This summer I pulled out the resources the girls had chosen to research this school year and organized them by topic into binders. This was my attempt at getting better organized and it has worked for the most part.
Here is the process:
Using web and book resources, I looked up the topics and made copies of the materials that I thought would be interesting.
I then put them in plastic sleeves and placed them in a binder.
I then picked up 12 baskets that I used to organize resources like books, toys, and related materials and labeled the baskets by topic.
If you have read this blog over the last year, you know that I prefer a Montessori/emergent curriculum/play based approach to learning, so it may seem odd that I have all these materials organized by topic. I agree, at first it felt odd, but after working with this approach for three months, I can honestly say, it is still based in the above while keeping Mommy sane. We still pull materials as the girls ask questions, but having some POSSIBLE topics in the wings, saves us lots of time.
I know I have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating, I also utilize the KWL approach with the girls in the spring so that I can begin searching for materials. I simply ask them what they would like to learn in the coming year.
K- what KNOW about a topic
W- what you WANT to learn about a topic
L- what have you Learned about a topic
Sometimes we use all the resources I have pulled, sometimes we only use a few and still other times, we discard a topic because it really isn't working for us at the moment. The great advantage to having the resources set aside, is that we can always come back to them later.