Organizing Homeschool Materials

Would you like to see how I’ve organized this year’s homeschool curriculum? Come on in and take a look!

It’s always exciting when a new box of curriculum arrives. I separate out the subjects and grade levels, put each PACE in order by number, and put them on my curriculum shelf. The twins’ materials lay flat on the upper shelf, and my older kids’ curriculum is in magazine holders on the lower shelf.

In front of our curriculum shelf, I keep a CBD box where I stash all completed consumable units after they’ve been completed. At the end of the school year, I will organize these by child and subject and store them for a year or two in case we need to refer back to them for anything.

At 9AM every school day, the kids begin their schoolwork, and I place our score key box on the kitchen table. In it are all the score keys the kids currently need to score their daily work. As they complete each subject for the day or reach a checkpoint (score strip), they sit at the table and use one of the colored pens to mark any questions they missed. They close the score key, make any necessary corrections, and re-check their work. When everything is correct, they mark the page as scored and put away the score key.

At least once a week, I inspect their work to be sure they are scoring properly. If it’s clear they have not been, they have the big job of scoring and correcting all of their work while Mama watches like a hawk!

I have attached color-coded post-it notes labeled by subject to every score key so each child can quickly identify the one they need. They use the sticky note to keep their place in the score key. My son’s post-its are purple, my 13-year-old’s are green, and my twins’ are mostly blue; if the twins are at different places in their PACEs, the younger one’s are pink. Our score key box also houses a supply of notebook paper and special paper my son uses for math.

I have a private binder for tests, score keys, and other items I need for running our homeschool. Inside the front cover, I store the progress charts I place on the front of each consumable unit as I assign it. It allows my children and me to keep track of their progress. Most of my kids mark the pages they complete as they finish each subject for the day. But my 13-year-old uses them wisely by writing her goal on the chart before starting work in that subject each day.

The test binder is essential for keeping me organized. I keep pocket tab dividers which I label for each of my students. In the front pocket of each are that child’s recently completed tests, while the back pocket stores upcoming tests. Each time I issue a new PACE (or other unit) to my child, I place the test for that unit in the appropriate pocket.

Behind each child’s divider, I keep the score keys corresponding to the tests for the units that child is working on. Some courses not include a separate hole-punched test key. LifePacs and God’s Design for Science, for example, integrate the test key in the Teacher’s Guide. I keep these in the score key box on the table. Key to Algebra has a separate Test key which I keep inside the back cover of my binder.

It has taken a few years to develop a system that works well for us. I’d love to hear how you organize your homeschool materials. What system works best for you?