We do a lot of driving, much of it last minute, so a mobile work surface is very important to getting work done at all. And since I photo copy all worksheets, intending to use the original books multiple times, a clipboard is useful for keeping all the copies relatively neat and intact.
Every Sunday, I photocopy each boy's work for the week. For the Bat, that includes subtraction pages, English work (consisting of spelling and phonics sheets, his McGuffey lesson, and some lined paper for copywork), geography pages, and his Hebrew lesson. I collate and staple into packets the pages for each subject, and arrange the packets in the order they are to be done. Then I shuffle into the stack any books from which we are going to read for the week so everything is in the order it is to be used, and I put all of that back into the school box in front of all my originals and the books we won't use that week.
On any given day, I pull the copy packet I want the Bat to use from the front if the box and put it in the clipboard. If I know that we will be busy on a particular day, I put two packets in the clipboard. If one day's work went unfinished, the unfinished work stays on the board, and I put the next day's work behind it. At the end of the week, all the completed packets are stapled together and filed. When we have traveled, I have put all the work to be completed during the trip on the clipboard, and simply rotated completed work to the back. It's been a very efficient way to keep work organized on the road. Work organized on clipboards can easily be put away in a car side pocket, and is fairly likely to stay clean and smooth.
Now that the Eel has started kindergarten, he also has a clipboard, and its use helps me keep his work and the Bat's separated. While that might seem insignificant, they are working through the same introductory Hebrew book, but on different lessons, and their math work is from the same series of workbooks (one for addition and one for subtraction). If I don't pay attention, it's easy to get their work mixed up, especially right now, while I'm still getting used to having two students.
With active boys, it's handy not to need them to sit at a table to work, or to require them to keep track of loose sheets of paper. The boys are also easily overwhelmed. I've sound the practice of copying and separating into packets really helps them perceive the work to be in manageable chunks. And the clipboard seems to help with reinforcing that perception.
When dh has been in town and taken the boys for a day, it's been very easy for me to hand him a clipboard with the day's work on it. It's far simpler for him to be my substitute for an afternoon if I can simply give him the work he needs to oversee, rather than a stack of books and a list if page numbers and instructions.
While this post is an overview of what I do and why, my clipboards are an integral part of all of it. Homeschooling the Bat and the Eel would be far more cumbersome and much less pleasant without this trusty office supply.
This post has been linked to The Mommy Club, Hearts for Home, WFMW, HHH, M2M Monday, Busy Monday, and MYHSM.