How do I organize my homeschool.....

I am trying to win a give away at a blog I follow. It is for a homeschool dayplanner.  One of the way to enter is to give a comment on how you organize your homeschooling.  Hmmm.........organize?!?!  LOL! Really.....I am always looking for better ways to organize our days/homeschool/home......but,  I have more than I thought to say on this subject....so I thought I'd post it all here;)


First.....I have found that while most of the printables and lesson planning forms are great at Donna Young's website...I just don't use those, yet.  I'm sure as we get older those will be very valuable...but for now...we just know 2 pages of math per day, a page of spelling, a page of reading, you get the idea.  And I don't write it all down.  Most things are broke up into 34-36 week  plans anyway...so I just know I need to finish a unit a week.  This helps keep us on track....but flexible.  My coverschool does not require lesson plans...just a progress report twice a year. So, that works well for us.  I also have a very flexible school year schedule...last year we took A LOT of time off at then end of my 4th pregnancy and in the newborn stages...we just schooled through the summer. This year we hope to take at least a good month or so off....but really after that we will be ready to get back to it.

I have also switched to a curriculum (My Faher's World ) that gives you a basic lesson plan for each week.  So, my history, science, and bible are already planned out for me.
  Now....how do I keep the girls' on task...that one was a little more difficult...but we have finally found a system that  is working   well for us.



This is a Choreganizer.  These are sold at Christian Book Distributors.....and used for chores...which I love them for.  But, I had some extras and decided to try this to encourage my girlies to take more responsibility for their work and become more independent during seat work time.  Worked like a charm!  When they finish a task, they just put the card in the pocket and they know they are done with that subject.

 
This is one thing we use for filing...works great.  They each have a drawer....we always do it in order of their ages....so I don't have to label everything.  Hope first or at the top, Alli next and then Emily. They just toss their finished work, projects, SS lessons, Bible study crafts, misc. artwork in their drawer.  Then, at the end of the year we will go through it and see what we want/need to save. Wonder if Wal-mart sells one of these with 4 drawers?  Sam will be filing stuff in no time!

This is the first year I  have my two oldest  filing in plastic binders and I really like it.  One is for core subjects....math, writing, spelling, etc.  Each section is labeled with a binder divider and we just slip the work in a plastic page protector and file it in the correct place.  The other binder is for our studies on American History.  These are great because they are like ready made scrapbooks of the year's work:-)


Another thing I love are my post it tabs! These things make the best bookmarks because they stick and restick and restick!  I don't like to tear workbook pages out.....too much mess to organize later.  I mean they are all in one place to start with...why mess with that:-)  Sooooo.....we mark the page we are on with these things and it works great!  They know exactly where to go for that days lessons.  And I also use them for correcting errors.  For example...when I check my oldest's math...if she has one wrong I circle it with a red pencil, mark the page with a post it tab and then she knows to go back and try again on those circled.   I, then,  re-check it and erase the red circle if it is correct.  A page with 100% gets a sticker.  This way we both know I have checked it and they are all right.

And this is where I keep a record of it all!  It is just a Trapper Keeper with tab divders.  I have a section for finished lesson plans from My Father's World, Attendance sheets, possible lesson plans, progress sheets, and field trips.  I sent in my first set of progress/attendance reports this January and I had everyting I needed right at my fingertips:-)


And this is where we keep it all......

This is the file cabinet I keep all the things I need to work with my two younger schoolers on a daily basis.  I found it at the thrift store and painted it black....I've never seen one that opens on the top like this one....I really like that. It is close to my chair at school table, so I just reach in and get what I need.

This is the bookshelf I got at a yard sale for $20!  It has one cubby for each girl's books....I have a shelf for my teacher books....then the other shelves are used for coloring books, manipulatives, etc.





This is the portable filing that I put our unit study books in.  Because these are  the read alouds and such...we like to do this on the couch.  So, this is great bc it just goes where we go and it has everything I need in it for the week.


I keep all of my seasonal/monthly  projects in this folder.  I have the pockets labeled with the months of the year...so when I  see a project that I like, say for Christmas...I just file it in here in December.  Then at the start of each month I check the pocket to see what projects I have for that month.

Okay...I think that is it...I think ;)
There is one last thing I want to share......


I have the alphabet and numbers posted on my wall where they work.  I did not realize how much a child would refer to these as they learn to write.  My oldest used it all the time to remind her how to make her letters and numbers. I use it all the time to show my K what a letter looks like.  If you have the space....hang the alphabet and numbers...it will be a huge help!

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