Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 1: Meet the Binders

I have had several people ask me lately about how, exactly, we coordinate two different grades, plus preschool, and keep ourselves sane.

I have one answer: Binders. 

This is only my third year homeschooling, so I am sure that you will find more organized, neater, and better working systems out there… but this is what works for us after trying 5,783,521 other ways. (Okay, I may be an exaggeration there… but not by much!) 

My children are in 2nd and 1st grade, with Preschool thrown in, so they all still need a LOT of hands on mother interaction. So, my goal in organizing was to make the technical side of things as simple and user friendly as possible.

On the bookshelf in my kitchen, you will see an entire shelf full of binders with different color labels on them: Pink is mine, green is 2nd grade, and yellow is 1st grade. Very simple, right? (Not all of those are homeschooling binders, but I’m showing you just those today!) 

I have two homeschooling binders. One is my ‘every day’ notebook and the other is my thick ‘store all my lesson plans in detail’ notebook, that I don’t have to refer to every single day.


In my 3″ blue notebook (which is my ‘storage’ notebook) I keep our things we don’t necessarily have to have on a daily basis: Bible Study Plans, Book Study Plans, a printed copy of Ambleside’s Y1 and Y2 schedules, Art and Music Study materials, Preschool plans and lapbooks, Math lesson plans, and Exams. It still gets pulled off the shelf quite a bit, and referred to several times every week, but it’s heavy and cumbersome so I needed something a bit easier to manage on an ‘every lesson’ basis.

My flower notebooks was my answer. It’s a bit more involved, but is just a 1″ binder I found on sale for $1.50 at Wal-Mart and I use it every day for every lesson. 

In it, I have 10 dividers: General Info, Official Stuff, {Still blank}, Schedules, 1st 6 Weeks, 2nd 6 Weeks, 3rd 6 Weeks, 4th 6 Weeks, 5th 6 Weeks, 6th 6 Weeks

I also keep ‘current’ projects in there, such as half finished writing assignments, art work in progress, spelling lists, etc, plus our print of the week for Art Study, and a photo of our composer.

I mentioned that the children’s binders are also color-coded by grade. (And yes, these are all reused binders from previous years since I gave my Y1 ‘Big Blue’ compilation binder to a friend who was having trouble getting organized.) 

Not all of their material ends up in binders- just the  books and texts that I have printed off from online. I take and divide everything within by daily readings, not by books. That way, all we have to do is flip to, say, “Y2 History Day 34” and read the selection for that day and do the associated work. Their text books (Latin, Phonics, etc) aren’t color coded, because they’ve obviously got their own binding and they live on a different shelf.

Tomorrow I show you a little bit from my daily binder and explain what’s hiding behind each of those dividers!

Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 1

Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 2

Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 3

Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 4

Organizing Our Homeschool, Part 5


About beyondmartha

Wife to one, mommy to many, daughter, sister, friend, homemaker, daughter to the King. That's me.

Posted on October 26, 2011, in Homeschooling, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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