Monday, July 12, 2010

Little things...

In honor of our first day of school for the 2010/2011 school year, here is a post about a few little things that make homeschooling just a bit easier for me.

Pencil boxes. This things go on sale for 10¢ or so in July of every year, and I snatch up at least a few each time. They are the answer to many organization needs, from crayons, to Cuisenaire rods, to flash cards, to their intended purpose to hold pencils. Every homeschool can use a few more. I even like to corral hair accessories, cookie cutters, sewing machine feet, and other small things all over the house in pencil boxes.

Colors. I color code my kids. Sure, it sounds sort of super organized and just a little bit inhumane, but it actually is neither. Identifying each kid with a specific color allows all of us to see what item belongs to what kid at a glance. I know I could just write their name or even initial on the item, but these poor old eyes can't read very far away anymore. But from across the room I can see which pencil is marked with green and which is marked with orange, staving off, "He has my pencil!" arguments before they even start. Some of the tools I use toward coloring coding are permanent markers, colored duct tape, Post-It Note flags, spools of 1/4 inch ribbon, and packages of colored printer paper. It sounds like a lot, but each item is inexpensive over all and lasts for years, with the exception the Post-It Note flags that I buy yearly.

Date stamp. Hey, I have four kids in school this year and that means lots and lots of math, copywork, writing, and more that need dated each day (a dated paper trail is my only recorded keeping before high school). Technically only my Kindergartner is unable to date his own pages, but the other three regularly forget to do it. So my date stamp to the rescue. It's fun for the younger kids to use, and it's constant use during the morning serves as a reminder for the older kids . I need to buy a new one this year, as my current one only goes through 2010. I bought this one at Staples.


Homeschooling6 said...

We won't start our school year until Sept.
Thanks for sharing. Love the color. This year I'm using McRuffy Math and Phonics with some of my children just because I want some color ;)

Liz said...

My kids are Green, Pink, and Blue. I started color coding my girls hangers because of how close in size they are and they share a closet. It beginning to carry over into school (My oldest is K this year).

Jolanthe said...

ooo...a date stamp would be a good idea. :)