When I first started homeschooling, we were so unorganized.
At class time, we’d do a lesson from the book on any old piece of paper lying around. And though I’d try to save the papers from time to time, most of the time they ended up in the trash.
Over the years, I’ve tried to get organized from using binders, to using notebooks and overall I have found that having each child keep a 3 ring binder does wonders for keeping things organized for us.
We recently went back to using binders and its amazing how something so simple can help to change kids’ outlook on school (don’t expect miracles, but my oldest son, who is not much of a school person, commented on how much more organized things felt).
1. Choose a sturdy, large 3 ring binder. You can use do binders for each subject, but I have found that its just more to keep up with so each child has just one binder. Let student pick out his/her own binder to get them more interested.
2. The first day (or week) of school, set up your binders during class time. If you’ve taken a summer break or whatever, this is a good activity to kind of ease back into school/to get back in school mode. Just be sure to have all the supplies you’ll need on hand (dividers, pouches, etc) so you can completely set up your binders at each sitting.
3. Go through with student and set up the binders. Use a younger student’s binder as an example of how to set up and let your older kids put theirs together as you demonstrate.
4. When you have several children, try to set each binder up in the same order as much as possible. That helps you when you have to go through and check their work, you know where to expect to find whatever class you are working on.
5. Make it a big deal to keep the binder organized. You might give points or treats for well organized binders during random or scheduled binder checks.
6. Binders can be the springboard for portfolios. When putting the portfolios together, just flip through the binder and pull out the selected work, you don’t have to go around looking for it.