The 10-Week Super Set-Up

in Organization, Tips

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IMG_1025   We have had some special this year, so I had to get as set up as possible.  Below you see two CT scans, one of a normal nasal pathway, looking down from above on the cheek bones.  All the white is bone.  Notice on the left, that the bones leave plenty of room upfront for airways and arch AROUND in the back.  It looks like a squid man to me.  On the right, you have a 1 in 2 million congenital condition called “Pyriform Aperture Stenosis.”  The bones of the face have pinched in on the airways in the front, where the arrows are pointing, but also notice that instead of arching around the airway in the back, it stays pinched. pr2006275f1   Can you guess where we are going?  Yep, my baby has this.  Tiny Nose Holio. What does it mean?  Well, snot streams have a certain diameter.  Right now, his pipes are too small for it to come out (they will be plenty big later).  So, any congestion, completely blocks his nose and can’t be suctioned lest we pull MORE snot into the pipes.  And, little babies have an anatomy thingy that keeps them from breathing through their mouths consistently until they’re 4-6 months old.  So until the New Year, any serious congestion (that I can’t force down the back with saline or afrin) might mean a trip to the hospital to get tubed up so he can breath well.  Also, he has to stay on this foot monitor that tracks his pulse and oxygen levels.  That way, we know a day ahead or so if congestion is starting to gradually affect his breathing.   Can you imagine the germ routine around here? Anyway, everyone wants to know if it affects his appearance.  It doesn’t.  Here’s the nose: nose So, now to the preparation.  I decided that if I wanted any homeschool to happen this year, I had to make it as automatic as possible.  If Baby Quin gets a cold, it’s a bunch of all-nighters for me, drops, feeding, being a human “breathe right” strip when he nurses. For each grade, I prepared 10 weeks of work.  100% prepared.  Copies made.  Sheets printed.  Flashcards pulled. (Do note that the pics are for my LEFTY notebook, bound southpaw.)

1) 10 Weeks of Math for us is about 50 lessons, so I printed out 50 of the answer sheets we use.  And put in a tabbed divider.  We don’t use the Saxon sheets for all of the math facts review at the beginning of the year.  Later, those sheets review a variety of concepts, but for the first ten weeks, it’s nothing they don’t get better from Reflex.  For 3GRD, I tore out 50 Abeka lessons.

IMG_10282.)  For the 6GRD editing, I copied and stacked 10 weeks of that:IMG_10293)  The I tore out 10 weeks of Latin.IMG_1030
4)  History timeline instructions and figures, OWAA copy, Egypt Maps (all the N. America maps for 5GRD went in her notebook)


5)  I didn’t put in the writing sheets for English; I’ll explain that in a sec. But, I did put in the copies for the diagramming worktext that comes later in the 10 weeks.  

7) There are a lot of music sheets this year.  And remember I already have all the music bookmarked on


8)  We chose to do the TOPS Electricity first.  I have the teacher’s notes in my book and the worksheets in his.  I also gathered EVERY SINGLE supply for the first ten weeks and hung them in a backpack.


9)  I took it all to Office Depot and had it coil bound for $3.  YES!

10)  I pulled all the flashcards, abeka math cards and charts for 3GRD, printed all the mapping labels, made states cards, etc. and put them in a box, so they were “grab and go” for the first ten weeks.

Each weekend, all I do is print the assignment sheets from the school site, for how far we got determined by the number of crises we had, and I get the new flashcards or cd’s out AND SHOVE IT ALL IN THEIR BACKPACKS.  Did I say that before?  All their crap lives in their backpacks, hanging on the stair hooks where their backpacks USED to hang when they went to public school.  HA!  Anyway, SO MUCH of the work is done already, that school is mostly automatic, even if I’m comatose all weekend.

Now what about those writing assignments and spelling and all that?  Well the other notebook at the top has writing paper in it.  And the spine opens and closes.  So for the first ten weeks, I just have them pick a page and go, after that, we’ll rearrange and put in tabs.  The only thing I have to watch is the spelling rule pages to make sure the right thing goes on the front and back of a sheet.  I have screwed up SO MANY of those sewn notebooks, trying to have a decent WRTR notebook, that I gave up.  This year, it’s already taken two attempts to get the first page right.   But, so far I’m pleased at the fact that we only have TWO WORKBOOKS.  A big worksheet book and a thinner “writing” notebook.  No more chasing the workbooks and composition books all over the house!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristie Jenkins Fox June 20, 2015

You changed binders – do you like the spiral better than pro-click? Why? Easier to use? Is there a post about this that I haven’t found! (Thanks for your expertise!)


2 admin June 23, 2015

Pro-click binders top out at 85 pages. That’s not NEAR enough for 10 weeks of work. I still use them for anything that will need to be opened and closed a lot, like assignment notebooks, but reducing the total number of notebooks in my school day was important.


3 Lauren September 6, 2014

Poor baby! Poor mama! And re: all the organization…WOW. You rock!


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