Posted in Elementary, Preschool, Home Management, Junior, Senior High, Middle School, Portfolio Reviews, Resources, Tips, How-To's on November 26, 2012 |
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It seems like we just got started this year but I realized this morning that Christmas is just four weeks away. Where did the time go? On the other hand, congratulations, you are nearly halfway through your school year!
Now is a good time to stop and organize your paperwork. It really won’t take you long to do it. You just have to jump in! Take out some pages from each of the sections of workbooks in every subject that you have done so far. For instance, if you have been working on addition, subtraction, and telling time since August pull out several pages of each of these topics and put in a binder or an accordion file folder. You can label the papers ”First Semester”. These samples can be grouped either according to subject or time period. (semester, month, week, day, however you prefer) If you have not kept dates on each of the papers up until this time, just label it first semester. If you have, that is even better! Do this one more time in the month of December and place them in your binder or file folder.
For those subjects that you don’t have workbooks and still need documentation, how about writing your observations and siting a few examples? If you have done a Civil War unit that has been hands-on what did you do? Did you go to a Civil War reenactment, read some books, make a trip to the Freedom Center? For younger students you can ask them about their experiences and write down their responses. For older students have them wrote a summary. This is called a narration and you can put that in with your paperwork. Are you planning on going to any Christmas plays or concerts? Save the program and have the children write or tell you and you record what was their favorite part.
Guess what? You are finished! Small steps like this make the portfolio review appointment so much easier than waiting until the end of the year. Keep on running the race! I am cheering you on and know you will cross the finish line. If you need more tips on organizing paperwork check out my portfolio review or my resources, tips, and how-to’s sections.
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With a busy schedule of schooling and family activities, who has time to go clothes shopping for the children? Who wants to anyway? I just read about an online consignment shop that not only can you purchase clothes, but you can sell clothes by putting them in a bag and leaving it on your doorstep. They will come and collect them and deliver them to their store for the purpose of selling your children’s clothing. I love it! We should start a shop like this for women…
Here are the particulars:
Kids grow fast. Did you know your child is on track to outgrow more than 1,360 articles of clothing by age 17? You’re destined to spend countless hours and thousands of dollars replacing clothes that are practically new. Why? Because there’s never been an easy way to trade outgrown threads for the next size up… until now.
thredUP is the easiest way to save on great kids clothing brands, and hand down outgrown clothes for cash. We’re like a consignment boutique – but simpler. On thredUP you can refresh your child’s entire wardrobe online, without ever leaving your house.
Here’s how it works:
Browse thousands of like-new kids clothing items, which we’ve hand-selected and certified for quality. You’ll find all your favorite brands discounted up to 75% off year-round. Shop »
And when your child outgrows clothing, simply fill up a thredUP bag and put it on your doorstep. thredUP covers the shipping, and pays you for every item we can hand down to other moms. Hand down »
Our goal is to make your life just a little bit easier.
- We eliminate the stress of deal hunting by offering consistent discounts every day.
- We take the hassle out of bringing your kids into a store by allowing you to thredUP online.
- We relieve that recycling guilt by helping you lighten your family’s carbon-footprint with every order.
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The Old Schoolhouse is offering a free webinar on Thursday, September 27 at 7:00 pm EDT addressing the topic of food preparation, freezer meal planning, You can learn practical ways that will benefit you and your family with delicious and nutritious meals. I don’t know about you, but there are many evenings that I haven’t a clue what we are going to eat when I stare into the freezer an hour before my husband arrives. I think this class will eliminate some of the stress that occurs and will help you be prepared for those busy days when you are out of the house or involved in a fantastic school project.
In addition to meal planning there will also be a budget planning and frugal living class to compliment the food preparation class. The webinar has a limited amount of spots available, so be sure and sign up as soon as possible. I registered to attend and it only took a minute. Click here to register Old Schoolhouse Expo
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As the books begin to accumulate in your house for the upcoming year you may begin to feel overwhelmed about where you are going to store all of it, let alone keep it straightened up throughout the year. I have tried several ideas, some have worked better than others. It really is about what works best for your family, but here are some that I have tried over the years.
- Bookshelves I know this is stating the obvious, but sometimes you have to be given permission to put school books on the traditional bookshelf. I had been trained to put “books” there, but had never considered our workbooks and teachers manuals as worthy of being put on the bookshelf. Does anyone else think like I do? Give away unread books that are taking up space or box them if you think you will use them in the future. Store the books you will use for school on the shelves instead. They will be out of the way and have a nice home too. You can attach different colored neon stickers on the spines of the books for easy reference. For instance, if you are using Story of the World and Easy Grammar color code one set with green stickers and red stickers on the other [set]. You and your scholar can see them from a distance. This serves two purposes. One, is that you will be able to see at a glance that your teacher’s manuals and student workbooks are in their proper place. The other thing is you can ask your student to get the books. If they don’t know which ones to which you are referring you can say, “Get all of the books with red stickers and bring them here.” What an ingenious idea, right? I know! It just came to me and I wish I had thought of that a long time ago.
