Nov 2, 2017

Using mini-offices for elementary

(may contain affiliate links)
Mini-offices have been a fun addition to our homeschool through the years. They provide a quick reference point for your child and are great for things they will use over and over again. 

Does your child need a daily reminder of important facts, weekly focus points, or memory work? Maybe you just need a way to arranged all of this information in a simple, yet organized way?  Mini-offices are an awesome graphic tool that can create a visual reminder for information retention. 

Why should I use mini-offices?
  • Portable...for those pretty days when you take your schoolwork to the park.
  • Can be folded up and put away
  • Can hold a ton of information
  • Great way to divide your children if they are fussing or just need some privacy :)
  • Much prettier in your homeschool room than random post-it notes

You may think mini-offices are a little out of date. As more  homeschool curricula becomes computer based, we don't have the loads of printed papers anymore; instead we have reports uploaded into Google drive or sent via email, or links to websites instead of physical books. Still, it might be worth printing a few sheets of paper, especially for elementary students who still need that visual reminder.

It's been a few years since we did mini-offices, and I have some slightly horrible pictures of one of them. I will using them this year with my 3rd grader and preschooler. So I thought I would update my resource page for them!

Getting Started:

1.  Find your vehicle.

I prefer these white, tri-fold project boards. They are sturdy, and we often cut them in half (long-ways) and end up with TWO mini-offices. You can use them, of course, for two children, or have one for separate subjects. This is an Amazon affiliate link, but I'm sure you can find them at Wal-mart too.
You could also do this on smaller file folders. Although they are not as sturdy, you could have one for each subject. Cut off tabs, the glue two file folders back to back to "sturdy them up".

2. Start Organizing

I have used mini-offices in just about every subject! I love them and find myself adding to them throughout the year. Don't feel like you have to cover the board as soon as you start using it. You have all year to add things.

Things to include...

Early Learning: days of week, months of year, alphabet, colors, weather, calendar, shapes, seasons, right/left hand

Math: math facts, gallon man (create free account to download), charts, fractions, 100's chart, clocks

LA: spelling lists, vocabulary words, writing traits, grading rubrics, language/grammar rule, verb list, cursive writing, sight words

Social Studies: vocabulary, timelines, character study, maps

Science: elements, weather terms, vocab, planets

Bible: books of the Bible, memory verse, timeline 

Spanish: vocab, words to remember

Music: note values, musical terms, keyboard

Computer: safety rules, link list, terms

Art: color wheel

3. Tips

*I always laminate things that I plan on keeping up for a while. You can get this laminator for about $30 and it is well worth it! I have had mine for many years!
*The possibilities are really endless and can really be tweaked to meet your needs. Get the kids involved. Use some creativity and make things colorful and interesting. Print out their favorite character/superhero/princess/sports figure for the front.

Here are some mini-office resource sites:
File folder fun (free printable)
Interactive mini-offices ($ but could give you some ideas)
ABC teach
Lapbook Lessons

I hope you find something useful!

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