Prep/Organization - Daily advice from the very organized!

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Prep/Organization - Daily advice from the very organized!

Unread post by niki » Tue May 29, 2007 2:12 pm

Toni@homezcool4us wrote:LOL! I'm laughing at asking this now, in our last week of school (whoo hoo!), but I'm curious as to how you prepare for your day and/or week?

I need to do a better job next year. I've been one to just open the book and go, without glancing ahead. This leaves me frantically trying (this year, for example) to copy state sheets, gather science project supplies, etc.

I'm just wondering if *those who are very organized in this regard* could share with me what you do to not have wasted "down time" in your day. How do you prepare?
I really prepare over the summer. This may be a bit monotonous but, I go through each week and jot down "needed items" for each week and put them in my schooling 3-ring binder, with my daily schedule. On the daily schedule page along the bottom I write: NEEDED: ...and whatever supplies I jot them down... Then, at a glance I can make sure I have on hand what I'll need for the week. BUT, I do have to get in the habit of taking that peek before Monday. :) I've even highlighted it at times when I get caught Monday unprepared!!

So, during the school year I have a week at a glance posted on my fridge with our "needs" on them. On Friday when the week's done I file that week away with all it's check-marks (my record keeping) and put next week's on the fridge so I see it all weekend and get these things together. Did it always work - no. Sometimes I would forget to switch the weeks out, sometimes I'd hang it up and never see it until Monday morning!!! I'm a creature of habit...once I get going on something it works out pretty good. But I like planning!

In the other binder sections I have our student pages ready to go, I have my info regarding other activities we're in filed in their section and so on. Everything is right there for me.

My state has no need for records of any kind at this point, but if they ever do we already have a good system in place. Thanks to the great work of the Hazell's.

I guess I'm a binder girl..

Also, because I really like to be on the ball, I make all my photocopies before the year begins and file them my binder and pull out as needed.

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd


Unread post by cbollin » Tue May 29, 2007 3:29 pm

I don’t fit most of the criteria that you asked. My house is messy. But --- I have some pieces of the puzzle. Not all.

* Each child’s individual lessons are in her own box. Just a plastic storage box with a lid, sized to fit letter sized file folders and be portable. So – dd#1’s ILL and All in One English, her Singapore stuff, her state sheets, pencil, are in her box. Same with kid #2. Kid #3 --- if I don’t put it all in the box, it will not get done. I have to change ME to get it done. Main books are in a cabinet. Supplies are in a rolling plastic drawer.

* Things from the t.m that are supposed to be copied (appendix pages), I do those the morning of the lesson. But, I have a computer printer that acts like a copier. It is in the school room area.

*I store stuff in one school place. If I need it for school, it goes there-- even if I have to buy another tape dispenser or pair of scissors. I wish I were willing to make enough changes to have a neat and tidy school room --- the t.m. has a permanent home on the kitchen table (reminds us to pray for MFW). The books are on a shelf --- got one of those little cabinets with shelves and a door from Lowes or somewhere. But everything is within 10 or 12 feet of everything else. My point is not that I have an organized house or a clean and de-cluttered house, because I do not. I do have all of my supplies in reach and gathered up together. I am NOT there yet. I keep thinking --- isn't there a homeschool version of Extreme Home Make over?

*Ready for the ouchies? (no, but here they are anyway. --- you’ve been on this board with me for a long time. I think I can say this out loud. I hope. ) One of the things that I have heard about MOTH is that it helps you to set priorities on what you need to get done each day. Well, God used someone else to remind me of that when I *let* it get out of balance and was no longer efficient in school time.

When do I get my supplies ready and look over the teacher’s manual to know what I think I am doing? Just check the time stamp on my early morning posts on this board. ha ha ha ha ha.... But remember to add an hour – I’m in East Coast Time. I have this little saying above my computer that a dear dear friend of mine (hi jenn) emailed me once --- Crystal, go get your school stuff ready before you tell everyone else how to teach MFW to their kids.

Ouch! Not really. She was right. I had been complaining how the school was a mess and she nailed me on it. I forgot the balance and priority. I have to put a little note on the screen that reminds me to make that time block to get school ready. Just remember, it worked on this side of the computer screen. Been there, done that.

