Sunday, June 3, 2012

End of School Year Organizing

What do I do with all this stuff?  Has that question come across your mind? 

That probably depends on a few things such as how much storage room you have, whether you are going to move soon and if you have younger children (or may have more children) who will use your books.

I think the optimal idea would be to have a library in my home with all the books labeled by curriculum.  I know at least one family who has that.  It's amazing.  We've never had a room with ALL of our books on shelves so I've used storage bins.  I prefer the clear ones.  I'll keep them in the attic, the basement, the garage or the laundry room depending on our house!  The bins need to be accessible.  They need to be handy.

One time when we moved and I had all the books organized in their respective bins, the movers TOOK THEM OUT AND RANDOMLY PLACED THEM IN MOVING BOXES LABELED "BOOKS".

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Sigh.  There isn't much worse than that for a military homeschool mom.  So, now I tell the movers to pack those specific plastic bins with the books in them and not to in any way, shape or form, alter what is in the bins.  Breathe out.

They usually object, saying that my plastic bins will break in their cardboard boxes.  I tell them I don't care.  And I don't.  It is much easier to buy new plastic bins than to organize 12 years of homeschool books when you arrive in your new state or country and have to start school in a week.

Back to- what do I do with all this stuff?

I tend to keep some books out on our book shelves that I'm pretty sure I'll use again next year.

The others I put in a bin labeled with the curriculum and year of that curriculum.  For example, "Tapestry of Grace Year 2 (LG, UG)."  I now have kids in all four levels of  TOG so I find it easier to have separate boxes for Lower Grammar/Upper Grammar and another for Dialectic/Rhetoric.  I also a have some bins that say science, grammar or math for those books.

I try to keep a folder from each year with kids' artwork, drawings, etc.  I usually keep them in the bin with the curriculum we used that year.  In four years we pull out that bin again and I look at some of the arts and crafts they did four years before- priceless.

One bin that I have says "School Supplements."  That has those books and curricula that I haven't used, but don't want to part with, or that I've used and think I may use it at some point in the future but I'm not sure.  I try to weed out that box often.

And, OH!!! I just found a great website to buy/sell used homeschool curricula.

What about those workbooks???

I tend to get rid of them at the end of the year.  In the past I would save them for posterity or so I could see what they did when they were five.  Awe.  I'm pretty much over that now and I don't save so much. 

What do you do with your school books at the end of the year???


  1. I love the idea of having a home library. I don't homeschool, but have lots of books for the kids to read. Our house has closet organizers in everyroom. In my older kids room, I put all their books there so they could access them when they wanted too. We have a basket in the family room for library books - that way I can quickly grab them when it's time to return them.

    When the work books come home at the end of the year, I keep the journals and recycle the rest.

    1. Hi Michelle, I like your idea with the basket for library books. We (I) tend to misplace ours.....

  2. Sue,

    I think this will be very helpful for others who move as much as we have :)

  3. Like you, I save any textbooks that my younger children will go on to use. We have a small home library right off of our schoolroom, really just a bunch of bookshelves in a large built-in cubby. I get rid of the workbooks, but I do save samples of each child's work.

    1. I like the idea of saving a sample of their work. Good idea!

  4. I would love a library! I don't have space though. For now, the books are everywhere:)

    1. My "library" is all of my plastic bins.