I have to admit I was really nervous about adding Audrey to our school, I had previously been able to devote all my time to Sydney’s education and was worried about how it would change with Audrey in the mix.
I often compare it to adding another baby to the family. The emotions are exactly the same.
Audrey has surprised me a lot! We’ve only completed two weeks of school but she’s doing really well! I think it’s the only time I’ve seen her sit still, and she’s listening so well!
What’s surprising me as well this year is how I’ve changed things a bit. I thought I knew what I was doing, as this is our fourth year. I should probably just realize that like all parenting related things; I know VERY little. Last year we implemented a binder system. A binder for every subject. This worked okay, but I didn’t really have space to put all the binders while they were being used. I like everything needed for the day on the table, ready to be used.
To start with I bought a planner. This probably isn’t necessary but it helps keep my disorganized brain organized. I can see everything that both Sydney and Audrey are suppose to be doing at a glance. Key words; at a glance. This is NOT a detailed lesson plan. Just the gist of what needs to be accomplished. As we go through our subjects for the day I check each thing off. I really like checking things off!
I bought The Well Planned Day planner and am pretty happy with it. It’s the only one I’ve ever tried. I found another that I think I’ll use next year, but for now this will work great.
I am also using a box shelf that I got from Target to hold all of our homeschool books and supplies that are needed for both girls. The self below their blue bin holds their parent manuals that I need as well as their textbooks. The black bins hold Audrey’s file folder games and Sydney’s books that she will be reading this school year.
My mother bought each of the children a Washington State license plate with their name on it. As soon as I figure out how to attach it to the bin, that’s where it’s going!
As I said, each box has their needed supplies. In Sydney’s I have her Math-U-See manipulatives, her DVDs for science, math, and art. Her clipboard stays in the box when it’s all ready to go, along with her book she’s currently reading, her super cool bookmark, All About Spelling box, and her purple sticky notes.
I also have an Ikea bookshelf that holds our miscellaneous homeschooling supplies. Calendar parts, history books, yearbooks, Sydney’s kindergarten hand print, pens, ect. But it also holds 4 binders containing Sydney’s detailed lesson plans for science and reading (as well as the worksheets for science), and her math and writing worksheets. Science experiment supplies are also on that shelf.
I got a small binder to put all of this weeks work in. I already owned the binder so this was not an extra expense. On Friday (or Sunday) I pull out the math, handwriting, writing, history, reading and science binders and take out the things that are needed for the week. Then I put the larger binders back on the shelf. At the end of each day I pull out the next days work and have it ready.
The final thing I added this year were clipboards. Both girls have their own, and when I take the work from the weekly binder I put them on the clipboard. I add sticky notes that say things like “Come Get Me” and “Stop” where they are needed. The science worksheet is for the whole week, but you only do a few problems a day, so I show her where to stop. Work like math and handwriting (sometimes writing) can be done independently. Sydney knows that if I’m not at a place where I can come help her (because I’m teaching Audrey or fighting with Zachary) she can move on to the next independent worksheet or read her reading assignment for the day. She’s really good at this.
I had always planned on “color coding” my children to help me easily identify whose books/papers/school stuff is theirs. But this is the first year I’ve implemented it! All of Sydney’s binders are purple, along with her sticky notes. Audrey’s binders are (mostly) pink with a pink sticky notes. I might have to buy colored high lighters too, just for fun.
I always wanted a workbox station for my kids, but the method never seemed like it would work in our space. I love this method I seem to have made for us, it helps keep everything organized and ready to go!