Monday, March 28, 2011

Color-Coding our Homeschool

One thing that has been an enduring help to my family in our homeschooling is color-coding. For the 5 children that needed colors, I picked colors that would be reasonably easy to find items in those colors. So, we have red, blue, green, yellow/black, and pink/purple. Several years ago I got everybody set up with:

1. a file folder box with a handle to make it easy to carry. I tried to get them in colors when possible. For the kids that I could not find their color, I got black boxes and then used colored electrical tape to label the front and side of their box. (purchased at walmart near duct tape, etc.)

-we have one like this which is nice because they can store their pens, pencils, etc. in the top area

-Each child keeps their own workbooks and notebooks in their own box, as well as basic supplies that they should always have handy like pencil, pen, crayons or markers, scissors, etc.

-I purchased a metal book end for each box, because some of the workbooks were falling over and fitting tightly into the bottom of the file box, making it difficult to get out. You can find these at library supply stores for $3-4 each. I got them in colors, which was fun.

-When it is time to do school, the child knows to just get their box and bring it to the table. They should have all of their books and supplies there, so we can smoothly work through their assignments without "Oh no! Where's my math book!?" When they are done with their seatwork they put everything back into their box and put it back on the shelf where it belongs.

2. When I purchase spiral notebooks, folders, journal notebooks, etc. I always try to get them in each child's color. it makes it easy to identify whose item it is at a glance.

3. We use the electrical tape to color code lots of things that could easily get confused: mp3 players, pens and pencils, electronic equipment, games, etc. It is easy and economical and cuts down on the whole "No that one was mine!" phenomenon.

4. We use poker chips as incentive currency at our house, and that works great with the color coding also. Each child only earns chips in their own color, so we never have a problem with not knowing which chips belong to a child. If we find a stray red chip, we know it goes to the kid who uses red. Easy! :)


Christie P said...

THe link to the file box which says "we got one like this so they can put their pencils in the top" shows the same filebox as the other link. Was that a mistake?

SuperMom said...

Sorry Christie. Guess I couldn't find the exact one like we have. There is just a handy little area on the top of one of our boxes that holds pencils, etc. We got it at Walmart. :)