Very warmly and with much love,
rachel wrote:What I appreciate about this curriculum is that you can basically open up and go... right? I usually over-shoot as far as how I will plan or whatever, and it ends up so cumbersome that I end up with little to show ... So please explain why any additional record keeping was helpful and not just one more thing to keep up with?
Yes and no -- on the open and go. You still need to have your books and supplies ready to go. You will not have to do the planning of the lessons. That's a separate aspect of it. Depending on teacher/student personalities, you might be able to pick up and go even if stuff is scattered about. But, that's not the reality I live in. It still only takes a few minutes for me. But I can't organize it 5 minutes before starting or our day will be lost.


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Unread post by kellybell » Tue May 29, 2007 3:52 pm

Here are some things that I do...

1. I use the same boxes that Crystal uses (well, I've never seen her boxes but I got mine from Walmart and they sound the same). They are hanging file boxes with lids and handles. Actually, two of my kids use these and two of my kids have a shelf on a bookcase. So, each kid has a certain place for her notebooks, textbooks, etc.

2. I have bookends to hold everything I need in a certain place. All the books I need should be there.

3. Like Crystal, we have extras of certain things so we are not always running to get them (in theory at least). We must own 10 pairs of kiddy scissors, a zillion colored penciles, and four rolls of tape.

4. I make all my copies in the summer. The TM is great about telling you what to copy and when. So, I copy them and put them all in a folder. I just have to open the folder and get it out.

5. The kids plan the lunches a week in advance. I don't know why but lunch was such a drag for me to plan. We'd be going great for school and I'd see that the clock says 1 PM and all I could think of would be peanut butter and jelly (which at least they eat). Now, each kid chooses a lunch once a week, a week in advance (so I can buy what they want). I can talk more about that. For some reason, when lunch works, our day works better.
[Editor's note: More details here ... 256#p30256 ]

6. Each week, I reserve library books for the next week. We go to the library once a week and usually the books we need are waiting for us.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

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Unread post by rachel » Tue May 29, 2007 3:56 pm

ok ladies- I think I will be printing out these responses as the first page in my binder (if I can figure out a system like that- so far- I have binders for each child and just planned on making a portfolio of their work at the end of each year. My state is pretty lax on record keeping- but want to do something like that anyway... )as some great tips on getting started!
Currently using MFW K/1 and ADV with daughter (2000); 3 Sons (2001, 2003-twins); and baby girl (2007)

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Unread post by mamaofredheads » Tue May 29, 2007 5:25 pm

Ok, I'm probably going to sound a little over zealous with organization here, but for those of you who are familiar with FlyLady, I'm a SHE. I can't think if things aren't organized. And it's not good if the teacher can't think. LOL

Toni, I use MOTH, but not as closely as I'd like to.
* I do go in the order of my schedule, but we're still working on keeping things on track a little better.
* I will say that starting at the same time every day, no matter what the house looks like (very hard for me!) has helped tremendously.
* I have a stand up chart on the school table that I keep a copy of our schedule in (I made one on the computer) so it's right there in front of me as a reminder. It helps DSs SO much to know what's next!!

1. I make all of our copies for the next year before the school year starts. For next year (RTR - yes, I already have the copies made :) I hole-punched everything, which I'd never done before. For some reason it seemed to totally throw things off for DSs to stop & hole punch their papers & file them in their notebooks! They have separate notebooks for Bible/History, Art, Language Arts, and Science. All copies are in there ready to go, except the science pages that they will cut out for human body.

2. All of our books have dots on the binding, i.e. blue for history, red for science, etc. The current year is always yellow. That way the boys know where to put books away at (each color has it's own shelves). Ok, here's where I will seem to be overboard LOL, but I need it for me - For this year, I wrote the week on the dot, and listed it in the TM at the bottom of the page. If it's not written down, I'll forget we have it. Our library doesn't have much of a selection so I buy a lot of the recommended reading books so I have a LOT of books.

3. I use the TM to keep records. I do everything in pencil, just so I can erase if necessary. On Thurs. I write in the LA, Math, etc. for the next week. That will also be when I pull any copies that didn't go in notebooks & any supplies we need. As we go through our day, I check each item off after it's done & write the date at the top of the column. If we didn't do school on a week day for some reason, I write the date & a note at the top of the page. This isn't required for state records, but it just helps me - if I get behind for some reason, I can look back & see why & know how to improve for next year or remember, oh life happened :) know, you forget everyone was sick for 10 days in Jan., etc.

