Here’s my secret. I’m not using my calendar notebook this year. Shhhh! I wanted something different, so I had a look around and here’s what we are using. (Warning: long post with heaps of pictures ahead!) These notebooks are a good start to our day (when we do them first thing, that is). I help the younger two while Skeeterbug does his own and moves on to some other independent things. You’ll see I pulled all these pages from a variety of sources, mixing and matching as needed for each child.
We’ll start with Ladybug’s (3). I liked the cover that Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations had on hers, but the cover in her download is only one colour, so I made the kids different colours along a similar design. A three-year-old doesn’t especially need a calendar notebook but there was no way I could leave her out and she loves her ‘pink notebook’.
First, a page to keep track of 100 days of school. Ladybug places a sticker on each day. It has taken much discussion and willpower for her not to fill in the whole page at once! We’ve obviously had more days than this during our school year but we only started these recently.
She completes this page where she traces the day of the week and colours in the number (these are from Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Preschool Daily Learning Notebook, there is one for each day). Under that she can write the number if she chooses. At the bottom of the page there is a space to write out the number word. I’ve written her name on this line for her to trace instead. These are in page protectors and she uses a dry-erase marker to complete them.
She has a calendar page too, also from COAH. She traces the number and then colours in a day (or, ahem, multiple days!) for the weather.
She works on the colouring pages from COAH as desired. I printed all of these out but only put a few at a time in her notebook so that she doesn’t do them all at once!
She also has the page with the clock/temperature/figure to draw clothing on from COAH, but isn’t the least bit interested in doing that page!
On to Jitterbug (5.5). He gets a blue cover. He’s my main focus for the calendar notebook, he is the one that is the right age to be learning these things this year.
He traces the number for how many days of school we’ve had. Jitterbug is looking forward to reaching 100, I told them we’d go bowling when we get there. I may have to let them go back and fill in some more days to make up for our first couple of months of school.
He practices place value. I got this idea from Mama Jenn but had to make my own to have it orientated the other way. When we get ten stickers on the card we will move it over to the tens column and start a new card for the ones column. Great introduction to place value.
He practices tally marks. I got this idea from COAH and Homeschool Creations, but had to create my own with the months in calendar year order (both of theirs start with August). They had lovely designs so I made mine to match. :) At the end of the month we will add up the tally marks and write it in the circle.
He completes this page where he circles the day of the week, writes the number, fills in the clock and calendar. Instead of writing out the number word for the date I have him practice his name. This is from Homeschool Creations. He draws the clock hands and I write the time for him, you can see he is a bit off. (We did our calendar notebooks late this day!) For the temperature he’s been choosing random numbers, it isn’t really that cold here. This one is in a page protector.
We sing songs to practice the days of the week/months of the year everyday. We talk about what day was yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I think some of it might be sinking in! Ladybug loves to sing the song with us too, and often tells me that we will do something on “Tuesday” to show her new-found knowledge of the days of the week. ;) I originally just had this three hole punched in the binder but Jitterbug kept wanting to circle the month and day so I put it in a page protector. This page is from Motherhood on a Dime.
Then he does a calendar and weather page, this one is from Homeschool Creations. I wish the calendar had the numbers to trace, but he is doing okay with it. I had him use a different calendar from the other two because I thought he’d like looking for the number below the calendar each day, and it had fewer weather choices. But for the weather he wants to fill them all in and keeps insisting that it is cloudy or raining when it isn’t. ;)
At the back in the last section is a page to write his name and tally the weather by month, again I had to change the order on these to be in calendar year order.
Last, Skeeterbug (8). I just want him to have some practice writing the date everyday, spelling the days of the week and months of the year. I don’t feel he really needs more practice than that and actually doesn’t need a calendar notebook at all. We could have easily practiced these things by having him write the dates on various work he does throughout the day. But I couldn’t make one for the others and not for him. It takes him maybe five minutes to do. He gets a green cover.
This page is from Homeschool Creations. He fills in the day and then tells me the math problem at the bottom orally.
The same page for tally marks. Which I didn’t think he needed practice with until we were doing something in another subject and I noticed he wasn’t putting that line across for five to make them easier to count.
His daily page, from COAH’s Elementary Daily Learning Notebook. Just a bit of practice spelling the days of the week and writing the date. He knows this, but doing it daily will hopefully make spelling them be automatic if he has to practice them everyday. This is in a page protector.
A calendar/weather page from COAH.
Again in the last section, a place to write his name, I’ve encouraged him to do it in cursive this year. He doesn’t know the capital letters yet so does them all in lowercase. I won’t show you since he’s filled in the first few months with both his first and last name. Lastly, a page to keep track of the weather for the year. The final two pages are from my calendar notebook, I used something from mine!
Notice what’s missing from Skeeterbug’s notebook? No daily math practice page from the notebook I created. It felt like busywork at this point and he is getting enough math in…well, math. So none for this year, I am sure I will use it for Jitterbug when he is ready.
And this is what our table looked like while I took all these pictures. What a mess!
I’m considering removing these from the binders and coil binding them instead. The binders take up too much room and I couldn’t find any thinner ones. I’d have to laminate those pages that are in page protectors. Page protectors in Australia are very thin and don’t hold up well to daily writing and erasing, even the heavy duty ones. I miss those thicker, sturdier ones from the US! I’ve used binder dividers to separate each section, last year I put those right into the coil binding and it worked well.
Sources and inspiration for the pages I’ve used in our calendar notebooks this year:
Confessions of a Homeschooler: Preschool Daily Learning Notebook
Confessions of a Homeschooler: Elementary Daily Learning Notebook
Homeschool Creations: Calendar Notebook Binder Printables
Mama Jenn: Our Calendar Notebook
Motherhood on a Dime: Calendar Binder
and my own…Our Aussie Homeschool: Calendar Notebook