Prep/Organization - Daily advice from the very organized!

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Major organization help needed

Unread post by jasntas »

For us, we do use an extra bedroom as our main classroom. We pretty much go down the grid as we work and I keep all those books in a fabric box at my feet where I sit. (The kids each have a desk but there's not enough room for me to have one as well.) Our computer and book basket is just outside the 'classroom' so when I am working on reading/spelling/math with one the other one is usually doing book basket or on the computer learning to type or doing an educational type game such as Quarter Mile Math, etc.

Then we move downstairs to our kitchen table where we usually do our read alouds/geography/history/science projects. Since it's downstairs I have another fabric basket where I keep the books we need for these tasks and I also have a plastic compartmentalized bin with scissors, glue sticks, tape, colored pencils, etc. (Each kid also has these items at their desk in our 'classroom' but it became too much to have to keep running up and down the stairs and keep track of where these items were.) The basket and the bin are kept at the end of the counter near the table.

I usually look through the TM grid the day before to make sure I have all the needed materials in the right room when we need them. Oh, and I carry my TM with me everywhere I go during school hours. Then I put it back in the classroom for the next morning. It sounds a little more complicated than it really is especially once I get the hang of where the items I use most need to be.

HTH
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
C4Car
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:11 pm

Re: Major organization help needed

Unread post by C4Car »

We also have very little space, and use our kitchen table to do our work. The Desk Apprentice organizer from Staples is amazing. It helped me alot so I thought I would pass that idea on to you. I know it has been mentioned here before, but I dont know how to post links yet.! We did ECC and 1st last year and all the books, notebooks, and other supplies fit in this organizer great. Had plenty of room. It sits on the floor in the corner beside our table (sounds like my dog :) Ha Ha) and makes it easy to move from one subject to the next quickly. It helps me to have everything in one place and within reach. It is heavy once everything is in it, so its not something you would want to move everyday, but perfect if it can just sit in the corner. It is also fairly reasonable, $29.99. I was skepital at first (was it too big?, would everything I wanted fit in it?, could I move it if I wanted?, would it break easily?) but so thankful that I made this purchase last year. Hope that helps.
jasntas wrote:Is the Desk Apprentice Organizer the rotating thing? That looks great for me to keep my downstairs stuff a little more organized. I know I'm not the OP but thanks for posting. :)
Yes, It rotates. Also has places for pencils, glue sticks, scissiors and such. Supposed to be on a desk or table but it was too big for us to keep it on the table and work around it. (Also became a distraction with boys always wanting to spin it!) Glad you found the coupon! Very helpful.
Married to my wonderful husband for 19 years
Blessed with 2 great boys, ages 11 and 9
Have completed MFW K, MFW 1st, Adv, ECC,CTG
2013-2014 RTR
♥nbamaboyz
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:52 pm

ADV & K Organized

Unread post by ♥nbamaboyz »

I bought a 10 drawer shelf on wheels & toss subjects in each drawer.
Every evening I place the next days worksheets in these.
Ours looks like this
ADV
1.How many is a 100? page (as we write in each school # day)
2.Spelling
3.PLL & handwriting
4.Story of US & APP (History/Geo worksheets go here also)
5.Science Bks
6.Math
Now for the shelves 7~10 is for my K'er
7. Calendar & How many is 100? worksheet. Bibilical Flashcards
8. Any book that has info on the unit we are studying. Worksheet for the day
9. Cuisenaire Rod page
10. Speech Worksheets

It's close to the workbox method with tweaking to suit us ;O)
Of course we have bookshelves for the read~alouds & baskets for bookbasket.
The 10 drawer system on wheels has really helped keeping things in order even with a 2yr old barreling in & out of our school room ;O) can even roll it to the kitchen table!
IMO well worth getting especially when teaching several children!
Loving ADV & K!!
Julie in MN
Posts: 2910
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: ADV & K Organized

Unread post by Julie in MN »

We've used a similar cart over the uears and it's been helpful at our house, too.