4. As others have mentioned, I keep multiples of lots of things. I also have a stash on a high shelf in a cabinet in another room. LOL That's where I keep extra packages of pencils (ours seems to have legs!!), tape (one DS would go through a roll a week if allowed!), etc. Each boy has a small box with dividers & a handle & lid (I got them at Staples) for their colored pencils, crayons, etc. Most of their notebook coloring is done on the floor in the living room while I'm reading so that makes it easy for them to bring them in there & put them away when they are done.

5. I keep a basket in the living room beside the couch (like book basket) with our books from the MFW package plus any read alouds (other than library books). One DS, as part of his chores, gets the books out for Bible & history that we will need for that day. I generally go in order of the TM, except I read those 2 at the same time in the living room.

6. Library books are kept in a rolling cart with the list of what I checked out (printed out from their on-line search & I write in anything else we picked up while we are there) on a clip board. Before I used this system, I can't tell you how many times I got to the library & had forgotten a book(s) at home. Before we leave for the library, DS reads the titles to me & I check the list to be sure we've gotten everything.

7. Here's another overload area LOL. First, let me say that we live in the country, & if things aren't already here those fun, hands-on things just don't happen. If we stop to run to the store for something, it's at least an hour trip & our day is lost. So before the year starts I go through each week in the TM & make a list of items needed (on the computer) with a check box by each one. I keep one in my "Mama's Notebook" and a small copy in my planner. For this year, I'm going to buy everything this summer & put it in a large storage box & pull things out when needed. On Thurs. during my planning for the next week, I look to see if there are perishable items I need to get at the store. Then when I'm at the store I have my handy checklist in my planner & get the items needed. I realize this step wouldn't be necessary for most people, but it's been a terrific help for me this year!

Ok, this has become way too long. Sorry if this is way more information than you wanted! :) I hope some of it helps!

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Unread post by Tina » Tue May 29, 2007 7:01 pm

I am not super organized, but enough that the children know where everything is and how to get what they need.

I use milk crates for each child. They put their three ring binders in there, all their own journals, ILL/PLL, any other things they need on a daily basis. I have a bookshelf that they can slide it right into at the day's end. Easy to access, material right on hand. On the top shelf are all the text books.

I also do all my copying at the beginning of the year. Anything from the appendix, art, etc. I put them in files and the children know where they are and I keep it in order of week.

I find that each year we may add or take away from our system. I've even had years where we chose some method of filing/organizing that just didn't work at all. The milk crate thing is working now.

Have a great summer and fun with your little ones!
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT


Re: How do you organize?

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Tue May 29, 2007 7:44 pm

Hi Toni!

I am not one of the uber-organizers, but I AM someone who gets really frustrated if things don't have their space & order. Call me a fence-straddler of some sort? :) I did have a couple of weeks this year that I opened the TM on Monday & flew off the cuff. Boy - I really didn't like those Tuesday, I had a plan.

My weekly prep was done on Saturday or Sunday. I would get my TM out and fill in the week's work - the spelling, LA, math & reading. I would then gather any extra supplies that weren't at my fingertips. If there were any perishable or needed items, I'd plan to make a quick run to our market up the road.

Also, we always try to put everything away when school is over. Then, each evening after bedtime, I load up the piano bench with the next day's materials. As long as I have a routine of some sort, I can manage. It's very flexible, but it is enough routine to make me feel organized.

