Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Day 2 ~ Facing the Fiery Furnace

Today in the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop we are going to Face the Fiery Furnace! This is also known as sorting through your supplies and resources!

Why the drama?

Because if you're like us, you've shoved it all in the cabinet and everyone knows to not open the door or it will explode all over the floor. Ok, so maybe its not that drastic this year, but I think we can all agree that we NEED to sort through what we have before we make plans to use it. We also need to know what we have available in order to know what we still want to find for the upcoming homeschool year.

First up? Have a good breakfast. It is much easier to be ruthless about cleaning, organizing, and purging what we no longer need if you've been well-fed first! 

Next? Decide which you will sort first: the supplies or the resources. Supplies are things like crayons, notebooks, and glue sticks. Resources are things like math blocks, textbooks, and workbooks, PLUS science resources like the microscope.

Lets start with the (usually) easier one: supplies. Somewhere in your house you probably have a shelf, a cabinet, or maybe even a whole bookcase devoted to keeping your supplies. Take it all out and throw away or recycle anything that isn't worth keeping. Those scraps of construction paper that aren't really big enough to make anything should get tossed into the recycle bin, the broken crayons should either hit the trash can or be bagged up for making muffin tin crayon discs. The pencils should all be put together. Same goes for the markers, paperclips, scissors, pens and notebooks. If a notebook has been half used, but no one wants what is in it, tear or cut out those pages and use what is left for scrap paper for math, or to make your shopping list. Any construction paper or filler paper that has started to yellow should be recycled or used as kindling for your bonfire. Paper that was not made using an acid-free processing will break down after a few years and could irritate little fingers.

Now that you can actually see everything (you're probably used the floor or the dining room table,) take stock of what you should buy now while the supplies are still on sale. Are you almost out of crayons? Has your last glue stick dried up? Make a note of it and make sure you purchase what you really need, not just whatever looks pretty and new at the store! If you're new to homeschooling, consider looking up (online) the list of supplies that your local school requires for your child's grade. The lists can be a solid starting point, however, your children probably won't need to bring their own bottle of Purell or box of Kleenex on the first morning of class -LOL!

Next it is time to organize your resources. This should include several things and may take you a few days. Feel free to divvy it up into reasonable chunks... perhaps one-hour a day. You'll want to organize your books (text books, living books, reference books, and workbooks all fit in here.) If you have a large age gap between children, consider moving some of the unused books to a tote in the attic or basement so its is easier to actually find what you need on the shelf. You will want to keep all of the things you expect you might use with your students this year in an easy to locate spot. Our girls each have a designated place on one bookshelf for their current school books and notebooks, and I have a bookshelf with all the shared books (Atlas, Presidential books, Field Guides,) plus my planning notebooks. We keep the currently unused curriculum on a different bookshelf in another room.

A word here about resources: remember to sort through your e-books, PDF guides and unit studies. It doesn't do you any good to have a unit study By Amanda Bennett or a lap book from A Journey Through Learning on your computer if you can't find it when you want to use it... or worse yet, you forget you have it and it never gets used!

When you get to the math manipulatives and science resources, find a designated spot for each thing and make sure it gets put away every time. It is hard to get started learning about meiosis and mitosis when you can't find the microscope slides!

By now I hope you've sorted through enough to see what and how much you really have. As home educators today we are so blessed with a huge variety of resources that we can easily be overwhelmed by choices. Taking the time to face your fiery furnace and sort through it all should bring you peace, and a greater understanding of how blessed we are! The only resource you really need is your Bible, although a Library card can come in handy!

Come back tomorrow for... NO SPOILERS!
See you then!

Ready to read some more great posts?

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

The Schoolhouse Review Crew  is joining forces with Homeschool Blogging Connection to bring you a week full of back to school encouragement.

We have 56 homeschool Mom's sharing their combined wisdom and insights covering everything Homeschool related. That's 280 posts of encouragement and information just for you!
Marcy @ Ben and Me

Rebecca @ Raventhreads
Annette @ In All You Do

Aurie @ Our Good Life
Jennifer @ A Peace of Mind
Katie @ DailyLife
Melissa @ Mom's Plans
Annette @ A Net In Time

Crystal @ Crystal Starr
Shawna @ Tenacity Divine
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning 
Leah Courtney @ As We Walk Along the Road

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