I think it's nice you showed how it can work with MFW, because it's a little different than say the workbox book describes, and you want it to create LESS work rather than more. Thanks for your clear description.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Erna
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:48 pm

Work boxes and desk help

Unread post by Erna »

saraclouse wrote:I will be homeschooling a 1st grader (6) and my toddler (2) this fall and will be using MFW1st. Have any of you used workboxes with MFW1st? Just wondering about how many drawers/boxes you used?

Also... I need desk suggestions. I was thinking of using some sort of desk or table. Should i get "small furniture" or would regular sized be ok. Should I get a table? Individual desks?? So many decisions! :) Just wondering what would work well with MFW1st.
Here's what we have done.

Work boxes ... We really only use them for MFW stuff and to organize our day. I use 3 to 6 drawers for all of my children. In some boxes, I put two or three things. I'm not really using work boxes in the manner of Sue Patrick and others. So, it depends on how you wish to use them. I started out with extras, had labels, and more but I found it was just a blessing to have drawers to put work into as I prepped for the next day. So, I chucked the extras but kept the "boxes.". Ours are actually plastic drawers from WalMart. They can hold scrapbooking paper.

As for desks, etc. We just use a regular table with chairs. I sit at the table as we homeschool and my children work around me. At first, we had a table for four but now we have a longer table. More work space was needed. My children have been around the table from K all the way to CTG. In the future, they may venture out of the room to do the work but we'll have to wait and see.

This is just what works for our family. I trust you'll make the best decisions for your family.
Smoakhouse
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:47 pm

Re: Work boxes and desk help

Unread post by Smoakhouse »

Hi Erna,

We are doing a modified version of work boxes with Adventures right now.
I use two of the Sterlite draws from Target, they are about $15 a piece.
I don't use the number and strip system that is recommended. I just label mine by subject.

Set 1 is....
Drawer 1 - Calendar Time: basically the stuff described at the beginning of MFW. We say a pray, mark the day on our calendar, check the weather, recite a poem, & review some spanish words.
Drawer 2 - Bible: the nuts and bolts of MFW
Drawer 3 - Phonics: (I really should not have split these, but they fit in the drawers better that way. :) )
Drawer 4 - Penmanship: I have added "Handwriting Without Tears"
Drawer 5 - Activity: Either a MFW activity or a educational game. (something fairly short)

I play a YouTube list here to give him some wiggle time. We call it "Music". :)

On to Set 2...
Drawer 1 - StoryTime: (Or book basket) He reads a reader book to me, I read a book to him.
Drawer 2 - Math: Number of the day math (the bean stick, plus add 1, subtract 1, and break down into 10 and 1's for the number of the day.) He writes it on the chalk board. The we read a living math book. I have used the MathStart books that I have found in the library in addition to the ones suggested in the back of the book. I'm moving to Life of Fred. Plus some type of game for math drill. Dominoes, cards, a iPad game, whatever.
Drawer 3 - Logic: I alternate "Lollipop Logic" work book with the Tanagram pieces from last year.
Drawer 4 - Science: A living book and/or experiment supplies. This is my son's favorite I add quite a bit.
Drawer 5 - Activity: I usually put a game or puzzle in this one.

Here is a link to my Flickr with pictures. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cdsmoak/se ... 906775241/

We do this in about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Actually faster than before I started using them. It only takes me about 15 minutes in the afternoon to make sure I have everything ready for the next day.

As for desk, we actually use a couch and a coffee table with a foot stool. The coffee table is open underneath so he can sit up to it. It's really like a short table. It was a hand me down from my mother in law. Works perfect I love it for our small room.
We have always had a couch and a table of one kind or another. I didn't get my teens a desk until they could work mostly independently.

I hope this helps.
Cheri in TN
Mom to girls 23 & 20 and boy 10
Homeschooling for 18 years and counting!!
MFW ECC (2016-17)
MFW Adventures (2013-14)
MFW 1st (2012-13)
MFW K (2011-12)
MFW Health (fall 2011)
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Julie in MN
Posts: 2910
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Work boxes and desk help

Unread post by Julie in MN »

At our house, we used a lot of clipboards, marker boards, and sitting all over the house.

