My husband and I are getting ready to homeschool for the very first time. There’s a lot to think through, but perhaps the most pressing question recently had to do with how to organize all our stuff. My husband and I just unboxed five boxes of textbooks and distance learning materials (check out the unboxing video on YouTube). To be perfectly honest, it was overwhelming. And I’m only homeschooling one child! I still don’t have our homeschool space exactly the way I want it yet, but I thought I’d share a few organizational tips that have helped me get the mess under control.
1. Storage space for all your homeschool materials
My husband and I bought a storage-cube organizer (eight-cube) to place next to our homeschool desk in our dining room. We use two of the cubes as shelf space for our textbooks (teacher’s materials on one shelf and student materials on the other), and I purchased four fabric bins for four of the other cubes. The lower two cubes store coloring books and art supplies.
If you’re homeschooling multiple children, you’ll probably love some of the organizational ideas Cynthia Ewer compiled in her article “Storage Strategies for Homeschool Families.” I remember that my parents did a lot of color-coding when they homeschooled my two brothers and me, and they found it very helpful.
2. Organizing the little things
I love buying school supplies. Markers, crayons, erasers, pencils—I can hardly wait to stock up every back-to-school season. But I did need to figure out how to store it all. The best way I have found to organize these miscellaneous supplies is to store like things together. We’re using jars and some small plastic containers to separate supplies in our fabric storage bins, but you can also use tin cans, plastic cups, or small kitchen canisters. Be sure to label the containers!
3. What to do with the BJU Press Distance Learning printed packets
We are using three BJU Press Distance Learning DVD courses in our homeschool this year—Bible Truths 2, Science 2, and English 2—so when we opened our boxes, we found six printed packets. Three of the packets are parent/facilitator guides, and three are student handouts. I found the Distance Learning Getting Started Videos very helpful in figuring out how to organize these materials. Although you can organize these packets several different ways, I chose to purchase two 2-inch, 3-ring binders to store these packets in. I put all the parent/facilitator guides in one binder with tab dividers separating each course, and I did the same thing with all the student handouts in the other binder. I also found it helpful to separate the different sections of the parent/facilitator guides with sticky tabs.
Depending on your distance learning course, these packets can be pretty hefty. You may need to purchase separate binders for each course.
I hope these tips help you with your homeschool organization. Do you have a favorite organizational method? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.