Homeschool organization at the beginning of a new school year can be stressful, time consuming, and aggravating. But, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need cute labels for everything, and you don’t have to invest hundreds on a custom bookshelf. Instead, feeling refreshed and organized can just take up a day; set aside a Saturday to make cleaning up a priority.
8 Tips for Successful Homeschool Organization
1. Get rid of old curriculum you no longer need.
As kids enter another grade, take a day to go through old curriculum and educational materials you have. Make three piles; save, sell, or trash. One of my favorite ways to sell old curriculum is through Homeschool Curriculum Facebook groups and eBay, where you get to keep the biggest percentage. If you’re looking for a fast way to sell curriculum, I’d recommend Amazon, but they take out a bigger chunk.
2. Make a list of everything you need to buy for the upcoming season.
As you go through old homeschool material, make a list of everything you need to buy for the upcoming season. With your list, price match on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Homeschool Facebook groups for the best bang for your buck. Slugbooks allows you to easily search up books and find the best deal on multiple sites.
If you enjoy personalizing your studies, many homeschool blogs have free or low cost unit studies from subjects ranging from math to history. Pinterest has great resources from hundreds of experienced homeschool moms just like you. These unit studies, free or low cost, are especially helpful if you’re on a budget; specifically with science, art, history and PreK-5th grade language.
3. Create labelled bins for pens, pencils, markers, glue, paper, etc.
As homeschoolers, it’s easy to accumulate tons of writing utensils, notebooks, and glue. Involve your kids by having them go through markers that no longer work, sharpen pencils, scrap paper, or empty glue bottles. Take a rubbermaid storage container and keep a drawer for each.
4. Plan a weekly schedule.
Flexibility is one of my favorite things about homeschooling. Still, I love the structure of a schedule and an idea of what I want to accomplish each day. This will be different for each family, but creating a to-do list worked best for our family. We would have a general to-do list of the subjects we wanted to cover, and worked on them accordingly.
5. Organize binders and categories by subject.
Organize bins; one for math textbooks, math flashcards, and math manipulative. Keep another for language arts, science, and so on. We love using plastic milk crates, because they’re easy to stack and pretty sturdy.
6. Make sure everything has a place.
The secret to successful homeschool organization is simple: after you’re done with one subject during a homeschool day, put everything back in its place. Make a rule to keep out only one subject at a time, or one subject out per child. Putting everything back keeps this less messy, and decreases the likelihood of not being able to find a pair of scissors.
7. Get a filing system down.
I use Thirty One’s Fold N Files for organizing papers. Throughout my busy week, I throw all of my papers in my Fold N File; a receipt, something I need to file in my portfolio, or a paper needing to be finished. Then, when I have a few minutes of spare time, I put everything in the file in its new home.
8. Know what you need for homeschool records, portfolios, and personal favorites.
A three ring punch was one of the best things we ever bought. If your state requires you to send records of your homeschool, grab a large binder and put all required information in there throughout the year. Do the same thing with a portfolio, and a collection of your favorite homeschool projects and accomplishments to look back on.
Use these free homeschool binder printables to help kickstart your homeschool organization this season!
Click here to download these binder printables!
I confess, I really am not very good at organizing for the school year. My boys are homeschooled and we try to ignore school dates altogether and just get whatever we need when we need it.
I know many homeschooling families do keep a routine and a timetable so I’m sure the tips here would be very valuable for them.
John Parker says
Structuring of a schedule is a great advice, I am agreed with that schedules are important for homeschooling and online studying children, it’s important for many reasons. If you start your homeschooling in a laid back, lackadaisical fashion, it can likely to turn into a muddled mess of a day, it maintains consistency. By the way your tips are awesome and enjoyed while going through it.
Sara Ellen says
Love seeing how you work through each step 🙂 I do my school planning in very similar fashion although my kids are in online school. Have a wonderful start to a new school year.