However, I do feel like a young child needs some place to sit for writing, a place that is adjusted for their arm length and leg length. It could be a kitchen table with a booster and a footstool, or it could be a child-sized desk, anything is okay. And the child doesn't even need to sit there all the time. But if they are having difficulty with writing well or with endurance, it's something to have on hand.

As far as separating the child, I think it depends on your own family dynamics. Some kids really need either their own desk or a board around their workspace to filter out the distractions, while others do better in groups.

Here are some more organization threads:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3714
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3255

If it's your first year, you might use a makeshift set-up until you really see what works for you? Or, you might feel better having it all set up in advance, if you know that works for you.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Julie in MN
Posts: 2910
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Joyhomeschool wrote:I'm doing some reorganizing preparing for our next year (EXP-1850!) And need some inspiration and ideas.

Where do you keep each students individual independent studies? We've had the binding break on a copy if ILL and our spiral notebooks are getting beat up. I think its time for something different.

If you're teaching K or 1st along with another year how do you handle the two sets of tms and books?

How about shelving your books for the year? How does that look? My books are always seem to always be toppled over and a big mess.

Thanks ladies for the ideas.
Hi Vicki,
Our methods have changed over the years. Right now, I have 11th grade and K materials at my house, so it's probably a little different than your situation. But here are some various things I've found helpful at times:

- A clipboard for student and for teacher, one of those that has a storage compartment inside, for unfinished student pages, upcoming items needed, etc. Very portable.

- A tote box with artsy/sciency type collected materials for things coming up, usually packed during the summer, with maybe clay and yarn and such.

- A dedicated shelf for currently used homeschool books, so I can find things fairly quickly.

- A tall set of rolling drawers which I've used as sort-of workboxes at times, with each drawer labeled with a subject. At other times, I've used as just storage of things like a pencil drawer, a drawer with blank paper, and one with math things like calculator/compass/flashcards. In high school, I had a "mapping" drawer. For K, my grandson has a drawer with gluestick and crayons and such.

- Right now I have all the K things and related games and such in something you might call a wooden toybox or a storage bench, and my high schooler has a shelf. The rest of my schooly stuff is in a cupboard that has doors I can close and on top are the encyclopedias plus a few other containers. I guess I just take what we have and find a good use for it :)

There are tons of good ideas here... look for titles that start with "classroom" or "prep/organization":
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=13

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Erna
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:48 pm

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by Erna »

I am running three of MFW's programs right now. What helps me is having a shelf from Ikea that has cubby holes (for lack of a better term). I have the various years of curriculum in their own cubby hole/box. It makes it easy for me to locate a given year's books when I need them. So far, I have K to RTR on the shelves.

I also use some drawers I bought at WalMart for each day's work load. I fill the drawers the day before with the children's work. I have six drawers per child and double up on some items in their drawers.

Then, I have my oldest daughter's grid and my younger daughter's grid put back to back and attaced with a paper clip. I can easily flip the pages to see who is where and who needs to complete what. My K grid is separate and I don't really check that off but use it to refer to in planning work and activities (it is a grid made up to go with the old K manual). These are housed on my printer (not the best spot) with the manuals so I can easily grab them when I need them.
kugoi
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 12:28 pm

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by kugoi »

We have an old metal kitchen pantry thing that I keep this year's school stuff on. All my books and teacher's manuals go on one side and all the kids' stuff goes on the other. We all have an upright magazine/folder holder to put more floppy things, like single subject notebooks, singapore books, etc. One drawer has pencils, pens, crayons, etc, the other has 3-hole punch, index cards, stapler, compass etc. All the extra little K stuff, like ABC cards, Bingo, straws, are in an ice cream bucket on a higher shelf along with preschool toys, paints and things I don't want the littles to have easy access to. My high-schooler next year will be getting a shelf all her own, probably on the bookshelf in the dining room which has other years' books.

