I love the idea of home school, even though I've never had to actually do it since my kids are plugging away nicely in public school and, you know, learning things. But I love school supplies and the idea that my family would collaborate and pursue our interests and use file folders and markers. So I have been working on summer binders for months. Having a new binder makes anything fun.
I start by going though Rebecca Rupp's book which I love. She lists suggestions for what kids ought to be learning each year.
My kids have usually covered everything they were "supposed" to cover but if there are any lapses, I take note. I printed out some geography activities for Ben's binder because he needs more help reading maps-even though they talk about geography all the time in grade school. I hate geography. The only instance of geography that I like is when Kate Middleton talked Will into changing his major to geography--it does seem a befitting major for a king! I also bought "Gifted Math Workbooks" for each of the grades Ben and Maggie just finished by way of review. Here's a parenting tip: Call things "gifted." And Sam has to do some sort of typing program (besides Minecraft, which he tries to convince me is a typing program) before he starts high school next year. So that's all the boring stuff--made exciting with its own tab in a binder!
The "fun" stuff (known by my kids as "nerdy," "lame," or simply, "stupid") is what I like to call learning augmentation. It's extra wonderful topics they don't get to do in school. For example, they all have a birding life list in their binder. There are a lot of birds around my house! Can you imagine how fun it will be to track them? Ben's binder focuses on life science because of his interest in dirt and water in our back yard. I printed out Genus and Species flash cards for him and constellation cards for Sam. (Lots of sources here.) Maggie's binder focuses on arts and humanities. Sam's binder focuses on Science and Math but mostly it's full of articles I've ripped out of magazines which I think he'll find interesting. One of them is from BYU Magazine about finding your calling in life. That sort of thing. I also got a bunch of Mad Libs (which count as grammar.) I'm not going to teach them lessons but the binders will beckon in all their glory. Each binder has a fox mask in it. Who could resist that? I know the binders will call to my children and they will answer with hours of self-directed study.