Welcome to week three of my series, The Organized Homeschool. The goal of this series is to encourage homeschool moms to prepare for the upcoming school year by completing a few organizational tasks over the summer. So far we’ve talked about creating a DIY Homeschool Planning Binder and Planning Content for the Year. This week, I’m sharing how I create a student supply station for each of my older girlies.
Homeschool kids have a lot of stuff! And because our homes double as classrooms, all that stuff has a way of creeping over to other areas of our homes. Math books end up on the kitchen table. Gluesticks hide under couches while pencils take up residence under couches and in between the sofa’s seat cushions. Meanwhile, the lapbook Sugar Plum was working on yesterday is no where to be found.
It didn’t take long for such disorganization to wreak havoc on my day. The girlies were frustrated as they wandered around from room to room looking for school things. I was angry because taking the time to help look for the girlies’ materials disrupted my teaching and stole valuable teaching time. I had finally had enough and decided that each of the older girlies should have a central place to keep all of her schooling supplies. And that’s how the student supply station was born.
The girlies keep everything they need for homeschooling inside their student supply stations. This includes workbooks, note booking binders, worksheets, pencils, gluesticks, erasers, scissors, rulers, crayons, etc. Neither of the girlies has to come to me seeking supplies because everything she needs to complete schoolwork is stored in the student supply station.
For the first year, Sweet Pea and Sugar Plum kept their books and other materials inside a plastic file folder box with a lid. I inserted several hanging files, labeled them by subject, and had the girlies store paperwork (worksheets, quizzes, lap booking forms, etc) for each subject within the hanging files. I added a drop in storage insert to keep pencils, erasers, and gluesticks from rolling around inside the file box. The next day we began using the student supply station and we’ve never looked back.
The file box system was working very well, but then one day when I stopped at Staples to buy divider tabs and saw this: The Desk Apprentice. As I studied The Desk Apprentice, I’m pretty sure the clouds parted, angels sang, and beautiful rays of light shone down upon it. (The girlies, however, fervently deny this.) I immediately KNEW this lovely unit would take our student supply stations to a new level of organizational heaven. I snatched up several of these roomy spinning organizers to use as replacements for the file folder boxes we were using as student supply stations.
Now each girl (and mom too!) uses her own Desk Apprentice to store materials. Consumable workbooks and hanging file folders are housed within the roomy main compartment, while pencils, gluesticks, rulers, scissors, etc are stored in the deep nooks on each of the unit’s four corners. Because the unit spins, the girlies are able to access their materials from all sides of The Desk Apprentice. Whenever the girlies need something for a lesson or activity, they go to The Desk Apprentice, grab what they need and get to work right away.
Here’s an important note about The Desk Apprentice. When I purchased mine a few years ago, the price online was significantly higher than the price at the Staples store. The online price is around $50, but I was able to purchase mine at the store for about $35. I’m not sure if this is still the case, but if you’re interested in purchasing The Desk Apprentice, I recommend that you do a price check first.
As long as the girlies remember to put things back in the student supply station, this organizational system works wonderfully. Whether you use a file box system, The Desk Apprentice, or a unique student supply station of your own, I think you’ll immediately see the benefit of using such a system. The goal is to create “a one stop shop” for homeschooling supplies, so your child can find exactly what she needs quickly. I highly recommend taking the time to create a student supply station. It’ll save save time and prevent frustration in the busy months to come.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.