Math, spelling, reading, writing, science, history, the list of school subjects goes on and on! Organizing it all so that your child has just what he needs when it’s time for school is essential to a well run homeschool. Today I’m sharing with you the absolute best way to organize all that curriculum so your child doesn’t have to go searching for that lost math book…again.
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When I first started homeschooling, I spent months deciding how I was going to organize all my son’s curriculum for each day. We live in a pretty small townhome so space is not something we have much of. I needed an organized system that was compact and portable. Since we school at our kitchen table, I wanted to be able to bring everything out when we needed it and put it all away easily when it was meal time.
There are a ton of great curriculum organization ideas out there but only one method met all my needs.
The binder method
The binder method is basically what it sounds like. Everything is stored in a single, three ring binder. How does it all fit? Let me explain…
First of all, the type of binder you get is important. It needs to be sturdy and large enough to hold lots of stuff.
I purchased a 2 inch, three ring, Staples Better Binder from Amazon for my son. These binders are my personal favorite. They have rubber binding for durability and easy-open rings. I used one while in college and it has lasted me to this day. I’m confident it will last my son for many years to come.
Now comes the fun part. Organizing the binder! I bought a set of big tab pocket dividers with 8 tabs. One for each major subject. Here’s a picture of what the tabs looks like:
As you can see, I have sections for Bible, Reading, Writing, Math, Spelling, History, Geography and Science.
For each subject, I keep the corresponding subject’s book work in the pocket. This is how it works: From each curriculum book, I tear out every page my son will be covering during the first few weeks of school and slip the individual pages into the pocket of that subject’s divider.
So for math, conveniently, our curriculum comes perforated and hole punched so it is easy to tear out the first few lessons and place them in order in the pocket of the math tab divider. Each day, we pull out his binder and flip to his math tab. Pull out the day’s math sheet from the pocket and complete the page.
Once my son completes each page, I put it back in the binder behind the subject divider. So the pocket holds incomplete work and behind the tab, within the rings is the completed work. This is how all the subjects are organized.
We know we are on track with school work when at the end of each quarter, the front pocket is empty for every subject. Then at the beginning of the next quarter, I repeat the process. Tear out the scheduled work for the next few weeks and put it in the front pocket to be completed.
This system is also great to ensure we are keeping on pace with the school work. If we still have pages left in pockets, it’s easy to assess if we need to slow the schedule down for a subject or just get more serious about work. Sometimes we need the accountability!
At the end of each semester, I’ll go through each section and pick out the best work I want to save for his paper records and store them away. All the other completed worksheets I throw away. With a whole semester of work to look through, it is easy to pinpoint the standout work that is worth saving.
The binder method is hands down the best way there is to organize curriculum! Everything is readily available and all in one place. We can easily take our school work on the go if we want because all the work we need for each day is already there. This method helps us stay accountable to completing work as well since it is easy to see when we might get behind in a subject. It is easy to put everything away since it is all in one place and the binder itself takes up very little space which makes it the perfect system for homeschooling in small spaces.
Serioulsy. The BEST organizational system ever.