How We Organize Our Homeschool Life

I am not by nature an organized person.  Over the years I have searched the internet for help on how to organize my homeschool life and what I have found is this:  what works for many others just simply does not work for me.

We have a small home and we don't have lots of space for shelves or for those handy little craft storage towers things that seem to be so popular.  We don't have space for a designated "school" spot and often have to use our kitchen table.  So my first tip is for the kitchen table homeschoolers.

1)  Simply put a basket or cute dollar store box on top of your table.  All pens, crayons, scissor, glue and paper bits can be quickly tossed into the basket when it is time to eat and is then near and handy after dinner is over and your little crafters want to get back to work.

2)  My next organizing life saver is for the library books.  As homeschoolers and avid book lovers we need to be sure the library books don't get lost in the sea of our own books.  We avoid library fees and lost books by keeping all library books in a tote bag.  I have the librarian print a list of all our books we are checking out and I tuck that into an inner pocket within the tote, along with a highlighter.  When it is time to return the books I go down my list, highlighting as each book is confirmed in the bag. 


3)  We homeschoolers tend to do a lot of printing.  In our home that means all these fun printable packs you can find, story props, and math games we get from scholastic books.  I keep all the pieces together with baggies (craft bags and/or ziplock), and I then paper clip it to the instruction sheet or game board and file it into my hanging folder drawer of my desk.


4)  I have tried many ways of organizing my thoughts/plans and our activities.  I've tried printing out ready made plans and adding or scratching things to adjust.  I've tried paper planners custom made for homeschool.  I've tried no plans.  I've tried online planning and tracking.  Online planning is nice in a way, as it is fast and accessible wherever my phone is (which is wherever I am).  However, my phone is also a distraction and I also find I just retain information better if I write it and then have it in front of me. 

I am a visual person.  I need to see it and I need to see it often.  I want it to be clean and pretty and vibrant.  So what works for me the best?  Over my 6 years of homeschooling what I personally like best is the Erin Condren Planner.

I have been using it every day this school year - which reminds me of one of my favorite features.  The Erin Condren School Planner can be started and ended any month you want, which is just brilliant compared to struggling with a standard yearly planner.  I have mine set to the traditional school year, starting in August 2015 and ending June 2016.

It is pricey, but for me it is what I love and what works.  Colorful, sturdy, customizable, versatile.  I can easily flip from my month calendar to the weekly lesson plan, where I write things as we complete them. 

 What are some ways you organize your own homeschool life?

Be sure to visit The Canadian Homeschooler to read more on organizing!


2 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful planner! I've not used any homeschool planners up until this point, but I think that as my children age (and new students are added!) it may become imperative that I do so.

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  2. I have a checklist my boy uses and really likes. Helps us keep on track.

    http://anetintimeschooling.weebly.com/a-net-in-time-blog

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