In addition, the right furniture (call me crazy!) has helped me this year. My grandmother's antique lingerie chest was the perfect school room piece for us! It sits beside the piano, in arm's reach from the table where we school. The first drawer is my gotta-have-all-the-time stuff; drawers 2 & 3 hold all (daily) things Adventures for the year (history & science books that are used weekly, but not daily, are on a bookshelf in the adjoining room). Drawers 4 & 5 have all my daughter's MFWK items. Drawers 6 & 7 hold construction & foam paper, scratch paper & lined notebook paper. On top of this chest sits our globe, clock, 3-hole punch, colored pencils, MathSense blocks, flashcards, school beans - well, anything that won't fit in a drawer! Some might find this to be too much clutter, but they are things we use daily so it doesn't bother me. Our book basket sits at the foot of the chest. Here's a photo (I'm the visual kind):


These are the things that have helped me have everything where I need it to be. Sorry to be long-winded! :P

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Unread post by niki » Wed May 30, 2007 6:51 am

I'm really liking the box idea for each kids...might borrow that one AND having separate place for school supplies - I started the year with about 6 pair of scissors!! Now I have trouble finding one pair! I'm hoping to find a good deal on a set of rolling drawers just for those supplies...kinda like Turnourheart's grandmother's lingerie chest!!

I keep our books and papers in a BIG bookshelf where a pantry was when we 1st bought our house. Like some others, everything goes back where it belongs when school's done for the day - or we have some real problems.

My kids are getting to where they want to go work in their rooms on some do you all handle that - that's when it seems a spelling/math or some book gets swallowed up for a week!!! YIKES!

Strong Tower Academy
DD 6th DS 5th DD 3rd

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL » Wed May 30, 2007 8:29 am

I love to read about organization...I just wish I was more consistent in doing organization:)!

I'm a bulk copier. The copy store has an industrial puncher that I like to punch huge amounts with. I put them in a binder and I'm set.

As far as time organization goes, I can make a great schedule on paper, but struggle with the self-discipline to follow it. I use MOTH and have it generally following Marie's schedule in the book with later afternoons for chores, etc.

For physical organization, I am surprised how well my new home is working in this area. In our old house, my office/den was our main storage area for school items and had our computer, maps, etc.

I now have two rolling drawer carts in my kitchen closet. One has a large drawer for each child and the other houses: teacher supplies (I try to keep things there, but no one seems to be able to read "teacher" yet!) markers, crayons, math blocks, math books and preschool things. We keep our current year's books in a bookshelf in the hall with dictionaries, atlases and other resources, and the kids' notebooks. I also bought one of the desk apprentices-they are quite large- and the kids' file their paper into hanging files there and I put my TMs around the outside. Our book basket is in the LR.

I have enjoyed reading this thread. I am currently looking through my bookshelves for my RtR era books. I wish I had had Glenna's stickers when my friends helped me put away books when we moved...I so appreciated the help but I used to know what shelf and where things were!
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

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Unread post by 4Truth » Wed May 30, 2007 9:40 am

I do bulk copying, too. Our UPS store charges only 4 cents a copy for homeschoolers. I did the whole Body Book at once. And I look ahead at least a week or more to see which activities I want them to do and what supplies I need to have on hand. It doesn't feel burdensome at all because of how neatly Marie's listed everything for me.

I also consolidate trips. My dd has piano lesson on Mondays, so I take my shopping list and photocopying list with me and do errands after piano. En route to piano, we go down the road that has Walmart, Target, the grocery store, the post office, the UPS store, and now I see that they're going to be building an Office Supply Store, too! So Monday is our "light" school day (which Marie also schedules for us :o) ), even though we're able to get some school work done before leaving for piano and errands, the bulk of our work is done from Tuesday on. That makes it nice for me for planning purposes... look over the week's lessons and supply lists on the weekend, pick up anything last minute that I need on Monday, then we're ready for the week.

My biggest area of struggle is our house and where to put everything. Or rather, where to DO everything. We live in a 3 BR raised ranch with 1100 sq ft on the main floor. The basement is partly finished, so I'm able to have a lot of storage down there. I've tried several times to make this a space where we actually DO school, but our daily work always manages to creep back upstairs to the dining room. The rooms upstairs are small, so I really don't want to be doing school and having all our supplies spread out up there, but it seems to be where we always end up.

So it's the daily piles of work and supplies that get to me. We do have a nice bookshelf where I keep dictionaries, current read-alouds and textbooks, our hymnal, and those kinds of things. The books that get used regularly for school and family worship. And the two shelves underneath hold the library books. (When they're not spread out all over the LR, that is!) But the girls' notebooks, math and LA papers, etc. doesn't remain contained very well at all.

