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I would definitely still consider myself a young homeschool mother. I am not seasoned or an expert, and I never want to come across as someone who has things all figured out. I’m still learning and becoming. Now that I have my caveat out of the way, I am very much in the throes of the early years of homeschooling, with a toddler, no less! So basically keeping our homeschool organized is my main strategy in how I actually get school done in my home. We need it to be functional, easy to grab and put away, and of course, aesthetically pleasing. I wanted to write out what is working for me in our home right now with three students and a toddler, and thought I would share these homeschool organization tips with you in case you are looking for ideas for your homeschool.
We have been at this homeschool thing for about 5 years now. I really jumped the gun and started Morning Time when my daughter was really young. We held off on formal school but I had a little schedule for Bible reading and memorizing, as well as picture books. So I have really thought through how to organize our things and make school time happen because at that time I also had a toddler and was pregnant. I also really just like organizing our little, cozy home we have, too.
My main agenda was making sure I could be consistent with what I had planned for those early years. I knew that I wanted to homeschool my children as they got older, so I sorta used those years as training for myself. How could I set myself up for success? I had to really learn to help myself make things easier.
Homeschool Organization Tips
- I am not great at planning on the go. I need to have one, yearly planning session that gets all the heavy lifting done. Like have all my curriculum, books, supplies, schedule, and everything printed out, bought, and ready to go. I am not good at having to stop and figuring things out or make big decisions all the time.
- If I see it and it’s in front of me, I will be far more consistent. I think that’s why I need it already printed and ready to go. I use to hang all our memory verse and poems on the wall when they were little so that all I had to do was look at the verse and read them to the kids. This also works with books. I wanted to read specific picture books to them, so I kept them all together in a basket right by my chair, so all I had to do was grab a book. I didn’t even have to get up. A little forethought goes a long way!
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
Five Tools to Help Your Homeschool Organization
- Menu Covers: I definitely did not come up with this brilliant idea but brilliant it is! I have this 8 page menu cover that holds my schedule, memory verses, folksong, hymn, and poem that we learn each month in our Morning Time. I just add my new pages once a month and just have it handy every morning. A huge bonus is that it keeps my pages from getting crinkled or wet from the inevitable spills! I love that I don’t have to look or find my pages. This truly keeps things open and go!
- Three-Tier Rolling Cart: We have had this cart from Michaels for about 4 years now and I really like it! I keep all of our main books on the top. These are the books we read together. The middle holds extra books and our math supplies, and the bottom tier holds our notebooks. This cart works wonderful for our small home. We are able to keep our books handy but can also move it around if we want to do school from the couch or porch. I plan to get each child their own cart as they are able to read more of their own books.
- Book Rings: This is such simple supply that has worked so well to keep things tidy but handy. I use them for sight words, Gospel Conversation cards, Character Matters cards, and I have so many more ideas for when my kids get older.
- Magnetic Bookmarks: We use a lot of books in our homeschool, and I really, really love magnetic bookmarks. I don’t have to worry about books being moved and paper bookmarks falling out and losing my spot. There are lots of cute options out there too!
- Latchmate Plastic Totes: This is probably my favorite of all the organizational tools. These 14.5 quart Latchmate totes have helped me so much with keeping things accessible and tidy. This is our second year using them. Each child has one, and it has all their supplies in one spot. Pencils, watercolors, Bible, personal notebooks or workbooks… anything we need on a daily basis. It has helped us cut down on the stopping and starting and stopping and starting that was really delaying our school time. They also have a handle that makes them easy to take and do school on the go. Five stars from me!
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Tips for Success
- Look for your problem areas. Find those areas that are really hanging you up in your homeschool days, and find a solution for them. This may be easier said than done, but sometimes a little planning and forethought, whether organizational or not, may really help you through some hurdles in your day! An example of this is when I had two young kids and a baby, lunch time was awful for me. The baby would be waking up and the kids were starving… all at the same time. So instead of just plowing through, I came up with the idea that I should get their lunches made early when everyone was playing and happy, and then they would be ready to go before everyone got cranky. That simple switch helped make our days so much smoother.
- Give yourself grace. Sometimes you will think something will really work and then it really doesn’t help, or even makes matters worse for your family and homeschool day. Try again! Don’t give up. Maybe even take some time sitting back and taking notes about how your days at home are going and see where the hang ups are.
- You can do it! If no one else has ever told you as a homeschool mom that you are qualified and capable, let me be the one! It doesn’t have to be complicated. You want to read more to your kids? Grab the books, ignore the mess, and go read to them. You got this!
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- Ten Things I Want My Homeschooled Children To Take With Them Into the World
- Creating a Mama Basket that Suits You
- How to Create a Garden School