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Home » homeschooling

Organizing Your Homeschooling Books

Submitted by on April 5, 2010 – 8:07 pm 9 Comments
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Some of you may already be all organized with a nice set of curriculum books perfectly laid out in front of you. I’m not. We don’t have money to go out and buy a full year of school books for each grade level. No, I’m a little more haphazard. My materials consist of books I’ve collected from yard sales and Craigslist mostly, and stuff I’ve printed off the internet.

If your method sounds more like mine, then you are no doubt left with the question of how to organize all of those books!? With so many different subjects covered in so many different texts, sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for amidst the clutter.

homeschool books 1

Now, I know this shelf looks somewhat tidy, but try finding all of the “telling time” worksheets hidden within several of these multi-subject books. I was having to flip through every single page in almost every single book! After too much time wasted searching through all of these daily (plus the dozens of others not pictured here), I decided it was time to get organized!

The goal… to separate the contents of every book by category. And if that meant taking a workbook apart… gulp… that was the sacrifice I was willing to take!

But where to start?

After pricing binders at a local office supply store, I quickly decided that I was NOT going to pay $7+ for one binder! I needed a lot of binders, big ones, and was determined that I was not going to pay a small fortune to get them.

Isn’t it amazing how the Lord always blesses our efforts to be good stewards of what He has given us? About two days later my husband came home with his arms full of boxes crammed with white binders!!! Oh, how that made my day!! He had rescued them from the dumpster at work. Can you believe that?! There were over three dozen binders to choose from, all different sizes.

homeschool books 002 (Medium)

Perfect! Notice my extremely professional looking cover.

Now that I had those, it was time to begin organizing. I took out each multi-subject workbook, and began sorting one subject at a time. Math first. I tore out every single page from all of the workbooks with anything having to do with Math. If it was a front and back page with a different subject on each side, I photo copied one side to file separately.

homeschool books 003 (Medium)

Using page dividers, I separated my binder by math categories. This is a First Grade subject binder, so my categories were: Measuring, Time, Addition, Subtraction, Money, Place Values, Geometry and Fractions. Next, I punched holes in each page, and placed them in their correct categories.

Man, it was SO nice to finally have everything in one neat place!

So, I went on to do the same with other subjects. I’m still working through the piles of books that I have for all different grade levels. But I’ve completed several binders so far.

homeschool books 004 (Medium)

Maybe one day, when I actually have some time, I’ll print out nicer labels and covers for my binders. But in the meantime, this method of organization has been such a blessing to me!! Getting lessons in order for the day has never been easier.

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9 Comments »

  • Lily says:

    Hi, I love your system! Could you tell me how do you decide on the categories for each folder (ie. math: Measuring, Time, Addition, Subtraction, etc..)? Is it just as you find worksheets you make a header for them, or is it from a list or curriculum and you look out for sheets that fit into them? Hope my question makes sense. Could you give me examples of other categories in folders?

    Thanks so so much,

    Lily

  • Sharon F says:

    This is a very good idea. I am just getting started and I also pick up things at different places. I have a question, how about reading books? I have picked up books that I want to use for homeschooling. What is the best way to organize them? Keep them separate or mix them in with our other reading books? Alphabetized or by subject?

  • Tami Lewis says:

    oh please come to my house and do the same thing!! i too collect curriculum from everywhere and i have been at this for 17 years so you can imagine what all i have now!!!!!

  • Heather R says:

    Kendra – I love it. I am a high school teacher and I have several books that I use for each of my classes and I have recently begun pulling the materials for each class and putting it together but I will be using the binders so that I can move the lessons as needed and add and subtract them as well as years go by and classes change.

  • Mrs. D says:

    Good work Kendra. After spending 15 years teaching I can heartily agree with you that organization is a very important thing for the classroom to run smoothly. If I went in to teach a class without it, nothing significant would be accomplished that day. I have notebooks full of daily plans for Science and Math and Bible. Not sure what I will do with all that stuff now, because it really will not mean anything to anyone but me… my “shorthand”.
    I loved teaching and perhaps will go back to it some day, (when I retire from “real work”). I just need the paycheck at this point in my life. We would not be able to pay the bills on a teacher’s salary. My husband is disabled and we only have one income at this time.
    Sounds like you are doing a great job. If you need any secondary math/science materials when the kids get a little older, just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can dig up from the archives… as long as they’re not too dated. Some stuff I have is from ICR or Answers in Genesis.

    Keep up the good work!

    Mrs. D

  • Mama D says:

    Very smart, Kendra!

  • tarena says:

    this looks awesome! I should do this just for all the extra little things I get and don’t know what to do with and don’t want to forget when the subject comes up!
    I think the labels look really nice! =)
    Love it!

  • Stephanie Bateman says:

    Excellent idea!! I think I might borrow this idea since we use almost all free resources from online :) Would make planning ahead much easier.

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