If you have made the decision to homeschool for the first time, or if you are continuing on your homeschooling journey, organization is a major aspect of how successful your homeschooling year is going to be.
There are a lot of materials, textbooks, manipulatives, and more that go hand in hand with a successful homeschool curriculum. So how are you supposed to keep everything organized- especially if you are teaching multiple students of different grade levels?
The answer? Homeschool Organization.
Tips and Tricks for Boss Homeschool Organization
A Place for Everything
There are probably as many different methods available for organizing your homeschool as there are homeschooling curriculums, but they all have one thing in common…they absolutely can’t work if you don’t have a designated space for your things.
We have all heard the old adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” this is true when it comes to homeschooling too. Textbooks, library books, school records, educational games, school supplies, manipulatives, workbooks, and more all need to have a designated space, and those items need to be put in their dedicated space at the end of each school day.
If not, you will find that much more of your day is spent looking for these items than is spent on valuable instructional time. Having a dedicated spot and letting each of your children know where it is, and that they are expected to return things to those areas will save a lot of time and keep things neat and tidy as well.
Make Your Homeschool Organization Efforts Clear
When it comes to storing your hands-on educational manipulatives store them in clear plastic Ziploc bags, clear totes, or repurposed clear plastic containers like mayonnaise or peanut butter jars so that you can easily find what you are looking for.
Another clear storage option that you might find really handy is an over the door shoe organizer with clear plastic slots. Shoe organizers can organize a lot more than just shoes. They make a handy, easy to see storage space for your color pencils, crayons, paintbrushes, chalk, dry erase markers, pencils, pens, flashcards, and more.
Optimize Organization with Color Coding
Do you have more than one homeschool student? If so, color coding can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping everything organized. There are several different ways that you can do this, and you can take the idea of color-coding as far as it will work for you and your family.
At it’s simplest, you can use color-coding to know which folders, binders, and notebooks belong to which student, and color-coded stickers on each student’s textbooks and workbooks.
Some homeschooling families take the idea of color-coding even further. For instance, printing worksheets to be completed on specific colors of paper for each student. This can help make filing completed work easier, and if a worksheet is left laying around you know immediately which of your students it belongs to, without struggling to identify their handwriting.
EXTRA TIP: If color-coding works for you in your homeschool, you might consider extending it into your home life. Having specific colors for towels, cups, plates, and even electronics (tablets, game controllers, headsets) this makes it very easy to see which child failed to pick up and eliminates the “it’s not mine” blame game, and can make it easier to keep the house tidy.
Organizing Your Homeschool with Clipboards
Clipboards make excellent portable workstations for print work and are a handy way to keep track of assignments and attendance. They are also inexpensive enough that you can have one for each child to help keep them on task. Many homeschooling parents use clipboards with a printed list of assignments and chores they are expected to complete for each day of the week. This makes it easy for you to glance at each child’s clipboard and see what they still not to do for the day, and what work you need to review for the week.
Utilizing A Homeschool Filing System
Having a file box that you can place a hanging file system in to keep all of your necessary records and portfolios in can make your record-keeping much easier.
Before you begin your homeschooling journey make sure that you are aware of all of the legal requirements, and how to file your Declaration of Intent to Homeschool. That paperwork, as well as any required attendance, grading, and portfolio records, should be kept in one location.
Some areas require certain amounts or specific pieces of information to be sent in each year. Other areas don’t require that you send anything in, and require minimal records keeping.
Even if you live in one of these areas it is an excellent idea to keep attendance records, some worksheets and tests, and projects for at least the current year where you have easy access to them. Unforeseen things can happen occasionally and it is best to be able to back yourself up with proof of your student’s work.
There are so many different tools and methods that you can use to organize your homeschool and the bottom line is this, you have to find the best tools and methods that work for YOUR family.
Do your research, discuss different methods that you think might work with your family, and give them a trial run. If one homeschool organization method isn’t working out for you there are plenty of others to try.
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This article is a part of our How We Homeschool Series; a collection of content from full-time, veteran homeschoolers sharing their own experiences on the versatility and diversity of homeschooling. You can read more about the series, and see all of the content, by clicking the image below.