Homeschool Creations

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organizing School Paperwork

I know it’s practically the end of the year, so how about we consider this a suggestion for organizing schoolwork for next year, ok?

In reality, I lost the SD card that had these pictures on it and completely forgot that I was going to share the idea with you all until I found it the other day {ahem}.

I’ve used this system for the last few years and it has worked great for us so far. If you remember, our kids are color-coded {they each have their own ‘color’ that identifies things that belong to them}. All of our folders are stored in a wire bin and sorted so that I can quickly grab an upcoming {or completed} folder if I need to find something.

 IMG_3093

It’s a little extra work at the start of school for me, but I take a few hours, pull out all of the workbooks that we will be using for the year, rip out all of the pages and sort them for each kiddo. Truthfully, it saves me a lot of time in the long run since everything we need is divided up and ready to go for each week.

The Method to My Madness

I use six paper pocket folders per child and label the fronts of each folder ~ ones that are pretty cheap. I break the school year up into six 6-week segments {a total of 36 weeks}. The front of each folder is labeled with a name, grade, school year and the 6 week segment that it covers. For example, the front of one of the folders might read:

Weeks 31-36                          Laurianna

                                                 3rd Grade {current grade}

                                                 2009-2010 {current school year}IMG_3096

I separate out the worksheets into six piles for the 6-week segments and then further divide them out into weekly piles. Since our writing curriculum {A Reason for Handwriting} is divided out into weekly lessons, it helps me keep track of the week that I’m sorting. Each week’s worth of lessons/worksheets is then paperclipped together {see below}.

IMG_3099

Each week includes our handwriting, math worksheets, writing pages, etc…basically anything that was ‘pre-packaged’ and able to be ripped out of a workbook. As we move through our school year, I keep everything that goes along with that six week segment in that specific folder.

IMG_3101

At the start of each 6 week segment, I put all of the papers on the left hand side of the folder. Each week’s worth of paperwork remains clipped together until we work on that week. If we add any paperwork during the week {spelling lesson, test, notebooking sheets, etc…} it is sorted into the pile for the week it was completed.

Completed papers are then moved to the right hand side of the folder. At the end of the week the schoolwork papers for that week are all paperclipped back together and moved to the back of the folder. When we've worked through a six week segment and the folder is full, the folders are put at the back of the wire bin and I pull out the next six week folder for each of the kids.

At the end of the year, all of our folders are put into a large rubbermaid tub that I keep with all of our school records.  If I need to sort through and find schoolwork for a particular child/particular year, it’s so much easier since I already have things color-coded and sorted out for me.

Make sense? Just wanted to share a little something that is working for us in organizing our school work. Let me know if you have any questions!

Answers to some of your questions

Cindy asked: What do with worksheets that are front and back that you need for another week?

Answer: I usually put it in the week that we complete it. :) I generally write down the page numbers of worksheets that we complete in my planner also, and my planner gets stored with all of our folders at the end of the year.

Allyson asked: I think we'll probably want to reuse workbooks for a couple of children in order to save money. What would you suggest for that? Do you reuse any of your workbooks or do you purchase new ones even if you have a child that will use it the very next year?

Answer: We do reuse some of our workbooks, but there are some that I realized were just cheaper in the long run to buy and actually use ~ handwriting, etc... Several of the workbooks that I use {Complete Writer} are actually able to be photocopied too, so that's what I do in that case. If it's a worksheet that we slip into a page protector {Critical Thinking}, I just record the page number they completed in my planning book.

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19 Comments:

  • Thanks so much for sharing this system. I have a huge stack of completed worksheets from this year, and I have been trying to figure out what to do with it all! What I need is a system like yours. I'm not sure what I'll do with this year's pile, but next year, I'm going to use your system!

    By Blogger Erin @ Closing Time, At April 22, 2010 at 1:54 PM  

  • Simply genius! What do with worksheets that are front and back that you need for another week?

    By Blogger Cindy, At April 22, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

  • This sounds really good. However, I think we'll probably want to reuse workbooks for a couple of children in order to save money. What would you suggest for that? Do you reuse any of your workbooks or do you purchase new ones even if you have a child that will use it the very next year?

    By Blogger Tim, Allyson, and kids, At April 22, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

  • Wonderful idea. Would love to hear your answer for Cindy's question as well. I'm guessing you could copy that page and put it with the next week's work packet.

    I'll be putting a link to this post on my blog for homeschooling!

    By Blogger Kathy, At April 22, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

  • Wow, this is the exact same system I started using with my son last summer, I use those same exact folders too. The only difference is I divide the year into two-week segments. Great minds think alike I guess! lol

    By Blogger Elizabeth (DomanMom), At April 22, 2010 at 2:59 PM  

  • Cindy and Kathy ~

    I usually put it in the week that we complete it. :) I generally write down the page numbers that we complete in my planner also, and my planner gets stored with all of our folders at the end of the year.

