Middle of the night nursing the baby and thinking about organizing school stuff, I came up with this great idea. Well, it's not implemented yet, so I'm not certain it's brilliant, but it seems to solve at least some of our problems: wasting school time running up and down the stairs to get supplies, having to carry stacks of stuff back downstairs again at the end of the day, my refusal to turn the main living areas of our little house over to plastic bins and utility shelving, the boys' difficulty with self-scheduling.
I already print off for Avery a schedule each week, so that he can cross off each lesson as he completes it, but he seems to need something more... physical, maybe.
So here's my idea: it hinges on these great, sturdy, big baskets from IKEA. We have one already, and I love it, though it's just full of play instruments right now. $19.99 for another big, matching basket is a small price to pay for a workable homeschool system!
First I thought I could just put each day's work in each basket, but I already do a variation of that, and I think sometimes seeing that big stack is just too daunting. I want school to be easy to start, easy for the boys to be able to find their next task, easy to keep materials for each lesson together, easy to take the lesson around the house so that work can happen while I'm folding laundry, nursing, cooking, sewing as easily as at the dining room table. Now I'm planning to sew up a BUNCH of simple drawstring bags, like these bandanna bags, so that each lesson can go in it's own bag, in the basket.
I could easily label the bags, or maybe create magnetic labels to slip in the bags, so that as each lesson is completed the kids can put the label up on a magnetic chart. I like being organized, but I'm thinking labels might be overkill. I'm in the process of making our daily chore lists into a magnetic chart, so maybe I'm just confusing these ideas into some sort of Franken-school-monster too complicated to function well in the real world. I'm aware of my problems, you don't even have to say anything. Really.
Anyway, I'm hopeful for this system, attractive baskets I won't mind having upstairs but are easily moved downstairs if space or company dictate it, an easy way for the kids to choose appropriate activities, and help themselves organize their days, at least a little bit.
How do you organize your home school?