Keeping your homeschool organized will save you time and a lot of grief! There are lots of ways to keep your homeschool organized; some of our favorite tools are our Layers of Learning notebooks. We use notebooks to help keep our kids’ schoolwork tidy and also keep track of our plans as homeschool moms. We also have a variety of free printable notebook covers for your Layers of Learning homeschool.
At the beginning of each year, we set up notebooks for ourselves and our kids. You can choose to organize notebooks by Year, which would involve one large notebook with dividers for each subject, or by Subject, which means you would have smaller notebooks for each of the school subjects – history, geography, science, art, and so on.
Covers by Year
These printable Year covers can be used for kids’ notebooks or for your own.
If you’ve purchased the PDF version of Layers of Learning and intend to print it, these free printable notebook covers are for you. They also include matching spines. You’ll find all 4 printable covers as well as a page with the printable spines in one file.
If you like to keep kids’ written work stored in one binder, you can use the year notebook covers for that as well. You will add dividers in that separate each subject – history, geography, science, and art.
Covers By Subject
Alternately, you can use four notebooks – one for each subject. If you prefer four notebooks, you can use this coordinating set of notebook covers instead. They can also be used as divider pages within your year notebooks by adding a stick-on divider tab to each one.
Writer’s Workshop Covers
Here are a cover and a printable spine for a binder to keep your Writer’s Workshop units in. We keep each unit organized within a divider section inside of a binder that contains all of the Writer’s Workshop units to teach from inside.
Our kids create their own Writer’s Notebook covers that are personalized to their individual likes and personalities, so we don’t have printable covers for student Writer’s Notebooks. Each child can create their own cover while doing the Jump Start unit that settles them into the writing process and their own Writer’s Notebooks.
Filling Our Notebooks
We fill our student notebooks with narrations, maps, printables from our unit, and lots of illustrated note sheets. Even in a project-based curriculum, there should be plenty of writing happening. Our writing helps us solidify the knowledge we’ve gained during our units. It also helps us learn to be articulate and explain the things we have learned, read about, and discussed. As my kids get older I also ask them to come to many of their own conclusions and contribute their own ideas back in the form of writing. A notebook is a perfect place to store all of that. We also keep notebooking pages, maps, homemade brochures, and all sorts of other fun things we make in our notebooks.
Using Student Notebooks
Our notebooks are more than just a place to store papers. We utilize our notebooks a lot for review as we go throughout our school year. When it’s time for history, we often take a walk down memory lane through our notebooks. We look over our pages just like we would thumb through a picture book. I ask the kids spontaneous questions…
“Do you remember who the rulers of the Byzantine Empire were?”
“What was the name of the capital of Brazil?”
“Who can remember what state has butter carving competitions?”
“What was your very favorite thing we learned about Native Americans?”
We look over our assignments, ooh and aah a little, and remember all we’ve learned this year.
Our notebooks also just keep things tidy and organized. If we’re in the middle of a project or we didn’t quite finish a map or notebooking page yet, we know where to find it.
At the end of the school year, you can use your notebooks to create school portfolios for your kids too. It’s really fast and easy to do when you’ve kept everything tidy and where it’s supposed to be throughout the year. You can see our portfolios right here.
Start Your Learning Adventure
To find out more about Layers of Learning and how it can change the way you homeschool, visit the Curriculum Guide. We can’t wait for you to join us on a learning adventure!