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Old 08-10-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
StormySar
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How do you organize? Preserve for other children? PreK questions

I was already becoming overwhelmed by the many free resources listed online, then I went to my library and checked out a few very large books filled with worksheets and activities for toddlers and preschoolers. As if I wasn't already going nuts...

Anyway, I need a way to organize this stuff. I'm going to make a list of the books my dd and ds check out at the library (well, he's only 2 so he doesnt really get active at the library yet), that are really helpful (for future studies) or books I check out on schooling/activities that are really helpful so when it comes time to need them more (for seasons/holidays/etc.) I know what to request if i can't find it at the library.

I'm also printing off worksheets and activity ideas and am going to make up a drawer for them in my filing cabinet. How do you organize your stuff?

I am laminating everything that seems very helpful... Puzzles, matching games, flashcards, pre-writing worksheets, drawing alphabet sheets and things that I want to re-use without printing again and again. My goal is to re-use these sheets from one child to the next. I have a 3.5 year old, a nearly two year old and a baby due any day now so will be getting quite a bit of use out of them. How realistic is this?

How did you decide what you wanted to use, before you were actually using it?

How do you organize your activities? My drawer will be expanding over the years as my kids progress through schooling, so I'm trying to think towards the future and how i'll keep everything seperated by "grade". I'm thinking different colored file folders for each year/grade. Then breaking them down by subjects or topics (if the topic is large). What's your system like? What types of folders do you have?

What books did you find particularly helpful for the preschool years, either on homeschooling, activities/resources, learning, etc.?

What childrens books did you find helpful for the kids during the preschool years? Or did you not really have a set up curriculum as far as books for them? We have access to several large, fantastic libraries near my home and wonderful books so I want to be sure to use all of my resources.

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Old 08-10-2007, 08:19 PM   #2
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Re: How do you organize? Preserve for other children? PreK questions

At this age, you don't really need to use a "curriculum" unless you want to. Check out books they are interested in, let them color, etc. My oldest is 5 1/2 and we are just now getting into real curriculum. I print off coloring pages and activities at random and don't worry about keeping copies for later. I'm not keeping track of what books we've checked out either. Now, once they are reading on their own, I'll probably keep a list of books they've read by themselves. But right now it's still mostly fun stuff.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to plan ahead and be oraganized. But make sure you don't spend so much time worrying about the filing, etc that you don't actually do the activities! Just have fun!

I think laminating stuff you want to keep and use over and over is a great idea though. Just file by topic like you said.
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:14 PM   #3
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Re: How do you organize? Preserve for other children? PreK questions

Hi Sarah!

We live in Indiana and also homeschool and homestead. We have goats and chickens mostly. We do raise some sheep for the freezer throughout the summer. My kiddos are DD#1 6 1/2, DD#2 4 1/2, DD#3 3, DS#1 19 mos and DC#5 due in November. We officially started homeschooling last year. I bought the Five in a Row "curriculum" We loosely used this. We'd do many of the activities and I'd add seat work for whatever seemed necessary or wanted. For writing practice, I have my children copy a bible verse--breaking down to smaller parts as needed, etc. This year will continue with the FIAR for the youngers, but adding some more "real school" things for the eldest--at her request. I thought last year I'd have her reading by Christmas. She can be somewhat strong willed ( no idea where that comes from ) so I backed off and now she is initiating it. We'll be following more of a Charlotte Mason approach to learning.

I am trying to implement the same type of organizing strategy you described. Different color files by grade/age, etc. I hadn't thought to laminate some things to help them survive longer. Do you take it somewhere or use something you can do at home? I meant to keep notes on the things that went well with certain stories/themes but never found a good way to do that. On the FIAR site they are now selling some things like this to go along, but of course, I'd rather save the $ and make my own. Probably larger index cards for each main book, include the activities we did & want to do again, the stories that went along well--as well as those that didn't. FIAR is pretty Christian based. They have a separate book with scripture readings that tie in to each story to further illustrate Biblical character, etc.

Enjoy your homeschooling adventure!

Blessings!
Hillary in Indiana
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Old 08-11-2007, 04:50 PM   #4
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Re: How do you organize? Preserve for other children? PreK questions

3x5 cards are awesome! I have a 3x5 file box with the alphabetical tabs in it. Then when I find a book I like at the library, I write down the name, author, library #, and notes about what I liked in it on the back of the card and then file it under "c" for crafts, g for general, p for preschool or whatever. Then if it's winter and we do more crafts I can just pull a card and I already know right where to find it at the library. It doesn't take long to keep this and it's small so it's great.

I also have a file box of songs. I stink at remembering all the many many different songs there are and my kids think they are great and fun so I started writing one song on each card and putting it in the file box. I don't file these except for one file for holidays, but the rest are just mixed up and I grab 6 when we want to sing songs and we sing those and whatever we know by heart. It's quick and easy.

For puzzles and everything else, I glue a smaller yellow envelope....you know those ones for mailing or other things with the clasp in the back? I glue one onto a file folder (glue the front to the inside to the pocket is easily accessible). Then I fold down the top and laminate the whole thing front and back with contact paper and then using an extacto knife parallel to the file folder under the flap (way easier than it sounds) and open the pocket back up. On the tab I write what is in there "animal puzzle", "alphabet flashcards", or whatever...write it before you laminate it. Then file it away in the file folder file boxes (cheap cardboard ones or plastic ones). It makes it super easy to find what you are looking for. It does take some work at first, but it's awesome and the pockets will last forever. You can change out the stuff as well if you ever want to buy just putting a sticky label ontop of the tab to relabel it. I only do this for things I want to save for the other kids. Other things I just put in a ziplock baggie and put in an organizer drawer thingy i have.

ETA: I have a different file box for each grade/child. I tried to do colors but then I couldn't always find the color I needed when I went to buy more and so then I couldn't organize more for a while and it builds up and well, it just wasn't working for our family.
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Last edited by momma2three; 08-11-2007 at 04:52 PM.
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