Our Homeschool Assignment Binder

In my weekly wrap-up last week, I made mention of a new assignment binder we had begun using.  It’s been a great addition to our homeschooling organization, so I wanted to give you a little more information on it.

Well, lookie there!  The binders are color-coded…like my children!

OK, you might be wondering WHY I needed a new system.  The one issue I’ve had with my modified workbox system was the fact that I had to load the folder every day.  Well, I just couldn’t do it, and usually ended up checking papers at the end of the week and writing all the assignments down on their assignment sheets.  For my oldest, this worked alright, but for my second child, who is easily overwhelmed, this was too much information in one place.

Last week I read a post on using page protectors in binders to streamline the homeschool assignment issue, but page protectors and Amy just don’t seem to mix well.  I was still mulling the whole thing over when I ran across the perfect solution!  Those binders in the top picture open up into this:

There are 8 pockets (you can buy them with 12 pockets too!)  I chose the 8 pocket one because I’ll be doing assignments by day, so I’ll only have 5 active pockets, with the pocket in the front being used for past assignments I’ve graded and want them to look over.

The beauty of these pocket binders is the fact that not only is there a large pocket that holds worksheets and such, there is an envelope-sized pocket attached to it where I can slip in an index card with each day’s assignments.

Close up of individual binder page.

This is my 9 year old’s binder.  In the large pocket I’ve placed her math worksheet for the day along with her copywork assignment.  The envelope pocket holds a large index card with MONDAY written at the top and then each assignment she is to do for Monday.  As she does the assignment, she pulls the card out and marks it off and places the completed assignment back in the large pocket. On Tuesday, she moves on to the next page of her binder…and so on and so forth.

At the end of the week, I can quickly gather up the work, check it, put the old sheets in the front pocket, add new assignment cards and worksheets, and away we go!

Their books and pencil/crayon boxes still reside in their crates so they are easily divided and accessible.

I’ve added a couple of new crates/tubs to my homeschool world as well…

1. A School Crate behind my chair in the living room. The bulk majority of our corporate work (History, Worldview, Logic)  is done in the living room.  When I cleaned out my living room and office space, I added a crate there for the books that correspond with those corporate subjects as well as my School Binder {by the way, the Binder posts I’ve been promising are written and scheduled, so I haven’t forgotten!}

School Crate

2. An Answer Key Tub. I keep all my answer keys in one tub, so I can easily haul the tub to my living room chair {can you tell I’m fond of that chair???} and check papers and refill binders in comfort!

So, there’s my revamp!  What do you think?

I do want to say one thing here because I used to be one of those people who lamented the fact that I NEVER seemed to find something that worked well enough to stick with it for a hundred years.

It is okay to change things.

It is okay to admit something you raved about it doesn’t work anymore.

It is okay to search for a solution that does work.

Just because you fell in a rut you dug yourself is no reason to stay there. My modified workboxes worked for quite some time.  But, then they didn’t.  I could have just kept going with it, getting further and further behind, but I knew that wasn’t the answer.  I searched for something that would work and am forever grateful for the wealth of homeschool moms out there willing to blog about how they organize and run their homeschool.

No one person has all the answers.  No one system will work for everyone.  However, there is One God, and He is a God of Order.  It is imperative I strive to be a child of order as well…even when that means abandoning something I thought was the be all end all of my homeschooling organization.

I hope this encourages you to make the changes you need to make to bring peace and order to your homeschool world.

**One quick item of interest I ran across last week**
My son needs a school ID for a trip he’s taking this summer.  I found a site where you can create a professional looking ID card and print it at home for free or have a hard PVC plastic card mailed to you for a small fee.  I printed ours on cardstock and laminated with contact paper and it turned out beautifully!  Here’s the link: Homeschool ID Cards

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27 thoughts on “Our Homeschool Assignment Binder

  1. I bought 2 of those months ago, thinking they’d be perfect for homeschooling but not sure what I’d do with them yet. I’m not sure if I’ll load the whole week into it like you described or use each pocket for a different subject. Either way, I had no idea what to do with the small pocket, and I LOVE your idea about the assignment cards! Perfect, thanks for the tip!
    .-= Michelle ´s last blog ..Peanut Butter Cookies =-.

  2. I think this looks great! I’m working on tweaking our system right now too. We need to be more efficient and some of the problems you were having are the same ones we have. I can never get the workboxes filled each day. Instead, I fill them for the week and each workbox is a certain subject. They still need an assignment sheet, so this might work for us too. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Alpaca Farm Field Trip =-.

  3. YAY! They look great!! Where did you find those binders?

    I love how ours work, so I am excited to how others are able to customize my ideas to work for them.
    .-= Betty´s last blog ..My Top Ten Ways to Naturally and Safely Help Control My Allergies. =-.

