How I Organize My Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum and Student Work

LauraAll Posts, Sonlight

Check it out: A sustainable way to utilize the gargantuan Sonlight Instructor’s Guides!

This year, I’ll be teaching Sonlight 100 to our 8th grader, Sonlight E to our 5th grader, and Sonlight LA 2 to our 2nd grader.

You know what that means: larger-than-life Instructor Guides (IG). As much as I LOVE the wisdom, guidance, and plans packed in each IG, I don’t want those wide 4-inch binders stacked up on my desk. They’d be heavy. They’d be formidable. I wouldn’t use them! That’s why I came up with this plan that keeps our IG’s at my fingertips.

(First, a disclaimer: I have a new appreciation for anyone who can make their photographs of binders look beautiful. Wow. Mine look so… un-Pinterest-y. I guess the point is that I keep things simple: white binders, tabs, and clear labels from the label-maker are all I need.)

Here’s what works for us:

First, I plan our school year according to 6-week sessions. (Typically, we take a break for the 7th week, give or take a few weeks, depending on how it all works out around holidays. This gives me time to regularly re-evaluate our learning experience and restock the 1-inch binders.)

Then, I make my own slim “Mom’s Binder” that I can easily access every day. It’s a 1-inch binder with tabs that hold each child’s 6-week IG material. (It also includes plans for 6-weeks of preschool, morning time, and anything else that I like to keep on hand for daily use.)

Here’s a glimpse into that world: You’re looking at the Sonlight 100 LA section… (In the left-hand pocket, I keep the list of Sonlight 100 spelling words for easy access. On the right, I keep 6-week’s worth of IG material. Easy peasy.)

(P.S. I received Sonlight 100 in exchange for a series of blog posts that contain my honest opinion. This is one way that I can help provide for our family while sharing helpful information with you!)

Our 8th grader has a 1-inch binder for Sonlight 100 LA and Sonlight 100 History: Sonlight 100 provides a thorough Student Guide that contains most of the information in the parent’s IG. This works well for us because our 8th grader is very self-motivated and she does a great job keeping track of her own assignments.


Each 1-inch binder contains 6-weeks worth of the Sonlight 100 Student Guide for that subject. Each binder has a section for the  entire year’s worth of MAPS and any important Appendix items (like the comprehensive list of timeline figures).

It’s stored on the shelf next to a magazine file holder for that subject. Here’s a glimpse of her shelf. (Doesn’t it look so blissfully organized? You can tell we’re still basking in pre-school year organization. Love it.)

For those of you who are using Sonlight for younger kiddos, I also snapped a photo of my Pre-K and 2nd-grader’s shelf. Basically, magazine file holders are easily pulled off the shelf when I work with each child.

One contains all of the Pre-K Sweetie’s work.

One contains our 2nd grader’s math curriculum.

One contains our 2nd grader’s reading curriculum. (We’re using All About Reading and Sonlight LA 2 this year. (For most kiddos this is completely unnecessary, but All About Reading has been such a great fit for our boy and we’re going to stick with it for one more year.)

There you have it! Every 6 weeks, I pull out the bigger IG’s and simply exchange the past 6-week’s pages for the next. How do you organize your Instructor Guides? Tips and Tricks??