Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Homeschool Management - Organized School Books

Organizational Tip/Activity: (good for the kids and my sanity!):

Let's face it, life at home runs better when it's a bit organized (I know some of you are cringing!) and when there's less visual clutter.  At least life runs better in my home this way. *smile*

Well, for each school year, there are a ton of books that come from Sonlight (this is the curriculum we plan to use in Africa - it's easy to mix with other things, so we've heard - you can find the link at the bottom to see for yourself).


To keep the chaos to a minimum, we color-coded our books (another helpful home school tip I learned from a Sonlight mom). This helps us keep track of books we're currently using and ones we're done with for the year.

It helps keep clutter at bay when the kids can easily help put things away.

The kids can even help put the stickers on. This is where those lovely dot stickers (pictured above in the egg crate counting game) come in handy. You can get them in a lot of colors. If you want to do more than maybe 6 colors you might consider using the white dots and having your kids color them certain colors - we put clear tape over all the dots to help them stick to the book binding.

Here's How To Label Your Books:
Each reading level (or grade level) gets it's own color sticker with the grade number on it. At the end of the year, if the next child is not using that level, you put all the grade 2 books in a grade 2 box, for example, for storage until the next child reaches grade/level 2.

Our  Level 1 (basic little kids read to me books/ just learning to read books) ended up with a yellow sticker.

Our Level 2 (I can read for myself but might need help books) ended up with a blue sticker.

Our Level 3 (I can read simple chapters books) ended up with a red sticker.

And so on... You decide what categories work for you.

This color coding helps the little kids be able to help put books back in the right place too. They don't need to know numbers to help put books back on the shelf. They just put the yellow dotted ones in the same spot and the red dotted ones next to other red dotted ones. It's great! Here's a pic of some of ours. 
This might sound overboard for some, but if you literally end up with hundreds of books - it helps!

Disclaimer: The books pictured above are not from Sonlight. We started labeling our own collection and had it done when the box of Sonlight books arrived so it wasn't as overwhelming. This idea of color-coding books could work well for any library for home-schooling though.

If you want to see what Sonlight is like you can check it out for yourself: http://www.sonlight.com/

We have not started the curriculum yet - two years worth of it, for each kid, is already packed for Africa (ready to go into our shipping container)! We got lots of recommendations for this one from fellow missionaries.

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