Last Call: Ask a Home School Graduate

In CategoryHome Schooling
ByDeb

This is the last question for Ask a Home School Graduate. If you have any more questions, lay ’em on me. Otherwise, this series has come to an end. Thanks for playing, everyone!

Connie asked: How do you organize your materials?

I have not answered this one before, because it took me 3 weeks to stop laughing.

Organize! *snort*

Well, let’s see…..I have this box, which I have been meaning to organize for only a year and a half –

Then there’s all this crap –

And another box over here –

And some bins….

So yeah. I’m all about the organizing. Probably I should write a book.

Here’s the one thing I have learned about supplies: don’t put them away. Keep your stuff visible enough so you don’t forget about it. I have organized my closets and cupboards mercilessly, only to discover that I never open those cupboards until the next year when I am taking inventory. While stuff was languishing neatly in the closet, my kids grew older and it was all rendered useless.

(hah! see what I did there? my messy room is not laziness, it’s a learning strategy!)

I had tons of manipulatives packed away – geometric solids, counters, fraction thingamabobs….until it dawned on me one day that waiting to get them out until we were studying that in school was pointless. They need exposure through playing with them. Sure, it might look like they are building a tower out of the prisms and cones, but they are also absorbing information about the shapes and building potential while they do it. Every so often they say “what’s this shape called mom?” and we talk about that while I print out some coloring pages or dot-to-dots relevant to the discussion.

To that end, I got those plastic drawers you see in the bottom picture. The top two are for stuff they can share, and they each have one of the bottom drawers. These are in my office closet, and are things I want them to play with under somewhat supervised conditions. These are the more educational toys, not the chuck-at-your-sister’s-head toys. They are free to get out anything in the drawers when they are hanging out with me in my office. Every so often, I rotate the stuff.

Here are some of the things my kids can have free, slightly supervised, access to:

…and I have to go.

The Educator’s Outlet website is calling me. Need….more…..stuff…..

Hope that helps, Connie!

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6 Responses to “Last Call: Ask a Home School Graduate”

  1. MNKristy Says:

    Why are you waiting to organize your bag of chocolate candy??? Silly woman…just eat it!

    I wish that I would have homeschooled my boys when they were younger. There are so many fun things to play with at that age. Sigh…I guess I need to wait for my grandchildren.
    MNKristy´s last blog post ..Time4Learning Review

  2. Tressa Says:

    I don’t organize much either. We have a cupboard that we throw everything into. I usually try to stack things nicely, but that is it. I am sad that your series is coming to an end. I liked it, but I don’t have another question either. Maybe I will think of one later.
    Tressa´s last blog post ..A somewhat typical day

  3. Michelle Says:

    My office looked like that even before we homeschooled. We are office and craft supply junkies. Ok, just me. Maybe. There is never enough space for it all, and it drives me bananas.
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Transitioning- pt 2 – Doing things right

  4. Melanie Says:

    Yes. I learned early on that if it isn’t seen, it isn’t used. I kept all of our art and science supplies out on the bookshelves so my kids would remember to use them. It looked terrible, but hey. Do what you gotta do, right?
    Melanie´s last blog post ..The Strictest Relaxed Classical Homeschool EVAH

  5. Tracey - JustAnotherMommyBlog Says:

    Looks just like my stuff! But you forgot to list the stuff that has missing pieces. 🙂
    Tracey – JustAnotherMommyBlog´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday- OneTrue Media Style

  6. Connie Weiss Says:

    Thank you!

    That bag of candy wouldn’t have lasted a year and a half in my office.
    Connie Weiss´s last blog post ..The Nanny Cam