Practical Organization Tips 2

In my previous post on Practical Organization Tips 1, I wrote about some of the practical ways I have organized the school room and the girls’ desk, chairs and stationary.  Today I want to share some details about our files:

The girls’ files

Cover pages for the files

  1. I made cover pages or file dividers for each subject. All their subjects are colour coded (e.g.: Spelling is orange and they find their pages quickly)
  2. Handwriting charts, lined writing pages, copywork pages stored in copywork section.
  3. Mental Maths page in a plastic protective sleeve.  They use a white board marker to do the page and then wipe it clean.
  4. Notebook pages, spelling test pages and other pages we are working on.
  5. Current lapbooks we are working on have all the minibooks printed and cut out and stored in a ziplock bags with duct tape.
  6. Completed lapbooks are filed with duct tape in their file. At the end of the term I file all their completed work in a folder.
  7. Any other A4 charts like my Days, weeks, months, seasons, weather chart with rotating wheels.

What is in my file?

  1. Planning sheets ~ Overview, Year Plan, Month and Week Planners
  2. New handwriting pages on hand ~ red & blue lines
  3. Mental Maths worksheets ~ the girls put a new sheet in a plastic protector sheet and use a whiteboard marker to write their answers.  They swap their page for new pages every day unless they need more practice on the one they are working on.
  4. My “Picture This!” Bible drawing lesson with the specific book of the Bible we are studying.
  5. Notebook pages, templates and notes for the work we are doing.
  6. Lapbook notes and instructions for the lapbooks we are working on now.  (My templates and ready stash is in my lapbook file.)
  7. Chart pictures and biography pages for Artist of the month
  8. Chart pictures and biography pages for Composer of the month

My file is a large file.  I could select just the work I need for the month, but it seems fine to have it on the desk opened and we all know where to find what we need. In 2008 spent over a year travelling around our country and during that time we had to keep homeschool simple and light.  All our homeschool kit fitted into 1 small carry-on suitcase. It can be contained!

My children’s files are like the workbox system that has helped so many moms.  They have the basic work-on-your-own sections (Handwriting, Mental Maths, Spelling, Copywork) and the sections that we do together (Bible, Lapbooks, History and Science).  I am tempted to try Workboxes and yet I feel that our system is excellent and well-managed.  To change over to workboxes would be much more stressful with time and space constraints.  Workboxes seems are the most helpful organization tool I have seen in the homeschooling arena! Keep what works for you and your children.  Adapt your school methods and organization if you need to tweak your system.  Overhaul it only if everyone needs a new approach.

If you can use and adapt any of these ideas, I would love to hear from you!

10 thoughts on “Practical Organization Tips 2

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  4. I checked some of the ‘workbox’ sites. I am a bit afraid it makes a home school place look a bit like a cubicle. If you will post your best links , I am sure I can judge better. Many thanks beforehand!


  5. Hi Nads,
    I so enjoy your blog and is on ie almost everyday. Can I be bold and ask what about some tips on basic needlework for kids?
    Love you lots


    • Hi! I confess that although we have put this on our plans for this year, we haven’t done any formal needlework projects. I will certainly give this some attention! [smile]


  6. Last week I introduced a workbox-system. I bought 5 pink boxes: Monday to Friday. In these boxes I put assignments my daughter can do independently. I start to like the idea of a workbox since it is probably the best introduction to independent learning. Am I right? I definitely need to read and learn more on workbox systems. Especially how you gradually introduce them and keep them attractive.


    • I hope you will enjoy what you have bought! Keep it simple and spend more time reading up on the full workbox system before spending any more money! (I’ll post some links about this topic.)


  7. Hi Nadene,
    These are WONDERFUL ideas and I will be implementing quite a few of them – thank you!
    But I can’t help wondering about those ‘work boxes’ – I’ve never heard of them. Do you perhaps have a link or some info for me on them please.
    Thank you for all your fantastic work!
    Kind regards


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