Helping Your KIds Stay Organized
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Take some time to find what works for your family and your teaching style. Here is the Key: If the system you set up ( because it just sounded so great and worked great for Suzie Homeschool Mom of the Year) does not work for you or your kids do something else! Find a system that works for you and each of your kids. I have one child who prefers to come up with his own system of organization. It was worth it to chat about what works for him.
We have several systems in place during the school year that help my kids and me stay organized.
First of all I color code my kids for the year. This means each child chooses a color for sprial notebooks, 3 prog notebooks, and file folders for the year and all year they use that color for their stuff. Example: Last year it was: "Blue, Purple and Red. I think this year it is Yellow , Purple and Red. Why do I do this? No clue! I guess it helps me keep stuff seperate. When I buy notebooks ect at WalMart during the crazy sale days I keep color in mind.
My desk has two file drawers. One drawer is dedicated to a to be corrected file and a return file for each child. When the kids finish work that needs correcting such as math, grammar, written work they turn it into the "yellow" file. When I am done correcting it it goes into the childs return file. When the child picks up his/her paper they are responsible to record the grade or mark it as complete, make any changes ect. Then they file the paper in a banker box which is labled with their name and the date of the school year. The Banker Box has files in it for each subject/topic. If I need to access it for any reason I can easily find something. At the end of the school year the banker box is duck taped and put into storage.
Each of my kids has what we call a home notebook. Each topic has its own divider. This notebook houses grade recording sheets or eval pages for all lessons. ( ie: math is a record sheet, history is a rubric sheet ) As the kids get graded work back it is their responsibility to record or file any important information in their home notebook. The notebook also has a full school years calendar, a list of all classes/projects planned to date, a list of books to be used with plenty of blank spaces to fill in as we go, personalized blank report card for each quarter and end of the year blank report card, Every 9 week ( a quarter) they turn their notebooks into mom for the grading period. Keep in mind my kids are now all in upper grades. I started this system when they were in 5th grade/stage.
Each of my kids has a shelve on a bookshelve dedicated just for their school books and supplies. They can only keep school related items that they are currently using on this shelve. Extra supplies ( paper, pencils, ect) go below the shelves in a cabnet that has doors. They are allowed to use whatever is neat looking to keep their shelve tidy. My 11 yo likes mini drawers to keep all her pencils ect in. My 14yo keeps hers in a pencil bag, and my 17yo keeps his in a box. One child has plastic dividers on the shelf, another a cut down box to keep books in order. You get the idea! Let them be the individual they are. Each month we have a clean up day for the shelf. ( Mom too!)
The cabnet below the kids school shelve is my nightmare. I keep trying different things to keep it organized. This year I decided to not buy so much! Here is what is in the cabnet: glue, gluesticks, paper, file folders, pencils, erasers, sprial notebooks, index cards, crayons, markers, 3 holepunch, 2 holepunch, 1 holepunch, magnifying glasses, staplers of different sizes,rulers, graphpaper, sissors, chalk, expo markers. Most items have a container of some sort. Here is my beef: The kids use it and do not return it! Then they tell me we are out of_________________ . So we are working on that! Sissors and Rulers have legs and walk in our house! They just disappear.
Last on this list is my book shelf. I finally got it done yesterday! Each shelf is dedicated to a topic or two: Art and History, Science and Math, Music ( takes up a whole shelf!) and Literature ( again by itself) During the school year only books being used for that year can be on the shelf. The rest have to be put somewhere else.
We do not have a school room dedicated to homeschool. Most of our stuff for school in actually in our foyer. ( very old house) as is my school and computer desk. This forces me to keep it neat and tidy! I do miss having a room where I can just close the door and walk away!