Preschool homeschooling how to set things up?

Discussion in 'General' started by christinam, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. christinam

    christinam Well-Known Member

    I talked to Dh and agreed I would keep DD home this fall and homeschool preschool instead if sending her to school. My intention is to homeschool all the kids but im using Dd as a try out. I like being organized. What type of advice do you have for staying organized? Besides the basic school supplies what other supplies do you find necessary? More for yourself not the kids? How do you keep all your supplies and papers, CDs, etc. organized? Right now I have a couple fabric bins with our art supplies and play doh but it's so disorganized. I don't have
  2. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    I'm not the most organized person in the world, but a couple of things have helped us in this regard this year. I have one of those rolling towers of drawers, then another small cabinet. These hold various papers, schedules and other things that we used. Then I also have these kind of narrow bins in different colors. Sage is purple, Trey is green and Adam is blue. Their 3 ring binders match the bins. Then whatever things they're working on (books, notebooks, etc) are supposed to be put away in those bins, so they can easily find them tomorrow. We also have a library in our house. We turned what was supposed to be the formal library into one. The challenge with that is having books at eye level for toddlers. Keeping them on the shelves can be hit and miss.

    But I don't do much of anything formal with my preschoolers... Well, I should qualify that. I did with Sage. But like you, she was kind of my guinea pig and also to prove to my DH that homeschooling was a good thing (he was skeptical then, but is now totally sold). For her, I used Five in a Row. And pretty much it only involved books, some art supplies and such. I also used Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, and she was reading by shortly after 4. But I've really changed my thoughts about what "preschool" should look like, so don't do anything formal now until kindergarten, and even then we pretty much only do some reading exercises (if they're ready, since many kids aren't yet) and a tiny amount of learning to write letters. Other than that, it's lots of nature study, being read to, time for imaginative play and other aspects of letting kids be kids.
  3. christinam

    christinam Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I was thinking I would hold off super organizing until next year. I do have a small cube organizer where I was going to use to keep Dd's workbook and supplies. I think that will be all I'll do this year. I have one of those nice sling bookshelves. I bought it for the kids for Christmas this past year. All the book face out. The kids can easily find what they're looking for. I love it. I bought a nine cube organizer to hold all our games, legos, etc that are easy to find and keep organized.
  4. Stacy A.

    Stacy A. Well-Known Member

    For preschool, I was able to keep everything in one of those plastic, hanging file-folder things. We basically just used "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", "Leading Little Ones to God", and the computer. We had some craft supplies in a bin, too. The rest of the file-folder thing was filled with paper, construction paper, file folder games, and other misc. stuff.

    I highly recommend "Teach Your Child to Read..." But, caution against starting it too soon. I did this and we had a lot of false starts. It was frustrating for the kids and for me. Once I realized that I was pushing, we took a break from it and did some other stuff. Then, when they started asking me to help them read stuff, I started back into it and it was a blast! They are going into 1st grade reading at a 2nd grade level. My BFF is a 4th grade teacher and they have been able to read some of the books in her classroom with a little bit of help.

    During that break we did a couple of different things. We started with Letter of the Week. I wasn't nearly as structured as the site advises. I'm with Dielle in realizing that learning through fun is more important than structure at this age. But, we did focus on a letter each week and had fun with it.

    But, they quickly outgrew that. By letter G they were bored and wanted to know more about how the sounds work together than the letters themselves. So, I moved on to A-Rhyme-a-Week. It uses nursery rhymes to teach phonetic awareness. The kids loved this. Especially acting out the rhymes. They still ask to act out Jack and Jill every once in a while. When they started wanting to move beyond the simple sound combinations we went back to "Teach Your Child to Read..."

    Through all of that, we also used Starfall a lot.

    We did kindergarten this past year, and my supplies grew by leaps and bounds. Almost all of our school supplies are stored on one bookcase in my dining room right next to the table where we do school. Here is a pic (Please ignore the mess that is on there right now. I need to clean it up. :blush:) and here is how it is organized from the bottom up:

    Shelf 1:
    Craft supplies and extra workbooks and flash cards. I have one large bin of workbooks that we aren't currently using, and two large bins filled with craft supplies. I also have my laminator on this shelf.

    Shelf 2:
    Here is where I keep most of our supplies in plastic shoe boxes I got at Walmart for $.99. I have six of them with the following labels on them:

    -Pencils and erasers
    -Glue and scissors
    -Extra crayons, markers, and colored pencils (I only keep two packs of markers in the other bin at a time)
    -Office supplies (this has things like staples, highlighters, post-its, and extra tape)
    -Manipulative and Accessories (contains rulers, protractors, dice, magnifying glasses, etc)

    Shelf 3 (at eye-level for the kids):
    Supplies we use every day. This has paper, crayons, stapler, dry-erase markers, scissors, pencils, date stamp, etc.

    Shelf 4:
    Commonly used workbooks, spiral notebooks, clipboards, reward stamps and stickers, and a box of Bible cards.

    Shelf 5:
    Curriculum I use everyday. The books are stored in plastic magazine files. Each subject is in a separate file that I can just lift off the shelf and bring to the table.

    I also have something like this (only nicer) on my window sill next to the bookcase. The back slot has a folder for each kid, the middle has a folder for each day of the week, and the front is empty and we call it my "mailbox". I try to print off all the worksheets I am going to use for the week on Sunday and put them in the appropriate day's folder. Then, I can just grab that folder and have everything I need for that day. When the kids complete a worksheet they turn it in to my mailbox. Then, throughout the day, I look them over to make sure nothing needs corrected and then put them the correct child's folder in the back. At the end of the week, I punch holes in the papers and put them in a binder for their "portfolio." I'm sure we won't always keep everything, but it wasn't a huge deal this year. Since I am not grading things at this point, I don't have to worry about that. When I actually use this system, it works well. I don't always succeed, but I do try.

    I do have a few must-have supplies I can share with you, too.

    Date stamp: I use a date stamp every single day. In the morning I change it to the current day and then, when I give the kids a worksheet, they know the first thing they do is put there name on it and put a date-stamp on it. That way, we know what day the paper was done on and I don't have to remind them because they love using the stamp.

    White board: I use it almost every day. They can be expensive, so I bought a sheet of wall-paneling with a white board finish instead. I got it at Home Depot. They come in huge sheets, but they will cut it to the size you want for free. It is in the same area as the wall-paneling you use in bathrooms. If you ask for dry erase wall-board, they should be able to direct you to it.

    Hope that helps. I love reading about how others organize and getting ideas.
  5. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    And it doesn't work for all kids. I was surprised by that, when I first posted something on an email group about it 9 years ago after having such success with it with my 4yo DD. A few people said how it hadn't worked at all for their kids. Then my oldest son turned out to be one of those kids. It didn't work at all for him. It was great with DS2 and seems to be going well with my girlies.
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