HSF: Discussions between Homeschoolers

Organizing School Work


I am overwhelmed by all the school stuff! I was wondering what type of systems some of you use to keep their work together. Right now each boy has a HUGE binder with tabs of all their subjects. I am wondering though if having a separate notebook for each subject would be better. Plus we have some spiral notebooks. I am thinking we should use all loose leaf paper and then things could really be put together better.

Also, do you keep just one reading log or do you have reading logs for each subject? help2.gif
We use crates, spirals and pocket notebooks, also one or two three ring binders. Every child has a crate and in that crate goes his school items. Then they each have a pocket pouch with pencils, erasers, and so forth. I keep the hard back and reference books on the shelf and each shelf has a topic. The main topic shelves are History, Science, Language Arts, and Mom's. Then we have miscellaneous, a couple of paperback shelves and a couple of shelves for over size books.

I like the 70 page spirals for my lot, they are filled before they become trashy looking. biggrin.gif On the front I write the subject, date started and date finished. Oh, and each child has a color Sarah is red, Laura is blue, Esther is green, Yosi is Yellow and Yochi is to be Orange. This way just by colors in the crate or of the item I know who it belongs to. I match all the spirals, pocket folders, pouches, and anything else even calculators, rulers, and protractors. blush.gif They don't switch colors once they are assigned, Sarah has used red since she was in the 3rd grade when Laura was given blue in 1st. That was 7 years ago. stunned.gif

With five at the table every bit helps.

Okay, well I always like to have people feel comfortable and happy in my home, so I tell them that my house is the way it is so that they will feel good about their own less than stellar housekeeping.

Seriously, we do all of the above and I try really really hard not to keep something when I don't need it any longer. EAsier said than done. rolleyes.gif
I use Duotangs of different colours for each subject. Since I photocopy a lot of stuff we just have to three hole punch the pages and put them in the Duotang. I have a binder for math.

On the back of my pantry door are plastic hanging letter holders that I got at a business store. They are pretty flat to the door so they don't interfere with contents in the pantry. The top holder is for things to be marked. I can just grad what I need to view when its time for me to sit down and look. Each holder has one or two subjects in it. The lower ones for the junior children and the upper ones for senior children.
The best part is at days end its all away, neat and clean and I can regain my kitchen table.
My kids each have a binder for each school subject. And they each have just one reading log, and those are filed in their portfolios that we have to maintain for the state.
I was trying to have my kids keep one notebook for each subject and have them keep them on their desks in bins. That hasn't worked yet. I really should go get some crates. I think that would work better. yes.gif
We put everything that is not in a bound workbook (math, phonics, spelling) in page protectors in a 3 ring binder. Each year gets a shelf or more on our bookshelves. I try to keep them separate as it is easier for me. But I do have two shelves with readers on them. I am however looking for something for the teachers manuals so that I can keep them separate they take up a lot of room on the bookshelf. I also think it would be nice if all of my books were in one place. We have a pencil case for stuff like that but it is too full and I need a better idea there. Will be thinking on it. I put our science experiment supplies in a plastic tote. that is working out nicely so far.
I do pretty much the same as wings. Except I didn't color code the same way. Last year when we were starting out I tried color coding by subject. Yuck, didn't like it. I may try to switch to color coding by child next year. We have a storage room that we have made into a school room. There is an old kitchen table for the kids to work at & a desk organizer on it for pencils, pens, etc. We have a shelving unit that runs the span of the room in which I use as well. Each child has a crate turned on its side to house their books etc.

Each child has a history/geography binder that houses their timelines, projects, daily questions, etc. They each have a binder for language arts, in Jacob's binder he also has a spiral notebook for spelling & another for composition. Each child has a binder for science and a spiral for math. There is more, but you get the drift.

I have a portfolio with documents, reports, and lesson plans for each child for each year.

The shelving space is divided into sections, reference, the kids' crates, supplies (we have containers of markers, glue, colored pencils, crayons, paper, art stuff, music stuff, etc.), non current texts/curriculum, free reading, and teaching helps.

I also have a small desk with a 2 drawer file where I keep all of my current teacher's editions and my supplies. I also have 4 stacking letter trays for pocket folders. Each child has a pocket folder for daily handouts, completed assignments (unless in there notebooks), graded assignments that need reviewed, and reviewed assignments that have been corrected and need to be recorded and stored. Other than that I have small stackable containers on my desk holding sharpies, highlighters, dry erase markers & erasers.

I have a small rolling table that stands fairly tall to hold all of our lab supplies. Very useful for my 9th grader in biology.

I think that's about it. I just get this all set up & then we move to an apartment. rolleyes.gif
I'm tired and have not read all the responses so this may be a repeat.

One thing we do for math and spelling or other things that get written on notebook paper is we have a one spiral notebook for each subject. My kids work in the notebook BUT we don't tear out the pages. When they fill it up we get a new one. This keeps all the work together, in order and easy to keep track of.
I have binders for loose pages, they file every Friday. I put completed workbooks into a box... all of my kids have a box full of work. I don't know why I keep it.... I never kept stuff when they went to school ... I guess I want proof we did something ... in case anyone wonders!
My daughter uses a drawer in our breakfront, she uses a drawer for her school things,then the other drawers are used for art supplies,computer supplies,top drawer is other desk supplies. It also has side cabinets,the right side has board games,the left side has my tools.

