Sunday, August 7, 2011

Declutterinng our Homeschool ~ Jumbled Notes and Ideas

I am hoping to be working this week on going through more of our books and things we have in our homeschool room. We have LOTS, like I am sure many of you have. I am finding though, as the boys get older that I no longer need the things I used to need. We have found other things we use more and so things like mini-offices or the chalk boards we used for handwriting etc.. really are no longer needed.
Time to de-clutter our homeschool.

Our Raspberry Bushes blooming~ 
It isn't going to be easy for me since my own boys mentioned they would consider, when the time comes  homeschooling their own children.( for those who don't know I have two other boys in their twenties as well) I am torn between boxing up particular things ( like the wonderful living books I have or manipulatives we have used for areas of learning) for their own children to use and getting rid of other things....  I am still undecided and need to consult my best friend, their dad ~ my hubby~ he usually is able to help me sort through things like this. I am very thankful for him- he's my anchor.

I found a few neat sites about re-organizing your homeschool and thought I might share them;

Homeschool Room Ideas - several areas for organizing and setting things up. Love some of the ideas.
The Healthy Homeschool; Decluttering Motivations....- suggestions in how to go about de-cluttering things.
Storing Homeschool Supplies-

When I worked in the insurance business sector I used to go into places and show them how to stream line their work flow, cut down on clutter and make things more simple, more functional and efficient.  For some reason I have jumped onto the book wagon and it has pulled me along for a number of years... I need to take my own advice I have given others and have come to the conclusion that it is time to begin purging and boxing things up so here are a few ways I am going to be doing this;

1. Now that I have all their programs and new things we will be using for our school year I am ready to look back to see what I really no longer need.  I plan on going through each shelf and in doing so taking under consideration a couple of things as I go through them;

a.) have I picked this up or used it in the past year or so?
b.) is this still relative and age appropriate for the boys
c.) do I plan, in the future to use this program, book or item?
d.) would this be a book, item or game my older boys could possibly use one day for their own children as they learn at home?
e.) If I have more than 2-3 items of something its time to get rid of one or two of them!( I really don't need three or four puzzles of the US in our school room do I ? lol )

If I can answer these questions then I will know what box I need to put this item and where it will need to go.

2. As plans have changed with our methods of homeschooling I tend to not get rid of something "just in case" - well I am at a point that if I have not used or picked up this item or have no plans on using it within the next year or two then it needs to go into one of my boxes.

3. Our Books~ Since now we are using exclusively just literature based learning for our history a friend gave me a wonderful idea do a dilemma I had in organizing my books.( Since literature based learning leads to having lots and lots of books I needed a way to sort them. I knew I wanted to sort them for history by time period but was not sure how I could divide them up so they were easier to pull out when I needed. )
Using colored dots~! I thought about what a simple idea this is. I ended up purchasing a bunch of different colored dots stickers and have our history books and classics ( these are the ones finished so far) completely sorted and organized in the way I will need to use them. Thank you Dawn :)

4.  I plan to go through my organization system I have. At this point I have a couple of ways I organize my things ( One Note, Hanging File and a Binder with folders in it- this needs to GO)  I want/need  to just have one plan, one spot to go to in order to get information on something ( ie., notes, a page I printed etc.. ) 

Microsoft One Note is even getting cluttered up with information (notes from online about programs and products) lesson planning ideas and resources. I will be going through all this to rediscover just how I want OneNote to work for us.

My hanging folder file is set up something like this:

PENDING: ( these are things I am awaiting answer on, I put a post it not on the side of the page to let me know when I put it in there and it tells me how long its been sitting there waiting) what do I use this for? EVERYTHING ( home and home school )  in our home for example, my letter of intent I sent to our Superintendents Office went in there while awaiting my letter of confirmation. Paper work I am waiting for to come back, receipts from books I have bought and am waiting for to come in...

SUBJECTS for each folder:  I have a hanging folder for each subject that has things I have printed for something I wanted to keep or information on a particular program etc..

my notebooking binder 

The back of the folders I have a Notebooking Binder where I keep all my notebooking pages I use or forms I use often. I have them in page protectors and have 5-8 copies in each so I can just grab and go as I need to. I found this to be the best way to organize all my pages we use or may need when the time comes. Keeping it in the back of the folders in the plastic bin works very well and keeps my things all in one spot.

I really like the system of the hanging folders the best for me. I am going to be moving my things from my binder that I have had kicking around and add those things into hanging folders  Its a great on hand way of organizing. It also can keep down my paper flow since you can't exactly fit TOO MUCH in those hanging folders right? lol ~

Best Wishes in your Organizing at Home!


Annie said...

I am in the same place you are. My youngest son starts Kindergarten this year. He's precocious so he's already finished many of the materials I used for Kindergarten for my older sons, and it's just time for them to go. And, I'm like you in that I save things "just in case." However, the longer I homeschool, the more it seems that what worked for one son will not work for the next. The other thing I've noticed is that I can get all the organization devices I want, but if I can't readily see the resources, I might as well not have them. We forget to use them. So, I keep what has potential value in sight on a bookshelf and try let go or box up the rest. Much easier said than done!!

Learners at Home said...

Annie you do sound right where I am right now~ and that is something I have considered a bit when holding onto things and my hubby constantly reminds me of.. my boys both learn very differently so that could be a reality for me in more and more areas. We shall see~ I also have to see things to so I use them that is why I think I am sticking with the hanging folders. when I tuck things into a binder I forget about them and the same I found with one note it just would get forgotten. - I think too having a bit "less" might be better on my shelves I have too many things that I just don't use and know I won't ever.. I remember I picked up at a homeschool used sale Beyond Five in a Row.. I was all excited, it was used and beat up a bit but I got it for 10.00 and was thrilled. I had every intention of using it. Never did. We never got to it. I was able to learn the ways/methods of FIAR and do our own rendition of the program with books we read and it didn't seem so choppy and like jumping around. That is definitely one thing that will be leaving my LA shelf... Oh I have so many more things too! lol but as you say much easier said than done... but I need to just do it! :D

driveway said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this blog ..

Anna said...

Browsing your blog after finding it looking for book organization ideas. We are moving into a new house soon and I thought it would be the perfect time to sort out our ever expanding home library. My babes are still quite little so I expect that there were be many more books to come!

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