How to Create a Simple Homeschool Filing System

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How to create a simple homeschool filing system.

The filing system I use is a variation of the weekly filing system many people use. One difference is I divide the pages into students as I file.

I do not, nor do I advocate, filing by day. The beauty of filing by week is you can adapt to changing schedules throughout the year.

Since all the pages are already printed out and sorted by the student, scheduling the work for the week becomes much easier.

The filing system I use is a variation of the weekly filing system many people use. Once difference is I divide the pages into students as I file.

The Simple Homeschool Filing System

1. I have 2 large file boxes that hold every paper we will need over the school year. We’ve been homeschooling a long time and are settled into the majority of our curricula so I’m not expecting a major change in our homeschool over the next year.

2. Each file box easily holds 2 quarters worth of papers. I can squeeze everything into one box but it doesn’t leave any room to maneuver, so I use 2 file boxes to hold all 4 quarters.

3. One file box is the working file box which holds the current quarter, next quarter, a red file folder for papers to be graded, and an inbox for household papers that cross my desk.

The other file box holds quarters 3 and 4 as well as papers I want to store nearby.

Filing system

4. The red hanging file in the front is an easy file for the children to find. It gives them a place to put tests, essays, and any papers that need to be graded.

In addition to the red hanging file labeled Papers and my In-Box, I have an additional 36 hanging file folders labeled Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc. In the picture below you can see week 19 and week 20.

Close-up view of the homeschool filing system

5. In each hanging file are 7 folders, 1 colored file folders and 6 manila file folders. The colored folder is at the front containing any papers I need for teaching. The teacher’s maps, reading assignment sheets to post, tests, answers, etc.

The teacher and student files that go into the hanging files

6. The 6 plain folders are labeled with a child’s name. I place any paper the child needs for school that week. This means all student activity pages, math sheets, science pages, maps, etc.

Papers to be filed

School Papers Are Ready For Weekly Planning and Scheduling

7. On Fridays we prepare for the up-coming week. I hand the contents of each folder to the appropriate older child. My 4 older children sort their pages into their notebooks and plan their week. As you can see below, the notebooks are used and reused for many years. Must do our part to reuse and recycle!

Notebook tabs to organize work for the week

8. I organize the preschooler’s notebooks myself. I shudder to think how they would organize their workbook pages without my supervision! A few on the fridge, a couple under the fridge, one in the notebook, one in the bedroom, ….

Another option would be to divide the pages into workboxes at this time if that’s your preferred system.

9. I take the contents of the teacher’s file and post all assignment sheets and maps in the kitchen. Tests and reference pages go into my working binder.

Posted assignment sheets. These are taped to the kitchen door. No lost assignment sheets!

10. I keep portfolio notebooks on a shelf that hold completed writing assignments, tests, science lab reports, and any other paper I want to keep.

Portfolio Binders to hold the year's work

Yes, the children are color-coded for school. It solves many, many problems.

As you can see, it’s a simple homeschool filing system, easy to set up and use. It’s kept us on track with our homeschool despite surprise visitors, illness, and hectic weekends.

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18 Comments

  1. That looks like a great system! I’ll be trying something new this year, but I’m still working it all out in my head. 🙂

    1. This system has worked wonderfully for us and helped to keep us on track for a couple years now. Good luck with your new system. 🙂

  2. Is your whole year planned in summer? Do you use any workbooks? If so, where do you keep those assignments? Do you give your children a planner with weekly assignments such as “math pgs x-y”, etc?

    1. Yes, I plan and print everything for the year in the summer. Only the younger children use workbooks. My 6th grader uses workbooks for spelling and penmanship. Those are placed in his crate. I took the Saxon workbook apart for my youngest daughter and filed the pages.

      No, I no longer give my children planners with weekly assignments. Instead I post assignment sheets in the kitchen. The older four children each have a student planner they use to plan their work. I double check the planners when we plan our next week on Friday to ensure all work is accounted for. 😉

      1. Would it be possible to see a sample of your assignment sheet, and also to see any planning sheets or schedules you use during your Friday planning sessions, or show /describe how you plan for the following week on Fridays? Thank you for any help! I am new to this and struggling to fully wrap my head around how to flow through the year each week.

        1. It takes a while to get into the swing of homeschooling when you first start. Many of my kids are older (middle school and high school) so I’m able to hand off the weekly assignment sheets to them. My younger kids need me to sit down and plan their week for them. I sit down for a few minutes on Friday and decide what I’d like to do in each subject. What ages are your children? 🙂

  3. I’m starting a Back to School series on my blog: blueshutters.org
    This is the first year I am homeschooling 1 of my 3 kids and my goal this week (Mon-Wed)is to switch my mindset to this new adventure. I’d absolutely love it if you’d stop by and comment towards any additional tips/ideas and what-not if you have the chance!

    Loved the post by the way. Think my biggest fear of homeschooling is keeping it all together & organized.

    1. Good luck with your first year of homeschooling! It takes a while to figure out the details of keeping it all together and organized, but it does come together after a time. 🙂

  4. Wow! This is almost exactly what I was planning for the next year. I am going to use your idea of posting assignments in the kitchen… I have three girls in the same grade, and am always hand copying their assignments into each girls notebook… its getting crazy. POST the assignments! yes!

    I will be using color coded folders for each child, and color coded hanging folders to separate my 6 – six week terms. I like your idea of a “to be graded” folder. I also use the binder portfolio method.

    So glad to see that you use this for Tapestry. We are also Tapestry users.

    Nice blog!

    1. I love Tapestry. 🙂 Hanging the assignments in the kitchen has been a God-send. The children are no longer losing their assignments sheets. 😉

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