Homeschool Organization- Dads & Booksfor your homeschool, Homeschooling, Tips — By admin on July 2, 2011 at 9:16 pm
Many of us homeschool Mommas are busy getting ready for the upcoming school year and looking for new ideas to make our new year even more efficient than the last. This year I am specifically looking for ways to include Dad in our daily learning in a fun way that won’t require too much prep work for him. This year we will be using Tapestry of Grace. I love the CDs the Dads can listen to that give them a brief summary of what the kids will be learning and suggests questions for them to ask.
I also love to organize, and love finding new ways to become better organized.
With 6 kids in a house full of stuff our homeschool things can get lost in the shuffle. If we don’t stay organized we can spend a lot of our time looking for misplaced textbooks, pencils, assignments, etc. We have had days where it seemed like we spent more time looking for materials than actually learning. Keeping organized is especially important when, like us, you might not have a specific homeschool room. We keep the majority of our materials in our formal dining room. We also do the bulk of our learning in that area. The kids do their school work in different areas of the house other than the dining room. They just find a place that is quiet and comfortable, it could be their bedrooms, living room, kitchen or even the back porch. If they leave their things in all the places they work, things can get lost in a hurry.
I thought I would share with you some of the ways we keep things in order and how I hold on to a little of my sanity. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find something you are looking for!
First of all we try to have a “place for everything so everything can have it’s place”. We try to remind the children to put their thing in their place as soon as they are finished with it. Especially if we “catch them”! We also have scheduled ( 5-10 minute) quick clean up times through the day.
For each child’s textbooks we have “cubbies”. Which is basically our fancy word for shelf. Each child has their own shelf for things that are specifically theirs. I even have one for myself.
We have hundreds of books. To keep them easily accessible, I try to shelf them in order of topic. For instance, all the reference books go on a shelf, science takes up a couple, first readers take up one. It makes it much easier for the kids to find what they are looking for that way. To train them to re-shelf the books, I gave each child a fun, decorated paint stirrer with their name written on. When they took a book out to read they would put the stick in the mark where it went. When they were done they could replace the book easily.
To keep up with history materials: I have a shelf on the bookshelf that is just for the books we use for history. For the books that we are currently reading, I have a little stack of books on the end of the dining table. That way the kids don’t have to search all over the shelf for the assigned reading.
We also keep our bibles handy in the same spot. That way they are at arms reach all throughout the day.
We check out at least 50 books a week from our local library. With the amount of books we have, library books can get mixed in quite easily. And with the amount of books we borrow, the fines could add up if we are not diligent about keeping them separate. When we go to the library, each child has a backpack for the books they choose. This backpack hangs on the back of their chair. Once we get home, we have a special box that they put the library’s books in when they are done reading them. That way, the books are either in their backpack if they haven’t been read or if they want to read them again to renew or in the box to return.
I keep fun preschool things in the nearby living room. That way my preschooler can play and learn close by without distracting the big kids learning…too much.
I would love to hear some of your tips/tricks!