We have been homeschooling for many years and over that time, I have collected a large amount of digital worksheets, worksheets and activities. My collection was getting rather large and desperately needed to be cleaned out. This is how I am organising our digital homeschool resources for easy access.
Top Reasons for Going Digital
There are many reasons for choosing to purchase digital products instead of paper ones. Here are a few of the reasons why I choose to go digital.
- They save you money – Usually digital products are cheaper to purchase over paper copies. You also save on postage costs by purchasing digital.
- Digital Products save space – This is a big advantage! Imagine the room that would be needed to store all of these products if the paper version was purchased. It also saves on piles of books and on dusting.
- They have multiple uses – This can save you a lot of money. Many digital products can be printed out for family use, so if you are a large family, you could print it out for all of your kids instead of having to buy each child their own paperback copy.
- They are always there – Once you have set up your digital files so they are easily accessible, you can find what you need quickly. If a child is struggling to remember how to complete a task, you can quickly search for the digital files, print them out and have your child re-do the work to help refresh their memory.
Design your File Structure
The first thing to do when organising your digital homeschool files is to decide on the structure in which you want to store your files. There are many ways to do this, too many to list here, so I will show you how I have structured ours.
In my homeschool file, I created some broad folders.
- Art and Music
- Unit Studies
- Work Completed
As we have a ‘core curriculum,’ that we follow, I found it easier to organise by subject and create sub-folders for topics. So, for example, in the Math folder (see below), I have created sub-folders for different math topics. I can add more folders if needed and delete the ones we no longer need. For example, I have recently deleted addition and subtraction as they are no longer needed.
Though, I have done it this way, you could also create sub-folders for the type of school:
- Elementary (Pk-5)
- Middle (6-8)
- High (9-12)
and then add a sub-folder in each of these with the grade levels in them.
In my planning folder, I have folders for homeschool planners and teaching tips. This folder is what I use to help me keep organised.
We prefer to complete unit studies, the boys find a topic they are interested in and off we go. Usually, we pick a few things from this place and that and create our own unit study on a topic that interests the boys.
In the work completed, I keep all their scores, copies of work they have completed and all their registration details. In this folder, my sub-folders are the years we have been homeschooling, so 2010 through to the current year. In each of these year folders, I also have a sub-folder with each of the boys name, so I can easily see who has completed what. In each of these sub-folders, is a folder with the month they completed them.
Where to Store
I don’t keep anything on my internal hard drive. Mainly due to the fact that it is it not very big and cluttering it with all of this will make the computer run slow. I use external hard drives which are portable that I can take them with me if needed. For added security, I also back this up a second time on USB drives, just in case.