Welcome to Day 5 of the 5 Days to an Organized Homeschool Challenge!
By this point, you should be feeling fresh and orderly in your homeschool space! Today, we are going to tackle all the “little stuff” that can end up all over the place!
Today is not going to be about following a list of steps, but I’ll give you several things to think about, and then some ideas on how to store the manipulatives that can get so out of control.
Things to consider about your manipulatives –
1. What do you really need for your school? Do you have things that you bought but don’t use? Do you find yourself drowning in pattern blocks with no clear reason for them?
2. What types of learning do your kids enjoy most? Do they like to build or color? What do you need on hand to facilitate their learning for their style?
3. What do you really need for this year? Do you need that geoboard and the rubber bands for this year’s curriculum, or will you need them in 12 months when you get to that chapter?
Ideas for managing your manipulatives –
1. Keep them to a minimum in your school space. Don’t store every manipulative you have for your entire homeschool in your school space.
2. Like the curriculum library mentioned yesterday, create a library for your manipulatives. Store items by subject and then by learning level.
3. In your library, store smaller items in clear, shoebox-sized bins and larger items in magazine holders.
4. Group manipulatives for a specific curriculum by the quarter or semester and switch out boxes through the year.
5. Keep only what you are currently using in your school space.
6. Use rings to hold flashcard sets together to minimize mess.
7. Before you store any set of manipulatives, make sure you have all the pieces and discard any broken items.
8. In your school space, store items close to where you will use them.
9. It’s always a good idea to store manipulatives high and away from little hands.
10. Don’t feel obligated to use or save a certain item simply because you spent money on it. If it doesn’t work with your child or the flow of your classroom, move on and pass it to someone else that can use it.
Now that you’ve thought about what you are using in your classroom, and how you need to be using your items, take an hour and clean out all of your manipulatives. Sort them by subject, then begin your storage system.
That’s it! Your school space should be orderly and have systems in place to manage the clutter that comes with this wonderfully crazy homeschool life!
Now that your homeschool space is in order, lay the foundation for a stronger school experience for you and your family by writing your homeschool mission and vision! Visit this link to learn more!
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