For homeschoolers, whether we’re launching another school year or continuing on a year-around adventure, this is a great time of year to get organized or tweak our system.
The first thing to do is to take a long honest look at your schoolroom, wherever that might be. During my early years as a homeschooler, the dining room was learning central. If you also do most of your work in a room that doubles as something else, it’s important to have a portable storage system for books, papers and notebooks.
We used milk crates—one per child—to hold schoolbooks, pencil pouches and paper. This was great for the kids to be able to access what they needed and easy to move when our schoolroom needed to be a dining room.
Three ring binders are another lifesaver when it comes to organization. I keep a three hole punch close at hand and file all of our papers in the appropriate binders. We use one binder per subject per child for completed work. I also use binders to hold my teacher’s guides and answer keys.
If you have bookshelves at your disposal, you can devote one shelf to each child or to each subject. We are blessed to have three floor-to-ceiling shelves in our schoolroom, and I try to keep them organized, some by subject matter and some by daily use. Be sure to have a least some shelves right at your children’s eye level, so that picking up a book for reading is easy.
Keeping our school supplies neat is another challenge. I use inexpensive pencil boxes to sort our pens, pencils, markers and erasers, and I label each with permanent marker. We keep lined notebook paper on a shelf and scrap paper in a separate box. I used to try to keep the crayons neat in their boxes, but I’ve since given that up—all the crayons live together in a bucket, which makes it easier for everyone! Again, if you don’t have a devoted schoolroom, you can keep all of these boxes in a larger bin or milk crate and move them when you must.
Spending a little time at the beginning of each school re-sorting and organizing your books and supplies is a good investment in a smoother learning process!
Tawdra Kandle has completed 3 young adult novels and is currently working on her forth. She is a contributor for Taking Time for Mommy – Online Magazine for Moms sharing her homeschooling adventures and couponing tips. She is also an administrator of the Time 4 Mommy Community and heads up our .
You can find Tawdra on Twitter and follow her blog Publishing Quest.