Preschool Year Two: Organization and Pictures

I have been revising our homeschooling plans for this year due to a realization of being stuck and bored and lacking in direction after a short 2 months. The biggest revision is we are going to add in the Before Five In a Row curriculum. I plan to keep the same organization plans that you will see below but instead of fishing out papers into a weekly format I will fish out papers into a hanging folder by each different book in the BFIAR plans and then most likely move those papers into the daily folders. I hope this may be helpful to someone as it really was a good way for me to organize all of those free printables out there but I just found myself way too overwhelmed and I wanted to enjoy this time with my sweeties!

I just have to begin this post by saying that I will forever be indebted to Pinterest and all those other homeschooling mommy blogs out there. I truly believe God allowed these things to come to fruition just for me : ) and all the other homeschooling moms who have no clue what they’re doing but have a wonderful place to start. What a blessing it is to us! Could you imagine this journey without Pinterest and blogs? I certainly can’t. Coming from a background where I was not homeschooled and hardly knew anyone who was I am so thankful to get a peek into the lives of other homeschooling families and steal ideas from their curriculums, planning, organization, etc., etc. I hope that this might help someone out there and they can take some bits and pieces and make what works for them since that’s all I did from looking at everyone else’s plans.

After a lot of searching on how to organize all the millions of printables I printed for free for this school year and not wanting to spend a lot of money I settled on this bright and basic filing box from Wal-Mart for $4 : ) While I kind of wanted something to stick in the closet I couldn’t find room for it and this box goes with the general bright flow of the rest of the room and I try to think long term and this would make a good toy box, recycling box, shoe box, etc. in the future should it need a new home.

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I already had hanging file folders which I labeled for each month of the year and one for “seasons” and one for “holidays”. I then bought a box of file folders (50 for $4 from Wal-Mart) and labeled them with “Week 1”, “Week 2”, etc.  thanks to this idea here. Then I placed 4 weeks in each month and we’ll see what happens from there! I also made file folders for each season and put those in the seasons hanging folder. I plan to do this for holidays as well. Within each weekly file folder I have put all the printables I am planning to do for each week and then I went a step further and separated them by days and paper clipped each day together that way when it’s Week 1 I’ll get out my…

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… weekly folder for Amelia and put each paper clipped stack in a day for that week. This was my spin off idea from the “workbox” idea that is so popular. Since I’m only schooling one 4 year old I didn’t think I needed a whole workbox so we’re going for workfolders : ) With this system in plan and taking a few hours now to organize my papers it will make it so easy on Sunday night to just get her workfolders ready for the week.

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I also am using a 3 ring binder for my own planning and here are some pictures of the contents in that… This is a cute All About Me Preschool sheet I made after seeing the idea here. I am so excited for this and am planning to do one each year and put a picture of their first day in the box on the right and then laminate it and keep it in a binder as a keepsake : )

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I have all of our goal sheets for each subject in the binder.

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Here is our “schedule”. I have it organized by Mon-Fri at the top and subjects on the left and then my general plan of what I want to do each day. I really am afraid I have too much going for her but we’ll just see how the first few weeks go and I’ll remove things as needed. Anyone else so stinkin’ excited about homeschooling they’re going a little overboard? I’m afraid that might be me!!

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Here’s a little calendar. I put 4 months at a time on one page and am planning to evaluate and plan every 4 months and see where we’re at and what we’re accomplishing. I have it penciled in : ) for easy changing and here I write if there’s some commitment that will change our schooling plans for that day i.e. MOPS meetings, ballet class, travelling, etc. This also helps me see which weeks will fall on a season change or a holiday.

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And here’s a blank weekly planner with the same format as the first one pictured. When I’m doing my planning and organizing my printables into their weekly file folder I write in pencil here which sheets I want to do each day and the more specifics from our general plan. So for our Bible section I’ll put here which song it is from Seeds Family Worship we’re learning that week and which printable activity that day I want to do. And for our Science section I put which experiment from Everybody Has a Body we’re going to do and any things that I need to gather for that experiment. (I have after 2 months cut out the science aspect as this is an area of struggle and disinterest for me and the kiddos so we will get to that later!) This is also in pencil : ) And I listed at the bottom some book ideas that would go well with what we’ll be learning that week i.e. animal habitats, evaporation, addition, etc.

