Friday, July 29, 2011

Organizing - Update

Back in March I wrote about getting organized.  Since then I have gone through a few methods of organizing our lessons and my flash cards before I settled on our current system.  I think I am pretty happy with it, so thought I would share.

Originally I kept the goal sheet on the fridge and the flashcards in one of the office file organizers.  I learned  early on that wet erase markers worked much better than dry erase ones.  The problem was the flashcards were in Xander's room and the fridge was in the kitchen, obviously.  I kept forgetting to go to the fridge to mark off where we were.  Eventually I took the schedule off the fridge and just kept it in Xander's room.  Unfortunately, even printed on card stock and in a page protector, it tended to wrinkle when I erased it.  For those of you who don't know, I am a bit of a perfectionist and having a creased page protector causes the ink to stain, meaning a messy goal sheet, bugging me.

After a while I moved everything to a three ring binder with a cover slot.  Putting the schedule in the cover was nice, and I was able to take the binder from room to room with me easily.  The downside to having the flashcards in the binder was that the Doman dot cards didn't fit.  Also, after about a week the schedule started sliding around in the cover, moving all my check marks, so I had no clue what day I was on.  To solve the problem I went back to the page protector and taped it to the front of the binder. 

As you can see, the current schedule involves two Little Reader and Little Math sessions a day, seven days a week.  He watches one of his reading DVDs a day (listed under SW because we are currently on Preschool Prep's Meet the Sight Words).  I have been having him watch our "current" DVD Monday through Friday and letting him watch an old reading DVD on the weekends since he loves his Your Baby Can Read so much.    

We do three sets of cards, three times each.  The goal is Monday through Friday, but as you can see from the picture, sometimes I do them on the weekends too.  Some days they don't happen at all.  There is one column for a power point, which we hope to do Monday through Friday.  I have downloaded many power points from BrillBaby in addition to making my own.  I usually show him one after we do Little Reader. 

The "PP" column is for perfect pitch, which is our music lesson of the day (post to follow soon), which we also hope to do Monday through Friday.  However, since he likes the music lessons so much, we might end up doing them every day.  

The final column is for our math lessons, which we were doing three times a day, Monday through Friday.  However, I ran out of Doman dot cards and the polygon flash cards I made after.  Since I haven't made new flash cards yet, we are skipping the scheduled math lessons.  Instead we do simple addition or subtraction problems with toys or food.

It sounds like a lot, but most lessons are less than 15 seconds and it DEFINITELY doesn't all happen every day.  They are "goals."  If we are busy, friends are in town, we don't feel well, we didn't sleep enough, etc, we just do what I feel comfortable with.  Some days LR and LM are the only thing that happen.  Some days we only do one set of word cards.  Some days nothing happens at all.  You get the idea.

Originally I made the GIANT flashcards as recommended by How to Teach Your Baby to Read.  Sometimes we still use them.  However, those were difficult to deal with, not to mention store.  Now I print most of them on card stock from Little Reader, but have also used Microsoft Publisher.  One of our sets of flashcards currently consists of pre-primer Dolche words, which I just wrote on large note cards with a giant permanent red marker.

This is how I store them the majority of the time.  It is just a three ring binder with pocketed dividers.  There are three dividers, one for each word set.  To keep myself organized, set one always goes in the first pocket, set two in the second, and set three in the third.  I have a rubber band on one of the rings to hook my wet erase marker and pen.

Here is a picture of the envelopes we have in the three ring binder.  They just hook in and have Velcro to keep them closed.  I only use them if we are going somewhere and I take the binder with me, which almost never happens.  Usually we only do lessons at home and skip them while we are out.

This is how I keep track of my flash cards (you may have to click to enlarge).  Forgive me, it isn't very neat.  Anyway, there are three sections, one for each set of word cards.  Each section has a column of words removed and words added.  Ever day I take out the oldest card from each set (shown 5 days) and add the newest word.  The day I add one I write it under both the "added" and "removed" columns, so I can just glance and see what word is taken out next.  I sure hope I explained that somewhat clearly.  It may not be the best method, but it has been what works for me.  As you can see, not all three sets are equal.  Since I sometimes only do one or two of the word sets, those have been through more words than set three.


  1. Wow! You are super-organised!

  2. Thank you! In some aspects of life I try to be (don't look in my art cabinet!) I found I need to be or it just wouldn't happen!


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