I keep all teacher's manuals that I'm not using right now in a filing cabinet so they don't get destroyed.
Mom of 7, ages 14, 10, 8, 6, 4, 1 and new baby.
Have used K, 1st, Adv, ECC, and CtoG
kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by kw4blessings »

I found the same things with our books, always piled un-neatly or falling on the floor. I've started keeping all book basket-like books on the top several shelves of the bookshelf in my bedroom. That way the little ones can't get to them. I plan to pull out related ones each week and add them to baskets for each child for BB time. Then rotate when the week/unit is over.
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
asheslawson
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:37 am
Contact:

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by asheslawson »

All of this year's curriculum is on a bookshelf. I pack the unused portions of previous years in indivdual rubbermaid totes until needed again. Some books get carried to next year - so they stay on my current year curriculum shelf. I have a plastic drawer cart for the books like ILL & their indivdual math books to go in. I keep a pocket folder for incomplete work in one pocket & completed, graded work in the other. I have them pull these graded papers out periodically & file them in their subject binders. This is great for helping them practice sorting and getting things in date order.

I have a wooden, china cabinet that I repurposed as a school cabinet - since I spend a lot more time with school work than I do cooking special dinners - so out went my 'special' dishes! I also have some shelves in my outside art room where I keep math manipulatives, craft items, and plenty of extra books we can't fit on our bookshelves in the house.

Any schoolwork I keep from previous years gets put away into postal priority mail boxes & I cover them with paper & let them decorate them. I add the years & their ages & use brad fasteners to make a closure (I use two & wrap yarn or string several times around the two to hold the end closed).
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
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Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

Thanks everyone this is very helpful. Now off to search more ideas!
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
Ohmomjacquie
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio
Contact:

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

I have a file crate with folders for each week. All student sheets are put in there for K and ECC. As we go through the year those are pulled and put into their individual folders. I have a small cabinet that has 2 shelves. 1 for kids and 1 for TM's and books I use to read to them etc. Their finished student sheets are put into a binder as MFW TM's suggest. It works pretty well for us.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @ http://www.myblessingshomeschool.com
Aiming4Him
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:24 am

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by Aiming4Him »

I love hearing everyone's ideas!

I found a solution for books falling everywhere on the shelf! I bought one of those locker size plastic crates for each child, in a different color, and put it on the bookshelf. Each child keeps their personal notebooks, books etc.. in their own crate. It mimics the effect you get when you have cubes instead of a normal book shelf. I think it was the notebooks/3 ring binders and floppy workbooks or books that caused everything to fall and slide.

For pencils, pens, erasers, scissors, glue etc.. we have a small plastic storage unit with drawers that also sets on our book shelf.

We also have a plastic box for art supplies and one for science supplies.

I used to keep everything on book shelves, but now they are full and it's time to decide if I'm going to box up some years curriculum that we aren't using, get rid of some things or find more shelves or storage! I hate to get rid of books and I like having all the MFW books on the shelf to refer to.

You know the quote, "If you have money buy books. If there's any left over buy food"! :-)
Aimee,
wife to Mike,
mom to seven boys (16,14,10,8,5 ,3 & 1 ),
and one dd (12)
TriciaMR
Posts: 987
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Ideas Needed: Organizing

Unread post by TriciaMR »

My hubby bought me 2 more 6ft bookshelves this weekend... How can I not love that man?! LOL! One for the boys' room and one for our school stuff.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
GKArias
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:49 am

workboxes

Unread post by GKArias »

karlafoisy wrote:Hi everyone,
First of all, it really says alot about MFW if a parent (me) has already ordered curriculum for next year before she is even finished with this year's! :)
I am wondering about workboxes. I've read that they help so much with organization and independence, but I have a difficult time understanding how they work, because there is usually a teaching portion to each subject that needs to come before the kids could do any independent work. How do they move ahead if they always have to wait until I can teach them the next subject? Anyone have any experience with workboxes? I'll have three kids in Creation to Greeks and two in 1st grade.
Hello!

