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How To Organize Easy Peasy Homeschool On a Budget with DIY Storage Boxes

Just how do you organize Easy Peasy (EP) Homeschool On a Budget-for a Large Family?  Read on to find out just how we do it!


One of the many benefits of using Easy Peasy Homeschool is that it is a free, online, complete curriculum. In case you missed it, here’s my earlier post 17 1/2 Reasons to Love Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool.

As much as we loved how EP is laid out and its lesson structure, one issue that we did run into is trying to figure out just which boy was going to use which device and complete what.

Also, I wanted to have the required papers to be completed for their portfolios printed out and ready to go.  (We have much better compliance and completion when everything is set out and at our fingertips.)

The final issue (and biggest one for this busy mom!) is keeping up with filing and organizing completed papers.  As much as I have tried in the past to be organized with our homeschool portfolios, I tended to have my own “method” of filing (basically stuffing papers into a binder with the hope of sorting out at the end of the week…month….quarter-you see where I’m going with this!)

I knew that I needed a quick and easy way to organize EP.  I figured it would be best to start off on the right foot and devise a system that would meet all of these needs.

And I think I found it!

Homeschooling can become expensive-if you let it!  I have learned that even buying used materials can add up quickly.  Field trips, supplies, special treats-whew!  I love to have fun while we homeschool-but need to stay within budget!

Using EP Homeschool allows our family to add special treats and trips to our homeschool.  But, I didn’t want to start eating into our homeschool “fun” budget by buying organization supplies.  I just knew that I could figure out a way to get us organzied with a bit of DIY & frugal thinking!

DIY Time!  The Budget Approach to EP Organization

(Before we begin, if you are not the DIY type, don’t have the time, or want a more polished look, check out  Rainbow Magazine Holders or Box File Folder.

Materials:

      • empty cereal boxes or other sturdy cardboard boxes (need to be slightly larger than manila folders and notebooks)
        **I ended up using USPS boxes that I had gotten a while ago.  Check out USPS to see if they have boxes in the size you want.  I had ordered mine for a candle business-got a box of 25 delivered for free!
        Very sturdy & easy to cut!
      • ruler
      • pencil
      • exacto knife or box cutter
      • labels/stickers
      • 1 or 3 subject spiral notebooks
      • 3-ring binder
      • clear page protectors
      • dry erase markers
      • large binder clippers (if using the DIY box clipboard)

 

Okay, first step is to make the storage boxes  (one for each student who will be using Easy Peasy).

I found this idea in the post “How to make Magazine storage boxes…Yourself!:)” on A Bowl Full of Lemons.  Toni’s storage boxes look amazing!  Our boxes turned out nice-kind of rough-but fine for our purposes;)

Using this method, I was able to get 2 storage boxes out of 1!  Less cutting is always good here:)

            1. Measure box that you will be using.  I recommend marking off 4 inches.  From that point, measure 3 inches down.  Flip your box and do the same on other side.  Connect diagonally.  Mark lines and connection the same way on the other side.
            2. Take exacto knife or box cutter and CAREFULLY cut along lines.
              **I would only allow an adult to do this!!!  Do not let even an older child cut (even under adult supervision)-please use extreme caution when cutting!
              Try to cut smoothly-but don’t worry if not perfect!  Lines will be covered with paper so no big deal:)
            3. Prepare to cover!  Get tape, scissors, and wrapping paper ready.  I had plain brown wrapping paper from our local Dollar Tree and went with that.  I am going to let each boy decorate their own storage box as an art project (bonus!).
            4. Wrapping was the most difficult step.  Although, to be fair, I will fully admit that I am a horrible gift wrapper (and this is pretty much same concept!)
              I finally figured out a somewhat decent method of wrapping by the last storage box-go figure!
            5. Time to label!  I used the blank side of an index card, cut it down to fit the front, taped on, and labelled.**please let me know if you have any questions about this DIY process!  it’s really not that hard-and was worth the time to save the $$.I did not spend any money on this project.  I already had all the materials at our home.If your budget is tight, I strongly recommend scrounging around your home for possible materials.  You may be surprised at what you find to use!

Next step is to prepare folders.  I am planning on using an adapted version of the Daily Folder System for Skipper and Professor.  They need more than manila folders.

I added spiral notebooks, as well as looseleaf paper.  One goal for the two older boys is to learn to keep an organized notebook.  I am going to be working with them on keeping notebooks for Reading, Writing, Science, and History.  Math and Extras (Art, Music, PE/Health, Safety) will be recorded on loose leaf paper, stored in manila folders during the week, and filed in their portfolio.

Oh, I ended up using plastic folders for Professor instead of spiral notebooks!  He is left-handed and prefers looseleaf paper over spiral notebooks.  So, he’ll have a 3-prong folder for each subject.

Smiley and Bear will be using the Daily Folder System.  It has been an easy way for me to stay organized with them.  Hey, if it works…

Take your markers and label manila folder tabs accordingly.  

If you would like, use labels or stickers to help differentiate subjects and/or students.

Also, my boys like to decorate their folders-another possible art project!

 

Time to prepare spiral notebooks (if using).  All I did here was label the plain side of an index card and tape to cover of notebook.  (I may create a printable to place inside each notebook to help my boys learn and remember important notebook organization skills…make sure to Sign up! to lock into your copy!)

Of course, label and decorate to your heart’s content!

 

At this point, I began to prepare the older boys’ portfolio binders.  In our state (Pennsylvania), portfolios must be contain specific items, as well as be reviewed by a homeschool evaluator.

I like to print out and have prepared all required forms to be completed, signed, and filed.

diy-storage-boxes-homeschool-folders-tabs
Labeled Tabs for Homeschool Portfolio Binder

Also, I prepare the 3-ring portfolio binder by adding dividers with tabs.  I add labels and then we are all set for filing completed work!


 

Next, I printed out the Individual Weekly Planners for Easy Peasy Homeschool.  I went to Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool and found the appropriate grade or Program Year.

I fill out each planner as simply as possible.  This planner is really to help Mommy stay on track with what each boy is supposed to be doing.  Also, planner is to help me keep up with printables.

When I completed a planner, I placed it in a clear page protector.  (I wanted to make planner a bit more sturdy). I temporarily attached it to side of storage box with a large binder clip-like a DIY clipboard!

I plan on using a wipe off dry erase marker throughout the week to check off work.  I may change this up if necessary-not sure how well the marker will stand up to daily use.  If so, I’ll just check off with a pencil.

 

As I went through Easy Peasy site and filled out planners, I made sure to print out those subjects with (*).  I figured-hey, why not get it done now?  Save myself a step later on!

I made an extra set of folders for each Program Year Level (Skipper and Professor will be doing Year 2-Level M, Smiley will be doing Year 2-Level L) for my own use to store printables to be used in the future.

Remember:  check out my post on 17 1/2 Reasons To Love Easy Peasy All-In-One Homeschool to get your own FREE 3 PRINTABLE INDIVIDUAL WEEKLY PLANNERS & LARGE FAMILY PLANNER FOR MULTIPLE CHILDREN USING EASY PEASY HOMESCHOOL.


Okay, because I love you all so much I made this FREE PRINTABLE ORGANIZING & PLANNING EASY PEASY HOMESCHOOL ON A BUDGET MATERIALS CHECKLIST!  Simply click below, print, and start organzing & planning!  I really want to make this as easy peasy as possible for you!!

BBB Organize & Plan Easy Peasy Homeschool On a Budget Materials Checklist

To get access to all of our free printables, SIGN UP NOW!  I’d love to stay in touch with you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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