Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Who Me? Organized?

One of the myths about homeschooling that I frequently encounter is that homeschooling requires parents who are exceedingly organized by nature. Regular readers of this blog know that I am not the most organized person in the world. I'm learning and growing in this area, but I still have a looooong way to go!

By the grace of God, I know that I can take one day at a time. I don't have to have it all figured out this morning, or even next week. I can keep moving forward, doing the best I know how, knowing that His grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9), and that each day has enough trouble of it's own (Matthew 6:34).

With that in mind, I'd like to share my latest homeschooling organizational technique. Perhaps it will seem like a "no-brainer" to some of you, but for me it was a big revelation...and has been a huge blessing!

I started with several medium-sized, multi-colored, plastic totes totes, purchased at the local "mart"--one for each subject area. I chose a larger one, not pictured here, for our math curriculum, because it takes up more space.

I made a label for each box on my computer, and taped them to the boxes...on the insides, of course, so the 2-year-old can't pull them off!

Then, I packed each box carefully with all the books we need. This is our "Bible, Catechism, and Church History" box.

Now, we don't spend as much time running around the house looking for the things we need for school, and I've reclaimed some much-missed counter and shelf space. The great thing is this didn't cost me much money or time, and the boxes fit neatly under an already-existing piece of furniture in our smallish living room.

Combine this with the free schedule planning and record-keeping resources available at, and I am starting to feel like I really have my act together!

Do you have any organizational techniques or planning resources that are saving your sanity and making you a more productive homeschooler? I'd love to hear about it!


Mama Burke said...

I have a phonics curriculum book, and a Bible story crafts book that I am going through with my daughter. Instead of using the originals I wanted to photocopy them so I could reuse them later on. So I took all the sheets out of their books and put them in page protectors in a binder. I have 5 empty page protectors at the front of the binder, and that is where I organize what I am going to do that week. Each days activities get put into there, and it is easy to pull out the day's work and copy it.

Michelle said...

We haven't started formally homeschooling yet...we're still in the growing littles stage. Love getting ideas from you mommies that have been at it. I'm tend to want to be organzied but we don't have enough space sometimes for it to happen. That is a great idea though!

Kyle Suzanne said...

Managers of their Schools by Teri Maxwell was a huge help for our homeschool.

DWYHomemaking said...

I found your post when I was linking up at Raising Homemakers...thanks for sharing! This is such a great idea. I hope to homeschool in a couple of years and have had so many thoughts discouraging me such as I'm not organized enough... how could I pull off homeschooling? lol Thanks so much for the encouragement!

Kari said...

I love your bin idea! I've been keeping stuff in file folder boxes, but they don't stack as nicely as the boxes you pictured would.

My dream is to some day have a room we can set aside for learning.

For now, though, we make due with the rest of our house. ;)

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

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