Keeping up with homeschooling in a busy home requires some ingenuity, and organization. What does your homeschooling space look like? While there are mountains of perfect homeschool rooms displayed on the Internet, the reality is that most families do not have a spacious and meticulously decorated room dedicated to homeschooling. No matter what space you have, whether a spare room or the kitchen table, organization will help your days run smoothly.
Design a System
The key to quelling any kind of chaos is having a system. Even if you lean more toward unschooling, a system for how and where items are stored is essential. It isn’t so much about being restrictive, as creating continuity to keep the whole family on the same page.
Look at your space and storage options. Decide how you will house what you use for homeschooling. This can include textbooks, laptops, art supplies, your library, and tools, such as microscopes and binoculars. Anything that your family will need or want for a typical homeschool day needs to be a part of this system.
Everyone in the home should know how to get the resources needed for your school day and where they are stored. If you are keeping items on a high shelf, consider how younger children will get them. Will you take down certain items each morning for them to use or will you have a special time for them to choose what they need with your help? Will you organize your materials by semester or by subject? There are infinite possibilities, be willing to experiment and find what works.
Collect What You Need
As part of your system, make sure that everything that you need is in an easy to access location. Small spaces can make it difficult to keep everything together, but at least keep like things in the same spot. For instance, store all your writing utensils (pens, pencils, white out, erasers, etc.) in one bin or drawer. Keep all the books needed for one class or one child in a central location. Take a note of what you spend time searching for each day. Add that to your organization system to save time and stress.
Eliminate the Clutter
It’s easy to accumulate homeschool clutter. Projects pile up. Your friend passes on a few boxes of books. Oh, and child two needs completely different materials than child one, but you don’t know what child three and beyond will need. This is common and all part of the experience. Cutting down on the clutter will make your system easier to use and lessen stress, though. Be willing to part with what you no longer need or want. (Even if your favorite homeschool blogger thinks it is the best thing ever!) If you want to save textbooks or resources for younger children, find a way to store them, perhaps in the attic, to help streamline what is in your school space. Make sure to get rid of all those markers that are dried up and the erasers that petrified. You will feel more in control, and have more space to create a workable system.
Do What Works for You
While those photos of art supplies sorted by color are darling, creating a art box for each child may just be better suited to your space and family! The Internet is full of ideas, but in the end you are the one in charge of your homeschool. Find a system that works for you, even if it makes no sense to your homeschooling friends. The key is to help your days run more smoothly. Be willing to experiment and revise your plans, when you find one that works you will know!
Here are some more homeschool organizational helps.