Thursday, August 30, 2012

WFMW: Homeschool Organization

I've been looking around for some kind of inexpensive container that would work well with...well...containing each child's school books on a daily basis.  I know some families use plastic milk crates, but I knew that Josiah's box, in particular, would be a royal mess and we'd end up with damaged books, crumpled papers, a fussy mom, etc.  I was delighted when I saw these Sterilite Locker Crates for $4 each at Wal-mart!  They are essentially narrow milk crates with a solid bottom, and they are perfect for our needs. 

They come in a small variety of colors (Robert's, not shown, is red and is in his bedroom) and are stackable on the short end.

Grace (6) asked me why I needed a box.  Oh, how I laughed.

Grace packed her box full of any workbook she could find around here. She is an enthusiastic student.

I put a small piece of (bright orange) poster board in Josiah's box--at the start of the school day, all of his books are in front of the poster boardAs he completes a subject, he puts that book behind the poster board so he can clearly see what he still needs to finish.  (Otherwise, he will get up to go to the bathroom or to get water, return to find a closed book, and think he's somehow already finished everything when, in fact, he hasn't completed one subject.  Sigh...)

I have a small Ziploc bag in my box where I keep a few things so they will be handy throughout the day.  I occasionally use the die with the index cards as rapid addition, subtraction (on the reverse side of the card) or multiplication drill.  Since the die are kept in my bag, they don't sprout legs and run off.  (So far, at least.)

We typically use spiral notebooks for most subjects, but with two lefties (Josiah and Grace), I am moving towards using composition notebooks with them instead so the spiral wire is not in the way while writing.  (Plus, I've only seen the composition notebooks on sale for $.10 each this year, so I bought fewer spiral notebooks anyway.)  I'll still use the spiral notebooks with Robert.

This is where I store all the unused notebooks:  in a shoebox under my bed.  Fancy, huh?  If I leave them out in any other place (bookshelf, etc.), Grace writes in all of them.  I may have another author on my hands...

At the end of the school year, any partially unused notebooks are returned to the shoebox after tearing out the used pages.  In a pinch, partial is better than nothing.  :)

On an entirely different note, I have had the hardest time getting Josiah (10) to label his answers to math word problems.  Since it became a daily thing, I tried to keep it lighthearted as I questioned him..."Do you mean cookies?  bananas?  squirrels?"...and I always kept "squirrels" as one of the possible labels.  He finally picked up on this just this week, and this is what I found on his math page:

Cherries...not squirrels, mom  =)

Whoo hoo!  A labeled answer!  

And, yes, he wrote a sideways smiley face like he's seen on the computer.

A little bit of organizational improvement--and a little well-placed humor--works for me!

Check out We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday posts.

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