Tuesday, January 04, 2011
I've wanted to share some homeschooling organization stuff for a while, but if you are like me, November and December are months when I don't want to think about school more than I have to. Those are the 'hanging-on' months. :) So, since it is a new year and we're all refreshed after our Christmas break (right?), here are a couple of new things I've implemented, organization-wise, in our school.
I reclaimed the bookshelf in our school room (formal dining room) for all of my stuff, which is so nice! I purchased these bins for each of the kids and so far they are working great. I try to have the kids return their books and folders to their bin at the end of the school day, or at the very least, at the end of the school week, and then take them down to the basement so we have more room. They've been very handy when a child needs to work in his/her bedroom or other room in the house. Everything's all together.
The second new tool I can't take credit for. My friend Lora showed me the planner she'd put together and I was so excited that I went home and started planning my own right away! I've always kept written records of our school days, but my problem was that I had ideas and notes here and there, curriculum plans stuffed in another folder, lists of things to order in yet another place...you get the idea. I've looked at teacher planners over the years, but just couldn't envision how to make them work for me and meet all the requirements I had in mind. Can't believe I never thought of making my own! What can I say...I can be slow that way.
So, I used some of the ideas for section headings that Lora had used, and added some of my own. Here are the categories for the planner I made:
I typed up some encouraging verses for this section, and added blank sheets for notes and more verses.
Here I have our current chore schedule printed and lots of blank sheets for new charts in the future.
One for each child per school year, with enough to take me through several years
This was an area where I felt very disorganized. I'd start a log for a child, then it would get buried somewhere and I'd forget to record on it. I have a log for each child as well as a book list for each grade. I have meshed some of Sonlight's book recommendations, Veritas Press lists, and others from this list.
I record special projects here.
Weekly Lesson Plans
This is really the bulk of my planner. I managed to fit the five kids who 'do' school on one sheet, using front and back of one page for one week's worth of work.
Current and completed work is recorded here.
I made several of my own forms in Word, and some I was able to take from this site. It took some time to design the forms and pull it all together, but it has been so worth it. Plus, I have all the templates saved now, so for next time most of the work is done. I took my masters to Office Depot and had them copy and bind for me, using card stock for the cover and for each section heading. I think it was about $36. It seemed a bit expensive at the time, but I expect this planner to last me about three years.
Hope things are going well at your house! Please share if you have any great homeschool organization tips! :)