In today’s post, I am sharing how I take our homeschool curriculum and make it open and go.
This school year, I will have a 7th, 5th, 3rd, and 1st graders. Since I have multiple children that I need to be teaching along with a bunch of little ones running around, I need things to be as simple as possible. So I have created a system using classification folders that allows the majority of our school work to be open and go.
In case you are unaware of what a classification folder is, it is a folder similar looking to manila folders. You may see these used in some doctor offices. The neat thing about these is they have multiple sections in them along with fasteners at the top to put paper in.
I came up with my open and go homeschool folders last year mainly for my now 5th grader and younger children. My middle schooler does most of his schoolwork independently, so his folder was set up very differently.
The reason why I came up with this system is that I needed to be able to tell the girls “ hey it’s time to do school” and for them to be able to quickly grab their work. Especially since we don’t have a designated homeschool room and do our school work in various areas of the house, the kids needed to be able to easily grab their stuff.
The other purpose of these open and go folders is to be able to have all their daily, must-get to subjects all in one thing. So our open-and-go homeschool folders only have the daily musts, which are language arts and math. These do not include history, science, religion, or literature because these are all book-based studies. Although that would be really cool if I could create something truly all in one with our books included.
The reason why I like to use classification folders over a binder is that binders seem too bulky. My kids often drop them cause the papers to fall out and get all mixed up. The rings always seem to get all bent. I’ve just never had great experiences with binders. I can honestly say that I have not had any of these issues with the classification folders. So far these have worked really well for us.
OPEN AND GO HOMESCHOOL FOLDER SETUP
The classification folder that I am using this year has three tabs. Last year we used classification folders that had only two tabs. On the very front, I have a general weekly schedule that is more of a reference for me.
The first section of our open and go homeschool folders is their reading sections. This year we are using The Good and the Beautiful’s Language Arts for reading instruction. On the right side are the worksheets and behind those is a chart I made from Canva. The girls color a star/heart after they’ve completed a lesson and after so many lessons they get a small treat. On the left side is a section for sight words. After they’ve mastered a sight word ladder they get a small treat for that as well.
The next section is the math section. This year we are using Math U See and those worksheets are on the right side. It’s important that my kids do 5 minutes of math facts everyday so the left side is where I keep math fact drill pages.
After the math section is where I have spelling/ dictation and grammar for my 5th grader. On the right side, I have the table of contents of all the lessons for First Language Lesson. Any worksheets on top. I like making copies of the table of contents to the curriculum we use as a checklist. I also like to keep the poem that they are currently working on taped to the very back of this section. The left side is where I keep our Spelling Wisdom (from Simply Charlotte Mason) exercises. I really wanted to add dictation to our homeschool this year and having a designated section will be super helpful.
Kateri and Avila’s isn’t doing any dictation other than what may be included in the Good and the Beautiful so I added a picture of Mother Mary to the left side.
Lastly, we have the handwriting and writing section. For my fifth-grader, handwriting is on the right. She will continue learning cursive and all her cursive worksheets are placed here. On the bottom of her handwriting section, I have an alphabet chart in cursive for reference. To the left is her writing instruction. This year she will be starting IEW. The source text, worksheet, and list of vocabulary words are all on the left side.
Since Kateri and Avila (my third and first graders) are not doing any formal writing instruction, this act section is only handwriting. Their handwriting pages go on the right and an alphabet chart for reference is on the left.
OPEN AND GO FOLDER ORGANIZATION
I use an accordion organizer to store all their future worksheets/schoolwork. So for our The Good and The Beautiful curriculum (which is a pdf and I just print out as I need) I print a large amount at a time, pre-hole punch everything, and stick it into the accordion organizer. For workbooks like Math U See, I rip out several lessons worth of worksheets and stick those into the accordion organizer as well.
This allows me to have all their worksheets/ schoolwork ready to go when it’s time for me to refill their open and go homeschool folders. Once a kid empties a section, I just grab the accordion organizer, take out about 10 sheets of whatever the subject is and refill that section of their folders.
I even got one of these two-hole punches this year from Amazon. For some reason, I thought these things would have been a lot more expensive then what it was. It was like only $6. Last year I just used a single-hole punch which got the job done but this is so much more convenient.
Last year when I first set these up, I had the intention of only have a week’s worth of school at a time. This was so that the kids could get the gratification of seeing “hey your folder is empty and you completed your whole week’s worth of school”. The problem was we would not get to everything in one week. And to be totally honest, I would get too lazy to refill their folders every weekend. This is why now I fill them up a lot more.
WATCH MY OPEN AND GO HOMESCHOOL FOLDER VIDEO
OPEN AND GO HOMESCHOOL FOLDER SUPPLIES
- Classification folders – this year we are using these three-tab ones so I can fit more subjects but last year we used two tabbed classification folders
- Two-hole punch
Hopefully, you found this useful and are able to walk away with some ideas on how you can make your homeschool curriculum more open and go.
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