One thing that does help (sort of) is that each girl has her own supply box with pencils, scissors, tape, etc. But those are sitting out in the DR, too. The main reason I wish we could get everything out of the DR is because it's just too small of a room and it makes it really cramped and cluttered. Although I might not care as much if we weren't thinking so strongly about selling the house!
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL » Wed May 30, 2007 5:20 pm

4Truth wrote:MJ, what is a "desk apprentice"? Sounds like something I need! LOL! Or maybe a human one... you know, someone to set up the desk area and keep it all organized for me! ;o) Seriously, if you could describe it or post a link to a picture of what you have...
Go to and type in Desk Apprentice. I got mine on sale last year (they have free shipping for teachers.) It was waaayy bigger than I thought and for where I wanted to put it. However, I got a cute hand-me-down table that it fits perfectly on. They sit in the corner and I love it!
dd14 enjoying AHL; ds12 & ds10 in RtR & dd5 working through K!
have done K (2X), 1 (2X), ECC, CtG, & 1850MT

Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Wed May 30, 2007 7:14 pm

WOW! I'm so thankful for all the terrific responses to my question. Paige, thank you for the photo. I'm a visual person too and it really helped to see your photo.

Crystal, *letting* it get away from me has been the real issue. I had a basic plan. I had basic organization (that does need to be improved on). But being self disciplined to start at the same time each day and stick to that plan (as someone here mentioned) has been a struggle. In true Flylady SHE form, I'm a born procrastinator. I'm tackling this head-on for the coming year, beginning with prayer.

Gosh, there are soooo many terrific ideas provided here. I know how much time it takes to type out a response so I really do appreciate the time taken. And why didn't I think of the milk crates. I had everything (EVERYTHING) shoved in one large tub and one cardboard box (though to my defense, we have no book shelves at present). Oy vey, I need the right furniture and shelving for this coming year. And I'm thinking about smaller tubs or milk crates for each child.
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

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Unread post by RachelT » Wed May 30, 2007 10:45 pm

Hello! It has been great to read all of these ideas on organization. Toni, I just wanted to let you know that I am trying to FLY and I am a born procrastinator, not a born organized person. FLY lady does help me get more done! (Of course, she would tell me I need to get to bed right now!)

Anyway, yes, I did go ahead and write everything in a lesson planner this year in addition to checking things off or writing notes in my TM. (Most days) I liked to write out a plan of what we were going to accomplish during school before we began and that helps me get more done. I also will keep notes in of other learning activities that are educational like swim lessons, church choir practice, youth group, field trips, read alouds, etc. This year I used a planner called the "Year Round Preschool Planner" but basically, it is a spiral bound book with 5 wide columns for Monday - Friday and then an extra column for notes (sometimes we did educational things on weekends and I'd note those, too).

I am also looking to be more organized with paper and craft projects!! I wanted to scrapbook the most special things with a page or two about each unit for MFWK as we went through it this year, well, I will have to keep working on that this summer because it's probably only 1/3rd of the way done!! But, my dd has enjoyed helping me with it. I've just put all of their work in page protectors in a really big binder. I still wonder how to choose the best work for a portfolio, but maybe as I work on the scrapbook I will do some of that.

I've also kept a list on Excel of all the read alouds (mostly library) books that we've read this year and also other books that I've read about homeschooling or resources. Now, I can go back and search the list for something I want to read or use again or recommend to someone else.

I've also thought about MOTH or using a software program, but I don't know if I need to, yet? I've only used the attendance tracker on the basic (free) version of Homeschool Tracker.

I do like to keep all of our school things in one area and supplies in certain storage containers. I just found a caddy a few weeks ago that can hold pencils, glue sticks, small scissors, erasers, tape all at once and it has a handle in the middle and a lid. I think I got it in the painting supplies at United Art and Education.

After reading other posts, I am now thinking about how to re organize my shelves of books so the kids can find their own things (I usually get them out myself). I also want to work on general organization around the house this summer. You've got me thinking ...

;) Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

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Unread post by shera » Thu May 31, 2007 9:15 am

Since MOTH has been mentioned a few times I thought I would chime in and give a little description, since if anyone is like me they are hesitate to spend that much money on something they can't see and may or may not work for them. It is a scheduling book/method that is based in prayer. The author has you pray over your priorities and schedule through every step of the way. You are supposed to schedule everyone, except for your dh. She uses 30 min blocks of time. If you are not done with the task, you stop it for the day. The other thing she advocates is waking up before your kids so you can get quiet time and shower in as well as a few chores. It is worth the money to get the book even if you only use it as a routine and not a true schedule.



