Thursday, November 13, 2008

Organizing Tips and Pics

I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the Organizing Your Classroom 101 online conference is all filled up. But you can still get on the waiting list in case someone drops off.

The good news is that you can still take part in the online conference even if not live. First, you can download it the next day. Second, we can have our own little blog conference right here.

Here's what I'm thinking. Send your classroom organizing tips and ideas to me either in the comments here or via email. I would really, really, really like some pictures too. Say if you have a white board your husband made to stand on your kitchen table, take a picture. Or if you have baskets dedicated to each child's books, take a picture. Or if you have your workbooks lined up on the book shelf in those plastic magazine holders, take a picture.

Then, I'll share your tips here. I'll feature a different tip each day, starting the day after the online conference. And it would be really cool to have your pictures with your tips. Additionally, I'll share your tips and pictures with the conference attendees on December 17th.

Here are the topics I'd like to cover:
Organizing a classroom (workspace and books)
Planning (schedules and itineraries)
Record keeping (proof of education)
Computer files (Student papers, records, planning, etc.)
It'll be fun, so join me and get those tips to me within the next week or so.

UPDATE: The tips and pictures will be up at The Thrifty Homeschooler blog starting January 1st, 2009. I'll be running a series of posts on the topic of Organizing Your Classroom 101 over a couple of weeks or so.


Anonymous said...

I wish I had tips to share!!! This is a very timely discussion for me. I am really struggling in the area of organization right now. Please don't forget about those of us who don't have the space to have a "classroom." We live in a very small duplex, schooling mainly in the living room and kitchen. I need ideas!!! Hopefully I'll be able to catch your webcast. Thanks so much for all you do!

Anonymous said...


I'm a HSM of 3 boys, 2 which are in the 4th grade and 1 in the 3rd. We have been homeschooling for 3 years. We are blessed to have an extra bedroom downstairs that is our classroom. I painted a chalkboard on one wall. Each child has his own desk, which was given to us. I also have a desk. We have a couple of small bookcases, one for their reading books and one for my reference and teacher books. We also have a small table that serves as our science center, complete with a microscope. I use another small table with bins for art supplies above what they have in their desks, such as construction paper, drawing paper, extra crayons and markers. The walls are covered with maps, charts and their projects. The boys are responsible for their desks, folders and papers. I'm responsible for mine, and right now, their's look somewhat better than mine. :)

Planning for us is well, not an exact science. We usually get started by 8am. I do not have a set time schedule for each subject. That way if we need more time for one subject, I won't stress out that we don't have time. I do pretty much plan the lessons by the week and have an overview of what we should accomplish for the year. We do attend a homeschool group 2 times a month, usually. I like for us to be flexible. You never know when a learning oppertunity will happen.

Record keeping I take very seriously as family on my husband's side do not "approve" of homeschooling. They have mentioned to another family member that if they think the boys are not learning anything, they will call the authorities. So, I have a "Mommy" notebook, which is a 5 subject spiral notebook. In one section, I keep track of our hours. The state of Missouri says we have to have 1000 hours of school. In another section, I keep track of what we did for that day. This is a cross between lesson plans and what we actually did. It works for us and it fills another requirement for the state. My boys like grades, so I grade papers and tests. In another section, is the grade book. The 4th section is set up for me use for the library. When I'm wanting books on a certain subject, this is where I jot it down. This notebook goes with me to the library. The 5 section is used for notes to myself. If a boy is not catching on quite as well, I will write a note to remind myself to give him extra work or extra time to help him. Also I have a small filing cabinet in the classroom to keep their papers in for each year. The state requires samples, I keep everything.

I guess that's about it for now. Thank you for letting me voice what I do.


Dawn said...

Amy, we too school in the living/dining room. We have a shelf for books and a map on the wall. I wish we had the luxury of an entire room. With 4 kids all on different levels, it's crazy around here.

Homeschool Connections said...

Just so everyone knows...6 additional spots opened up!