I also have been interested in implementing the workboxes system; it seems very effective to some. The only homeschooler mom/blogger that I have found that use both the system and MFW is Mama Jenn at http://mamajenn.com/blog/2010/05/workbox-q.html. I will look into it myself this summer; it may take time and money to get it right but it seems worth the try. I also follow Erica at http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.c ... /workboxes but her curriculums are very diverse.
Hope this helps!

Blessings!!
Cici
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:29 pm

Re: workboxes

Unread post by Cici »

Hey Karla,
I used our Workbox system for all of our daily work. We have the ten 3" (or so) draws on a rolling cart, (we keep it stationary though).
I've used them like intended to be used loading them up the night before.

I didn't like it, I like to see the books on a nearby shelf & I like to see the work for the day in front of me. I say me because my daughter is in 1st grade & like you mentioned, we have to teach all lessons.

I still use the Workbox system though, I use it for her independent work. Love it for independent work! School starts shortly after breakfast when I lay my son down for his nap. That is when she'll go in the homeschool room & start school. I usually have her Proverbs page to color, cubes to create patterns, Animal Tales to illustrate & color, etc... in there. Aside from any MFW work, I also have her do some extra copywork, work on a puzzle, read a book, etc... I write instructions on a post it note, "Please illustrate & color, thank you, love Mom." It's extra reading/follow direction practice.

I have laminated fancy circles, one is labeled 'Start' & one 'Stop.' There's one velcroed to each drawer. When I used it for all of our daily work, I had them labeled, numbers 1-10.

The bottom draws are used to store all of the MFW Toddler Program materials, they are labeled with exactly what's in there, since (for now) it doesn't change. My son knows where it is & takes them out when he wants to 'play.'

I know some will use other "boxes" for their Workbox system, I use the drawers as I feel it takes up less space & looks neater.
Follower of Christ
Wife of a Pilot
Mommy to our Prince (MFW Preschool) & Princess (MFW Adventures)
Blessed that God called me to Homeschool
Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: workboxes

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

Heather raine trim has a blog, uses mfw and workboxes.
http://www.heatheraine.com/search/label/Homeschool?m=1
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2
disneymommy
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: workboxes

Unread post by disneymommy »

I haven't used MFW yet, this will be our first year. I did use a workbox system this past year with Sonlight, though. I liked it and plan to continue. My school aged kids were first and third grade. Science, history, and other subjects we did together didn't go in the boxes. Only things that were specific to them went in the boxes - so pretty much just math and LA.

They each have a set of plastic drawers with four narrow ones on top and three wider ones on the bottom. The narrow ones have work they can do all alone without instructions or help from mom. The bottom ones have the things that I need to help with or instruct. These aren't always the same from day to day - for example, sometimes their Singapore math goes in the top if they already know it, sometimes it goes in the bottom if I need to teach first.

The idea is that they are responsible to get all of their drawers done before 3:00 (the ones I help with I am available during baby's nap time). My oldest likes to get up and do her immediately, before even getting dressed. My second likes to do his one at a time with LONG breaks to play in between each one. I think I'll add a bit more structure this year - like they have to do morning basics before starting. And I do need to prod my first grader sometimes - tell him he has to do another one every now and then. If I completely leave it up to him, he would still have at least a couple of drawers left at dinner time!

It works pretty well for us.
mom2h
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:25 am

Re: workboxes

Unread post by mom2h »

We have used a "loose" version of Sue Patrick's Workboxes in our homeschool for a few years now. It helps my son to see what he has to accomplish every day, and it is a very organized way of grouping textbooks, workbooks, worksheets, CD's to keep each subject together. I use sturdy cardboard magazine boxes that are numbered and load my materials vertically. Our boxes, #1-12, sit on two shelves-the top and highest shelf of a two-shelf bookcase. I keep current year books on the bottom shelf, and we have a large rubbermaid tub under his desk for work finished each day, including books.

For subjects without a textbook, I created cardboard placeholders with pictures on them to slot in or in between the magazine boxes. Three examples are typing, Rosetta Stone, and violin practice. This works well for taking breaks, too. I will insert a placeholder that says, "Take a 10 minute brain break. You may time yourself as you run around the house several times, shoot hoops or climb on the swingset."