- Desks Do you have an area on a desk that can house books? I actually have a large desk and a wooden filing cabinet next to it so I can store books and curriculum on them without too much clutter. Know your “clutter limit.” If you don’t mind a bit of clutter then you can do this, if not, DON’T do it! You will be anxious and it won’t be a pleasant thing for all involved.
- Portable bins There are all different types of bins that are available. If you purchase wooden ones you can put them on their sides and stack another one on top to save space. Plastic milk crates work too. I just saw a bright orange milk crate out at the curb for garbage pick-up yesterday. I was sooo close to stopping and taking it home with me. It’s a good thing I was on my bike, but I must say two things crossed my mind: 1. How could I get it home? 2. Who could I call and tell them about it so they could use it? Crazy, huh? Can’t you just see me riding home awkwardly on my bike with this crate?
- Collapsible cubes I don’t know what else to call them, but I have several around the house for storage according to subject areas. For instance, I have a blue fabric cube that has elementary science books and resources in it and a red one that has geography trade books, games, and maps in it. I purchased them at Ikea and it has been great to have them in the bottom of my living room closet. I am utilizing closet space that would otherwise not be used.
- An upright shelving unit with doors (better known as a wardrobe) I had so many books and games at one time that I couldn’t stand to look at the clutter any more. I could close the doors on it and my level of peacefulness would return since I didn’t have to clean it up if I got busy. Of course, once I opened it up, I’d get all jittery again. The solution to a big messy mess- straighten it up! My mom used to say that to me when I was little. You see, I’ve been dealing with this all of my life. (sigh)
- An entertainment center Who says that it has to be just for TV’s or sound systems? There is usually quite a bit of shelving with this piece of furniture, which means a lot of area to store books, games, maps, art supplies, etc. Other furniture can be used too, just don’t use furniture you sit on as that will get to be mighty uncomfortable balancing on books.
None of these ideas cost a lot to implement. If you look on craigslist or go to a resale shop for furniture I think you could find something within your budget. Sometimes people give things away for free! Now, that’s a great thing. Do you have an idea to share that is working well for you? I’d love to hear about it.
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Dale came in from work the other evening and remarked that the kitchen table wasn’t really for eating, but rather it was an, “educational resource center.”How true!! Our table is free of books and papers for about one month before I start getting involved once again in the planning of classes for the coming school year. Perhaps you are like me and have your kitchen as not only a place to eat, but also where you do most of your school with your children. I honestly thought once school was finished for the year my table would be clutter free. It hasn’t happened yet and I have to be honest with myself realizing it probably never will be, oh well.
So, how do you and I deal with the school papers, workbooks, art projects, etc. that are a part of school life? First of all, you will need to come up with a system that works for you. Some ideas that come to mind are:
- A large portable mailbox with hanging file folders. You can place graded and dates papers in there according to subject. If you have several children, give each student different colored folders. For example:have blue for Junior and red for Missy. The various subjects would be what is written on the Home Education Notification form: language arts; math; social studies; science; health/safety/first aid; and fine arts.
- A large plastic bin. You can still use folders for each student. If you have more than a few children this will work better, but follow the same idea as stated above.
- Different colored binders for each subject area. I think a 1″ binder will work nicely if you do not have a large amount of paperwork for that particular subject. Purchase a larger binder for subjects with a larger amount of papers such as math.
- A 3″ binder will work if you want to keep all paperwork together instead of keeping subjects separate. You can purchase tabs and label each subject. I have found the plastic page protectors to be beneficial to slide art projects, multi-page reports, ticket stubs from plays or symphony performances, timelines, etc.
- Take pictures! If you have a child who loves crafts, art projects or Legos, the amount of creativity will overwhelm your household. You can’t keep everything, but you can take pictures and have those for a lifetime. It cuts down on the amount of paperwork and clutter too.
- Have one central area for all your supplies. Store construction paper, writing paper, computer paper, (you get the idea) that is accessible, yet out-of-the-way of your traffic pattern. School and art supplies can be stored there as well. I have a three drawer plastic cart that I use and that seems to work rather well, plus it was inexpensive. Perhaps you have a closet that can be repurposed for school. Maybe even a shelf in the pantry if you have school in your kitchen. Hmmm…. maybe I should have Dale build a low shelf in my pantry…
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