    We do reuse some of our workbooks, but there are some that I realized were just cheaper in the long run to buy and actually use ~ handwriting, etc... Several of the workbooks that I use {Complete Writer} are actually able to be photocopied too, so that's what I do in that case. If it's a worksheet that we slip into a page protector {Critical Thinking}, I just record the page number they completed in my planning book.

    Does that help?

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At April 22, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

  • OK, you need to come over two weeks before the start of school bring your family - and help me figure this out for 8 children! Since Lexi does her own thing now in HS.

    Up for that challenge!???

    Love you!
    Jill

    By Blogger Mom to 9 Blessings!, At April 22, 2010 at 3:30 PM  

  • What a great idea, thank you for sharing. Our kids are all color coded. I found file boxes in different colors for each of them that I keep their workbooks in. I need to take that a step further and break things down by week. Our daughter is in first grade and so far it hasn't been too hard to keep things on track, but I know I need to be a bit more organized for next year. I will start schooling our son more formally at the start of our next school year and I know I will need to have things a little more laid out for myself when doing 2.

    By Blogger Amy, At April 22, 2010 at 5:03 PM  

  • I think this is a great way to organize! Thanks for sharing.

    I am hoping that you could share what your school year time line is. Do you take the summer off?

    Thank you,
    Aimee

    By Blogger Threebusybs, At April 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM  

  • Thanks for the suggestions!

    I have a 3-tiered filing bin that they put their completed worksheets in, then when it gets full, I take them out and file the completed worksheets in a 3" binder with tabs to separate each subject. Each kid has their own binder. It works good for worksheets.

    But here's a question for you...I have no clue what I'm going to do with all the arts/crafts stuff we've made, any thoughts?

    Good idea for a post, maybe I'll try to share my madness too ;o)

    By Blogger Confessions Of A Homeschooler, At April 22, 2010 at 10:52 PM  

  • Wow! You are SOOOOOOOOOO organized - You encouraged me to do so - thank you!

    By Blogger Mama to 3 Blessings, At April 23, 2010 at 12:23 AM  

  • We do the big 3 ring binder by tabbed weeks.
    Then I file by subject/date when complete in hanging file folders. For arts and crafts I took pictures(made a shutterfly book) or saved the best projects and placed in a big brown envelope. :)
    You can see our portfolio on my blog and read about how I am planning for next year on my blog. I like the color code idea. It's always nice to see new ideas!
    Thanks for sharing!

    By Blogger K-tribe, At April 23, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

  • That's a great idea!

    I think mine is somewhat similar in some ways - I have a file folder for each week, and I am putting my lesson plan form and all worksheets and such in it. Then, each week I pull out my folder and I'm ready to go.

    As older dd works through, her things will go into notebooks by subject. Younger dd is using your alphabet curriculum and I'm using some of Erin (Home Grown Hearts) stuff too. She will make an alphabet notebook through the year and activity bag each week.

    I'm having fun planning for next year!

    By Blogger DairyQueen, At May 11, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

  • hi, i had an idea for "confessions of a homeschoolers" question - Have an art diary/ scrapbook - take a photo(s) of the beautiful creation and have the child(ren) write their feelings/ comments about the piece and add along with the photo(s) and then when they are not looking or when they can bear it ceremoniously bin it.;0)
    Mamma got 5.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At May 28, 2010 at 11:55 PM  

  • This is an awesome idea! Thanks so much for posting it :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At August 6, 2010 at 11:22 PM  

  • This is an awesome idea! Thanks so much for posting it :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 15, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

  • That's a great idea!

    I think mine is somewhat similar in some ways - I have a file folder for each week, and I am putting my lesson plan form and all worksheets and such in it. Then, each week I pull out my folder and I'm ready to go.

    As older dd works through, her things will go into notebooks by subject. Younger dd is using your alphabet curriculum and I'm using some of Erin (Home Grown Hearts) stuff too. She will make an alphabet notebook through the year and activity bag each week.

    I'm having fun planning for next year!

    By Anonymous DairyQueen, At December 15, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

  • Thanks for the suggestions!

    I have a 3-tiered filing bin that they put their completed worksheets in, then when it gets full, I take them out and file the completed worksheets in a 3" binder with tabs to separate each subject. Each kid has their own binder. It works good for worksheets.

    But here's a question for you...I have no clue what I'm going to do with all the arts/crafts stuff we've made, any thoughts?

    Good idea for a post, maybe I'll try to share my madness too ;o)

    By Anonymous Confessions Of A Homeschooler, At December 15, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

  • Wow, this is the exact same system I started using with my son last summer, I use those same exact folders too. The only difference is I divide the year into two-week segments. Great minds think alike I guess! lol

    By Anonymous Elizabeth (DomanMom), At December 15, 2010 at 1:04 PM  

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