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As Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, we have a large collection of living books in our homeschool. As avid readers and book lovers, we have an insane amount of books in our home. (We don’t believe in parting with books in this house much to my husband’s dismay.) It didn’t take long to realize that I had to come up with a way to organize our books so I could find them when we need them.
How I Organized Our Books Using a Spreadsheet
The realization that I needed some type of system for inventorying our books came when I started finding multiples of the same book. We file our books by author name in our library, so it was easy to see the problem. I would find multiples of some books and then not find books I was sure I owned. Library books only exacerbated the issue. That’s when I devised a plan and created this fabulous spreadsheet. (In a former life I was an accountant, so I am most at home using Excel.)
The spreadsheet worked great for a while. Anytime I would get a new book I would enter all the data for that book on my spreadsheet and use the “Data Sort” function to put them in alphabetical order by author name. It was just what I needed until I realized it wasn’t really coordinating with the rest of my homeschool schedule. When I wanted to assign a book, there wasn’t a good way to look it up by subject. Tracking what the girls were reading was also difficult, especially over multiple years. I needed a way to track not only our books but any other resources we might use. I needed some organization in my homeschool.
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Dachelle is a homeschooling mom of 3 in the South. She loves chocolate and has been known to hide it from her children. She can often be found reading a good book (or even sometimes just an okay book) and enjoying a jar of Nutella — don’t judge. She blogs at HideTheChocolate.com when she’s not planning and making lists…lots and lots of lists (it’s an addiction).