Has a homeschooler, are you organized?
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  1. #1
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    Question Has a homeschooler, are you organized?

    This is one area I really fall down in and just recently purchased a book The Organized Home Schooler by Vicki Caruana.

    I just got started and want to discuss this somewhat so was wondering if your organized or not?

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    Master Dollar Stretcher
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    LOL! Oh my, most people that "think" they know me say that I am very organized. That is because I rely on my calendar and am able to pull things together at the last minute. However, my home has taken a huge hit since we started homeschooling. We have way to much "stuff" and not enough room to store it all in this tiny home of ours. I also need to get back into the habit of planning our meals in advance and throwing stuff into the crockpot when I will be away for the day. I find that having bags of precooked hamburger meat helps tremendously when I am pressed for time.

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    Tourist cinnamon's Avatar
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    It's a work in progress! I haven't read that book, but it sounds interesting. Off the top of my head, here are some organizing type things we do that pertain to homeschooling:

    First, let me say that we have a room dedicated to homeschooling, although our stuff does tend to spread throughout the house. We use the Charlotte Mason methods, so we don't have many textbooks, but tons of real books. Our school room has a writing desk, large work desk, computer desk, two short and two tall bookshelves, and a loveseat.

    Books are arranged on the shelves in a way that is meaningful to us. One bookshelf unit holds history books (world history on the top, US history on the bottom). Another small unit holds science books, arranged in categories similiar to the Dewey Decimal system (note- I do not label the books with DD numbers - just group them by subject). Grammar on another shelf, math, music, art, homeschool reference books, etc.

    Another shelf holds a small CD system, with kids and classical CD kept close by.

    Craft supplies are kept in plastic shoes boxes in the laundry room - they are easy to get to from impromptu craft activities.

    Different types of paper and writing utensils are kept near the writing desk.

    All the books we are currently using are kept on one shelf, along with our notebooks for each subject.

    Games (Uno, Skip Bo, Scrabble, Boggle, Chess, Wrap-ups, etc, etc) are kept on several shelves for easy access.

    A bin on the bottom shelf holds various musical instruments/noise makers.

    Library books are stored in a plastic milk crate on the hearth next to the bookshelves.

    As far as paperwork goes:

    I just started keeping a log of our library books, so I can keep track of what day I return things. Our library seems to lose things after I turn them in.

    Each day's activities and lessons are recorded on a weekly grid sheet. I do not write out lesson plans more than a week ahead, and sometimes not at all.

    1st grade dd has a notebook for most subjects. This helps control the paper flood, and give her something to look back through. I'm starting to develop a real fondness for Cindy Rushton's binder methods.

    Hmmmm, that's all I can think of for now.

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    Time and routines are our best organizing tools.

    We do math first. That requires the most kid work, so it's best to get it done first.

    Then language arts.

    After that, a 30-min break.

    Next, a short piano practice.

    Then, we do Bible, science, history, and literature, all of which I read. These are the favorite parts of the day.

    By then, it's around 1. Lunch, then I update the school records, then quiet time, till 3.

    After that, kids get free play, and I do chores.

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    Registered User DawnM's Avatar
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    I try to stay on top of it by organizing our homeschool "stuff" in one room (the den/office) but we actually use the whole house, depending on where we feel like going. Our den is small but we do have a wall of shelves with a place for everything we use, as well as the computer and office supplies. It has a nice comfy couch for reading and a big bay window, so it's nice and bright. At the end of the day, even when we branch out to other parts of the house, which we often do, everything possible gets returned to the den. That keeps down on the clutter in the rest of the house...which makes me happy!

    Time-wise, I do (rough) weekly planning on Sunday evening and we just work through it without too much concern about how much is done on any given day. It all works out. My daughter is pretty self-directed. Friday afternoon I try to take some time to make sure everything possible done that week is marked, recorded, filed or placed in her on-going portfolio (if it's a keeper). Paperwork can get the best of me if I don't keep on top of it. It can be a struggle sometimes!

    Daily, neither of us are morning people, so I let my daughter wake up naturally (no early alarms or rushing in the morning to start at a particular time), we exercise together (1/2 hr-gym) , have breakfast and showers and attend to our own needs. The rest of the morning is free time for each of us to work on a project (craft/cross stitch), household chores, plan dinner, computer, read or whatever. We have lunch and then school gets underway from 1:00 - 4:30pm. By that time, it's time for me to start getting dinner ready. We eat dinner around 6:00pm nightly.

    Including the 1/2 hour of daily gym in the morning, that gives her a total of 4 hours of "school" time per day, but she often continues until dinner if she's caught up in something she's enjoying, or continues something after dinner if she wants.

    I played around for a long time with different ways to homeschool when we started, taking my direction from my daughter as to how she works best (as she has special needs). We sort of fell into this last September and it works best for both of us. It's relaxed, organized and fun. I think this schedule works for her because she's older...not sure if it would have worked as well when she was a little gaffer. Being flexible is a good thing!

    I'm always up for learning new organization skills though, so I'll be interested in following this thread. I love hearing how other families homeschool.

    Thanks!

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