10 Days of Homeschool Encouragement Homeschooling

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders - SallieBorrink.com

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I’m a naturally organized person and frankly really enjoy it. But organizing homeschool papers and crafts has been my nemesis. The paperwork and crafts and scraps of paper generated by one highly-creative child has been overwhelming at times.

As she’s gotten older, it’s gotten better. She doesn’t create as much and she’s willing to pitch things now. When she was in max production mode and minimal-to-zero disposal mode, it was seriously unreal. I admit I just let it pile up because I didn’t know where to start.

I finally figured out what would work, oh, last year when Caroline was finishing third grade. (I told you this was my nemesis!) I’m hoping to save you the angst I suffered in not knowing what to do with all the stuff. This is what I do.

It’s really simple. It’s flexible. It’s quick. It uses minimal supplies.

Organizing with Three Ring Binders

I use large (3 inch) three-ring binders with D rings with acid free top-loading sheet protectors. It makes it easy to keep lots of little stuff which you will understand if you have a creative child who is constantly making “things” out of paper and other craft materials.

Avery Heavy-Duty View Binder with 3-Inch One Touch EZD RingAvery Heavy-Duty View Binder with 3-Inch One Touch EZD RingAvery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Acid FreeAvery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Acid Free

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100_4512I looked at a lot of different ideas, including filing. I like the idea of filing in crates or file cabinets, but decided this way is better for a few reasons. One, everything is more contained. Two, it makes it easier for the child to look through her previous work without making a mess. Three, I like seeing the binders all lined up in a row in the bookcases in the learning room. (I know. I’m a dork.)

100_4513Caroline selected a different font and color for each binder. Workbooks that are too large to go into a sleeve were placed on the shelf.

One of the reasons that I tend to keep pretty much every piece of learning-related paper we do generate is because so much of our learning doesn’t include paper. Because we are relaxed or unschooler-ish in our approach, I want to have some physical evidence that learning is going on. The laws are minimal in our state (Michigan), but I still want proof that we’re doing things. It makes me feel better.

I’ve created a PDF with step-by-step instructions of how I do this. You can download a copy at the end of this post.

Homeschool Binder Contents

Here are some sample contents from her Kindergarten binder.

Greeting cards from the year

100_4516Some calendar and math things

100_4517Math pages and math workbooks that fit in a sleeve

100_4518A primary journal in a sleeve (We loved these journals!)

100_4522Piles and piles of drawings… Can anyone guess who that is in the drawing? (hint)

100_4521Lots and lots of creative this and that in lots and lots of acid free sleeves

100_4520Lapbooks from co-op at the end

100_4523The best part is I can now keep up with it during the school year. I don’t file every day, but regularly so I keep on top of it. I don’t ever want to get behind like I was when I finally came up with a plan that worked.

If I need to trim the binders down in the future, it’s easy to go through, sort and pitch again.

Organizing Homeschool Binders Printable

If you would like to try this method, feel free to download and print one of the PDFs below. The PDF is available in four designs that coordinate with my printable planners. Choose whichever one makes you happy!

Strawberries PDF

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders - Strawberries

Pink Roses PDF

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders - Pink Roses

Vintage Pink Flowers PDF

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders - Vintage Flowers

Aqua and Yellow PDF

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders - Aqua and Yellow

Homeschool Binder Supplies

Avery Durable View BinderAvery Durable View BinderSamsill Fashion Print 3 Ring Binder, Digi Diamond Design, 1 Inch Round Rings, Assortment - Turquoise, Pink, Silver - 6 PackSamsill Fashion Print 3 Ring Binder, Digi Diamond Design, 1 Inch Round Rings, Assortment – Turquoise, Pink, Silver – 6 PackWilson Jones Round Ring View Binder, 1.5 InchWilson Jones Round Ring View Binder, 1.5 InchSamsill Fashion Color 3 Ring Storage Binder, 2 Inch Round Ring, 4 Pack AssortedSamsill Fashion Color 3 Ring Storage Binder, 2 Inch Round Ring, 4 Pack AssortedAmazonBasics 3-Ring Binder, 2 Inch - 4-PackAmazonBasics 3-Ring Binder, 2 Inch – 4-PackAvery Nonstick Heavy-Duty EZD Reference View 3 Inch Black BinderAvery Nonstick Heavy-Duty EZD Reference View 3 Inch Black BinderCardinal 1.5Cardinal 1.5Cardinal Round Ring View Binder, 3-Inch, White, Pack of 4 BindersCardinal Round Ring View Binder, 3-Inch, White, Pack of 4 Binders

 

This is part of my 10 Days of Homeschool Encouragement series.

Organizing Homeschool Paperwork in Binders - Sallie Borrink

5 Comments

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  • I love binders, we buy the heavy duty expensive kind because well, there are no careful, gentle, delicate hands (or sometimes feet) using them.  I was getting a little nervous scrolling down and seeing your pictures until I saw the piles and piles of drawings and creative this and thats! Yep that part looks like mine 🙂  Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us! – Carlen

  • As of this moment, I have most of last year’s papers stuffed in a bin and slid under the bed. Not the best place for it, admittedly! I might just have to try this method and see how it works for us. Thanks for sharing!

Welcome!

Sallie-Schaaf-Borrink-060313-B-250x250I'm Sallie, teacher by training and now homeschooling mom of Caroline. My passion is to provide products, encouragement, and information that helps others discover and do what works with their children. I also write about living a cozy life as a highly introverted person. Welcome! ♥

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