I like a lot of everyone's ideas
Lots of good ideas ladies! Thanks!

I already have a rubbermaid bin for each of the boys and one for myself. We are currently doing school all over the downstairs and I really want to get us upstairs in the game room. I want it to be a "classroom" of sorts but everyone is objecting because it is the "game room"- well the game room never gets used. The pool table that hubby and the boys HAD TO HAVE hasn't been touched in eons so I figured it is the perfect room. We actually started school there and ended up downstairs- so we already have a giant whiteboard up there. Now, if I can get all our materials and paper etc etc up there, I will be one happy teacher. I would like to set up book shelves- I love the idea of labeling the shelves by subject.
There are some great ideas here. Thanks! I am organizationally challenged. blush.gif I was doing so well at the beginning of the school year but I've been letting the stuff pile up for months now.
This changes for us each year it seems. I finally feel this year we are more organized than in the past. My children are old enough now to tell me how they want it. I was organizing their stuff by subject and well, it seems that doesn't work best for them. Their lesson plans were by subject but now it's weekly with all subjects on the same page. We finally went out and bought them a bookcase just for their books. I have 3 children and this bookcase has 4 shelves. 1 shelf for each child and the top shelf holds little wooden bins where they keep their pencils, pens, markers, ruler, etc... It's working great so far! After that they have most of their books with a notebook or folder/paper/binder. I let them keep it the way they want as long as they keep what I think they need (ie enough paper, organized, etc..) I finally took over the bottom shelf of the main big bookcase and all my teacher manuals are there. I have a gathering basket (about 15x10) in the living room where they are to put any books, papers that need to be graded. We have several bookcases in and around the house but the main bookcase are the books we actively use this year. That includes readers, resources, etc.. I have it organized by subject - science is one shelf, history another, geography, art and dictionaries another, etc....

What I did varied a bit from year to year. I never had more than one binder until high school. For a few years in a row, I had tabs for the subjects and these were grouped for each child. I only have two children though, so that wasn't too much but there was still an element of imperfection in the system.

I assigned colors to my children as well.

There are some great ideas for keeping everything organized! I really like the crate idea. Right DS stuff is all over the house, would be nice to have it all in one place during the week.

I do have folders for each subject and the weekly assignments go in the folders. they are the two pocket kind.... so one side is to be completed and the other side is to be graded (I got this idea off of someone on here). I do have a closet (I bought it at Lowes, it has double doors.... one side has a bar to hang stuff from and the other side has shelves and there is a shelf that runs across the top.) on the top shelf I have binders for each subject and then one large binder for his portfolio, also on this shelf are his board games. On the hanging side, I have some evan moor units, and on the floor of that side are things like poster board, rolled up project paper. on the side that has the shelves I have all of the work books and text books. it is NOT organized. I have tried to organize it several times but everything I try fails. I may try some of the suggestions on here.
This was a friend of mines idea but I thought it was brilliant. I scan my kids work that I want to keep and put it on a disk, there for I don't end up with a million boxes of stuff. Some stuff I keep in original form but most gets scanned. Each child has his own disk.
OOOHH. I love that scanning idea, Thanks! I have bookcases galore in our schoolroom, and I have all of the books separated by subject and grade. There are also shelves for their colors, games, all of that. We are not as organized as all of you. I have started a binder on each child, I do like that. SO, we have been filing things on Fridays. We have a 5x7 table that my husband built for me to use for scrapbooking, but I use it for school instead.
The girls all have a plastic bin they keep their stuff in on top of the table. Mine is just stacked in the middle of the table. I keep all my original copies of lesson plans, attendance, grades, all that in a binder I made for me on school.(Got this idea from Gayle Graham's book "How To Homeschool) I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet that I keep flashcards, charts,extra spirals, pens, that kind of thing in. My my husband made me a poster keeper, that I use for all of my bulletin board stuff and big maps. Then I have a 5x8 white board in that room. We got lucky when we bought this house in that it has a room the size of a double garage that we use for the school room. We have a separate area in the same room that we use for art day.
We have one of those boxes from Office Max which you can put hanging folders in. I have folders for each subject. Whenever I print something off the internet I file it that night. Plus I have one notebook for the kitchen table that has print outs and assignments I want to cover for that week.

She has all the fiction books on a huge bookshelf in her room. I have all the rest of the books in our office/library. Her math workbook, Phonics Pathways and First Lang Lessons seem to reside on the kitchen table at all times... its just easier to reach when I need them.

I have two reading logs. One is part of my lesson plan book and that includes all books she and I read; the other is a list of books she reads to me, and those are little sheets which get added to a little 3 ring. Each has ten spots for her to add stamps for each book she reads. Once she reads 10 books she earns a reward.

Her finished work goes in a boot box in order that she completes it. Newest stuff on top.

Hope you find a system that works for you!



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