Organization and Schedule 2013-2014

Homeschool DreamsI know you’re been waiting with bated breath, hardly able to sleep a wink because you’re just. so. excited about this post.  Rest assured, sweet friends, that I have been working around the clock to get this ready.  Of course, I’ve been kicking myself and cursing myself, too.  Why, why WHYYYYY did I commit to doing this series?  Life is so crazy these days that this is the last thing I need on my plate.

Which of course its totally wrong.  This is exactly what I need on my plate. I need to focus on what’s important (school) and set aside the unimportant (everything related to unpacking) for just a few days so that we can get off to a strong start.  So thank you.  Thank me.  Actually, thank God, of course.

I’m breaking this down into 2 parts: The first (Organization) will be mostly photos of our new homeschool organization center (still completely under construction) and the second (Scheduling) will mostly be links to Google Docs where you can access my schedules in case you want to adapt them for your own use.

Organization

Due to space constraints, I’m keeping only the daily and weekly supplies and books immediately at hand.  The rest will be stored in the garage.

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We are keeping our supplies in a closet this year. I wanted to be able to keep out the honey badger, but allow the other kids to craft and get school supplies on their own. Each drawer is pictured below, but we’re still working out the kinks of contents, etc.

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How DOES one organize paper in a drawer?!

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Our book basket gets refreshed each afternoon for the next morning.

 

Scheduling

I’ve talked before about how I have ADD (undiagnosed) and how scatterbrained I am.  I’ve learned to make some accommodations that allow me to get work done.  So don’t let what you see below frighten you.  I need this kind of structure built in just to… be a teeny bit structured.  You see, what other people can get done by just focusing, I need to plan out in a very methodical and predictable way.

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Each of my girls has a weekly schedule in a sheet protector in her own binder. I want them to become a leeeeetle bit more independent with their work.

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My version of the color-coded weekly checklist. A bit more detailed. I check everything off and keep this as a hard copy.

My system:  I wrote about the inspiration for our homeschool routine last year.  I’m still using that basic method I found at Avilian Homeschool, but I’ve made some changes to hopefully help the girls move towards some independence in their learning.

Each trimester: I print a schedule for each child, and put in a sheet protector in their binders.  I also update my own color-coded weekly checklist for each child.

Weekly: On Sunday evenings I update and print new color-coded weekly checklists.  I will then either tape them on the door outside the homeschool organization center or keep in my new binder.  I’m not sure which yet.   I place all completed work from last week in the year’s portfolio. Then I tear out work for the week and organize in the girls’ binders. (You can read more about how and why I do this by clicking here.)

Daily: In the morning I refresh the book basket (including math manipulatives), Throughout the day I check off completed activities on my weekly color-coded checklist.  Hopefully this year the girls will check off their own activities on their schedules with a dry erase marker.

 

That’s it.  A friend recently commented that I must spend hours lesson planning.  No.  Absolutely not.  I spend less than an hour (sometimes less than half an hour) each week getting ready for the week, and about 5-10 minutes daily.  I do a lot over the spring and summer to get ready for the next school year.  (But I’m nerdy and I love that type of daydream planning.)  I learned the hard way while I was a “real” teacher in a “real” school that I’m not a sit-down-and-lesson-plan type.  Give me some good books to follow along with, a general teaching methodology, and I’m off to the races.

 

That’s what I’ve got so far, friends.  Here is a link to the Google Docs folder I created for these checklists I use, in case you’d like to tailor them to your own needs.  Please note: my weekly color-coded checklists for both girls are in the same Excel file.  Gianna’s is on Sheet 1, and Aliya’s can be found by clicking on the “Sheet 2” tab at the bottom of the page.  They each have their own Word document with their weekly schedule.  This is my first time using Google Docs like this, so let me know if you have any trouble accessing anything!

What do you do for organization and scheduling in your home school?  Link up below and share!  (It will be open for a full month, so you have some time to get a post together.)

 If you’re interested in the other posts in this series, take a look below:

Philosophy: The big questions of why we do what we do, answered!

Curriculum: The nitty gritty details of what we use for each subject.

Organization and Scheduling: How we keep track of it all.

Community and Connection: What we’re doing outside of the home that supports our homeschool efforts. (Mon 8/26)

A Few of My Favorite Things: A list of the things I’m most excited about for the year.

Comments

  1. You are amazing, This is beautiful. I want you to homeschool me, you can call the course “How to be a rockin’ mom 101”.
    Rebekah Es recently posted…Seven Quick Takes, Stuff That’s Happening HereMy Profile

    • I accept your application into my home school. However, I will have to outsource the course you are requesting. Perhaps I will hire a tutor so we can take the class together.

  2. This is So awesome, Michalea.
    I’ve yet to write my curricul 2013-2014 post…so I’ve nothing to link…but I have to say, you have inspired ,me to get more organized…and I’m already pretty organized ! I really like your system.. Really like.

