Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Color Coding

I am a girl who loves color coding. I don't know why, but it works for me!

My daughters (6th and 8th grade) will be recording their individual work throughout the school day in black & white composition notebooks, called Plan Books. This is a method we learned from the last private school I taught at, which was a Montessori school. There, children planned their own day and recorded their lessons as they completed them. We will be more teacher directed with Waldorf, but as a homeschooler there is so much you do that counts as a lesson (for example, walking to hunt for morels = Nature walk / Science lesson) and it should all be written down.

How to Find and Identify Morel Mushrooms

I have yet to research how much the state of Illinois monitors their homeschoolers but, regardless, we would have documentation of student work. This includes my plan book, their plan books, and artifacts such as their main lesson books, portfolio of work samples, and photos and video recordings of lessons.

Our color coding is simple. Each day gets a page in the composition notebook. Write the date at the top and each work on a separate line. For older kids, they can write their start and stop times. In the margin, put a colored dot. Put a key to your colors in the inside front cover. This method also helps children to easily see if there's a subject they are doing too much or too little of.

Yellow - language
Orange - cultural (history & geography)
Red - fine arts (art & music)
Purple - practical life (knitting, woodworking, cooking, gardening, etc.)
Blue - math
Green - science
Brown - physical education
Gold - penmanship (and, in Waldorf, form drawing)
Silver - foreign language

I thought up the Gold for penmanship because I was thinking of illuminated manuscripts. In Montessori we introduce penmanship in the Fourth Great Lesson.

Silver is a new one for us, and I'm choosing to use it for foreign language because that is the KEY to experiencing foreign cultures. We are studying Latin (this is a really helpful page showing a complete comparison of introductory Latin programs) this year. I loved Latin in school and I am comfortable teaching it. It will help Natalie as she heads off to high school, plus it goes well with a study of Medieval Times.

We chose Latina Christiana.

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