When I did the little tour of our classroom, I showed a glimpse at my filing system.
Today I’d like to take a closer look at how I organize our school materials for the year.
Because LittleMan is in kindergarten and SunnyGirl is a toddler, I only have about a year’s worth of one child’s school work to keep organized, so for now I use a portable plastic file box. In a few years, I’d like to upgrade to something larger.
As you can see, it is pretty full inside.
That is because I made a point of preparing almost all of our paper materials for the year ahead of time. Lapbooking materials have been printed and cut. Nomenclature cards, counting cards, phonetic awareness cards have all been printed, cut, and laminated. Everything is sorted by theme and folders are arranged in chronological order.
There is a large file towards the front with a couple rubber bands around it, this is LittleMan’s preschool lapbooks and copy work. I’m holding on to them for the time being for sentimental reasons. Towards the back there are some files of materials that will be used throughout the year, such as Read, Build, Write Mats and blank mini books. In the very back there are about 30 empty file folders which are only there because I have no where else to put them.
As for our more tangible materials, we use a plastic set of 3 drawers. The top drawer is for our English work:
This is our most cluttered drawer. I took out our movable alphabet before taking this picture so you could better see all of our materials that we’ll be using throughout the year. In this drawer is our LEGO letters, foam letters, sandpaper letters, Boggle blocks, letter stones, letter stickers, Avenger’s Literacy Kit, various notebooks, index cards, word strips, magnetic letters, clothes pin letters, gross motor letter mat, and plastic eggs which I’ve made into a few different sight word games.
The middle drawer is for our math work:
To the right you’ll see a basket, that basket has 6 bags in it and each bag has 100 of a single item. These quick-grab bags have come in useful for many math activities and LittleMan likes the variety of having several types of counters to choose from. Outside of the basket we have a skip counting activity, number cups, number puzzle, number bags, magnetic numbers, decks of cards, flashcards, addition facts activity, and our greater than/less than alligators.
The bottom drawer is a mix of LittleMan’s miscellanous science, sensory, and practical life work as well as SunnyGirl’s tot school tools. Most of their science, sensory, and tot school supplies are kept in a closet outside of their art room, however I like to keep a small handful in the school area for convenience. I just go through every once in awhile and rotate which items are kept in the school room so that everything gets some use.
In this bottom drawer we [currently] have animal/dinosaur/space/flags of the world flashcards, working stethoscope, various sorting by size/texture/weight activities, paper city Paris, foreign currency, a watch, a fake shoe to practice tying, blank clothes pins, playdough, magnets, office supplies, color boxes, chalk. But, like I said, this drawer is in constant rotation so at any given time these items could be back in the closet and other items could take their place in this classroom drawer.
The vast majority of my classroom supplies are very inexpensive, most of them are also DIY, so the building of my classroom supplies hasn’t been so much an investment in money as it has been an investment in time. I’ve learned the hard way which items were worth the time to make and which weren’t. Now days I try to stick to more open ended items that can be used for a variety of lessons and/or a variety of skill levels.
What about you? How do you navigate through all the stuff that comes with homeschooling? Or even just all the stuff that comes with having a school aged child?
If you are a blogger and have posted about your homeschool organization system, I invite you to link that post in the comments, I’d love to see what other families do to cope!