writer yet (but he loves to draw!), so I figured why not play to their strengths? :-)

    2. I added the link in the post above, but here it is again for quick reference:

  2. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us, Stephi! I love the layout and look of your Planner. I've tried so many different ones, but always end up with a simple notebook by the end of the year. Money wasted. Aside from the MFW grids and other pages, what planning pages are you using? Are your pages/weeks dated? Did you use washi tape on the edges of the pages to separate each page, or each week? Thanks again for sharing! ;-)

    1. I don't have much in there this year other than the grids from MFW. I never seemed to use a calendar grid much, so I nixed that this year. I do have a year-at-a-glance style of calendar covering 18 months so I can see ahead or look back if I need to. I also have my year planning page marked for which days/weeks we're taking off this year. (Download a blank one here: )

      In the back I have a Field Trip Tracker page and a Resource Page in case there's anything I want to write down along the way. I also threw in the extra copies of the CTG grid for Miss M's planner in the back of mine. I didn't want to cut them apart and put them in her planner all at once -- one week at a time is sufficient -- so instead of having to keep track of them as loose papers, I just had them spiral bound with mine and I'll remove them one week at a time.

      This year our schedule worked out to exactly 5 week chunks with a 1-2 (or sometimes 3) week break between. Thus, I decided to use one color of paper for each 5 weeks, but because I didn't want one of my two-page spreads to be on two colors at once, it left some blank pages in the planner where I switched colors. That's where the washi tape on the edges came in! I taped the pages together where the color transitioned between one 5-week session and the next. It also made it super pretty. :-)

      My pages are not pre-dated. I will add dates as we go....just like the MFW TM!

  3. Brilliant on the student planner. That is happening today. DG loves the idea! Thank you so much!

    1. So glad to inspire an idea that's going to work for you! :-)

  4. Wow, you're organized! Saw your blog in a post on MFW 1st FB page and thought I'd check it out. I'm curious to hear what your reasons are for schooling from Jan-Dec, so hoping you post on that soon. :) We will be schooling year round as well but I'm not sure when to start it. It's hard to move away from a traditional schedule. :)

  5. Did you print the science notebook at home and then have OfficeMax bind it? Do you remember how much it cost to bind? That's a lot of pages for my home printer to print!

  6. Thank you for sharing! I am definitely going to copy the MFW first grids and make my own planner this year. Looks so much easier that way!

  7. Hi Stephi! I have looked for the SITB note pages you referenced and linked above and it seems they're not there anymore? Or am I missing them somehow? I'd love to use them this next year if they can be found!
    This is a great post and I'm saving to read through again as I get closer to buying and organizing. Thanks so much!
    Sarah Bass

    1. You're right that the link was somehow broken, but the file itself is still at the publisher's website. I fixed the link for now, but in case they change it again... Just go to Berean Builders and look up SITB. Then look for the Downloads tab and the notebook is listed under Printable Notebook. Hope that helps! :-)

    2. It seems they keep changing their links on us... Here's the most current one:

  8. Hey Stephi! Do you suggest doing CTG and Adventures together or just moving my 2nd grader right along to CTG with the older ones? I am not sure if doing those 2 together would be to much...I have 3 doing CTG and then a 2nd grader, a preschooler and a toddler...Thanks!

    1. Hello Patty! No, I would never recommend doing Adventures concurrently with one of the Family Cycle years. It's not worth the added stress on you! Teach your kids together as much as possible! They'll get the chance to cover all the material from Adventures down the road in the Family Learning Cycle. :-)