Homeschooling for Newbies
As a new homeschool mom, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.
I originally enrolled my kiddos into the k12 online school program and when that didn’t pan out we switched over to traditional homeschooling.
However, I still somehow found myself trying to recreate the brick-and-mortar school system time and time again.
Once I finally let go of my unrealistic expectations of what homeschooling should be, things truly began to flow for our family.
With that said, these are a few of the homeschool hacks I found early on in our homeschool journey that have stuck with us through different curricula and homeschool methods.
5 Fun Homeschool Hacks
If you’re looking for an elaborate list of homeschool hacks that make homeschooling look magical and Instagram-worthy, this definitely isn’t that list.
However, if you are looking for a few simple tips that will change your homeschool for the better, I’ve got you.
From getting rid of annoying homeschool frustrations to providing security and communication, these are my top 5 homeschool hacks.
Check them out, you guys!
Use Binder Clips for Place-Holding
When we first made the switch to a traditional homeschool curriculum, I was playing everything by ear.
Slowly, I began figuring this whole homeschool thing out and this was the very first homeschool hack I came up with.
Utilizing binder clips for place-holding is seriously the most amazing concept ever!
I first started using binder clips in combination with my daughter’s kindergarten language arts curriculum.
They worked great for holding my place and clipping her mini readers to our current lesson.
With that said, binder clips can be utilized with most types of curricula or workbooks.
For example, if you have a kiddo who struggles with finding their place in a workbook or reader, binder clips to the rescue!
These nifty little things can obliterate all frustration and keep their place without getting misplaced like a traditional bookmark.
I seriously use them for everything.
Utilizing binder clips for place holding is a huge game-changer, you guys!
Stock Up on Alcohol Swabs
With that said, this little alcohol swab hack can make some of those homeschool cleaning tasks just a tad bit easier!
First, grab your dry-erase board with that pesky stuck-on dry-erase marker (you know the one) and get a handful of alcohol swabs.
Then, rip those bad boys open and watch your dry-erase board transform into something magical and clean!
While you can likely get the same results with a little rubbing alcohol and paper towels, alcohol swaps are small and can be tucked into folder pockets, clipped to binders, or stored in a pouch for easy access.
Plus, there is no possibility of spillage which means no mess!
Alcohol swabs are seriously magical, you guys!
Utilize Your Local Library for Extras
While binder clips might make a difference in the smoothness of your homeschool day and alcohol swabs might make cleanup a tad bit faster, this simple homeschool hack is a space-saving tip for homeschooling on a budget.
Many traditional homeschool curriculum packs can be costly and can involve a lot of extras — including books.
While I personally love using in-depth literature-based history curricula, sometimes the sheer volume of books included and the price tag simply don’t fit every budget or bookshelf.
Because of this, many homeschools opt to choose lower-quality curricula.
This is where the library comes in.
Don’t fall into the trap that because a curriculum is costly and space consuming you can’t use it in your homeschool!
Consider purchasing just the teacher’s guide for larger curriculum packs and lean on the library for all the extras.
Not only will this save you a huge chunk of change in the end, but you also don’t have to come up with storage solutions for massive stacks of books!
With that said, this simple homeschool hack doesn’t end with using the library just for books.
*Bonus Tip: Homeschooling at the Library
Taking your homeschooler to the library for an alternative learning experience can be such a fun idea, you guys!
However, it can also be an overwhelming one.
Follow these simple tips for homeschooling at the library.
First, everyone gets their own bag.
Not only does this cut down on the responsibility and stress level placed on Mom, but it also helps keep everything in order.
If each kid carries their own backpack, they can easily keep track of their own school supplies and library books.
Plus, this leaves mom with the ability to keep track of teacher guides and learning manipulatives in her own bag.
Second, always, always bring an extra (empty) bag to carry home additional library books you may pick up on your trip.
If there is one thing I learned from our first attempt at doing school at the library for an entire day, it’s that I didn’t bring enough bags!
Buy Walkie-Talkies for Security
If you are a busy work-from-home mom, throwing homeschooling on your plate of daily to-dos can be a hefty challenge at first.
That is why I absolutely love leaning on the use of walkie-talkies during our homeschool day.
Walkie-talkies change lives. Period.
In all seriousness, they are pretty awesome!
So, if you want to take your homeschool game up a notch, invest in some high-quality 2-way radios for yourself and your kiddos.
With that said we use these suckers for everything!
From field trips and bike rides to simple mundane days at home.
Our walkie-talkie radios travel most places with us.
This simply gives me the ability to communicate with my kiddos during the homeschool day and keep tabs on them when we are out and about.
Most homeschooled children have no need for smartphones until they reach driving age and walkie-talkies work perfectly for those scenarios!
For example, my oldest son is able to explore our local zoo with grandma while I sit outside the class where my younger 2 take their bi-weekly science classes
I can keep in contact with my oldest without constantly dialing up the phone.
To say walkie-talkies changed our homeschool dynamic completely would be an understatement!
Use Baskets and Bins for Clutter
This final homeschool hack is more of an organization tip, but it is hands down the one thing I recommend most to new homeschoolers struggling with excess clutter.
When I first started homeschooling, I kept all of our homeschool curricula, learning aides, and extras in their original boxes and packaging.
While keeping the packaging may be great for re-selling, it simply isn’t the best option for space-saving storage.
I quickly found that ditching the cutesy-themed boxes and opting for functional and decorative baskets instead allowed me to not only hide the clutter but also store it more efficiently!
For instance, my youngest uses The Good and the Beautiful math program (old version) that includes a math manipulative box.
While I saved and stored the box in our storage room for resell purposes, I chose to store all of her math manipulatives in an open bin for easy access.
Not only is this more pleasing to the eye but most original packaging tends to be bulk, so it’s definitely a space saver as well!
More Homeschool Organization Hacks
If you love the idea of utilizing baskets and bins to make hide your homeschool clutter, make it more accessible, and take up less space.
Consider checking out some of my other favorite homeschool organization ideas.
Final Homeschool Hacks
While these 5 fun homeschool hacks are my top picks, I love offering homeschool tips, help, and advice to other homeschool parents anytime I can!
Take a moment to bookmark and share this article with other new homeschoolers, and check us out on Facebook for more simple homeschool advice.