I usually group subjects so that he has a 2-3 independent subjects, then a couple where we need to work together. Then I load a couple with more independent work and I use that time to look over what he did at first.

I take time during the day to look over what is in his finished work tub and slot work for the next day.

I don't mind questions!

Rhonda H
wbbeachbum
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:17 am

Preparing for Next Year

Unread post by wbbeachbum »

Rae wrote:
Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:05 pm
I'm looking for ideas of how to prepare for next year to minimize how much preparation I have to do during the actual school year.

We'll be doing Exploring Countries and Cultures, and my son will be 8. We'll have a tiny 1 year old. This is my second year of homeschooling (my 8th year teaching) and our first year using MFW. In the summer I'm eager to prepare and organize, but once we get into the grove of school, life takes over and I become last minute and a bit disorganized. A few questions I'm wondering about are:

How do you organize your books and materials?
How do you prep? Do you photocopy pages ahead of time? How do you keep them organized?
How do you organize your work for the day? This year we used a drawer system (like a file system or workbox idea) It didn't seem to match my son or my personalities for learning / teaching though and the drawers ended up filled with lose papers and other books.

Thanks for your ideas!
We will begin organizing our books for ECC on Friday. I will have two 11yos and a tag-a-long K'r using ECC. I also will have a 9th grader.

I place page protectors in each child's individual binders, and all student pages are placed inside.

I used drawers to organize books. I will label the drawers Science, Geography, etc. and place all books in that category in them. Individual work will be labeled with the child's name and subject. IE. C's Math, C's writing.

I will copy the grids, place in a binder, and the older girls will use these to plan their day. As the kids work through the grid, they know exactly where each book is located.

The kids cut out the Geography game as we go along, and I store the pieces in a school box. Previously, I stored all other supplies (colored pencils, glue, scissors, etc.) in school boxes that were shared by the kids. One of the 11 yo and the K'r have joined our family through foster care and having their "own" supplies is still an important piece of their healing. This year I am thinking that I will use Dollar Tree's Divided 3-Compartment Plastic Caddies so that each of the kids have their own set of supplies.

Daily, we start with group subjects after breakfast, then the kids work through their individual subjects. Before the kids are "free" for the day, I double check that all work is complete and have the kids return all books to the correct drawer.

On Friday, I will re-organize all of our 1850MOD books and place in a plastic crate for the next use in 5 years. I include all book basket books that were read throughout the year. Then I will re-label the drawers and place all of the ECC books. I will do the binder portion of the organization, and organize school supplies when these supplies go on sale in late July.

HTH
Graduated ds '08, dd '09 & ds’20

Currently homeschooling 15 yo dd, 15 yo dd, & 9 yo dd.
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CtG, RtR, Exp1850, 1850MOD, AHL,WHL, USto1877, & US1877+.
Poohbee
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Preparing for Next Year

Unread post by Poohbee »

Hi! Welcome to MFW!

We will be doing ECC next year, too. It will be our second time through. My main student using ECC will be my 6th grade dd. My son is in 1st grade and is doing Learning God's Story, and hopefully he'll tag along for some ECC stuff, as well.

We do our seatwork for school around the kitchen table. To keep their books organized, each of my children have a large basket that they keep their books and notebooks, etc. in. We have a separate basket for our Book Basket books. For my "teacher" books, answer keys, etc., I put them on one of the shelves on our baker's rack that is in the corner of our kitchen.

I have a plastic pouch that snaps shut (you can get them at craft stores...they are often used for scrapbooking and paper crafts) for each student, and I keep their student sheets in that pouch. They are already arranged in the order that you will use them, so I just go to the pouch and pull out the sheets I need for that day.

I like to prepare 2 binders for each student by putting page protectors in them (that's how we organize our papers) and having them all ready to go. We use a 1" binder for the geography binder and a 2 or 3" binder for all of the other papers. Sometimes I will use dividers to separate different sections within the binder, such as a section for science, math, etc. You could prepare your student's geography binder ahead of time by using dividers to create a section for each continent and a section that is "general" or "world." It tells you in the teacher's manual (TM) how to organize the binder.

