Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How I Organize Our Home School

I realize that you can Google "home school organization ideas" and will get about 800,000 sites you can check out.  There are dozens of great resources to help with this.  I chose this method (which I basically came up with on my own, with some minimal inspiration from the 'workbox' method) because I do not have very much space to work with.  All of O's school supplies are in my bedroom on 2 shelves.  Everything.  That includes crafts, paper, books, manipulatives, and so on.  We have minimal space.

So without further ado, here we go....

I removed our basket that has our daily work in it so you can see to the back of the shelves.
In the far back I have all of our supplies.  Glue sticks, paint dobbers, counters, chalk, buttons, etc, are in the tall compartment on the left.  The middle plastic compartment holds bigger items.  1 drawer is for markers, 1 for glue bottles and glitter, and the bottom drawer is for letter punch outs and scissors.
Moving to the right our hundreds board is in the yellow box, and our supply of paper.  We have too much paper, because I got it for free.  Next time, I will say 'no thanks' :)

 This is a picture of our daily work basket put on the shelf.  

The second shelf has all of my teacher books on the left, an index card box that holds all of our 3-part cards, and totes.  Lots of totes.  It is how I organize everything.  I have 3 gallon totes for the following:

Math (I originally had the clock in the math tub, and have since moved it to the daily work)

 Flash Cards (which by the way are not used as standard flash cards for memorization)

(And totes without pictures)
Stuff for me to teach (lesson ideas, unfinished printables that I have printed but have not cut/organized
These totes contain all of the supplies we have that are not currently using.  

Next, I have 5 shoe box sized totes.  In these totes, I put everything I will need for 1 week of school work.  This includes the lesson plan, all the supplies and manipulatives I will need. (Minus the green basket that we use everyday and every week)

Here is what we did week 3 of school

(Almost)  All of this fits into the shoebox container.  

The Cuisenaire rods, pink/blue metal insets, alphabet bingo and velvet alphabet book were all purchased.

I made the sandpaper letters.  

I have a teacher's book that has letters and pictures that I printed off for each letter.  They all fit in an envelope to stay organized.  I also made another set of textured letters out of Elmer's glue and acrylic paint (because O does not like the feeling of sandpaper or rubbing her finger across it)

More flashcards.  Before the first week of school I went through my lesson plans and pulled out flashcards that corresponded with the letters we focused on for each week.  That makes it easy for me to start Monday on the right foot.  I don't have to go searching for anything.  It's already in the tote.

Each month we focus on an artist and a composer.  August has been Leonardo Da Vinci, and Gustav Holst.  It isn't anything major, just introducing her to the arts.  We look at artwork, we color a replica of the artwork.  For the composer we listen to his music during school time and usually pick up a library book on the composer to learn about his life.

Do-A-Dot letters.  I have these for each letter.  In 3 weeks we've done 3 letters with the paint dobbers, and we have reviewed 12 letters.  O is not interested in this work, so we don't do it often.

This is my lesson plan for the week.  It is not completely filled in for a reason :)
When O finds something interesting (such as when she was in love with all things Brave,) we can focus on those things  With a little creativity, anything can be educational.  This week O asked what was inside a tree that makes it grow, and if any of the planets were purple.    

These readers are not in the shoebox, but we use readers frequently.  O feels like what she is reading is important and has context, so she enjoys practicing reading with these.  We use a variety of them.  some have pictures the child 'reads' and some have words for the parent and words for the child, and then others are repetitive.

These paper pentagons are a spinoff of the knobbed cyliners, pink staircase, and broad stairs.  Since I do not have space for all of these, we use the paper cut outs to learn size discrimination.  It is not perfect, I am well aware, but it works.

More 3-part cards.  This one is about transportation.

Our Bibles we use, and our Bible verse for the week.  These are both placed in our green basket.

I am trying something new with our Bible.  I am still a little reluctant to, because I don't want to come across as a 'pharaoh' always saying "You did something wrong, go look in the Bible."  I am hoping to be able to say, "God loves when you...." just as often.  I have some verses highlighted to help remind us of what God wants us to do.

At the end of each week, I take everything out of our tote, and place the items back into the larger 3-gal totes that hold the supplies we're not using.  Each empty tote gets moved to the bottom of the stack and awaits to be filled at our 5 week mark.  

Whew, that was long :)

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