As I’m preparing for my highest school enrollment so far, I thought I could share a few of the organizing tips that have worked well for us in our homeschooling adventures. This year I will have 7 students. 1 in Pre-K, 2 in Kindergarten, 2 in Third/Fourth Grade, 1 in Fifth Grade and 1 in High School. My tips are for the elementary grades and have not been tested for Junior High or High School 😉
I do not use one set curriculum. Every year I change up the books that I am using and the sources to best meet the needs of my students, my self and our family for that particular time in our life. Although I love, love, love the Classical style, Montessori, and Charlotte Mason methods I have not always been able to utilize them due to their teacher intensive nature. I have no formal background, so it could just be that I am not properly trained or just simply doing it all wrong. In any case, this year I have my High School student enrolled in MODG with LS classes (live internet-based classes with grading) and TS (teacher directed through phone calls with grading). This is reassuring to me that she will not fall through the cracks. My 5th grader is enrolled with Seton. My ¾ graders are doing just the basics with Total Language Plus covering the language arts and Math, Religion, and Historical Literature to round them out. My Kindergartners are going to learn to read this year (using AVKO’s Reading from Square One), so my focus is on them. Once they can read, independent work becomes much, much easier. As you can see, these curricula choices are workbook intensive, which leads me to the following organizational system. It is a weekly workbook system that puts all of the assignments for a week in one, nice, neat package.
This is not my original idea. I read about it years ago, and implemented it and tweaked it to make it my own. First, I found these folders by Pendaflex.
They are a heavy duty plastic and the first set of 3 have been in use for five years now. So, although they may seem pricey for a folder, they will pay for themselves in due time. And they are so easy to use! Label each tab for a subject. Tear out one week’s worth of papers for that subject and slide into place. Repeat for each subject. Other than the occasional text book or reader, this is all your student will need to get to work. It is easy to transport from room-to-room, or for on the go. It also gives the student a tangible grasp on the expectations for the week. Once they finish the pages in the folder, their work for the week is complete. Here is an example of everything needed to “get ‘er done” by student. Fifth grade:
You may have noticed the notebook labeled “Book of Centuries.” This is an incredible tool for teaching History and giving a visual context for when things happened. It is a timeline contained in one notebook with 1/2 a century per page. It is easy to personalize and a life-long learning tool and keepsake. You can download your own copy here for only $2! Catholic Icing is one of my favorite resources!
This isn’t exactly on topic, but since I mentioned Costco, I found these large magnetic maps of the US and World. Store them up high though or you will learn more about Geography in one week than you will have ever desired to know. I’m speaking from experience here. I purchased these one week ago.
Blessings on your new school year! Don’t hesitate to share your tips with me! I am always open to learning new and improved ways of doing things.