Monday, February 7, 2011

Homeschool Organization

Robin over at Live, Love, Educate is hosting a linky party for homeschool organizational ideas, so I thought I'd show you mine.  My life is pretty hectic sometimes, so I like to be organized where I can.  That keeps me sane (mostly).  

This is our first year of homeschooling so we jumped into the deep end, so to speak, with a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartner (plus a preschooler, but he just tags along with us).  We use Veritas Press for our curriculum, and we love it.  It is a bit pricier than other curricula out there, but as a friend told me, one year for all three of my kids is cheaper than one semester of private school for one of her kids.  Also, we'll be able to use all of this stuff again several more times before all of our kids get through with it, so in the long run it's not bad at all.  We ordered their full kit which is every book or resource that we will need for the year.  We also bought their lesson plans which are awesome, and totally take the guesswork out of planning.  So with much of the work done for us, we just had to organize it all!   

 This is the corner of our family room where we keep all of our school stuff. 


We keep all of the books and things that we use every day, or almost every day, on the top shelf.  The other books that we will use throughout the year at various times are on the second shelf.  The bottom shelf is full of encyclopedias that I insisted on getting a few years ago, which are now obsolete because the kids just google anything they want to learn about.  I know, I know, I just really like actual books.  Call me crazy!


More encyclopedias and the kids' literature books for the year.


Our lesson plans look like this and come on a CD.


At first we were just printing out the lesson plans for the upcoming week, but the plans are all in one document.  It was a pain to find the ones we needed and print out the correct pages, so we printed them all out one day and put them in binders by subject.

 

Now every Sunday we just get out the weekly checklist (notice the binder on the far right above) and pull out the lesson plans for that week.  Then we copy any worksheets that we will need and put them with the lesson plans in the smaller individual binders for each child (the three on the right in the picture below).  The three large binders are for work that has been completed and graded.  I'm not sure what I'll do with all of their work at the end of the year, so for now I'm keeping everything.


The inside of each of each child's individual binder has a folder for each subject.


This is where we keep the upcoming week's work.

Finally, I have a master binder (yes, I love binders).


This is where I keep the current day's work for everybody.  The front of the binder has a checklist for each child.


Each child has a separate folder in the master binder that holds his or her work for that day.



Each night I fill the master binder for the next morning, and hopefully by the end of the day the folders are empty (hey, it happens sometimes).

After they finish their work, they put it in these handy drawers that I found at Target, I believe.  I usually look over their work before they turn it in, so it can hang out in there for a while.





Every few months, I empty the drawers and put the completed papers in those honkin' big binders that you saw above, separated by subject. 

All of that seems really confusing and complicated, but once we had it set up it's extremely easy to maintain.  So the lesson plans go from white binders (year) to colored binders (week) to master binder (day).  Simple!  I know it's simple because I do not keep up with organizational systems that don't work.  It's not worth the effort.

So there you have it!  One organizational method out of thousands of possibilities.  This one works for my family.  I hope you find one that works for you.

Oh, one more thing.  I found this office organizer thing at Target and it was the perfect size to hold file folder games.  I put the pieces in small library envelopes in the front section and the folders go behind.


13 comments:

  1. WOW!!!! And, WOW!! I am in awe at your organization. I guess you did jump into the homeschool thing. Your system looks phenomenal. Are you in a state that requires recordkeeping, or is this just for you? I'm still in awe. Love it! Thanks for much for taking the time to share it with us.

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  2. I agree with Robin ~ Wow! I love binders too and love to take a peek at how others keep track of their stuff. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I'm dropping by from Robin's Homeschool Planner Link Up...
    I love your corner bookcase. Everything looks fantastic...love your organizational system!

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  4. WOW!!! I thought I was dreaming when I started looking and reading this post. You have the perfect system! WOW!!!

    I cannot say that enough. Love, love, love it! Thank you for sharing this, and I will be back to re-read this over and over again. WOW!!!

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  5. Gee thanks! You gals made my day!

    Robin- Oklahoma doesn't require anything at all. I don't do any formal record keeping at this point (I don't really see the need in elementary). I keep all the papers so that if I do need to produce some type of grade book, I can go back and do that.

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  6. That is awesome!! Great organization! Love those drawers for each kid, and that you have them color coded!!
    Visiting you from the Hop!
    Katie

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  7. Wow! That is one organized homeschool spot! Hoppin' by on the HHH.

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  8. wow, you are very organized! I have a similar system-but not quite as thought out as yours- I do need to refine mine a bit. I have a binder for each kid, it holds all their lose work for the week divided by subject, the back holds all of that month's learning, the front has the current week. At the end of the month I empty it. Right now I have a pile of completed work, I need to do something with it.. :)
    very nice, you are inspiring me to finish my organizing!
    (here from the Hip homeschool hop!)

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  9. That is a great system. I am stopping over from Robings hop and HHH!

    Melissa
    http://just-starting-out.blogspot.com/2011/02/doggie-valentine-craft.html

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  10. This is a great way to organize all the "stuff" that goes along with homeschooling. I am actually in the middle of a school room make over and just love some of the ideas you have posted. I am a new blogger, but please feel free to come by and say hello.

    http://thehappyheartsacademy.blogspot.com

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  11. Love this! You are way organized...I wish I could be like that, and I only have one that I am teaching right now. Stopping by from HHH! Thanks for sharing

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  12. I love the drawers for finished work! I've been trying to figure out how to do that. =)

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  13. Hey!! I'm following your blog.

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