The colored binder system is a CHA tradition! (Yes, we have many “CHA traditions” 😉) The purpose of the different colored binders is for a system of organization. We do not reprimand children for having the wrong binder, but when anyone at CHA sees a red binder we all know that it is a History binder! Black binder? Latin! White binder? Math! You get the idea. It is a practice that we continue with every year. It also makes it easier in the hallway between classes when the students go from one class to the next, especially if the child is taught to load their bookbag with the binders in order. First class in the front, second class next, and so on. When the class is over put the binder in the back, keeping them in class order.
Thomas Aquinas prayed, “Put my life in order, O my God.” Organized binders (and backpacks) contribute to creating order in our lives. They are beautiful. (Messy binders are, well, messy.) So if you want to invite more “beauty and goodness” into your homeschool year, have a good system for organizing your child’s binders, and for teaching them how to organize their binders themselves. The colors, folders, and divider tabs mentioned on the supply list are a good start ;)
Here are a few tips as you go out and buy your school supplies:
● The reason the supply list says to get ½” or 1” flimsy or “poly” binders is to reduce the amount of volume in backpacks. The backpacks can get pretty heavy! Opt for lightweight binders. (And if you are shopping for a new bookbag, we highly recommend- for 3rd grade and up- that you get a big one with strong, sturdy straps….)
● You get what you pay for. If you go with the 97￠binder you might as well pick up two because these typically don’t make it through the year. But at that price even two are affordable.
● If you find a higher quality binder, know that it could be reused from year to year to year. The colors for the binders don’t change.
● Are the stores already sold out of the colors you need? Buy a white binder with a transparent cover and slip a sheet of colored paper into it. Sometimes you can get these in bulk, so for families with multiple children this could be a good option.
● Please don’t get TrapperKeepers or binders that will be a noisy distraction in class.
● Don’t wait until the last minute to get the binders together. You’ll want to set aside a decent chunk of time to get this done right.
● In high school students can choose to have one large binder with different sections for different classes, or they can continue with the same different colored binder system, which many do.
This is part of the Board Bits: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks series. Is there a question about CHA or homeschool that you would like answered? Submit inquiries to Tracey at firstname.lastname@example.org