Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Backpacking - My New Organizational System

Random image of backpacks to keep Anna happy and to introduce my post.
(of which Jessica forgot to give credit so I will have to chastise her anyways :P-Anna)

Many of us have already started our new school year.  Some of you took pictures to commemorate the
moment. Some of you bought your kids school supplies, clothes, and new backpacks. 

I went to Target.  I bought some school supplies and a backpack for each of my children.  In that backpack I put the following: Crayons, scissors, glue, colored pencils, number 2 pencils, a big eraser, a red pen, a box of washable markers, a notebook, a journal, and a folder.

I have it broken down like this:

My oldest is 12 and in 6/7th grade (I am combining the years).
In her backpack is the aforementioned supplies, plus her books - Math U See, Easy Grammar, Real Science 4 Kids textbook and lab book, and whatever reading assignment she has (currently an Encyclopedia Brown book).
Every week I make the copies of her work from her Easy Grammar Book and mark the day I want her to work it, and put that in her folder.

She works the MUS at her own pace, doing at least one worksheet a day.  She has been flying through this book and in 4 weeks of school has completed 10 units. WOOP!
Anyway, she also has her list of prepositions and her list of helping verbs in her notebook, where she keeps her notes. She has also written out her times tables, measurement conversions (inches to feet, pints to quarts, etc), and notes about other math things that may sometimes give her trouble.

She has to journal a few sentences everyday.  Nothing major, I just check for completion.

Quin's Backpack and the Contents
My two 2nd graders have the supplies I got for them and their Math U See workbooks, their Real Science 4 Kids lab books and their current Explode the Code workbook. They also have their journal, their spiral bound notebook, and a folder.
The folder has not been used for anything yet, but it is there if I need it.  They draw pictures in their journal. The notebook is where they practice their names and any letters or numbers that I want them to work on.

My K-4 baby has her Math U See workbook and her ETC workbook, plus all the supplies the others have.  She has a folder but nothing is in it yet.  She also has a journal and a spiral notebook.  The spiral notebook is where she practices writing her name. She draws pictures in her journal.

Our Complete Setup - All Four Kids' Backpacks and my Teacher Box
I have a small box that contains my planner, the teacher's manuals and DVD's for the MUS, Beks' Explode the Code, Mystery of History book, the RS4K's teacher's manuals, folder for each child that holds a page of ideas for each of them & completed work I want to hold on to, the box of Bob Books we are currently working on, the book I am working on reading with all of them, the MUS blocks, and a pack of construction paper. I am considering getting a rolling bag of some kind so I can make this system ultra portable.

In the mornings, I tell all the kids to grab their backpacks and I grab my box.  They have all their supplies they need. Pencils, paper, workbooks, crayons, etc.  No more hunting down glue sticks or markers.  No more hunting down the MUS DVD's.  They are not allowed to open their backpacks out side of the kitchen, where we do school, ever.  Never, never, never.  When they get done with their work, they put all their stuff back and put the backpack in the designated spot in the schoolroom.

The benefits have been numerous.  If we want to do school elsewhere, we just grab the backpacks and I get the box and we are off!
No more looking for misplaced books or supplies.
It has been particularly good for my ADHD child, to have all her stuff in one spot.
The kids had a grand time picking out their backpacks!

I love this method!  I have been really surprised at how well this works for us. :)

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Rachel E. said...

Who would have though that would work? Looks to be a great idea. :-)

Jessica said...

We have certainly enjoyed it! Thanks for your commment!