The Importance of Homeschool Organization
Homeschool organization is essential.
Without proper organization, your daily progress will suffer. Then, before you know it, days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, and homeschooling the kids has become nothing more than a chaotic mess!
Think about it.
If you’re constantly spending time looking around for supplies, the days will lag on and frustrations will rise. Things will begin piling up, leaving you feeling completely overwhelmed in the process — not to mention getting get absolutely nothing productive accomplished!
This is why I considered homeschool organization the key to my success.
If you take the time to plan things out and get organized in advance, your homeschool will run smoother – plain and simple.
Tackling the mess and finding a good system for your homeschool family may sound like a daunting task at first, but it is so worth the effort!
It took our family a good two years to find our flow and figure out the organizational system that was right for us.
While our method isn’t perfect, when I’m consistent, it totally works!
If you are ready to tackle the organization problem in your homeschool, these simple tips will help!
5 Ways to Organize Your Homeschool
Whether you’re a new homeschool parent or a veteran, figuring out how to organize all the things is hard stuff!
If you’ve found yourself on the organization struggle bus — this one is for you!
Check out the 5 things I lean on when creating my own homeschool organization systems!
#1 Plan Things Out
Yes! Planning will always be number 1 in my book!
Practically everything in my life starts with some type of brainstorming session or list. This simply gets me in the zone and prepares me for what’s to come.
Homeschool organization is no different.
Running our homeschool and keeping things tidy simply couldn’t happen if I didn’t take the time to plan.
While planning our homeschool year is a must, planning our daily tasks is just as essential. That’s why I like to lean on simple handwritten helps for everyday use — including planners for students.
As homeschool parents, it should be our goal to have somewhat functioning and responsible adult children to send out into the world after our 18-year-long journey.
Part of reaching those goals includes the process of teaching our children to stay on task, complete their work in a timely manner, and keep things organized while they are doing it.
This requires significant planning on both our part as well as theirs.
The older children get, the more responsibility needs to fall on them and less on us as parents.
With that said, no child is ever too young to begin this process!
Whiteboards & Planners
If you have a child that struggles with focus issues, as I do, you need these tools in your life.
Each week we write out a plan and set goals for our homeschool.
My older children take charge and work on this independently, while my youngest gets a little help from mom.
We simply jot down our plan on individual whiteboard squares (each square represents a day of the week) and each child does a little copy work by copying weekly goals into their planner each day.
Our family is a unique blend of planning all the things and unschooling — sounds crazy, but it’s true.
We definitely don’t strive to fit any type of mold and creating a brick-and-mortar school environment isn’t the ultimate goal here, so stay with me!
The goal is to teach responsibility and to keep daily plans organized in one easily accessible package.
While this may not sound like an organization tip at first, it totally is! Keeping your plans organized makes it easier to keep everything else organized in your homeschool.
This is why I consider our weekly planning sessions a must! Taking the time to look over our upcoming week and set simple goals allows for a much smoother homeschool experience.
#2 Tuck Away the Extras
Whether you take a minimalist approach to homeschooling or you buy all things, there will always be non-curriculum extras hanging around.
Before organizing those extras, you first need to assess your needs.
Do you have an extra stack of workbooks and an excess of coloring books laying around? Or maybe you just need a storage solution for your small collection of flashcards and pocket-sized activity books! Either way, there is an organizational solution on the horizon!
From flashcards and reading material to puzzles and art supplies! It’s important to create zones and utilize storage items to create a more functional homeschool space.
Book Shelves & Baskets
I was a sucker for awesome bookshelves and pretty baskets anyway, but they became even more essential once homeschooling entered the picture.
If you love having variety of items to use in your homeschool, purchasing a large unit like the one below is ideal. However, if you lean more on the side of simple, small totally works too!
Activity Centers & Bins
As I mentioned above, creating zones is an easy way to organize your homeschool extras!
If you are homeschooling multiple children that all have different needs, creating activity baskets or bins will become a huge blessing in your homeschool!
I have 3 kids varying in age and organizing their individual aides into age-appropriate bins has been life-changing!
When my daughter was in kindergarten and she first began the process of learning to spell, I knew I wanted to make it fun. However, I didn’t want tons of manipulative items laying around the house or getting tossed in with my older boys’ homeschool items.
So, I created a simple spelling box just for her — we used this box for 3 school years too!
With that said, some children don’t need subject-specific activity boxes. Sometimes creating a generic activity basket is even better!
This is where our lazy morning basket comes into play!
Using a morning basket in your homeschool can create a super simplistic homeschool morning vibe.
Not only does it help cut down on the chaos of starting a new day, but it also allows you to easily tuck away all your morning activity items in one easy place without creating clutter first thing in the morning.
