Wednesday, August 16

Straighten Up & Fly Right (Nat King Cole)





Five Days of Getting Your Homeschool Year Off on the Right Foot
The number one thing you can do to get your year off on the right foot is to GET ORGANIZED!  This includes having everything printed and ready to go (if you're not using pre-printed curriculum).

Through the years, we've tried various forms of organization, but these are the things that work the best for us, in our home.  We do not have a separate school room, but choose to learn at the dining room table.  When necessitated, one of the boys will take his reading to another room while I work with the other at the table.

A Place for Books
This does not include the three bookshelves we have around the house (one for read-alouds, one for supplemental materials, and one for fun books).  This shelf is just for curriculum that is currently in use.  We took the shelf part of our dining room storage cabinet and turned it into daily curriculum storage.  

Each boy has his own section of the shelf, and curriculum that is being used by both goes in the center.  Also, within the row of books are index card boxes that hold game pieces and flash cards.  As we often reuse the three-ring binders, they get new stickers each year showing what materials are inside.  These are simply sticky envelope labels that we've written on.

A Place for The Little Stuff
Pencils, pens, rulers, scissors, glue, tape, crayons, colored pencils, erasers.....it's all itty bitty and easy to get misplaced.  I found this Pampered Chef tool-turnabout for a dollar last year at a garage sale, and it has been entirely worth what it cost!  The boys know where to find writing utensils, and where to put them back at the end of the day, and it's easy for me to just take out the ones that don't work and refill as needed.  No more finding pens and pencils all over the house.  A simple desk organizer would work well, too.

A Place for Manipulatives & More
We traded a few years ago for this fantastic wooden bookshelf, and it has been a lifesaver in the organization department.  On the left, we have math manipulatives, larger math manipulatives, and Boy Scout materials.  On the right, we have mom's office supplies, audiobooks & paper supplies, and storage for completed schoolwork.  Everything in one easy-to-access place!

Desktop Access
Call me what you will, but I don't believe in giving the kids their own technological devices.  In an age where kindergartners have cell phones and babies play on tablets...well, I just think it's all gotten a bit out of hand.  We have one desktop computer.  It's in the dining room and open for anyone to see what's on the screen.  Everyone has to share the same computer.  I know...how very 1990 of me.  All of our computer files, games, materials, etc are at this desk - making it easy to find something, because it's going to be somewhere right there.

Now - my question to my readers is - how do you organize your files within your computer?  Pictures, curricula, office files, etc....they all go to the same hard drive, and it can be very difficult to organize!  Send us your best tips (by Sept 1st), and you will be entered to win our new Spanish Daily Calendar!
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