Plan the New Year ~ Overviews, Year Planners and Week Planners

January is Back to School for South Africans and many moms are getting their last few plans in order.

This year I put together my very first eclectic curriculum for my junior and middle school girls and I’m so excited!

I thought, in my early days of homeschooling,  that it was always better to use a bought, professional package, but during the past few years, I used my bought curriculums more as guidelines (and not as strict schedules) and in that flexibility, I could see that it wouldn’t be too hard to put together my curriculum package. I began to pray and the Lord led me and provided me with materials.  Much of my curriculum is FREE!  Free downloads, notebook pages and free lapbooks will make up the core of the work! 🙂

I’d like to share the processes and steps I took to plan the year and then the weeks plans and share the organizers and planners that I made.  Feel free to download and change anything/ ignore what will NOT work for you/ or be encouraged to take these first baby steps ~ yes ~ YOU can also make your own programme!

1. First I used the wonderful “Home Centred Learning Methods” model from The WholeHearted Child Home Education Handbook by Clay and Sally Clarkson from Whole Heart Ministries (read the review on my Book List) and created my overview plan.(Download pdf:Overview_Year_Planner WholeHearted Child)

This is a bird’s-eye view of all that one needs to give a balanced and holistic education.

Next I wrote in all the materials I had to serve each subject and jotted them in the spaces.  This is where I jot in the circles all the basic concepts and books, downloads, programs and ideas.

2. From this I created my 2010 Year Plan (Download pdf: 2010 Year Plan Blank)  deciding on skills, activities and time I would use.  Basically I used this to decide on daily, weekly or monthly workand what skills and activities we would use.

3. Then I broke the year into a 36 Week Overview (Download pdf: 36 Week Overview) and split the work into the weeks for the year.  This will become my master plan, but (typical of homeschooling) it will be flexible – I don’t REALLY know how long some work may take or if we decide to spend more time on something.  It is not a schedule to be followed, but a guideline! [sigh of relief …]

4. Now my 2010 Weekly Timetable (Download pdf: 2010 Weekly Timetable)  was ready. I filled in the work we need to cover for each week and record and comment on the work we complete.  This becomes my record of work.

5.And finally I created a Daily Timetable (Download pdf: Week Timetable1) .I will laminate this and place 1 in each girl’s file for reference.

So ~ there it is!

I hope this helps you to ‘ take the plunge’  and use all the curriculum materials lying around your shelves  waiting for another year.  GO FOR IT ~ create your own curriculum package!

My Subject References:

Bible: Picture This! and Bible Reading  and Hymn Schedule from

Maths: Singapore Maths

Reading, Language Art & Writing:

Poetry: Classic Poems for the Literacy Hour THE WORKS 7 by Brian Moses ISBN: 978-0-330-44424

Science: Exploring Creation Zoology 1 &2 Jeannie Fulbright Apologia Science (with free notebook pages from her site and a lapbook bought at

History: Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (with free lapbooks from

Geography: K-2 Maps! by

Art: Impressionist Painters by Guy Jennings ISBN: 0-7537-1073-0 and further sites found on

Music: Schedule for composer studies and their music from

Crafts, Needlework and Sewing: The Encyclopedia of Two-Hour Craft Projects by Sterling Publishing Co., Inc ISBN: 0-49725-51137-8

Typing: Typing Tutor or similar online program

Thinking Skills: Brain Gym for all, Audiblox and other similar books and activities

Overview Year Planner - a Home Model

OverviewYear Planner with my notes

2010 Year Plan 40 weeks

Week Timetable & record of work

Daily Timetable

New Sonlight Stone Age Lapbook and Hands On Activity Page

Free Ancient History mini books and practical hands-on activities for the Stone Age

Download your 5 page Stone Age lapbook project here ~Stone Age

  1. Coil pot shape fold mini book
  2. Stone tools trifold
  3. Cave home mini book
  4. Stone Age facts 5 flap mini book
  5. First clothes petal mini book
  6. Making fire accordion mini book
  1. Coil pottery – make clay pots
  2. Weave with cardboard loom – make a lovely mat for doll’s house
  3. Sewing fake fur clothes
  4. Make camp fire and cook meat
  5. Make shell/ wood/ cork necklaces

For more Sonlight World History pages click here ~ Free Sonlight World History

New Sonlight Archeology Lapbook and Hands On Activity Page

Free Ancient History mini books and practical hands-on activities for Archeology

Download your 5 page Archeology lapbook project here ~Archeology

  1. Layer book of archeological mound or “tell”
  2. Broken pottery puzzle
  3. Dinosaur puzzle
Hands on Activities Websites
  1. Tree ring counting
  2. Putting puzzle (broken pottery) pieces together
  3. Layer an ancient mound (mini layer book)
  4. Dinosaur Dig – fun group activity in sandbox
  5. Archeology Game break pottery and re-glue
  6. Make fossils & create guessing game by creating different imprints for amazing selection of games and activities!
Broken pottery puzzle

Continue reading

Lapbook -Junior Mini Office

Mini Offices are an ideal method of keeping all the charts, facts and lists at hand in a lapbook folder.

