I love planning and organizing my school year, so I made a list of seven items that make all of the planning and organizing so much easier….and fun!
- Paper Cutter–mine is an “old-fashioned” kind, but I love it! Unless the item I am cutting has curved lines, I use my paper cutter.
advertisementI trim broken-lined writing tablets to 8.5″ x 11″, so they will fit in a regular sized binder. I cut apart phonics cards, make bookmarks, and cut large pieces of construction paper into smaller pieces for art projects. The paper cutter is also useful for constructing lapbooks and scrapbooks too.
- Colored Pens— Colored pens just make me happy! I like to write comments and smiley faces on my children’s work when I check it, and I always use a brightly colored pen. Whenever I am making lists, I always use a pretty color. I prefer ball point pens, but most office supply stores sell a variety of types and colors of pens.
- Twist-Up Colored Pencils–these are mainly for the children to use, but I really like these pencils! For years, every August, I bought new boxes of crayons, colored pencils, and markers for the children. I could never find a brand of colored pencils that did not frustrate us all when we tried to sharpen them, and of course, crayons get broken and yukky after a while. Markers dry out, and their tips get smashed. But, the twist-up colored pencils last the entire school year, and even longer! In fact, since I bought these pencils for my children over a year ago, I have not replaced them. They are not on my school supply list for this year. The colors are rich, and my children really enjoy coloring with them. They are also good for marking places on maps.
- Laminator–I laminate everything I can for durability. While preparing for this school year, I laminated my children’s daily checklists, strips of colored paper to be used as bookmarks, and phonics flashcards. I also laminate times tables sheets, lists of prepositions and helping verbs, and many other math formulas and conversion charts for the children to keep with their schoolbooks.
- Page protectors—I use these in the children’s binders to preserve some of their work. They are also good to use if you have a worksheet or map that you want to reuse. Just insert the page into the page protector, let the child use a wet erase marker, and then wash off the page protector when they are done.
- Labels–I use the 2″ x 4″ packing labels on everything. Each of my children has a “work bucket” (an 18 qt. dishpan) that holds their school books and supplies. Each child’s work bucket is labeled along with all of the contents inside. I label plastic boxes and containers in our school supply closet with labels like “glue”, “scissors”, “envelopes” so everyone knows where certain items are stored. I also have all of my preschool/kindergarten games and activities labeled as well.
- Binders–Each of my children has a certain color, and they each have one or more binders in that color. Currently, I have a Sonlight binder for four of my children inside their Sonlight basket of books. These binders hold several week’s worth of daily plans plus the study guides for the books. My high school aged daughters have binders for their Home Economic course–this gives them a place to keep samples and pictures of things they will create throughout the school year (they’ll also use page protectors inside these binders). My 7th grade son has a binder that contains three sections for his Apologia General Science course, and another section for his Easy Grammar workbook pages.
Roan is the homeschooling mother of five children who are currently in the following grades: K, 2,7,9, and 11. Roan writes regularly about homeschooling, planning, organization, running, and family life at her personal blog, Joyful Always.
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