Organizing your stash of homeschool books

Are you planning on having a mini-library in your home?


I gave in to the organizing craze. I had to do it to survive the book chaos that was over-running my home. As if hubby and I collecting books wasn’t enough, then we go and decide to homeschool which requires us to avidly collect more books. To top that off, we have had to keep our books because we add in a new home school aged child every 2-3 years. Currently I am homeschooling the 4 out of our 5 children (the cutie-pie turned menace gets off the hook for now) so we have lots of books floating around. Like many of you crazy book lovin’ moms, we’ve got them piled on shelves, in baskets, on dressers, coffee tables, dining room tables, stuffed in the cushions of the couch, on the back of the toilet and they’ve invaded the car too.
So, when they are not being read and left in one of the above for mentioned places they have homes. They live by their colors. The colors on their spines tell us where to put them. The majority of our books are for history and when we started homeschooling we read The Well Trained Mind and decided to homeschool in a 4 year cycle for history and science. This is a brilliant plan to make sure that you cover all that needs to be covered.
I broke history down into these categories and bought round stickers in these colors:
1. Ancients (5000 bc- ad 400)
2. Medieval and early Renaissance (400 – 1600)
3. Late Renaissance – early Modern (1600 – 1850)
4. Modern (1850 – present)
Then I broke down science into these categories and bought round stickers in these colors:
1. Life science (animals, human body, plants)
2. Earth science and astronomy
3. Chemistry
4. Physics
After several years, I noticed that the stickers would fall off. So, I took it a step further and bought label protectors from an online library supply store http://www.vernonlibrarysupplies.com/. But before I added all these protectors to the labels I then added what program, which year (cycle) and which week for my Tapestry of Grace books. We read lots for TOG and it makes up 50% of our books, so the time I put into this will pay off for years to come as we use the same books for each child. I also labeled several other programs that I wanted kept together like Beautiful Feet science, Animal Worlds from Winter Promise, Beautiful Feet American History, and Beautiful Feet character books. I just typed up the name of the curriculum on a text document and cut them out instead of buying labels for these, because I was going to apply them with the label protectors.
Also, just for fun, I got biography stickers and historical fiction stickers because we have lots of these too. These are called classification labels.
Let me just warn you that once you organize your books, and you can find them, that you will be inclined to loan them to your other crazy book lovin’ homeschooling mom friends, so pick up a copy of A Garden Patch of Reproducible Homeschooling Planning & Educational Worksheets because there is a nifty borrowed/loaned book sheet to help keep you organized – along with some other great forms to keep you organized, but that’s another blog post. Oh! And, you may also want to invest in a personalized self-inking library seal to stamp in the cover of your books. I bought one as a special token of my appreciation for last years teacher-parent conference.
Written by Brenda