  4. …and please share, where did you get them?? What brand are they?
    .-= Tamara´s last blog ..365 – 146 …Freshly baked bread =-.

  5. I love those binders. I’m just about to begin homeschooling in a couple of months and haven’t been able to come up with one way I love for assignments. I think this might be great. And like others, I’m curious where you got them??
    .-= Lauree´s last blog ..Allowance vs. Commission =-.

  6. I know I’ve said this before but color coding children is such a great idea! Great system. I wholeheartedly agree that it’s ok to change your system. Mostly because I do the same thing!! I’m constantly shuffling, changing, and rearranging how I organize and keep track of things. Glad to know there’s someone else out there who does that too!
    .-= Christine (iDreamofClean)´s last blog ..Removing a Stuck On Label or Sticker (Real Clean Wednesday) =-.

  7. What a WONDERFUL idea!! Right now, I used boxed curriculum (decided to stick with Abeka one more year). Everything is kept together and it’s working for us.

    I can see where History and Science is going to be left wanting in coming years with Abeka … and I’m not too thrilled with the reading (that’s easily fixed with the library though LOL). So we’ll probably do something different for 3rd grade (she’s gonna start 2nd grade this July or August, whenever I get around to starting it lol).

    I’ll have to keep this in mind when we do switch over to something different, though. For sure!
    .-= Brandy´s last blog ..The Homeschool Swap =-.

  8. I came over from Monday Mingle. I love these binders. I will have to go to our Staples and see if I can get a few with my rebate. I’m a school supply addict :)

  9. Hi, I’m new to your blog but recently was reading on the ‘workbox’ idea. I’m in South Africa and have hunted for several days to discover nothing that I felt could replicate the workboxes. I resigned myself to doing a notebook – just about like what you are doing. So good to see someone doing it before I jump in. I also colour-code with my four boys(baby girl doesn’t get a colour yet!
    Thanks!

  10. Pingback: Downsizing our Homeschool « Chaos Appreciation

  11. Pingback: Our Binder System « Chaos Appreciation

  12. I went out and bought these!!! I can’t wait to start planning and using them. Thanks for the great idea. And yes, I even color coded everyone this year : )

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  14. I love this blog and all your other ideas and
    I love this idea! I’m new to all of this and was looking on the Wal-mart website and can’t find these binders. Can you please help me, Thanks so much!!

    • Hello and welcome! Thanks so much for the kind words. I purchased these folders over a year ago, so they might have discontinued them. You might check an office supply store. :)

  15. I will look into this…
    I am doing a year in reveiw book for the daycare kids, but it is really jaus a page or to a month as a memory thing as they are little… I am doing one for my one kids to and would do an extra for homeschooing stuff mainly to show quickly an overveiw of what we have done…

  16. I like the idea of the assignment cards, but do you do lesson plans (for yourself) as well and then copy them for each kid every day?

  17. Where did you find the binders that you mentioned? I have been looking for them and have been unable to find them. Thanks!

  18. I have a binder solution for my kids too, although slightly different from the ones here. I do 9 weeks at a time (which is a little large- 6 weeks would probably work better but I only want to do it 4 times!) I start off with one subject- math- since they do it everyday and it is also first everyday. I add all the worksheets and any tests (we use Abeka math). Then I start adding in everything else for each day. If they have a IEW assignment, I just write the title very small at the top to give them an idea where they’re headed. They still might need my help, but maybe not. EVERY thing they need each day is right there waiting for them. Since I can’t plan spelling (we use excellence in writing and I won’t know when they’ll finish each lesson) I just write “spelling” at the top. This way, they can look at a glance and see what they have for the day. I taught them how to move some papers to the next day. I just copied all my sonlight reader guides and placed them in the appropriate lesson- they get moved along each day until that particular book is finished. Sometimes a sonlight science worksheet is t completely finished so they have to move it for the next day. I’m sure there are fancier dividers I could use but I was in a hurry so I just ripped a file folder in two and put it at the beginning and end of each lesson. When they finish the day, they move the front one to the end of the next lesson. My daughter hates my system because she doesn’t like my tearing her beautiful workbooks apart, but I just can’t deal with the “what’s next?” Question several times a day. Make sense? My only regret is tht Wordly wise had perforated sheets. Then I would feel complete. :)

    • Holly–You can always take those workbooks to a local small print shop and they will cut off just the binding and drill them for 3 hole as well.

      I do this for books that are just plain hard to use with a glued binding and then put them in a ring binder.

      I would like to know the name of the manufacturer on these nifty binders.