If you aren’t already implementing a morning basket in your daily homeschool routine, you are totally missing out on something wonderful!
I know a lot of moms love to get elaborate and plan out themed baskets each month (which is totally great, by the way!)
However, I lean more on the side of simple with a lazy morning basket.
#3 Create Supply Stations
Just like my love for baskets, I have a huge love for supply caddies and office organizational tools.
This love became a huge blessing to our home when we first started our homeschool journey. I simply can’t stand excess clutter and somehow homeschooling the kids created just that — a cluttered mess.
From pencils everywhere to art supplies getting lost or spilled. I quickly realized that our homeschool needed a functioning system!
Hello, supply stations.
Organizing homeschool supplies doesn’t have to be a pain! Sometimes it’s as simple as grouping like items together using something both decorative and functional.
I’m a huge fan of shared supplies and using cute caddies or baskets to store them in an easily accessible area will always be my preferred method!
With that said, sometimes personal caddies are the way to go.
These simple caddies are perfect for homeschooling on the go, meeting individual supply needs, or for creating a personalized art station for your kiddo!
We have used these in so many different ways throughout the years.
My older boys prefer to store some of their personal school supplies away from little hands, like their beloved mechanical pencils for instance, and these caddies create the perfect safe space! My daughter, however, prefers to use hers as a travel art caddy!
Personal supply caddies are also a great way to split up pencils, scissors, and erasers if you have a disappearing supply issue as we sometimes do.
#4 Sort Paperwork Properly
Homeschool paperwork is no joke. It can seriously pile up!
Pacing guides, attendance records, answer keys, and schedules all need a happy place to live – making this next tip a total lifesaver!
Master Binder System
When I first started homeschooling, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and it took me some time to get a good rhythm down. The paper organization just wasn’t there and I was in need of something both functional and simple.
This is when I decided to try a simple 3-ring-binder to house all my important homeschool papers. Want to know something crazy? It was exactly what I needed!
Just to be clear though, this binder is for me.
It holds all the important stuff I need at arm’s reach. Everything from pacing guides and answer keys to important documents and curriculum receipts.
Keeping things in a nice tidy package by using dividers helps this homeschool mom stay organized and on task day after day.
This one however, is for the kiddos!
Student portfolios are a new thing in our homeschool and I am still in the process of getting all the kinks worked out! However, as my boys have gotten older I’ve recently found the need to create a simple portfolio system for each of my children.
I’ve been keeping a small sample of their work from each homeschool year anyway and now those papers have a new place to call home! Using a simple binder & protective sleeves I can keep all their paperwork in a safe place.
#5 Store Curriculum Creatively
Oh man, this is the good stuff, you guys!
I have literally used everything from bins, shelves, rolling carts, and folder systems to store our curriculum over the years.
These are just a few of my top picks!
Bookshelves are great – I’m a huge fan of bookshelves.
With that said, I don’t always find them to be the absolute perfect solution for storing homeschool curriculum books. We homeschool all over the house and I like to tuck things out of sight.
However, sometimes storing homeschool supplies in a bookshelf is completely necessary! We actually did this for years.
Leaning heavily on storage baskets, I was able to store all our homeschool curriculum in the living room without creating a cluttered space. This method simply creates the illusion of a tidy space and helps gravitate away from the school is taking place in my living room look.
Keeping curriculum in bins instead of on top of surfaces or stacked messily in bookshelves is a super simple homeschool organization solution!
As crazy as it sounds, this is the glue that holds our homeschool together right now!
This is the most important step to running an organized homeschool.
Utilizing our planner system in combination with this folder system not only keeps things running smoothly from week to week, but it keeps things very organized. After all, that was the ultimate goal, right??
These two systems really go together like peanut butter and jelly, no joke.
We use daily folders for current work and weekly folders for upcoming work, planning out one semester at a time.
This method is so good, you guys!
Finally, my new favorite curriculum storage solution and possibly the most simple of all.
Rolling carts are simply amazing!
As our homeschool has transformed, so have my organizational methods and sometimes less is more.
When we left our homeschool room behind and began homeschooling wherever, whenever, these carts became the perfect solution! They can be rolled into any room of the house and hold everything my children need at arm’s reach.
I actually use these for multiple purposes in our homeschool! Each kiddo gets a cart for their school items, I get one for myself, and I use one to store our binding materials!
These carts are so incredibly versatile and will seriously change your life.
Finalizing Your Homeschool Organization
Once you’ve assessed all your homeschool needs, it’s time to start trying new things!
While all of these great homeschool organization ideas worked in our home for a season, some of our methods have changed over the years. Take our curriculum storage for example.
As circumstances change, so do our methods and that’s ok!
Just don’t be afraid to try something new, throw it out the window, then try something completely different!
Finding the perfect fit for your homeschool will take time.
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