Choosing Homeschool Curriculum
With so many incredible possibilities to choose from, finding your perfect curriculum fit can be a difficult task!
This is why it is incredibly important to take the time to research and prep your homeschool like a pro. Viewing samples of multiple different types of curriculum and asking veteran homeschool parents for advice on their favorites before settling are both great places to start!
Once your curriculum choices have been finalized, getting everything organized is the next essential step in your homeschool journey.
Homeschool Curriculum Organization Ideas
Figuring out which method to use for sorting, storing, and organizing all of your homeschool curriculum can feel completely overwhelming that first year. With so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you?
Surprisingly, the solution might just be the one you least expect.
Are you ready for my biggest secret when it comes to homeschool curriclum organization? Trial and error.
Finding your perfect fit often includes trying multiple different methods until you find one that sticks.
Different Curriculum Organization Methods
I always start the process of prepping our homeschool over the summer months to give myself time to look over brand new curriculum and decide the best way to tackle it.
Then, I separate our homeschool curriculum into piles by type.
If it is bound, easier to use in workbook format, next year’s curriculum, or some type of supplemental extra, we store these items in baskets, bins, and rolling carts.
I tend to lean on rolling carts for everyday items and stick with bins for extras and upcoming curriculum choices that wont be used right away.
Once the as-is curriculum gets set aside, that leaves me with a stack of books that will be ripped from their binding and stored in our homeschool file folder system!
If you primarily homeschool using textbooks, workbooks, and worksheets — this one is for you!
Homeschool File Folder System
While I’ve tried many different forms of curriculum organization over the years, this is the one I always come back to.
This folder system is our main form of curriculum organization — plus it’s a total space saver!
This is my absolute favorite method for homeschool curriculum organization!
Not only did I use this in our sticks-and-bricks home but I still utilize it in our RV today!
This system goes hand in hand with our whiteboard and planner system. The only thing I changed about this amazing setup when we moved into the RV was swapping the whiteboards for sticky notes — an easy solution if you lack wall space.
Our homeschool file folder system consists of 2 different folder systems combined into one.
First, we have the awesome crate system that houses our weekly folders.
These weekly folders hold everything (worksheet-wise) my kiddos need for an entire week’s worth of learning!
Utilizing this system will help keep your homeschool on track all year long.
With that said, you must be willing to put forth the effort into planning your homeschool and doing the hard work in advance in order to reap the benefits of this amazing system.
I tend to plan one school semester at a time. However, I could easily purchase 2 file folder boxes or 1 large one and plan the entire school year in advance if I wanted to.
Next, we have the daily folder system.
I definitely consider this to be the second half of our homeschool planning process.
If you dig utilizing planners & encouraging your kiddos to be in charge of their own work — you will want to follow up your weekly folders with this.
This is super simple, you guys!
Each kid gets 5 pocket folders in the color of their choice — yes, I totally color-code everything in our homeschool.
I label the outside of each folder with the day of the week it represents and go from there.
These folders hold everything my kiddos need for the day at hand.
Another simple curriculum organization solution? I store our daily folders in a magazine holder on my children’s desk or in the top of their rolling cart for easy access and a tidy space!
When to Use a File Folder System
If creating a smoother homeschool is your ultimate goal, this is how you do it!
First, you need to figure out which curriculum your kids will NOT be doing in workbook form.
I typically leave spiral-bound homeschool curriculum completely intact.
Everything else? I rip straight off the binding and use it in worksheet form instead!
Everything ripped from curriculum books gets stored in our weekly folder system, then transferred to daily folders as needed.
Some curriculum is simply easier to use with the rip-out method and honestly, I feel like some are even designed for it!
For example, we have used curriculum in the past that has separate sections for worksheets, quizzes, and tests, but also included all the answer keys in the back.
This type of curriculum is not something I would just hand out to my learner. It is way too much of a hassle to use in workbook form.
Instead, it gets ripped from the binding and stored in our handy folder system!
