To reiterate from prior posts, organization is very important to me. I love being organized, though it is not my natural state. While teaching in the public school system, I eventually began to see how finding organization in my classroom and routines gave me the little extra snippets of time that added up to an additional amount of time that was very beneficial. It also helped relieve my frustration level when I could reach on my desk and find what I needed within 30-60 seconds rather than hunting for 5-10 minutes.
So, in my natural state, I started out our homeschooling journey being not too organized. Last year I started my hunt for our best organization. I have already shared how we have organized our school curriculum/materials (see post here). Thanks to the wonderful world of Google, I read many a post on schoolwork organization. After trying file boxes and hanging folders and others, it came down to a 3-ring binder system that works wonderfully for us.
In the front of the binder, in the pocket on the cover side, I have a progress chart. We use the Easy Peasy curriculum for several of our subjects and I like to keep track of how we are progressing. On the right side, I keep the weekly schedules that we have finished. The one I am currently working on stays on my desk until the end of the week. This also helps me keep track of our 6 week sessions and when they are coming to a close.
Under the weekly schedules, there are dividers for each of the subjects. Most of our core subjects we do a variant of what is on the Easy Peasy curriculum and so a lot of it is online or we are reading and having conversations about the material. Every so often there are practice worksheets, or lab reports, book reports etc. that are printed and can be filed behind subject dividers. I chose to use tab dividers that have pockets, that way any book projects or other work that is not conducive to 3-hole punching, I can store in the pocket dividers for that section.
This has been a time and space saver for us. We do have handwriting books and a spiral in which Builder does his Life of Fred math. I will likely have each one pick 5-10 pages of the handwriting book that they feel represents their best pages and the spiral being 3-hole punched will be able to be clipped into the binder.
All-in-all the binder system is working well for us. I do make myself file their papers each day, but it really is not that hard to file 3-5 papers a day. I find it is worth what it is creating. It is organized and by the end of the year there will automatically be a portfolio of their work. Not to mention, Builder and Princess have fun picking out their special binder for the year.
Also, since I file my weekly schedule sheets in the front, we have a record of days taught, curriculum used, and lesson content covered. For us, it has been a win-win.
Your Turn to Play – How do you organize schoolwork?