If you have ANY children homeschooling, (or five, like I do) you know that organization becomes a chore at best and a nightmare at worst. We are constantly trying new tools, and arrangements of the stuff and looking for tips to keep it all under control. Today, I'd like to share with you our
Best Tips & Favorite Tools For Organizing our Homeschool.
My Best Homeschool Organization Tips
1. Have a designated spot for each child's stuff.
This seems to help us keep the chaos to a minimum. Each child has a bin or drawer that is “their area” to keep their books, notebooks, pencils, etc. in, kind of like a school locker idea. And they are responsible to keep their area neat. If they get out a book, or a notebook, it goes back into their bin when they finish.
2. Use colors to plan.
Each of our kids has their own color. Butterfly's is green, Flower's is pink, Sir's is blue, Taz's is red, and Sunshine's is yellow. I use those colors in my planner when planing out their individual work, and if we have matching notebooks, they get a colored sticker to distinguish their owners. We even have plastic tableware and towels in their colors to cut down on washing. That may be a bit too OCD for you, but it works well for us.
3. Store photos of work.
If we do a project or they have a really great assignment, we display it for a while, and when we're done, I'll take a photo and add it to their school file for this year on the computer, as proof of their work. This cuts down on paper storage, but still preserves their work, the memory and something to show off to grandparents if needed. Those files are on my computer during the year, and then I can move them to an external harddrive or to Google docs files for permanent storage once the school year ends. I used to save all the papers for the year in a file, and then at the end of the year we would go through them together and decide which ones were the best show of their accomplishments and we'd spiral bind them all, along with attendance sheet, reading log, extra-activities list, etc. into a spiral bound book and file that away. It's another option if you don't like digital.
4. Keep a list of curriculum.
I have a spreadsheet list of curriculum I own, another for digital curriculum, and a third for what we're using this year. This makes it easy to sort and search by title, author, publisher, topic, grade level, etc. if I need to see what I have on hand for the following year, for a special reinforcement to a certain subject, or if a child shows interest in a certain topic or project.
This is also how I organize the digital curriculum I purchase at up to 96% off each year at the Build Your Bundle Homeschool Sale (May 16-23, 2016). If you'd like to use this idea, you can see my template here. Just copy/paste it into your own spreadsheet and start filling it in. You'll notice the 3 different tabs on the bottom for the three different sheets. If you prefer a paper copy, see this post for a printable sheet.
My Favorite Tools for Homeschool Organization
1. Color coded bins or drawers
I have several favorite tools to organize. The first is a set of drawers or bins, One or two for each child and preferably color coded to their color. You can get these on amazon.
2. Colored folders
Again using colors is helpful for organizing the work for today, or for the week. Assignments, worksheets, etc, can be held in folders (like the one pictured below) for your more independent kids to grab and go and return when they're done, keeping it all together. Additionally, you can use it to store work that you want to keep for their permanent homeschool record, like I mentioned in #3 above. Then, just clean it out monthly and add to the permanent file or take photos and file them.
3. Homeschool planner
When I sit down to write things out (and have a record to keep of what we've done) I like to use a planner and colored pens. This planner, of the several I've tried, is one of my all-time favorites. I love that I can fit our together subjects and then all of the kids individual work on the weekly spread. Click the image for details or to purchase on amazon.
This Giveaway has ended.
Congrats to Robyn K and Joy S for winning!
I want to bless our readers with a little fun. Several of you in the Facebook Group mentioned how much you'd enjoy a rolling cart with drawers, so here we go!
- First Prize: Seville Classics 10-Drawer Organizer Cart, Multi Color ($36 value)
- Second Prize: Smead Cascading Wall Organizer, 6 Pockets, Letter Size, Gray/Bright ($19 value)
- Dates: Giveaway is sponsored solely by ParadisePraises.com and is open through 5/23/16. Daily entries allowed.
- Terms: Must be 18 and have USA shipping address to win. Winner will be chosen via random.org, entries verified and winner notified on 5/24/16. Winner will have 24 hrs to claim the prize and provide shipping information or they will forfeit the prize and another winner will be chosen. Once the winners are selected, they will be posted to this page. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Seville, Smead, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are subscribing to ParadisePraises praiseworthy emails and providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information.