The Best Ways to Organize & De-Stress Your Homeschool Week
If you’re tired of feeling scattered and frazzled, you’ll love these tips and tricks for organizing and de-stressing your homeschool week.
Discover creative yet practical ways to get it all together so you can enjoy your learn at home adventures.
You CAN Get It Together & Enjoy Your Homeschool Week
How do you feel at the end of a homeschool day? Week?
If words like exhausted, drained, and disoriented pop into your head, you’re not alone!
One of the most common issues that I hear homeschoolers ask for help with is getting it all together. When I dig a bit further, they tell me that they’re frustrated because it always feels like their homeschool week falls apart. As we chat, I’m vigorously nodding my head because I know exactly how they feel.
When my boys and I began our homeschooling adventures, I’ll admit that I was a hot mess express. Although I was working really hard to have everything perfectly planned out, my approach actually backfired and caused way too much stress.
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve taken some action steps to get our homeschool week organized. These steps are simple and frugal. And by getting our homeschool week organized, I’ve been able to eliminate most of the stress (of course, there’s still a bit because, well, life!) and enjoy our relaxed homeschool style.
I’m sharing what’s worked for our family in the past to organize and de-stress your homeschool week. As our homeschool transforms over the years with different ages and stages, I’ve found that I’ve had to change up my approaches to best fit all of our needs and activities.
I encourage you to read through these ideas and think about your current homeschool situation. As you consider applying any or all of these approaches to organize and de-stress your homeschool week, ask yourself these questions:
- What is my goal for organizing our homeschool week? What’s my why? What benefits will it have?
- What is my budget for getting organized? Do I have a bit of money to spend on supplies or do I need to use ideas that cost nothing? (There’s no shame in that! Plus, many of these tips and tricks don’t cost a thing.)
- When does my family best function? When do I function well? Do we need to change up when we’re trying to homeschool or do prep work?
- What is my #1 struggle with getting and staying organized with our homeschool materials, lessons, and activities? Do I not have enough space? Too much clutter? Lack of a planning system?
Taking some time to think about these questions will help you get in the right mindset for organizing your homeschool week.
Hope these tips and tricks to organize and destress your homeschool week work for you, too!
The Best Ways to Organize & De-Stress Your Homeschool Week
1. Choose a day for planning, preparation, & organization
Pick one day that will be your master planning/organizing/prep day for the week. Take an honest look at your schedule and go for a day that you can consistently do this type of work.
For example, I use Sunday nights for this task because typically our homeschool week starts on a Monday. Also, we usually don’t have anything scheduled for this night so I get a chunk of time to get ready for the week.
2. Do a Smart Brain Dump
Brain dumps are magical stuff. When you get everything that’s swirling around your head onto paper, you feel a certain peace and clarity.
If you’re not familiar with what a brain dump is and why it can be so helpful, check out Little Coffee Fox’s How to Untangle Your Mind with a Brain Dump.
Once you complete your brain dump for your homeschool week, take it a few steps further.
Cross off anything that isn’t necessary, realistic, or relevant.
Sort the remaining ideas, tasks, and activities into categories. You can base your sorting on days, subjects, students, or whatever other system works for you.
Now, it’s time to prioritize. What things must get done this homeschool week? For example, do you have a student taking an online class with a project due on Thursday? That’s a priority!
Continue working through your categories until you feel satisfied that you’ve organized your homeschool week.
3. Use a planning system
When you have a planning system that works for you, it feels like your homeschool week just shines.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on an expensive planner. I’ve often found that a simple, DIY planner works best 😉
I’ve been using our weekly planner pages (you can get your free set by scrolling down and subscribing) along with our free Harry Potter planner pages to make homeschool planning fun and effective.
As you look for a planning system to help you organize and de-stress your week, think about the type of things you’ll need to record and track.
Some homeschoolers like to include meal planning, errands, appointment, and extracurricular activities. If you’re like this and want to see everything in front of you to make sure your homeschool week flows, I recommend using a full-size planner or 2 weekly planning pages on 8 1/2″ x 11″ that face each other.
Another awesome option is to use an online planning system. This year, I’m using Trello and loving it. (I’ll be sharing more about this special system very soon!)
If you’d like to use a planner, here are a few that I recommend:
Well Planned Gal Homeschool Family Planner, Well Planned Day, 2020-2021The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (Orange Edition)The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (Paper Flowers Edition)
4. Color code
If you’re homeschooling multiple ages, color-coding materials can save you so much time and energy. This tip also works great if you prefer to sort subjects and materials.
Simply assign a color to a student, subject, or activity. Then, add labels, stickers, or washi tape to easily find what you need when you need it.
ChromaLabel 3/4 Inch Color Code Dot Labels on Sheets, 5 Assorted Colors, 1200 Variety Pack, StandardPack of 2100 3/4Hcode 1 Inch Color Coding Label Garage Sale Stickers Blank Yard Sale Price Stickers Round Colorful Stickers Permanent Adhesive Dots Stickers Glossy Writable Paper Labels 6000 PiecesOxford Two-Pocket Folders, Textured Paper, Letter Size, Assorted Colors: Red, Light Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, Box of 50, Holds 100 Sheets (67613)Colored Plastic 3-TAB File Folders (6 Pack, Assorted Colors) Letter Size, 1/3-Cut Tabs, Labels Included, Writable Erasable Top Tabs, Durable, Tear-Resistant, Acid-Free for Document Filing StorageMead 1-1/2 Inch Binders, D Ring Binders, Durable, Customizable, Assorted Colors, 4 Pack (W465-34APP)Filexec 3 Ring Binder, 1.5 Inch Capacity, Frosted, Letter Size, Pack of 6, Blueberry, Strawberry, Grape, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine (50160-6493)
5. Think outside the box
Your homeschool week doesn’t have to only take place on certain days or within certain hours. Be flexible!
