Friday, June 24, 2011

Seeds of Wisdom--Paper Organization

It's Friday! That means it's time for another Q&A with our esteemed panel. This week's question:

How do you keep all of your subjects/papers/etc organized? (short answer)

MARLA: I put every activity/game that I create into a file folder. The file folders are sorted into groups (such as "counting to 10" or "Letter A") and put into hanging file folders. Finally, the hanging file folders are placed alphabetically into file boxes (each box labeled with a different subject). In order to keep completed paperwork organized, I put it into dated file folders and store it in a file box. I also photograph some of Abigail's completed work and file it in a special folder on my computer; this saves space in my house because I am then able to recycle the papers. In order to keep my weekly lessons organized, I put the activities/materials for each day into baskets (one basket for each day of the week). Then, I just have to grab the correct basket each morning and we are ready to go. I also keep daily lesson planning notes on the calendar on my phone.

JESSICAI do things a week at a time. On the weekend, I bring out everything for the next week (our whole school year is planned by the week) and I keep it in my own binder, which is tabbed by child and/or subject. Each day that goes by, I can access what I need from the binder, and I keep a pocketed folder in it for finished work. At the end of the week, I file the completed work under each child's name. 

 I also have a "best of the week" system, where each child's best work goes on display for the following week. Then, when I'm filing, I take the 'best' work and file it in a separate file. At the end of the year, I bring out the 36 'best of the week' projects for each child and have a terrific display for grandparents and visitors to see how much they've progressed over the 36 weeks. When we are finished with the entire school year, I move all the files to a cardboard file box, labeled with the dates and grades. 

 Another tip - I file children's magazines, seasonal books and activities according to month. At the beginning of each month, I put away last month's items and bring out the new things. I lay them out on the coffee table and watch the magic happen. It's taken a few years to find a system I'm happy with (for now), but I made a lot of changes to get here. I am not afraid to change again if I find something I think might work for our family!

SHAMBERLYWe have a book shelf in our living room, and the bottom shelf on it is designated as the kids' school shelf. All of their school books, flash cards, Bible lessons/books, etc... are all on that shelf, so they are accessible, they have a clea...r place that the kids can easily access to bring their school books out as well as learn to put them away in the same place every time. We also have an Arts & Crafts drawer in the kitchen which holds crayons, pencils, stamps, etc... 

I don't really have to organize any lessons/subjects at this point because, except for Bible lessons, we are doing everything out of one book - a 'complete' preschool curriculum.

TRACYI have my lesson plans in an editable pdf planner. Each week as a part of my prep, I pull any worksheet papers for the week and organize them in sheet protectors by subject and date. So, in one sheet protector, I'll have all my phonics work...sheets with Monday on top. I'll have other sheet protectors for numbers, handwriting, coloring/skills, etc. That way, as I set up our workboxes for the next school day, I can pull the sheets out of my notebook and place them right in the appropriate workbox with all the supplies they will need to complete that worksheet (pencil, crayons, scissors, whatever). And I love our workbox system!

SAMEvery week I file them away in the kid's binders. Each child has a permanent file they will go in at the end of the year, and I am getting crates to keep them organized by year.

BETH: I am just starting so my organizational system is still developing. I organize seasonal activities into file folders in a crate to include any ideas, papers, and books that go along with that particular time of the year. I also store everything in the same place, on a 5-tiered shelf and chest of drawers to keep all materials in the same place for easy access.

NESSA: This will be my first formal go at organizing....I am going to do all of my planning on a homeschool planning app on my Mac (LOVE THIS!) and will be keeping all worksheets, work done, etc in a closet maid filing system, just for school stuff. I am planning on making portfolios at the end of year to showcase all of the work they have done

AURIE: Since this is my first go-round with paper, I have a file for each day of the week with the days work planned out. I'm planning on keeping a monthy folder of all the busy work which will help me record each week/month.

What do you use? 

Also, remember, if you have any questions you'd like us to explore, send an email to raleneburke at yahoo dot com and we'll get you it answered!
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