Unread post by cbollin » Thu May 31, 2007 9:41 am

Side note on MOTH time blocks when combining with a unit study or Charlotte Mason approach ---- remember that when you are doing a fun project, it is ok to stretch the time box and enjoy the lesson. I say that because I think (?) the MOTH author uses a more textbook approach and sometimes with hands on projects you need to expand your time boxes on any particular day and not feel like a clock watcher.

Keep it flexible and not rigid; use anybody's scheduling ideas as a tool, not a master; and when it comes to getting school done, let the time blocks help you not get bogged down in language arts and math, but still keep the fun.

And another side note: the MFW teacher's manuals (starting with ADV) have great ideas in them as well. There is a section called Help! How Do I Fit It All In? with time boxes that the Hazells suggest for getting MFW done, and different things they have done over the years with their children.

worth a look as well


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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Thu May 31, 2007 9:44 pm

Forgot to add that I am a very relaxed MOTH user. As Crystal pointed out, being rigid would not work well with unit studies. And I do believe the Maxwells are textbook hs'ers. I also have a child with attention deficits and we often really need to spend more time on a subject or lesson because she is having difficulty focusing.

That being said, MOTH has been absolutely wonderful in helping me think through how to set some structure. Now to find the self discipline to make it work.........
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE


Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Thu May 31, 2007 10:26 pm

BTW, I am also a Teri Maxwell fan - hence the name TurnOurHearts. I own MOTH and have learned a lot from Teri's writing. I am very much in the camp of "gather good resources & trust God to provide His best." MOTH is a bit too scheduled for my family's lifestyle, but I am absolutely thrilled to have purchased & read it, and gone through the priority & prayer scheduling process. I learned SO much about my children & myself. So many wonderful principles are there to be gleaned! We're still discovering God's best for our home, but we're miles & miles from where we began. I'm so glad for the journey...

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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:34 pm

Teacher manual protector

Unread post by Mercy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:04 am

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:45 pm
I wanted to write in to give a link to a picture of what I am using to protect my teacher's manual. I don't really know the name of what it's called, so I'll just show a picture. Here's the link to my blog post that shows how I'm keeping my TM organized: ... nized.html

There's a little flap that you slide the TM in - on the right hand side. It protects it really well since it's not out in the open all the time. I use the clear binder the most to check things off, etc. But, there are times I need to use the TM as well, so I keep it handy. The clear binder fits perfectly inside my pink thingy (with the TM), so it works out really well.

I bought mine at walmart around "school shopping" time. It is working VERY well for me and I'm hoping to find another one since I'll be starting ADV here soon.

Hope that helps someone!

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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:20 pm

wonderful help for organization

Unread post by momrandles » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:00 am

I was reading some posts last week, and the one from hsmomof5 and her is FANTASTIC by the way!!! Well, she had a note about Motivated Moms so I checked it out. It's a day planner with chore lists, and boy is it great!! What a way to keep you accountable for scatter-brains like me! Thanks so much Kysha for posting that....

....if your resolution this year was to get organized or stay on top of things, this is a terrific resource for you.

God surely does bless you in unexpected ways!!
cbollin wrote:in the small chance that I wasn't the only one who didn't know where to click on that site ( I feel dumb today, sorry)

look under products
not homeschooling.

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Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Unread post by mgardenh » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:29 pm

meagabby wrote:I need something like that. To at least strive for each day. I looked at Flylady before and the email reminder wasn't my thing, but a check-off list--that's exactly my style.
Just a little side note about flylady. She now does a daily flight plan that you can print and use as a checklist. Just in case you want to look at it again.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR

Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am

Unread post by mamaofredheads » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:23 pm

I also wanted to add that the planner pages from his grace works dot com are awesome for organizing. They have pages called Beautiful Life Management System that are a simplified version of FlyLady in paper form. I have used their other planner pages for years (and do FlyLady)and recently got these. They are wonderful and come 3 tapes that tell you how to use them. The focus is on the Lord and how to improve your home and habits in a way to honor Him. Highly recommend it! :)


Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Workboxes...anyone implementing them with ADV?

