Figuring out the best way to organize my Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool curriculum was one of the trickier aspects of my homeschool preschool experience. Eventually, I figured out what worked best for me, and I wanted to share that with you.
As you may know, homeschooling is a struggle with me because I have ADHD. Any extra planning required on a daily basis equals schooling that doesn’t happen. I wanted my preschool curriculum to be very much open-and-go, without daily (or even weekly!) planning, printing, or coordinating. The system I figured out works to my advantage perfectly. Whether you’re an ADHD mother trying to homeschool, or have several other kids to juggle while homeschooling your preschooler, this is an ideal way to get your homeschool set up!
First, I started with a file box. This is a Sterilite Showoffs File Box. (This is an affiliate link that will take you to a super cute green version, I like it even better than my orange box!) I love these boxes, I have several. In the file box I have 5 hanging file folders, and within those I have 5-6 tabbed folders. The first file folder has a folder for reusable worksheets (more about this later), then it holds a file for each letter of the alphabet. The remaining hanging file folders hold the remaining letters of the alphabet.
Disclosure: The above paragraph contains affiliate links. They are products I’ve used personally in preparing my preschool.
Since the Walk Beside Me LDS preschool schedule uses “preschool pages” (i.e., worksheets from a book or found online), I stick in the Reusable Worksheets file anything that doesn’t belong to a certain letter. If I had pulled out a ‘shapes tracing’ activity from a workbook but used a sheet protector and a dry erase marker, that can be used again and filed. If I didn’t get to it that week and want to pull it out some other time, that can be used again. I won’t remember unless I stick it in that front folder. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about what’s in each folder.
In each file folder, I place everything I will need for school that week. It is all laminated (if I desired to laminate it!) In the image below you can see my preschool schedule, all the worksheets, puzzles pasted onto cardstock that were laminated and cut out, a book of the week, and extra worksheets from Confessions of a Homeschooler that coordinate with that letter. I had considered laminating the schedule onto the folder itself, but I just didn’t get around to doing that this time. I even cut out all the letters for these fun letter activities and placed all their parts in a baggie. At one point we had our Bob Books stored in each of the folders too, but they’ve since been taken out to be stored in the cute box they came in.
I could have broken my folders even further into days. In this scenario I would have had a hanging file folder for each week (like J pictured above) and then a tabbed folder for each of the three days scheduled. This would have made filling Nicole’s workboxes a breeze. HOWEVER. Flexibility was my friend here. With the system as is with one weekly folder, I easily flipped through each of the worksheets and decided what I wanted to do that day. If we happened to have a
lazy busy week, I could combine some extra worksheets and remove extra activities to make a two-day schedule happen. I didn’t want to feel like I was falling behind at any point. That was the deciding factor for making this work for me. If you like the super organized feeling, or don’t want the pressure flexibility of deciding on a whim what printables you’ll be doing on what day, then I would organize your folders just like the schedule outlines with a folder for each day.
This system was perfect for me. I really felt like I had control over how much school we did on a given week, but I never felt like I was ‘behind’ or had any guilt for skipping over activities. The best part of this system was at the end of the week, I just put everything back in the file folder. If you’re good at remembering to refile things, and don’t like the ‘used worksheets’ mixed in with the ‘unused worksheets’ for the week, you could make an extra file for what you’ve already done that week. I didn’t have much of a problem with this, and had a box on my desk for any papers I wanted to keep in her memory binder.
Now you know the key to Slacker Mom homeschooling: have everything prepared beforehand, so you have little excuse for procrastinating! Bonus: I’ve got 90% of preschool prepared for my next daughter, since everything got re-filed!
How do you organize your preschool or homeschool? Do you think this system would work for you?