New work journal

There is nothing to get you acting quickly, than an inspection.  We have our homeschool inspection next week.  I had to keep a journal for this week to show the Department.  But I had nothing.

Whatdidwedoallday – my all time favourite inspiration Montessori website posted about her journal and I knew this was exactly what I had to do.

imageSo in a quick afternoon, I examined her journal intently and came up with this Word Document – click here to download this template.




wpid-20141016_103315.jpgThis is a view of both pages – so I needed to print the pages on both sides, to make the open book.



Here is a detail of each page – very much like Whatdidwedoallday – because our boys are at similar stages.

Journal Page 1

Journal Page 2

So each week, I plan to write the top headers, as I see fit. What I love about this, from just starting to work out what we did all day – I can see the progress we are making. Sometimes I feel so helpless, like “have we done enough??”.  Now I can see that yes, all is going OK.

I also love how I can see where we need to focus, or are missing out, just by the blank sections.

I also love how I can document natural learning, where Izaac teases me he wants 100 pieces of fruit toast when I ask him how many he wants for breakfast.  So you’ll see under “word problems”, I’ve documented that I asked him to work out how many bags of fruit toast he was wanting to eat.  It made 100 pieces seem a lot more real!  He definitely didn’t want that.

Thank you Andrea once again for helping me along our homeschool journey!

If you are wondering what some of the codes mean, we have

LEM – read this post

B2B – Back to basics series.  Read this post.  We are on the multiplication book.  I so need to give a new update on how well this is going.  I just love the strategies.  Read here for a bit more info.

WFS – Write from the Start – read this post.  We’re back to continuing these books as Izaac’s perception still needs loads of work.

MA – Moveable alphabet.  You can see my handmade on in the LEM post above

CW – Copy work

Once again – please click here to download my Word document copy of this work journal that you can edit and change as you wish.


Nomenclature template freebie

I’m busy working on Karen Tylers Astronomy album.  I’m learning loads through this process and I’ll add more info later.  But I searched through my Nomenclature documents to find something that I could use for my template.  I find everything written about Moon phases are Northern Hemisphere information – so I had to create my own as we do things a bit upside-down here in Australia, excuse the pun.  But I didn’t have Nomenclature files that I liked the format to, that didn’t seem too big, or small.  Also – importantly not only 1 nomenclature per page!  Lamination can be expensive and printing!

So thank you to The Helpful Garden Nomenclature image – who has the most beautiful free downloads, I looked and copied some of her ideas to create this template.

It’s built around tables in MSWord.  When you need to change the colour of the borders, one little tricky thing you’ll find, is the the label part (right-hand side), where you type the label, this is another little table.  I needed the line above it to be thicker than the rest of the card, for when cutting it.  So each main table has just an outside border (box border).  But this little table has only a top border, which is thicker than the rest of the surrounded table, for neatness when trimming the end product.

To download, please click here

Here is an example of what it looks like.









Story cards

I love the idea of story cards – just pictures to encourage expression.  I got the idea from moveablealphabet – where she uses these for expreImagessive writing.  So for the past while on Pinterest, I’ve been collecting pictures as I see them.  They had to have something funny, or interesting or unusual in them to spark interest in telling a story.

So for us, I think a little while, it will be just looking at a picture and telling a story.  One thing I have learnt with my kids is to tell the story first, to help them understand what a story is and how we just make them up.  So I think I will be doing this first, until the bug bites and they want to be telling stories too.

I’d love this to be for expressive writing.  So I plan to put out paper for them to paste their story and I will narrate it for them, until the writing bug bites.

Have fun.  Please feel free to download my little collection of pictures and save you a bit of time.  I’ve made them photo size, 6×4 so that I could easily pop down to my local photo shop and get them printed.  It cost me just over $3 to print this collection of over 50 pictures.


To make these collages, I used Picasa, the free image library, by Google.  They have a feature called Collages.  So you select multiple pictures, click on Collage, add a few features like adding a border, landscape or portrait, etc and it makes them for you.  This really helps when your images are small in size.  If you printed them on 6×4 the would be blur.  But I avoid this by adding multiple pictures to one collage.

Storycards 1 zip

Storycards 2 zip