Unread post by RachelT » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:25 am

mom2h wrote:I just read about "Workboxes" on the Freebie Friday email from TOS. Sounds interesting. Has anyone read Sue Patrick's Workbox System book? Anyone using this system with ADV or at all? How's it working? I need to work on our organization/ routine since I KNOW my son thrives on it, but my artistic temperament resists it. It sounds promising, but I'm afraid to jump in (especially the purchasing of a unit/boxes) without first doing some investigation.
Sooo...workbox users, workbox retirees...what's the scoop?

Hi! You will get plenty of info. from the yahoo group that someone listed above.

We have been using workboxes this year with ECC. They have helped. We have a short list of things on the board to do first (memory verse, calendar, and exercise for 5 min. or stretches). Then we jump into the boxes. It helps us to get a lot done during the first part of our day. We only have 8 for each child because I use them for independent things or times when they have an ECC worksheet that we go over together. I don't use them for Bible, reading aloud in science or geography, or other reading aloud. We do use them for handwriting, logic workbooks, math drill or lessons, music practice, and things like that. I have made up lots of index cards with activities on them like "typing" where they just have to go to the computer.

The workboxes have helped our morning school routine!

Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Workboxes...anyone implementing them with ADV?

Unread post by Wendy B. » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:25 pm

I started workboxes this past year. I use the sterilite drawers...not sure if they are the 12x12 but that sounds about right. I loaded our boxes for day 1 of Adventures 2 weeks ago before taking our spring break and it took me about 5 minutes. Once you get in the swing of things loading the boxes each day takes just moments. I usually do it as soon as we are complete for the day. I have 12 for my ds but only loaded 9 and I put everything in a drawer for day 1. Although one of those drawers may have my son's speech work so it may only be 8 for the Adventures related schoolwork.

It has been an awesome addition for us. It keeps me organized. It eliminated the "stop and look for stuff" that breaks the rhythm of the day. It keeps my ds motivated because he clearly sees how much he has done and how much he has left to do each day. My oldest son asked me why I didn't set this up for him when he was hsing!

The only labeling I have done is the numbers on the drawers that he transfers over to his sheet.

Did I mention that I loaded them 2 weeks ago? I was able to enjoy our break and know that everything we need for school is set and ready to go in the morning.
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Workboxes...anyone implementing them with ADV?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:30 pm

I just wanted to add a word of caution. Finding a way to use the fun materials you already have is a great idea, but if you read Sue Patrick's book, you may feel driven to create even *more-more-more* great materials for your kids to use. One of her passions is getting organized with the boxes, but there's definitely a second passion in getting more hands-on materials into the school day. It's a great idea and a breath of fresh air for those families who have been sitting at a table with textbooks for years.

However, MFW already includes hands-on activities (plus you have those ones already sitting unused), so just a word of caution not to do the *add-add-add* part until you get going with MFW as-written. You might find, as others have mentioned, that her ideas are helpful in getting organized. But you also might find that adding activities part isn't needed with MFW. (I always have to remind myself of that kind of thing, too. :~ )

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Workboxes...anyone implementing them with ADV?

Unread post by OtterMommy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:59 am

We use a modified system (I do own the book). Last year we used Sterilite drawers (3 in a set from WalMart), but I just used 6 drawers for each kid. We were doing K, so that was part of the reason, and 12 just seemed like overkill when you aren't using text-books or work-texts. Also, we did Bible and Read-Alouds together that I didn't include on the schedule. The workboxes were more for worksheets and fun activities. I have just 3 kids (5, 4, and 2), so we used them as a way to keep the "school work" flowing and organized. All the kids want to do "school", so it made my life easier to have things laid out for them. I am making a list of all the activities so that the drawers are easier to fill in the future; I did get tired of trying to think of new things. Really, I think it's just another way to organize your day (in HS, my Mom just wrote our assignments on a white-board that we could erase but it served the same purpose), but it's fun for the kids and does make me use some of our things more!
Wife to the best
Mom to ds (6), dd (5), dd (3), and ds (4 months)
MFW K and 1st

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