Take some time to assess all of your children’s curriculum and decide what items need to be crated and which books need to be left alone.
Homeschool Curriculum Organization Breakdown
When it comes to our homeschool, I prefer to work on one semester at a time.
I simply stack all of our curriculum in piles and go through each one quickly. Once I’ve assessed our situation, the workbook-type curriculum is quickly put away and I can put my focus on the remaining piles.
Now begins the simple 3 step method to create our semester 1 box!
Step One – create your file folders.
This is pretty easy and straightforward. If you only have one kiddo, this will be super easy and fast!
However, if you have multiple, you will need to take your creativity game up just a notch. I chose to keep ours pretty simple by using a label maker to label our weeks and colored dots to represent each child.
Step Two – rip up the workbooks.
This is the most time-consuming part of creating your homeschool file folder system!
You can do the one-sheet-at-a-time method (which takes longer but the worksheets tend to come out a little more clean cut) or you can take a razor blade to the binding.
To be completely honest, I do a mixture of both! It really depends on the curriculum, if the worksheets are already perforated (or perforated well), and how easily the binding comes off. Some curriculum is super easy to pull out page by page, while others are incredibly difficult!
Step Three – fill your folders.
The final step! This is the easy part, you guys!
Using a pacing guide you create on your own or the ones built into your curriculum, you can quickly divide worksheets into their proper week and be organized for an entire semester (or year) in no time!
Creating Your Daily Folders
If you chose to follow up the weekly folder system with daily folders, you will most likely want to start with 5 folders per student. This way you can plan out an entire week in advance.
However, you if you prefer to plan daily you can easily just purchase 1 folder and reuse it each day — definitely a space-saving option!
Our family follows a 3-day school week and we still utilize 5 daily folders. Some weeks we take Wednesday and Friday off while other weeks it may be Monday and Tuesday! Keeping a folder for each day simply works best for us.
Customize your setup to fit your specific needs.
I chose to label the outside of our folders with the day they represent.
Then, I placed labels on the inside to keep our work even more organized!
The left side is labeled for incomplete work, while the right side is labeled for completed work.
This totally works, you guys!
Curriculum Organization Supply List
This simple file folder system can be put together in a single afternoon with just a handful of items!
Weekly File Folder System:
- A box or tub intended for paper filing
- 1 hanging folder per week
- 1 file folder (per kid) per week
- Labels or label maker
- Pens, markers or stickers for color coding purposes
Daily File Folder System:
- Whiteboards 0r sticky notes for daily plans/copy work
- Planners for children to keep track of their upcoming plan
- Daily folders (1-5 per child)
- Labels for folders
Homeschool Curriculum Organization from Start to Finish
Once you’ve purchased the supplies and created your system it’s go time!
First, fill your crate with the number of hanging folders you will need for 1 semester (ours was 18), and fill each of those hanging folders with a file folder for each kid per week.
*Note: I also threw in an extra folder for summertime & one for random 2nd-semester work that might accidentally get torn out. Most second-semester work, however, I leave intact in a separate bin.
Then, take some time to color code, label, and fill all of your folders!
*Note: I tend to go by subject – math for kid 1, math for kid 2, and math for kid 3. Then, science for kid 1, science for kid 2, science for kid 3… and so on!
Once your system is built, use it!!
Pick a day to plan out your homeschool lessons each week. We tend to utilize the weekend — however, Monday or Friday both work as decent planning days as well.
Next, fill your children’s daily folders from the current week’s folder.
*Note: if you utilize student planners, this is the perfect time to use them! I typically write out my children’s lesson goals on a sticky note (whiteboards work too) and stick it to their daily folder. This way they can glance over it and practice a little copy work each morning by writing it down in their student planner.
Get all the details on how we use pacing guides as part of our homeschool prep and lean on whiteboards and planners to stay organized — all of which go perfectly with our folder system!
Simple Homeschool Organization
From organizing your homeschool supplies and curriculum to everything in between!
Having an organized homeschool space is crucial — especially if you struggle with functioning in a messy space as I do.
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