The Beginning of a Thing…Folders and a New Notebook for Planning


The beginning of a-year-considered always involves some freshening up around here.  It lifts my spirits and helps me visualize those “new wineskins” for the year as I put plans on paper and begin to order the *things* we will put in place for our year!

If you’re a Charlotte Mason home educator you are probably delighted to be building library lists, or finding frugal ways to purchase lovely living books used and inexpensively; we’re spared of spending large amounts of money on curriculums and packages and programs.  So…you may just find there’s a little extra for freshening!  The beginning of a year is fresh and new, full of potential, and over the years I have found that a few simple, cheery additions and changes helps when planning the beginning of a thing.

I ALWAYS begin a year with fresh folders for my desk basket (from Peterboro baskets, but at this time the style pictured is no longer available.) and a new notebook.  Ah – the simple and purposeful home educating notebook.  I have explained before how cheery a pretty notebook can be, and you know this idea can extend to a home design notebook.  I do so enjoy making my own notebook, but this year…I was smitten with a simple and pretty option, and truthfully, I needed to streamline a bit in light of the season of life we face.  I’m delighted.


Both the notebook and the folders came from Target.  They are part of the greenroom eco line, which offers a number of very cheery coordinated options!  Unfortunately, they’re only available in the store, and only at Target, so I can’t link you directly to any of the products.  But if you have a Target…do go browse!


I was hoping to find a larger notebook than I used last year (1″) because I have more notebook-storing-needs with more children in the learning room!  This 1 1/2″ binder is perfect!


In addition to finding cheery folders and my new home education binder, I found some new Post-it Note Tabs that I’m just MAD about!!  First of all, this tab has all of the goodness of a Post-it, but the lined area allows me to index material and papers that exist within a particular tab.  It’s very, very helpful!  PLUS…the transparent binder pocket folders I’m using and the larger tabs allow me to more easily line up the tabs from folder to folder.  >> sheepish grin << I’m just sayin’!!

Within each pocket folder section, I may subdivide further using simple cardstock and another Post-it Note Tab.  If you look closely above, you can see that there is a sheet of lime green cardstock behind the first transparent pocket folder. This is the beginning of the first section behind this divider.

And now…to get to this delicious pile of books (which is just the 6th grade pile by the way!!  LOL!!!)  I have my files all transferred into pretty new file folders, and I’ve created new files for those things that are needed this year.  My home education notebook is freshened and awaiting booklists!  I find myself at the beginning of a thing.  I pray that the beginning for each of you is just as refreshing, full of all the delightful potential thoughts and considerations that each new year brings!

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  1. I'm going to add “Target” to my list of errands for today. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration.


  2. I love your desk basket – and am thinking of how I could use the idea myself – such an inspiration having pretty folders and suchlike at your fingertips instead of the untidy pile of paper that takes up part of my desk. I have some questions though as I live in the UK – so am struggling to find the equivalent type of file and basket that I see illustrated here and on the greenroom eco page you link to. Are the folders simple card ones which you add the tabs to or are they a specific type? I'm just wondering how they stay standing up rather than flop!

  3. You mean the folders in my desk basket? Right?

    Those are just standard file folders…in a lightweight cardboard. ACTUALLY…if I had a complaint, it is that these decorative file folders (greenroom eco) aren't quite as heavy weight as a standard file folder, but it isn't a big thing. I don't find them flimsy, just a little lighter weight in general.

    Now…if you're in the UK and trying to duplicate this without the products I linked, this is definitely something you could DIY with regular file folders. Using wallpaper or scrapbook paper, cover a large portion of a regular file folder so that you can enjoy the decorative paper. Double sided tape would work fine. OR…you guys across the pond have access to that amazing Kath Kidston stuff…surely she has some pretty file folders that would look just delicious in a basket on your desk!!

    Anyway, hope this helps!

    Oh! Your question wondering why they don't flop over? Hmmm….well, I guess it's because my basket is rather full right now and everything just squishes everything else upright? Most everything has a general *lean* to the back of the basket, so that may be another reason they don't flop open…they're all leaning toward the back.

  4. Cath Kidston seems to do everything but stationary – online at least – I'll have to look in her shop next time I'm in town! Thanks for your reply. We don't seem to have boxes or baskets in that shape or size either – have to do some diy with a cardboard box of suitable proportions, lots of paint and pretty paper!

  5. I had to laugh when you mentioned the new tabbed post-its. I was looking at these in our Wal-Mart earlier this week. They are so cute! I had to talk myself down from stocking up! LOL

  6. Hi Anonymous. What you keep in your home education notebook is really so customizable – it can fit your unique family needs, and home education style. I keep the following materials in my home education notebook filed under tabs:

    CHARLOTTE MASON REFERENCE MATERIALS (for building booklists)

    Hope that's a help!

  7. I love the file folders on your blog. This is in accordance with the knick-knacks women. I usually use this for office equipment. By using a file folder, I could find which files I would use to quickly and easily.

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