Would it help de-stress your week to do a bit of science at night and work on learning constellations and astronomy then? Or to move that nature walk to a weekend when you have more time to enjoy?
6. Homeschool On-the-Go
Got errands or other activities to do? Homeschooling on-the-go can help you wisely use your time.
If you’re going to be in the car for a while, listen to classical pieces for music appreciation or watch educational videos. You can also listen to an audiobook and discuss it.
Bring along educational materials and use learning apps to work on while waiting for appointments or in between activities.
My boys use these clipboards to keep any paperwork organized while we’re homeschooling on-the-go.
Dexas 3517-J2728 Slimcase 2 Storage Clipboard with Side Opening, Royal BlueOfficemate Slim Clipboard Storage Box, Charcoal (83303)
7. Get the kids involved in chores, organization, and prep
You don’t have to do it all!
Round up your kids and significant other to pitch in as you prepare for your homeschool week.
Assign small tasks of gathering books or sharpening pencils. Little things can add up to save you time and stress 🙂
8. Wake Up Before Your Kids
First, wake up at least one hour before your kids do. I know that this may seem impossible to manage some days (or maybe even most of the days). Believe me, I get it 😉
I firmly believe, however, after running the gauntlet with my own five boys, that having that extra time to yourself in the morning to focus those few precious moments on Y-O-U will have a monumental impact on the rest of your day.
What do you feel like you’re missing out on in terms of your own self-care? Maybe you’d like to learn about using affirmations in your day? Or perhaps you’d like some time to exercise or mentally prepare for the day?
9. Stay up a bit later
If you’re a night owl, this one is for you.
Or if you have activities or practices that keep you out later than you like 😉
Staying up a little later than your kids provides you with time to move the clutter off the dining room table, prep materials for the next day, and go to bed knowing that you’ll be ready to start fresh in the morning.
10. Prep Clothes the Night Before
Some people might have a preconceived notion about homeschooling routines. Like, we don’t have any.
Any mom who has experience in this arena knows that having structure and order to each day is essential. It sets the tone and mood for everyone.
By having your children pick out their clothes the night before, you’re encouraging both responsibility and independence. If you have younger children, try labeling their dresser drawers so they know where to find different items of clothing.
By reinforcing the expectation that your kids need to be in charge of their own clothes prep, you’re taking that extra task off your shoulders and helping them learn a little accountability.
11. Plan Meals In Advance
Feeding five growing boys on a budget is definitely a Herculean task on certain days.
One of the strategies I’ve used to both organize and de-stress my week is to write down what we’re going to have for dinners a week ahead of time. It’s not one of my favorite things to do but it does help me make sure we have something to eat (and I bought the right groceries!).
I post our meal plan on a dry erase calendar in our kitchen. It helps all family members know what to expect for a meal (and drastically reduces how many times a day that I’m asked what we’re having for dinner).
You can also take a picture of the completed month’s worth of meals then repeat. All of this definitely reduces the number of times I throw up my hands and just order pizza 😉
12. Incorporate Active Brain Breaks
Nothing can make your day go south quicker than trying to get your children to focus on the task at hand when they’re about to self-implode with pent-up energy.
Homeschooling has the potential to be both frustrating and anxiety-inducing for everyone involved, without multiple ways of blowing off steam for everyone.
Try building some active brain breaks into your daily schedule. Our new fitness fun game is a fantastic way to enjoy some physical education fun.
I love finding new and creative ways to help make homeschooling fun, so I’ve put together a brain break guide. This guide helps you use brain breaks in your homeschool to de-stress! I either do the activity with my kids or do a brain break for moms.
13. Go Ahead & Do The Grocery Pickup
I used to think that moms who took advantage of the local grocery store’s pickup service were somehow getting off easy. They were skirting the ordeal of pushing their cart through the store with children screaming their heads off.
Oh, how wrong I was! Grocery pickup should win the Nobel Peace Prize for Mothers. If your town has a grocery store that offers this service, just do it. Your sanity will thank you, and it will take one more potentially stress-inducing task off your plate each week.
I definitely don’t claim to have all things self-care and homeschooling together, and some days are more challenging than others. Your world may look very different than mine.
I do, however, hope that you’ll be able to carve out more time to make life and learning fun by using tips and tricks like these best ways to organize and de-stress your homeschool week🙂
Get Your FREE Weekly Planning Set
I thought it would be helpful to share some of the weekly planning pages that I use to organize and destress our homeschool week.
In this free set, you’ll find 7 PDF (printable) pages with:
- 2 full-size planner pages for one week
- 2 styles of full-size weekly planner pages
- 3 styles of weekly to-do lists + goals
To get your free weekly planning set, simply click HERE or on the image below to subscribe to Rock Your Homeschool.
In addition to these printables, you’ll receive a password to our Subscriber’s Library packed with ways to make life + learning fun 🙂
What are your favorite ways to organize and de-stress your homeschool week?
Please share your ideas in the comments area below!