Those of you who have followed along here know I have been posting (and revising) Dollygirl's September school plans on a separate page. Like I said before, it's mostly Ambleside Online's Year Seven, but wearing a vintage dress: substituting the P.U.S. English and French history books for Churchill's Birth of Britain, and experimenting a bit with the literature list. I had a list of the books to use for those subjects, but hadn't gotten down to figuring out exactly how or when.
I'm also revisiting some materials that the Apprentice used in middle school, things I wasn't sure if we'd ever use again: a first edition copy of Apologia General Science (Ponytails used that too), a second edition Saxon Algebra 1/2, and a 1999 set of Power Glide French (we hope our cassette player holds out). All these books, the Apprentice used successfully at around Dollygirl's age, so knowing that inspires some confidence that they'll be good choices again. One important note: for all three of those, we'll plan on doing only the first half of the book.
But this is the big change I'm working on. Dollygirl still has the workboxing chart I made for her four years ago, and she asked me if we would ever be doing workboxing again. I said no, probably not. It worked well with our homeschooling situation that year, but that was then, this is now. I thought about it some more, and wondered if anybody out there was even still using workboxes. I browsed around and found this post on Hope for Homeschool: a no-busywork, simple workboxing setup and routine for middle school and up. You don't even have to load the boxes every night or have every page number pre-scheduled; for older kids who are basically using the same books day after day, you can just check what they've accomplished (or they can) and record it on a planner page. In which case I guess you don't call it a planner page, it's a checker page or a journal page, but whatever.
That was exactly...well, almost exactly...what we needed, for two reasons. First, the physical side of it made sense (although we will use Ponytails' old plastic magazine holder system instead of drawers). We don't have a lot of floor space for drawers, or racks of shoeboxes, but we do have a cabinet where the books can be shut away when school's done. Second, thinking of subjects in "boxes" forces me to simplify or at least nail down what we're doing. The Hope for Homeschool family use Sonlight Curriculum, but that's easy enough to translate into our more-or-less Ambleside Online plans.
Besides the box system, I also like Merry's teacher box (I have one of those giant Easy Grammar Plus teacher's manuals too) and teacher binder. They're really not that different from organizing tools we've used in the past, but her photos are giving me a bit of extra inspiration for the coming year.
I've updated the Grade 7 Plans page to reflect the workboxing additions.