When you first begin homeschooling, you may wonder about the best way to organize the books, papers and other materials that you use day after day. Whether you have a whole room dedicated to homeschooling or just use a corner of the kitchen, you can have an organized home school.
Shelving Units and Cabinets
Most people designate certain shelves for school use. Books will reside here, and many use baskets on those shelves to corral awkward materials like manipulatives or art supplies. You should remember that very young children may have trouble putting things back on the shelves correctly. Therefore, to keep the shelves orderly, you will need to assist and supervise your children as they replace items on the shelves.
Many parents dislike the appearance of open shelving. Homeschooling books often look large and ungainly when shelved, and if you home-school in your dining area or another public area of the home, having homeschooling books constantly in view can be distracting and irritating. If this is your situation, you may prefer a cupboard or cabinet for storage. At the end of the day, you can close the door on your work, forgetting about it until tomorrow. An added advantage of cabinet doors is that they limit the kids’ access to homeschooling items. If you have toddlers who may get into your things, a cupboard can help keep things off-limits when you’re not around.
Baskets, Crates and Work-boxes
People in extremely small homes may not even have the luxury of cabinets or shelves for school supplies. Additionally, homeschooled kids often do their schoolwork in odd places, like sprawled on the living room floor, in the car or outdoors. When schooling happens everywhere, it may not make sense to have a central location for all of the homeschooling books. Parents whose school style is less formal may prefer to have a crate or basket in which each child can keep his or her collection of books.
Having one tote for all of a child’s schoolbooks makes schooling on the go much simpler. The child merely has to carry a crate of supplies to the car, and he will have everything needed to complete the day’s assignments. Rather than gathering schoolbooks from all over the house at the day’s end to store in the schoolroom, those who use a crate or basket system simply re-pack the crate at the end of the day.
Many homeschooling parents use the work-box system to stay organized. This system is a series of multiple folders or boxes that the parent fills each morning with the day’s assignments and materials. The child knows that he has completed his daily work when the work-boxes or folders are all finished. This does take some time for the parent to set up each morning, but it helps parents of many children stay organized. Kids also like having some control over which subjects are done first.
You don’t have to homeschool very long before you learn that you can’t possibly save every scrap of paper that your child completes in school. You will have to find a practical solution to managing paperwork.
You should have a binder in which you keep all important papers regarding home schooling. You should divide it with tabs depending on how many children you have. In this master binder, you should store report cards, letters of intent, transcripts and other crucial papers.
Daily practice pages need not be kept after you have recorded the grade. However, you may want to make a binder for each child to hold tests, quizzes and important reports. These papers can serve as “evidence” if you ever have legal issues about homeschooling.
To have a successful homeschool, you will need some sort of organizational system. Otherwise, books and materials will never be where you need them, and you will waste time having to hunt for them. Try a system for a few weeks before you decide whether it will work for your family. However, the most important part of any organizational system is having the diligence to maintain it throughout the year.
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Guest Author : Janice White is a teacher who loves her job and is always eager to learn more about her chosen profession, such as watching the Top 10 TED Talks on Education.