The Homeschool Card Catalog

Over this last weekend, I had a crazy, exhilarating idea that I’m going to give a try over the next little while.

To understand why I’m so excited about this idea, you have to know some of the things I’m struggling with in our homeschool system right now.

Current Issues with the Perkey Homeschool System

  • I have so many learning resources spread around my house that I forget that I have them and therefore forget to use them.
  • I have a learning room dedicated to learning supplies, resources, and books for my kids, but it’s so full that they don’t “see” anything interesting to do.
  • I’m constantly finding online and free downloadable resources that look wonderful, but I do not have a good way to keep track of them and then can’t remember to use them at the opportune moment.
  • I have lots of great ideas of things I want to do with my kids in all 7 learning categories–more than would ever be humanly possible to do, in fact. But in the moment, I often draw a blank and default to my comfort zone of stories and games to inspire learning.

So, to help me solve these problems, I’m going to create a learning adventure box for each of my kids. It will be a 3×5 recipe-style card holder. Into it, I will put all the different kinds of learning activities (games, stories, activities, websites, movies, etc.) that I think each particular kid will find inspiring.

During our learning time, my kids can use their boxes as a way to spark their ideas and prime their learning pump. (I’m toying with the idea of making cards with words and pictures for Pea Pod and Bok Choy since they still aren’t reading. But I know that would be a lot more work–and therefore might stall the process.)

Some basic rules I’ve set out for myself as I start to put this together.

  1. Only one learning possibility per card
  2. State each possibility as a question so that each kid (and particularly Pepper) feels like they have autonomy
  3. Limit the number of cards in the box so that the choices aren’t overwhelming (I’m going to start with 12.)
  4. Make sure there is a good mix of independent vs. “needs mom’s help”
  5. Have the cards represent a variety of subjects
  6. Change some of the cards out regularly so that they stay fresh and maintain an element of surprise
  7. Remain excited but not pushy about the cards so that the kids feel ownership over their own box

Elsewhere, I will keep a master 3×5 box, by subject, where I will file all the cards that aren’t currently in someone’s box. Also, when I come across or acquire a new resource, I can write it down on a card.

No more forgetting about resources!

No more “what should we do now” moments in my brain!

No more cluttered-until-we-suffocate learning spaces!

Okay, that may be a little optimistic, but I still think this idea has great potential.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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6 Comments

Filed under Resources and Reviews

6 responses to “The Homeschool Card Catalog

  1. Shelley

    LOVE IT!! GOING TO TRY IT!!!

  2. Mindy

    Absolutely brilliant!

  3. Shannon

    Kind of like The Closet, only smaller. :)

    • taperkey

      Exactly! Although the part that I’m really excited about is ME getting organized. Since I wrote this, I’ve had some new thoughts and ideas which I’ll have to blog about soon!

  4. Girlfriend, where do your great ideas end?? You must be one focused mama!

    • taperkey

      Mostly out of necessity! Sometimes I sit in my kitchen and think, “Dang, I’ve got to come up with something today!” Usually an idea will come–and sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. To be completely fair, I should probably share some that don’t pretty soon. Because their have been some epic failures as well as some extraordinary successes!

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