You may want to prepare the Geography Game ahead of time this summer. It just involves cutting out the game cards and making sure you have some pieces to be used as game pieces. We have used bingo chips, pennies, beads, beans, M&M's, etc.

Another thing to think about is how you might want to organized the geography vocabulary cards your student will do. Each week, the student copies one or 2 geographic terms, the definitions, and draws an illustration to show the term. I bought a index card file box and had my dd do them on index cards and file them in her box. I will do it that way again next year, too. You could also just have your student write them in a notebook. Just something to think about.

That's about all I can think of regarding organization for ECC. Have fun preparing for ECC! It is a really fun and life-changing year! :-)
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy
klewfor3
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:14 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Preparing for Next Year

Unread post by klewfor3 »

Hi Rae! Welcome to MFW!

I'll try keep this short since you have some great input already but here's a quick look at our setup. My husband built me a four person desk where we each have a cubbie but before that I just kept everything on some shelves in our dining room.

-My kids keep their workbooks (spelling and math) in their cubbie as well as a binder for history sheets and a binder for other work. We don't use page protectors - just three hole punch and in they go. The rest of the books I keep on a shelf by me.

-I bought them each a plastic desktop cube that has 3 small drawers and a top tray to store their markers, colored pencils, scissors and glue. They keep this in their cubbie too. Mom has one as well.

-All of our other school supplies I keep in a crate nearby.

-The students sheets come all ready for you! I have a desktop folder holder (lol, :-) I don't know the real name for it, but it holds folders and stands upright) and I keep the student sheets in there. No prep work needed...just pull the sheets out as you need them.

-You'll need some kind of storage for the book basket part of your day. And this is where your actual prep work comes in. On Fridays I log onto our library website and place holds on the books we'll need for the following week. That works best for us. Then I just swing by the library and pick them up. This part does take some time but not too much.

I think you'll find you really like how MFW is setup. It specializes in moms like us! There are Monday mornings that I sit down at the table with a strong cup of coffee (after a busy weekend) and look at the TM for the first time...and it works.

Enjoy your year!
Kathy
Mom of Tyler 13, Paige 10, Brooklyn 9 and Chase 3
God bless us!
We've used:
MFW-K
MFW 1st (both versions)
MFW ADV
ECC
CTG
RTR
Expl-1850
Currently using 1850-Modern Times (2016/2017)
kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Preparing for Next Year

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Hi!
I agree with the above ladies that MFW is very open and go. We did that this year with ECC, starting in October after we moved into a new home. That said, I think a little more preparation on my part, during the summer, when I'm super excited and motivated will benefit our family and help get everyone more excited about our new school year. We have an unexpected trip taking up a lot of our summer, so I am preparing now for CTG. We plan to start middle of August.

-I like to find or make printables for the scripture memory copywork. I found these halfway through ECC and they made my children more excited to do their copywork. So, for CTG, I am printing out all the copywork pages we will use and having them spiral bound at an office supply store for each child.

-I am taking a little more time this year to prepare our school room. (Because I actually have one now! :-) ) I am planning to find some cheap/free resources to "decorate" our room with this year's "theme" or history subjects.... some Egyptian/Greek art, maybe?

-I'm planning to put up a whiteboard as well. (We've never had the wall space before) On here, I want to be diligent about keeping our weekly scriptures visible and review them several times a day.

-Chore boards: I am planning to put up a small whiteboard for each child in our dining room where I can write each child's responsibilities for the day. This was an idea I got from the Hazells in the CTG manual and I think it will help streamline chores without me having to bark out orders throughout the day. ;)

-I use the same method as mentioned for student sheets, using a hanging file holder box thingie. :) I put all student sheets for my 3 oldest kids in folders by week. Week 1-34. We pull out as needed. In the past we have hole punched and added to 3 ring binders, but I am planning to use page protectors this year to make a nice clean notebook as a keepsake for the year.

Hope this is helpful. Enjoy ECC!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
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