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Life as a homeschooler is often busy, and it can be hard to organize your homeschool home. Trust me – I know. I WANT to be good at keeping things organized and making my house, homeschool, blog, and life run smoothly and beautifully – but honestly….. it doesn’t usually happen. Over the years of homeschooling these kids of mine, I HAVE discovered a few things that help make life run more efficiently and help me feel less stressed – as long as I remember to do them!
1 – Organize Your Homeschool Using Backpacks/Bags.
Some women collect shoes. Others collect purses. I collect backpacks. I have several, and they each have their uses. One of the big tricks I’ve learned from trying to balance out all the extra stuff plus five kids is that assigning bags for different tasks/activities is a lifesaver.
- Every week, we head to a homeschool gym class and swimming lessons. For this, each kid has their own pack filled with their indoor gym shoes, a water bottle, and their bathing suit and towel. When we get home, we wash their suits and stick everything back in their bags for the next week. A small step, but it saves me the agony of tracking things down last minute. Their indoor shoes stay in there always.
- The kids each have a labelled bag filled with their stuff for kids’ clubs once a week. It has their Bible and sheet work, their t-shirt for the program and anything else they need to tote around every week. By keeping everything in a bag on a hook just to grab on the way out – it saves me oodles of time and stress. And they know exactly where to pick them up and find their bags.
- I have one backpack with all our “outdoor” stuff. Bus passes, library cards, first aid kit, a Ziploc with a game of UNO, and sunscreen are all set all the time. I usually pre-pack a bunch of juice boxes and some simple snacks and then it’s just set to grab on the way out when we are going somewhere.
2 – Organize Your Homeschool Using Lesson Plans.
When I write down exactly what we are going to do in a day, we are 1000000 times more likely to accomplish it. I use daily lesson checklists for each kid to know exactly what is expected out of them for that day. They just do the lesson they are supposed to and mark it done. When they were younger, we used a set of picture cards instead of checklists. They just flipped over the image of whatever subject we did as we finished it. Same concept. Easy. Visual. SO helpful.
3 – Organize Your Homeschool By Sorting Extra Materials by Subject/Level.
I have SO many extra workbooks/ sheets/ resources that we don’t need right now because they are the wrong grade or level for what we are working on (and because I have a book hoarding problem. ::ahem:: ). I have taken them all and sorted them by subject – putting them onto a set of labelled shelves. Time-consuming? Yes, but it will make life much easier when we need them again! Plus, it means I’m able to take inventory of what we have, watch for extra things we could use and need, and if there are duplicates – can sell or donate them!
4 – Organize Your Homeschool By Doing An Annual Purge And Clean.
Every year, I take all the work we’ve done, find a box or binder to put it in, label, and put in storage for future reference.
I go through the paperwork and keep the things that show important learning skills, or projects we’ve done, worksheets for language, etc. Sometimes I keep a math book. Sometimes I keep other things as well. The rest – lots of loose papers and miscellany just goes right into the
recycling bin. We don’t need to keep it, so out it goes.
This year end clean up is also a good time to get rid of the things we don’t use or want. If there’s a program that didn’t work or didn’t fit our style, this is when we should consider putting it up for sale or donate it to someone who needs it. By doing this, the homeschool “stuff” doesn’t take over your life.
When I discovered that I wasn’t the only person in my homeschooling community to feel overwhelmed by all the STUFF they have, I put together a 20(ish) day, step-by-step challenge. Over 150 people joined me in January for a live challenge run with amazing results. It’s now available as an ebook that you can use to get your stuff stored, purged, and organized.
Get the rest of the Ten Tips To Get Homeschool Organized with ideas on how I get the kids to help me around the house, my favourite housekeeping system, sorting out turns on the computer, and more.
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A busy mom with 4 boys and 1 girl, my life is a whirl of children, computer, and chaos – not that I would change a thing. Living in Ontario, Canada – I spend most of my online time working on my site to help support and encourage my fellow Canadian homeschoolers (or surfing Facebook….shh!). My heart is to help others, and I pray God will use me to do so.