Have I ever told you about my complete enthrallment with binders? For any type of paper organization, I am a binder girl. With the help of a good three-hole punch, nothing ever gets lost. I keep track of my blog with a binder. I keep track of my diet with a binder. I keep track of my bills in a binder.
As a homeschooling mama, I utilize binders in lots of ways. It can get expensive, but I’ve found that in this instance, garage sales are my friend. I can usually find them for about 25 cents. I once picked up a whole box of binders (had about 20 in it) for $2. That’s the cost of One in the store! I can’t tell you how I happy-danced back to the car. Here’s why:
We use binders to keep track of our worksheets, to do notebooking and lapbooking, to write vocabulary words and take notes, for everything from science to writing to reading to history. It’s like having the whole class in one convenient place.
When we begin each class, the Littles just pull out their binders and turn to the next blank page or worksheet. They don’t lose any information to the bottomless pits that can become of their book boxes. If we have to refer back to something for some reason, we can easily find it. If I decide to test their memories with a quiz, they know where to look to study.
This is a pic of our Oliver Twist study guide binder. The book is long and there is a lot to be gleaned from it, so the study guide is over 200 pages. It’s packed with vocab and study questions and directions for activities, such as crafts, art projects, geography studies, and even some health and social studies projects. It’s wonderful to just be able to open it to the next chapter and have it sitting in front of them while they read the book.
Of course, we finished Oliver Twist today (a little early; we read three chapters. None of us could wait till next week to read the end!), so this binder will be filed away with the others we’ve filled over the years, on a shelf in their bedroom where all that knowledge is at their fingertips and in their own handwriting! That’s my favorite part about using a binder–once you’re done, everything you’ve learned stays protected in one ‘handy-dandy notebook.’ (A Blue’s Clues reference they are still somehow young enough to appreciate! haha)
I can’t sing the praises of binders for homeschool families enough. If you’re like me and you love the use of worksheets AND notebooking AND lapbooking, you can keep it all in one convenient place. We hole-punch construction paper for lapbooking and just add it to the binder. A little different from the file folders we started out in, but actually neater, too.
If you can’t afford binders, or have a class that just doesn’t require all that space, the next best thing is a 3-prong folder.
You know, those folders you can get at Walmart for 15 cents during the back-to-school sales. We’re using this one for art history this year. As you can see, we even use lapbook elements in the middle of our notes sometimes.
It took me about a year to realize I could incorporate my binder obsession into our homeschool, and another year until it became the way I keep Everything organized. Even my school calendars and curriculum plans. The only thing we don’t use binders for these days is math, which we do in plain old notebooks. I wish I would have used binders sooner. So I’m hoping you’ll like the idea and use it as well. Because if I can help make things easier for you, then I’m a happy binder-lady.
Do you have a tool that seems obvious but that most people might not think about implementing? If so, share it with me. I like my life to be made easier too!
P.S. If you’re wondering about the little scraps of paper on the binders in the pics, well, they’re covering up a name of course! They come off for school work. 🙂