Do you feel like you could use a bit of magic when it comes to homeschool organization?
The whole process can seem so overwhelming and frustrating! It's not easy finding space, sorting resources, and putting it all into some type of easy-to-use system.
Since I don't have any magic to dole out, I hope these great ideas on homeschool organization help 🙂
Homeschool Organization Is Possible Without Magic
Sitcoms in the mid-1960s to early ’70s were on to something.
In Bewitched, all Samantha had to do was wiggle her little nose and everything could be just the way she wanted.
Jeannie, of I Dream of Jeannie, crossed her arms and with a blink of her eyes, poof—the exact same thing.
What does a homeschool mom want? Organization.
Unfortunately, though she can't get it with a twitchy nose or blinking eyes 😉
There’s some good news though. Homeschool organization doesn’t require magic.
All you need to really make it happen is a simple plan, consistency, and a little help from the kids.
Well, a few “spells” might make that easier. But I promise, it is possible!)
Essentials for Homeschool Organization
Essential means absolutely necessary; extremely important.
If you want to get organized and, more importantly, stay organized, you need to be sure to have:
- A simple plan: The key here is the word simple. Overcomplicated systems ultimately lead to failure. No one has the time or the patience for that! Think easy access, easy ways to find things, easy record keeping - EASY!
- Consistency: Putting a plan in place isn’t a problem for a lot of moms. It’s not that they don’t know how to organize, but how to keep it organized. You have to actually work the system you put in place. And you have to do it over-and-over. (And if you don’t know how, we have some tips to help you out!) Being consistent can be a challenge but makes your homeschool journey that much better!
- A little help: Dear homeschooling mom, you cannot do this alone. Your family has to be on board with the plan—and buy into it— or it won’t happen. Especially if you don’t want to lose your marbles! Let’s face it...lost marbles make for more messes anyway.
Tips for Homeschool Organization
Let’s dig into homeschool organization that includes the essentials! How can you make the most of your homeschool space?
Tips for Making a Homeschool Organization Plan
1. Have a family meeting:
You’ll want to get your entire family in on the plan because you won’t be able to do this on your own. Gather around your kitchen table (or in your designated homeschool room, if your a lucky one!). Chat about how you want to make sure you have an enjoyable and successful school year.
Kids are also amazingly creative, and you’ll be surprised with the brilliant ideas they come up with when you ask them “What can we do to organize our homeschool?”.
When they are a part of the planning process, they’ll also be more likely to take ownership in the execution of the plan. This time is also great for setting up expectations and explaining your why—the reason organizing your homeschool is so important.
2. Keep it simple:
Here’s an easy way to organize your homeschool supplies and resources.
- Begin with decluttering. Before you start organizing, be sure that you aren’t wasting time with things you don’t need in the first place. The less you have to deal with, the easier it is to stay organized once you have a system in place.
- Make your homeschool supplies and resources as portable as possible. Baskets are your friends if you don’t want to become a lost-supplies basket case. Put books, notebooks, pens, and pencils in them-whatever your kids need to complete their assignments for the day.
- Be sure everything has a place. Keep the books and curriculum you are currently using on the same bookshelf; find a drawer for supplies like pens, pencils, scissors, etc.; put craft supplies in a closet. If there’s not a place for it, make sure you really need it in the first place. If you do, then it’s time to get creative. Think about areas such as under the bed.
- Make sure to avoid these mistakes when setting up your learning environment.
- Consider using workboxes for younger students and planners for older ones. Workboxes are a great way to help younger learners stay organized and to know exactly what they need to do next. Simply place everything they need in a bin for each subject, then have them work through each one during school time. Older students can use either a store-bought planner or one they make themselves to keep track of their assignments.
- Color-code. Assign each child a color and purchase notebooks in those colors for each kid. It’s easy to figure out which notebook to grab if you are always blue 😉. Color coding can be such a life saver!
3. Get things ready the night before:
There’s nothing more frustrating than scrambling to find everything you need when you sit down to do school. It may be tempting to put this step off until morning, but I guarantee you’ll never regret taking a few minutes before going to bed to get this done!
4. Schedule some teacher workdays:
Get caught up without any guilt! Public school teachers have them...why shouldn’t you?
It’s a great time to plan and reorganize when needed.
The key to getting the most out of these workdays: keep the kids busy! They can still be learning. Educational videos and apps, independent reading time, and easy arts and crafts that don’t require your attention are all great options.
Tips for Consistency with Homeschool Organization
- Remember your why. Your reason for wanting to be organized has to be big enough to make you stick with the plan. Is it because you’ll save time and energy? So that your days will run more smoothly? Whatever your reason, don’t forget it when things start to get a little out of control. Jot it down in your homeschool planner or even an index card as a reminder.
- Find some accountability and support. When asked about their biggest struggle, homeschoolers often say “organization”. That means there are other moms out there just like you and me! Let’s support and encourage one another as we tackle the disorganization. Check in with one another, share your triumphs, and ask for help. Our Rock Your Homeschool Facebook group is a great place for that 🙂
Tips for Getting the Kids to Help
- Help them understand why. Ideally, you’ll begin this process of organization with a family meeting. That’s the perfect time to explain why it’s so important to your kids. But, like most of us, they may need to be reminded along the way. That’s okay! You can gently remind them without nagging. Ask them how you can help them succeed with staying organized.
- Teach them how to do it. Before you expect them to be organized, you have to teach them how. Some kids will do it easily while others will struggle. Help your kids who struggle by continuing to walk alongside them in the process. Keep it as simple as possible. Add one new organizational skill at a time until they have it down and praise them for a job well done. Show your kids how and where to store math manipulatives, art supplies, 3-ring binders, busy bags, and more.
- Reward them. This type of incentive might be a special trip to go get ice cream. Maybe you skip math and play a board game together instead? Perhaps surprise your kids by doing a read-aloud at breakfast (or outdoor picnic)? Rewarding yourself and your kids with something fun will keep motivation high for you all.
- Use a visual schedule. A wonderful way to get different ages involved with maintaining your homeschool area is using some type of visual schedule to hang on wall space or bulletin board. You can use different colors to highlight key points of your homeschool day. Then, coordinate your homeschool materials with those colors. Even younger children will be able to find and put things back where they're supposed to go!
Homeschool Organization Simplified
Nope, you don’t have to be Samantha or Jeannie to have an organized homeschool, even if it would be a bit easier to wiggle your nose or blink your eyes.
Instead, just keep it simple, be consistent, and get your kids to be a part of the team. No magic required!
You really can make your homeschool years more enjoyable for all by using these great homeschool organization ideas.
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