Homeschool OrganizationLet's talk homeschool organization. As a homeschooler for the last 6 years I am what you might consider a "seasoned" homeschooler yet I still feel I have a lot to learn. The best part for me about homeschooling is that I learn and re-learn along with my kids, and watching them learn to love learning is equally rewarding. During a majority of the time I have homeschooled I ran a home daycare. A lot of my friends and family asked how I did it all and gave me way more credit then I deserved for "keeping it together", but I did learn a few tips along the way. One thing that made it possible was O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N. If I did not have the organization I would have lost my mind years ago...I might still who knows...but for now it makes me happy and keeps me sane. :) I am going to list below some of my top homeschool organizing tips.
- Schedule: This can be as detailed or as general as you want it. It needs to work for YOU and your situation. Just because it might work for me does not mean it will work for you. It could be as general as saying : from 8-12 we will get up, do 3 assignments, and eat breakfast. or as specific as : from 6:30-6:45 pray, 6:45-7:45 exercise and shower, 7:45-8:00 eat breakfast, then school work etc. and so on. Or anything in between. Again it needs to fit your needs. But the most essential part of any schedule is that you must post it where everyone in your family can see it! This eliminates the "mom I am bored, I don't know what to do next" syndrome. Kids especially thrive on structure it helps them feel more secure and keeps mom's sanity in tact.
- Binders: I love binders for a multitude of reasons. You can use them by subject, by season, by grade ...the possiblities are endless! Each of my children has one labeled "busywork" that has extra worksheets, crossword puzzles, riddles etc. that they take with us when we are out and about doing errands, or doc appts etc. They are great. I have one for each season with seasonal crafts, worksheets, etc. and I refer to this when loading their busywork binders.
- Crates: I use crates because they are inexpensive and usually come in a variety of colors and sizes. Each of my kids have their own crate or "school box" . These come in very handy because the kids haul them to wherever they are working and have everything they need in them. Usually there is all their work for the day, any extra notes from me, and also a pencil pouch with extra pencils, a sharpener, highlighter, and pink eraser. One of my children has a few special needs that require therapy at a local therapy center and it is usually a long appt once a week, so the kids load up their crates in the back of our SUV and they do their schoolwork in there while we are waiting. Or if we are going to be out doing an errand day the crates go with us and the kids do their schoowork in the car. It works great. It also elimates hearing "I don't know where my book is".
- Clear Boxes: I use these for everything extra...all the manipulatives for math, art supplies, craft supplies, one for scissors, crayons, markers etc. I could go on for days about these boxes. I get the shoebox size with lids. You can usually find them at dollar stores, thrift stores, big lots, target etc. I love that they are clear so I can see through them and know what is in them...although I have a deep fascination and addiction to labels, but that is beside the point and a post for another day. :)
- Turning Tool Caddy: I love this for keeping my school supplies handy when we are working. Most often my kids do schoolwork at the kitchen table, so I use mine for pencils, highlighters, pink erasers, and even writing prompt cards. As my son says it "lives" on our kitchen table most of the time, and I can easily take it off and put it away when we have guests over for dinner. I got mine through the Pampered Chef I believe they call it the tool turnabout, but you can find them on amazon too. But because I fully support Work at Home Momma's if you have a pampered chef person contact then first! :)
- File Folders: I love file folders for keeping the school records for each year. They are also handy for organizing the week or as Lisa@Pieces of Us showed in her blog ..the school year. Seriously check out the really cool way she uses the rainbow files to organize her school year. I have not used this method before but will be trying it this year. :)
Don't forget to check out Works for me Wednesday for more awesome tips!
Have an Organized Day!