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Which leads to the next paper… Library Check-Out List. I created this since we’re going to rely heavily on our local library for basically all of our reading needs : ) Another blessing although this one has been around for years and years… what a great invention the Lord had in mind for homeschoolers when He allowed whoever it was to invent the library! I wrote at the top of this sheet a line so I can write the day we need to check out the books by and also the day I need to get on the computer and place holds on all of the books. And then I write this date down in the previous calendar so I hopefully won’t forget to hold and check out the books on time. I discovered an amazing thing that our library offers… online book lists! So… I can go to their search catalog and search 41 different libraries in Colorado, when I find the books I want I can save them to a specific list I create i.e. addition, fall, George Washington, etc. This is great because I spend the time now doing this so when it’s time to put a hold on them I can just go to my list, click them all and hold them. This also helps planning as I get an idea of what topics I can find books for and how many books we’ll have for each topic. I try to hold them a week before to allow time for our InterLibrary Loan to get the books to our local library. This sheet is for each month and I put it in front of the blank weekly planning pages for that month. I put small post-it tabs that you can write on for each of these papers for each month so I can easily find the month in the binder.

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Now to the really exciting part… pictures of our homeschool room with our new furniture addition! A 9 cube Closetmaid Cubeical organizer from Wal-Mart for $40!!!!! I am so thrilled about this part. Let me start with my trouble spot before picture… this picture was actually taken after I did a little bit of cleaning and moved some toys to the boxes shown here. Before these boxes were canvas princess boxes… about 6 of them… and there was the problem. This held my daughter’s dolls and doll accessories… any of you have a firstborn in the family girl? If so then you know the magnitude of this collection. It was hard to ever find anything and the bins were too small and everything ended up everywhere and looked horrible. I also disliked looking at my plastic “office drawers”… yuk! I wanted to clean this place up and was very hesitant to spend money but with my husbands encouragement I took the splurge and bought this…

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… doesn’t it fit that space so incredibly perfect!!!!! We spend all day every day in this room and I am so happy to be looking at this now : ) Which by the way this is considered a “den” off the main level as you walk past the living room and kitchen towards the back. We are so blessed to be renting this home and God definitely more than spoiled us with this rental! I want to eventually fill each cubby with the canvas cubeical bins but at $6 a piece I will slowly add them. I rearranged some other things in our home and made use of what I had on hand (with the exception of the green and blue bins which I bought this time around).

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Here’s a closer view of the finished project : ) I was super excited about the top left cubby that used to hold Amelia’s coloring books and just perfectly fits our printer paper and perfectly fits into the cubeical : ) I think the Lord allowed this little surprise as a special blessing to me because it makes me so happy : ) The bottom 3 bins and the 2 red flower bins are all toys and the top 2 blue bins are some office supplies from my previous ugly plastic bins.

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This is a little out of order but the kiddos had a blast helping me with their plastic tools to put together the cubeical : )

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And I must note that I decided to make my own arrangement of which cubeical had the back added on to it. I decided instead of the traditional scattered way that I would do the top 3 since those would hold supplies other than cubeical bins for awhile and would look better with a backing on it and I did the middle row right and left cubeicals just because I thought that looked best.

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Now here is an overview picture of our school room…

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The comfy couch in the corner is our reading couch and also the place I land in the morning before the kiddos wake up for my quiet time. There are some toys on the floor and our days of the week, alphabet, weather, #1-20 posters all from the Dollar Tree. I keep the door on the left open all the time as that little water heater closet is home to Tinka’s (our cat) bathroom and kitchen : ) I used it for some extra wall space and put a little clothesline there to clip on the papers we complete for that day.

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Here’s the other side of the room with our big bookshelf. The top 2 shelves are all schooling books. The middle shelf is toys, the next shelf is some toddler friendly and fun books and more toys and the bottom shelf is more toys and where we stash our library books. Next to the bookshelf on the floor is the filing cabinet that I mentioned above and next to that is our toy kitchen and our Melissa & Doug calendar and our ABC Bible Verses booklet hanging on the wall.

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A different view of that area.

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And this school room comes with a closet (another blessing from the Lord to tickle my fancy!). Here’s where the ugly plastic bins land : ) as well as some hanging closet dividers also from Wal-Mart and Ikea for about $4 a piece. The top of the closet is large puzzle boxes, board games, play dough and paints. I have puzzles, lacing cards, memory card games in the hanging dividers as well as plastic shoeboxes from the Dollar Tree that hold our flashcards and each cubby has it’s own subject i.e. top right cubby is math with a plastic shoebox housing math flashcards and manipulatives. The larger plastic bin on the bottom right houses all of our craft supplies and other miscellaneous school/craft stuff. Coloring books moved to the plastic drawer in the middle right and this is where I hang my diaper bag and purse.

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And that’s it! Are you still there? Anyways, I hope this helps whoever needs help as I mentioned before so many of you have helped me get this organized! Woo Hoo Pinterest… and all glory be to God of course!

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