Monday, September 8, 2014

Organizing Homeschool Unit Study Lesson Plans

When you homeschool it's really easy to get just plain befuddled on how to keep up with everything.  You ask yourself a million questions, you try to be everything for everyone, then you get frustrated when you realized that you are failing miserably.  The best way to avoid frustration is to try to get (and stay) organized.  I realized that the best time to do this is before the school year starts, however, any time you choose to organize will only benefit you later on down the line.

I've come up with my own system of organizing things, and well...why it may not be the prettiest, it actually works (for us anyway).  I have learned over the years that the process is a lot quicker if I group everything together by subject.  We have our books shelved beginning with "the Big Bang" and ending with books about modern science. Everything else is stuck in between. Even if we don't study every subject in order, they are easy to find. For example, all of my books about the "Gold Rush" are put together, non fiction, picture books and novels.  This way I have a visual record of materials I already have at home, and try to save myself a wasted trip to the library.  Y'all have no idea how many times I have driven all the way across town to check out a book that I already own!  (This is what happens when you own tons of books. Not a bad problem to have in my opinion.)   

After I organized my books this way. I thought, hey...why not do my papers?  As it turns out I have had several failed attempts to organize before the school year started. So I organized books, along with worksheets, lapbook sheets, or other printed activities together in a files. Apparently I forgot about it, so not only did I end up with hundreds of sheets of printed papers, (oh the HORRORS!! All of the ink, all of the paper!!)  I also found a bunch of books that I had stuck in the folders as well.  This method failed because of two simple reasons, the first being that the file boxes were kinda hidden away, and the second is because I NEVER LABELED ANYTHING. So I got too lazy to look through folders for the lesson that I needed, hence all of my work was tossed in a corner and promptly forgotten.  Well, me not being one to waste paper, I went through them all and organized them by subject, just like I did the books, and put all 20 of the "found" books on their proper places on the shelves, where they could be all times.

Now if only I can keep it this way....
Books organized by subject, papers labeled and organized and more books and videos.