Keeping Them Organized
One of the hardest things to do with homeschool is find a place to keep it all. What should you keep? Where do you put it? Where do you put the things you use everyday?
This is where you get to be creative. Some homeschoolers color code their children. For instance if you had a boy and a girl, perhaps all of her pencils, notebooks, and binders are a shade of red or pink. Maybe all of his things are shades of blue and green. This would make it very easy to tell who has whose pencil and which binder is whose. With the variety of colors out there this could work well for multiple children, too. Some people rely on a backpack or cubby system, where each child has a specific location to keep their books in. It could be decorative like wicker baskets with labels for each child or simple stacking plastic crates. Some may choose to macro organize by having a book shelf that all the books go back onto at the end of the day.
Also, go ahead and show your children their schedule. Give them a checklist, and let them know what is coming. This will create an anticipation of their routine that helps them know what to expect and teaches them to manage their time. You may be surprised at their help in organizing and staying on track when they understand what has to be done.
What to Keep and Where to Keep It
One of the easiest ways to store your records for school is to hole punch it and put it in a large binder. What to keep is the harder question. Stick with what your state laws require you to report. If it is used to compute a grade, you probably ought to keep it. However, you may have some leeway on what documents generate grades.
Now that we have entered the digital age, a great way to keep those daily work papers is via email. There are several apps that can be used as PDF scanners on your smart phone or tablet. Set up an email address for each child and as you go through their work snap a picture of it and email it to their address. If you use a descriptive subject line, you should be able to set up yearly/ subject folders that you can move the emails into without even opening them. If you set up rules for these folders using smart codes in the subject line, the email box will move them for you!
Once documents for Kindergarten through 5th grade have been reported, it may only be necessary to keep major items like semester or term tests and quizzes, research papers, and major essays, etc. Once your student enters high school, it is more likely that you will need to keep additional documents. Always check with your state laws and regulations before tossing something.