    What I;ve done in the past is simply have a fun notebook for each of my kids where each day I write assignments in each sub area. It;s “worked” so far. But I;m rethinking, given your post today and the HSing mamgt binder that you shared yesterday ( or the day before.)
    I’m pinning the post so I can ponder and figure how tobest tweak it to our sched ( some of which I won’t even know til Mid Sept…given violin lessons and their orchestra reh which will be during school. ‘hours’…the music teacher will eval each child and set a sched . I just hope the boys are in teh same class or at least the same day or most of my time will be spent driving to music lessons and orch reh…but that’s ok, I guess. )
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Typing out my curr, materials and sched is something I do anyway, so maybe I’ll compile it into a post.
    Have a lovely day and good luck with your new beginnings!
    Chris recently posted…Paddle boats, Pleiades, Pike, Old Growth Pines and Promises~ Wrapping ‘Summer Love’ into a New School Year: My August Catholic Mom.com columnMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words, Chris. Life is crazy right now, isn’t it? Seems like everyone I know has something major going on. Hope things settle down soon. Would love to see what you’ve got planned.

  3. Because I get distracted easily, but love to plan, I have similar check sheets for my girls. They know what they have to do each week. They get a small prize when they check off everything for the week, which means that even if I get sidetracked looking up something interesting on the internet which leads to another thing and then another, they are still working on their stuff. They started off with daily check sheets, and as they got older I gave them more choices of what to do when, and gave them weekly check sheets.

    I hope you have a great year!

    • Ooooo, a prize. I try to avoid rewards for most things, but I have to admit, they do enjoy them. Will have to mull this over.

      I’ll see you at Park Day soon. 🙂

  4. Great post, Micaela! And such pretty art supplies! I need to find a better way to organize ours. Question: what do you do with all the old markers and crayons and erasers from the previous year? I feel terrible throwing that kind of stuff into a landfill, but I want to offer the kids shiny new art supplies for the next year. So I end up keeping boxes of broken crayons that nobody uses and we never melt them down into new “cupcake crayons” either!

    I think your series is going great, and is inspiring for me. I have more ideas for the series (as if you don’t have enough to do already!) like, chores & housework, nurturing babies & toddlers while h-schooling, and the downsides to homeschooling and how do you counter them…maybe a spring series? 🙂
    Catherine recently posted…Homeschool Series: A Cure for CurriculitisMy Profile

  5. Donna Marie says:

    You can put paper in a set of those sterilite plastic drawers…you can see the color through them. You can also put them in a file drawer (even a portable one) and separate colors and types by placing them in their own folder.
    I try and have a master planner for everyone that I can reference quickly. I include a place to record what they are reading and library lists so I can contact the library ahead of time and try and get some additional selections from inter-library loan before they are actually needed.

  6. Hi Micaela —

    This is really lovely. I’m glad you posted the link in the MA group. I love your closet — right now the closet attached to our study/library/learning room is full of business/theology/my husband’s general things, and while I don’t begrudge him the space, I kind of covet it all the same . . . even though I do have a room. Which is silly (the coveting, not the having a room).

    I joined your linkup with the post I happened to have written today, after a long blogging hiatus, detailing our first week back to school with two MA Level 2-ers, plus a 10th grader. We’ve always been eclectic but heavily CM-influenced; this year I’m merging my two youngest back into MA, with some inevitable tweaking. We also have some online learning going on, just to keep things kind of non-purist!

    Again, thanks for posting. I look forward to visiting other people’s links.
    Sally Thomas recently posted…Back to School, Back to Blogging (maybe)My Profile

  7. Thanks for your comment on my blog! I want to get around to an organizational post as well, but am going to wait until we finish our first week of school to make sure my system is actually working! It’s the first time I have two school-aged kids to juggle. Also, the Peace Hill Press has pdf files for the student pages of the activity guides, and for me it was totally worth the $10 to be able to print them easily and size them to half page for the maps. Last year, I spent the whole year standing by my printer waiting for things to copy and print… lol!

  8. Can you come organize me? Your closet full of supplies looks amazing. I should take a picture of what mine looks like and email it to you. Tell me, doe it stay that way? My kids have trouble getting everything back into the right containers.
    Colleen Duggan recently posted…7 Quick Takes: The Used, Digital and Audio Books EditionMy Profile

  9. Thanks Micaela! Finally getting here to link up my 2013-2014 organization post.

    Thanks for hosting!

    Be well and good luck on the year ahead!
    Chris recently posted…Schoolroom Organization and Schedules: Our 9th Year of Home Educating ~ 2013-2014My Profile

  10. HI Micaela!

    My blogging buddy Chris over at Campfires and Cleats invited me to join in on this Organization/Curriculum party and so I’ve linked up my post in spot #3. Love your organization ideas and it’s always fun to see how others organize their learning space(s) and curriculum each year! Have a blessed year! 🙂

  11. Finally got mine up (partly!). Thanks for the inspiration!
    Catherine recently posted…Homeschool Series: SpaceMy Profile

  12. I love the organization in your space and would like to invite you to share it on Four Little Thiiiings here: http://www.fourlittlethiiiings.com/about/share-space
    Autumn Rennie recently posted…Playful Urban Efficiency ⋆ Villa El Sol SchoolMy Profile

  13. Thank you for sharing! I always find it interesting to see how other homeschoolers are organizing their school stuff. I’m also on the look-out for ideas to organize our school stuff too! (It seems to be a never-ending battle!)

    I found your post through Campfires and Cleats post about their own Schoolroom Organization.
    Missy recently posted…Math Fun???My Profile

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  5. […] post is part of Micaela’s homeschooling series, and her post on organization was a huge inspiration to me to make better use of our space.  Look for part 2 on scheduling after […]