Staying organized is extremely important for many reasons. First of all, it keeps me sane. I like knowing where I can find whatever it is I am looking for. I also need to be able to get to items quickly when my hands are full. I have found that the time it takes me to get organized is well worth it because of the time I save after. There are three main areas that need to be organized at all times to ensure efficiency: school records, school supplies, and curriculum.
School records: There are two ways in which I maintain order when it comes to school records. I keep portfolios and folders for each child every year. I use the big 3-inch binders for both, with a label in each. The portfolio is the most important because it is what our school board reviews. Our portfolio contains our curriculum/book list, attendance records, and samples of work from each week. I also make pages for special events, like field trips. Any reward charts (completing a level of reading, for instance) goes in as well. The folder houses the rest of the work from the school year. My plan is to keep the folder for two years in case a more thorough review is requested, and than part with it:( Space is limited, so the all-important portfolio will have to suffice for my memories. See below for an example of what a portfolio with a label looks like:
Another way I maintain school records is by using the My Well-Planned Day software by Home Educating Family Association. This software is brand new, but I am loving it!!!! I can input curriculum (with pictures), attendance, special events, assignments, and so much more. Basically, everything I need to record for our school can be put into the planner. It even allows you to make e-portfolios in the system! It is a time-saver, and helps me stay super organized. I would highly recommend this once your children hit kindergarten and/or you have more than one child.
School Supplies: I need to store school supplies somewhere that is easily accessible. Supplies we do not use more than once or twice a week, or big supplies, are stored in a closet in the hallway. I keep that closet organized by keeping like items together. In the school room, I store supplies in a round carousal that can be easily moved to anywhere in the house. I also store manipulatives and smaller objects in fabric bins in our cubical storage shelf. Our carousal (which I bought at half-price) is below:
Curriculum: We use a variety of different curriculum types, and storing them in an orderly way is important so I am not digging for the book I need while we should have been half-way through the lesson. I keep curriculum in three main areas. Any workbooks or student materials the children need are stored in Jasmine’s bookshelf, along with the literature we need for the next three weeks. She knows that whatever is on her bookshelf belongs to her and is work she needs to complete.
I keep Teacher’s Manuals in one of the cubicles. I always know where they are, and Jasmine knows that those are mommy’s books.
Finally, our literature for the year goes in another cubicle (actually, two of them). As I said, we read A LOT, and I like to keep school books separate from other books until we are done with them. Jasmine tears apart her bookshelf on a daily basis, and looking for the book we want to read is usually impossible. Jasmine knows that books in the school room only come out at school time, but that she is free to read anything on her bookshelf or the library box (I try to keep library books in a milk crate).
None of my ideas are super original or creative, but maintaining order among the chaos of children helps bring some peace to the day! I hope some of these ideas have helped, and if you have any questions about other storage/organization situations, just post below!