Thursday, January 28, 2010

Home Learning Organization part 1

I was recently reading about Dawn's organizational system and thought to myself, "Self, do you think anyone cared how YOU organize your homeschool?" Since I received one comment that was positive about blogging such an issue here it is.

Let me preface this post by saying that blogs seem to make life look easy, effortless and mostly perfect. Lord knows that isn't the case around our house. So, I'm showing you what I do, what works for me and my crew, in case some part of it will work for you.

Another thought before I many of you know our oldest is autistic. If there's one thing that we've learned about autism in our household, it's that when we are organized and have everything planned and noted, life goes much smoother. Anxiety levels are down and work gets accomplished. Needless to say my "system" has in great part stemmed from the needs of Nathan and my own need to "know what's happening."

To begin, lets talk about colors. Both my boys are fanatical about their favorite colors. Nathan's is blue, Nolan's is red. EVERYTHING they own is their favorite color. Needless to say, it can be annoying at times but it works out well in my organizational system.

As you can see, each boy has several notebooks in his favorite color. I'm going to talk today about the folder we use every day. This folder (it's just a simple two pocket folder) holds all the papers needed for the week, their weekly schedule and all the finished papers for the week. I don't require them to put anything in order at this point. Nathan probably tends to keep things in order a bit more than Nolan but, to be honest, I don't really look at these folders other than to put papers inside them over the weekend.
Included is a picture of the weekly schedule that I print out for both boys. This week's looks a little thin because we have a field trip and a homeschool group activity. I keep the instructions to a minimum in the schedule because I often change my mind about exactly what we are learning OR I have given the boys a long term project that they can finish as they wish. I'm trying to work on more independence in their school work and responsibility this year. It is slow in coming but I can see progress.

Last for this post is my notebook. I really don't use it very much but I do keep a three ring binder with my lesson
plans (I usually do my plans on the computer and just print them out), ideas and field trip info thrown into a folder in the back. Once you see what I have in some of the boys other folders, you'll see why I don't really use this folder a whole lot. I do like having everything in one spot so I can find what I need quickly. In the next post I'll share what we do with all those papers that accumulate.

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