I am in my 14th year of homeschooling and I have one graduation under my belt. However, I still struggle with staying organized. It is a real challenge for me… yet so very important to having a peaceful homeschool year. I think that one of the most important aspects of successful homechooling is being organized. It really is one of the main ingredients– if you want a stress-free and comfortable environment. There is nothing worse than not being able to find something that you need for that day’s work. It creates stress and sets the tone for your day. I hope the following tips help you get organized and reduce stress…
1. Storage Bins
You can use clear bins or colored ones with decorative labels for different items. These you can put crayons, art supplies, markers, and so forth. You can also use one of those rolling drawers. They have a few small drawers and a couple larger ones. They work wonders!
Boxes of any sizes work for numerous things. You can keep reference books, DVDs and so forth. You can use boxes to organize your child’s work. For instance, one box can be used for one subject.
Everything in that box will have all the work and materials that is needed for that subject. Once that box is done, they can put it back and work on another box until all the subjects are completed for the day. It’s also a good way to keep your child organized and focused on one thing at a time.
3. File Folders
File folders in storage bins work well for loose leaf paper, worksheets, test sheets, booklets, record sheets, correspondences, etc.
4. Binders or Notebooks
Depending on what your child likes or what’s easier for you, binders work well for removing and adding worksheets. Younger kids may like to work with notebooks so nothing gets lost.
You may want to use a binder for your lesson plans, lists, daily planner, yours and your kids’ appointments, etc. This would be your go-to home school binder.
5. Chalkboard or Whiteboard
This is helpful for explaining things elaborately when it comes to math. It’s easier to see something than having you child try and visualize it in their heads. You can put phonics rules and math facts on it for visual aids as well. I use a white board because it allows me to use more color.
6. Labeling System
If a labeling system works for you, make sure you stick with it. It can be color coded labels for the different subjects or colored notebooks; you can use a numeric or alphabet system or a combination of both.
Before each homeschool year, declutter your homeschool area. Replace broken crayons and dried out markers for new ones, get rid of old art supplies or broken items.
8. Prune Regularly
As you declutter before the start of a new year, it’s also important to prune on a regular basis so you don’t end up with textbooks or other learning materials that is no longer relevant to your lessons.
9. Prepare Lessons
It’s a good idea to prepare your lessons ahead of time so you know what’s coming up and if you need to do research, you can do it beforehand. One thing I do over the weekend (or Friday evening) is look over what is coming the following week. It prepares my brain, gives me time to get creative and run to the store if I need anything to help with lessons for that week.
10. Plan Block Times
Don’t try and cram two hours of math lessons. That is way too much time and instead break it up in the day — morning and afternoon. This is especially important for younger children. They struggle with sitting for long periods of time.
11. Record Keeping
You can get a software program to help with your record keeping. It’ll help with reading logs, assignments, grades, field trips etc. This will be kept on your computer for easy access.
Keep items within your homeschooling area. This will also help the kids have everything they need within their reach.
13. Kids’ Work Space
Make sure your kids’ work space has everything they need and have your child maintain and clean his/her area before the end of the school day.
14. Clean Up
After each day, put things back in its home. You can train your kids to do the same and keep the area tidy. It will also prevent you from misplacing items and then stressing out when you cannot find them when needed.
15. Use Your Crock-pot
You don’t need to be stressing out on what to have for dinner or rushing the lessons so you can prepare dinner. Throw everything in your crock-pot and let it do its job.
Homeschooling has been a gift for me that I would not trade for anything. I have developed a very close relationship with both of my children and I am able to spend one on one time with them on a regular basis. It gives me the opportunity to pour love on them and to teach them about the love of Christ and the wonderful things God does. I love homeschooling. However, I love it more when I am organized and stress is reduced!
If you have any of your own tips, please leave them in a comment below…
Otherwise, get organizing, missy!