I have just made a  junior primary mini office (with Afrikaans* for South African students) The mini office is especially handy for homeschool because all those posters and charts that we should hang up for junior students are now in their own hands and they can find the information without looking up at the walls!

For the complete A5 mini office click here ~mini office A5 all

For those who want the mini office in large A4 click here ~mini office A4 junior all

Included in this 8 A4 page ( 2 pages on each A4 page = 16 pages) download are:

  1. Number line, number chart 1-120, number & words
  2. Order words & fractions
  3. numbers on hands, scores and shapes
  4. Directions, Numbers 1-20 *, Roman numerals
  5. Multiplication table 1-12
  6. Seasons*, Months of the year*
  7. Days of the week*, Telling time*
  8. Where I live
  9. Map of South Africa
  10. Weather chart*
  11. South African Money
  12. Sight Word Wall
  13. Sight Word Wall
  14. Family words*
  15. Handwriting Print & Cursive

For just the Math section of this mini office click here ~mini office A5 mathcs

For the South African section only click here ~mini office A5 SA Eng&Afrik

For the Word Wall and Handwriting  section click here ~mini office A5 wordwall-writing-live

You can research more on mini offices at these sites: Mini Office Squidoo

I have made this mini office on a lapbook folder cut in half across the width and it looks like this:


Assembling our Aesop Lapbook

We downloaded the Aesop Lapbook from and it was wonderful!  This project  provided a huge variety of minibooks, activities and lesson ideas.  Each day’s reading and lapbook activity was a  delight and an adventure!

Here are the step-by-step details of assembling the Aesop Lapbook:

Assembling lapbook - stack pages

Piercing thread through the folder

Bring thread through pages and tie

Paste puppets to decorate inside folder

Brads and thread to close lapbook

Duct tape on front of lapbook

Fold over and stick duct tape to back of lapbook

Punch holes into duct tape

Showing and retelling to Dad - so proud!

Lapbook in the file

And guess what my girls said when we filed this lapbook?

“Mom, we want to do all our school work like this!  This was such fun!”

Have you had fun doing your lapbooks?


Aesop Lapbook have a marvelous selection of free downloads! We downloaded Aesop’s Fables Lapbook and have thoroughly enjoyed making this lapbook!


Research and writing


Narrating & playing with character puppets










Some tips:

  • We left all Sonlight’s suggested weekly Aesop readings schedule for the year and covered the entire book as a project over a few weeks.
  • Do all the Aesop reading while they colour in or cut out, then do the written work and research.
  • Read some of the lesser-known Aesop stories of the same animals while they cut and paste.  This way they get a full picture of the animal’s characteristics.
  • Print on cardstock if possible.  I printed ours on paper and we reinforced the tab pulls by pasting another paper on the backs.  (I printed on paper for cost savings, to make cutting easier for little hands and to lessen the bulk of the final lapbook.)
  • Homeschoolshare has a lovely slide show showing how they created the lapbook for their 3 ring file.  We plan to bind ours in a folder.

Download yours and enjoy!

Free Tudor Lapbook

At last ~ our Tudor Lapbook for you to download for free!

How to file your lapbook

How to file your lapbook

Tudor Lapbook opened

Tudor Lapbook opened

This 16 page download includes the folding and assembly instructions, all the minibook templates and information to use to complete the minibooks and 2 biography notebooking pages on King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.

The Tudor Topics:

  • Tudor Artefacts
  • What Tudor kings would and would NOT do
  • Hampton Court and Tudor Food
  • Tudor Entertainment
  • Tudor Monarchs
  • King Henry VIII’s 6 wives
  • William Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare’s Language

A Mini-Lapbook

A small lapbook

A small lapbook

This was my first lapbook creation – with my own templates and layout!  We took a  normal cardboard folder and cut it in half across the width and it made 2 short shutter folded lapbooks.  We added an extra page which we pasted in the centre.  We closed the file with brads and a pink piece of wool that wrapped around the brad.

We spent about a week doing a study on Tudor times.  The girls completed the minibooks fairly quickly. Their finished lapbooks were a delight and they rushed to show anyone who visited!

This small lapbook version is far less daunting to the children (and me!) and we use it when the theme and information presented is larger than a notebook page can contain, but shorter than the conventional lapbook projects.

How to file your lapbook

How to file your lapbook

As you can see in the photo, I’ve attached duct tape to the side, folded it to make a tab and attached the duct tape to the back of the file.  Then I just punched the duct tape and – neat – it fits into the lapbook section of our work files!

So, if you want to start small, cut your folder in half and give this size a try!

Lapbook pages

Japan Lapbook

Japan Lapbook

So this is a lapbook!  Ok, it’s not my own original creation-it was a freebie off the internet!  But we really enjoyed making this!  It reflects about 4 to 5 days of school, and included some lovely activities like origami and rapping Japanese numbers! I looked at  free lapbook sites and came across these:

and many more!

Tip: Save the file to a new folder by creating a folder called Lapbooks on your computer.  You can then save specific topics in sub-folders with topic titles; e.g.: Lapbook-Japan. Then you can print them out and have fun!