Homeschooling can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be incredibly messy too! With all the books, papers, pencils, and everything else you have to keep on hand, it doesn't take long for your school supplies to take over an entire room, or even the entire house, especially if you're Sanguine like me. This makes learning difficult, because you can't find what you need, and it also makes home life more hectic as well. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way. Here are seven homeschool organizational tips you need to know to keep your homeschool, and all your supplies, organized and hassle free.
7 Homeschool Organizational Tips YOU Need to Know!
Dedicate an Area of Your Home
Whether you have an entire room, a corner of the room or just a large shelf, start by dedicating a specific space in your home for your homeschool materials. Make sure the space is large enough to hold everything you need, and try to find a place as close to your work space as possible. This will help prevent books and papers from traveling throughout the entire house.
Group Like Items Together
As you gather your homeschool supplies in your dedicated space, don't just throw them all on the shelf. Group like items together. Plastic shoeboxes or small plastic drawer sets are the perfect place to keep pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors and stickers all in one place. Did you know that a cheap soap dish holds a 24 pack of crayons? Keep everything in its own separate box, and you'll always be able to find what you need.
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Organize Your Materials By Subject or Child
Not only do your supplies need to be well-organized, but your curriculum needs to be organized as well. There are several ways to do this. For example, you may organize by subject or by child. If you are really ambitious, you may even put everything in chronological order by when you will use it. Make sure you have some sort of system for your books and workbooks, and don't feel bad if you have to reorganize later on in the year. Find what works best for you!
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Give Each Child Their Own Working Box
If there are books or supplies your children use constantly, give them a working box to keep them all in. The colorful plastic boxes from the Dollar Store are the perfect boxes for keeping workbooks, pencils, erasers, scissors and crayons close at hand. Boxes can stay out on the table or have an assigned spot on the shelf at the end of the day.
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The best organizational system won't do you much good if you are the only one who knows how to use it, and there are no guarantees you won't forget. Label everything. Print labels for boxes of supplies. Label spaces for the kids' working boxes on the shelf. Label 3-ring binders so you can see what is in them without getting them off the shelf. When in doubt, label it.
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File Papers Immediately
One of the must cluttered parts of homeschooling is all the paperwork your kids will create, so you'll want to have a system to manage all your kids' papers. Hanging file folders, 2-pocket folders and 3-ring binders are three popular solutions. Set clear guidelines for what should be kept and what should be tossed, and be sure to go through periodically to recycle papers you don't need anymore.
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Make Clean-up a Part of the Routine
You schedule time for math, reading and history; schedule time for clean-up too. Have your children return their supplies each time you move on to a new subject, and schedule 5-15 minutes at the end of each day or each week to tidy-up, reorganize and recollect. You'll be surprised what a huge difference five minutes here or there can make! To make it fun, set a timer and see if they can beat the clock!
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Staying organized as a homeschool Mom can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Arm yourself with these tips and keep your school from taking over your home.