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Binder Update: Language Arts

I have kept track of hours for Language Arts.  
120 hours = 1 credit

I am writing this as if our year is over, when in actuality I count our academic year July 1 through June 30, so we still have 4 full months left.  

We have read:

Corresponding Activities
The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe
Watched the movie and discussed similarities and differences.  Completed a lapbook and biographical notebook page for C.S. Lewis.  Cover to lapbook is hand made artwork of lampost drawn over book print stained with tea to look aged.
Around the World in 80 Days
5 paragraph essay in which a favorite character’s personality trait was supported by evidence from the book.  Research completed at the library on the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and elements of the Hindu religion. Watched NatGeo documentary about the history of the Suez Canal.  Watched documentary: Understanding World Religions, What is Hinduism
Alice in Wonderland
Watched the Tim Burton adaptation as well as the Disney and realized this was one of the few times Disney’s version was accurately based on the story.  Completed a journal entry of many famous quotes from this story.
A Christmas Carol
Attended a dramatic reading performed by a local Shakespeare company.  Viewed the movie starring George C. Scott.
Harriet the Spy
Explored banned books.  Made an itinerary for a walking tour of the neighborhood that provided the setting for the book.  Spent day in NYC touring the park, looking for her brownstone, sampling an egg cream, etc. Created a brochure to bring awareness to banned books.
Fairy Tales: The Golden Goose, The Seven Ravens, The Snow Queen, several versions of multicultural Cinderella tales.
Completed two pieces of fictional writing inspired by fairy tales: one about a quest and the other an adaptation of Cinderella.  Each story is 10+ pages long.
Watched The Princess Bride.  Created a Venn Diagram comparing/contrasting The Snow Queen to Frozen.
Read Rump, the true story of Rumplestiltskin by Leisl Shurtliff.
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Participated in a book club discussion about this book.  Lilah wrote all the questions that were discussed.  Completed a vision board of the book and the places mentioned in the book.

At one of our book club meeting, a mom mentioned that she had begun to keep a running list of every book they were using, across subject areas.  Why had I never thought of that?  I know that when it comes time to write course descriptions, I will need to list the books we used either as reference or assigned reading.  Having a list would be much easier than going back through a year's worth of weekly wrap ups.

I created a very simple spreadsheet so that I am able to sort by year, or by subject area, of by author, etc.

In addition to the books listed above, many other books were read for language arts, we just did not do accompanying activities.  

Six books were read for book club
  • Marley, A Dog Like No Other by John Grogan
  • Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
  • The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
  • Rump, the true story of Rumplestiltskin by Leisl Shurtliff

(we still have March, April and May)

The Language Arts section of the Binder contains all this and more:

Cover Page:

Hours Checklist:

Book List Spreadsheet
Book List Covers:






My notes/record keeping:


  1. Jess this is so helpful! Thanks for sharing! Dacey

    1. You're welcome! I am glad it is helpful. I would love to see how others are managing record keeping for high school but there is not a lot of examples out there....lots of books and websites, but not many examples of how families put it into action. Most of what I am using came from the book Senior High: A Home Designed Form + U + La by Barbara Edtl Shelton.

  2. I can't decide if your record keeping and binder is intimidating or inspiring! (This is meant to sound light hearted and jokey so I hope it comes across that way). It will certainly give your girls (plus any future admissions officers and the like) a really thorough picture of their high school years. It looks like a great system for keeping their education individualised, yet being able to record it in a way that will work for "the system".

    1. That is my goal, individualized yet system friendly! Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Ha. Sandra it is a little of both. :) Jess it is just beautiful. Seriously. I love the way a credit can be made of lovely things like plays and books and lapbooks and art work instead of just a textbook.

    1. I know you and I will have many more conversations about this! You are the master at filling a credit with lovely educational experiences.


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