Homeschooling and an organized home go hand in hand. When your entire life is lived in your home, staying organized is key to your success. Here are some recommendations on how to organize your homeschool life to make for a smoother homeschool experience.
Easy Homeschool Organization Ideas
Choose a learning space.
Some homeschoolers stay organized by doing homeschool in one area of the house. Others have a more freestyle approach with learning areas throughout the house. Decide which homeschool organization ideas work best for your family and organize around that decision. It may be easiest to organize all your homeschool materials in one area. If that style of learning doesn’t work for your family, get creative. Use rolling carts or moveable bins that can travel with you to different areas of the house. If you are using an area of your house exclusively for homeschooling, you might be able to store frequently used items in your desks or at your tables. If you are using a multipurpose area, you will need to implement an organization system that allows you to clean up everything each day.
Create a schedule.
An essential part of your homeschool organization is your schedule. Daily and weekly routines will help keep everyone on track. You might reinforce these routines with a whiteboard or master calendar kept in a prominent location where everyone can see it. In addition, daily checklists can help your children keep themselves on track with what they need to get done each day.
Especially if you are using digital curriculum, a great homeschool organization idea is to go completely digital. Tools like the BJU Press Homeschool Hub include a master calendar to keep you on track. If your children have laptops or tablets to complete their work, using a digital organizer is a good fit. They will have curriculum, homework, and their schedules all in one place. Keep passwords and logins organized so kids can easily access digital materials online. Teach them how to use bookmarks in the internet browser.
Organize your curriculum.
Keep your homeschool curriculum organized and easy to find. If you have been homeschooling a long time, or have multiple children, you will accumulate a lot of curriculum materials: textbooks, workbooks, and worksheets. You can organize curriculum by grade or by subject, but a very efficient way is to organize by child. Put the curriculum materials for each child in a separate bin, and keep anything you are not using in the current year on a shelf or even in a box out of sight. If each child has her own bin to access, you can efficiently keep track of the year’s curriculum this way.
If your curriculum is online, you will still need a filing system that allows each child to find the right materials at the right time. Consider organizing the curriculum materials by grade and/or by subject so that you can easily find materials for years to come.
Organize your supplies.
Every homeschool needs plenty of arts and crafts supplies besides the usual pens, pencils, and paper that are necessary for school. An easy homeschool organization idea is using shelves and bins to store these supplies. Clear bins have the added benefit of making it easy to find specific supplies, but they tend to look more cluttered. I love the IKEA Kallax cubby storage system, which can be supplemented with canvas box inserts or baskets for a cleaner look.
Create long term storage for your portfolio and required records.
If you live in a state that requires you to keep a portfolio of your child’s progress, you will want to create specific storage plans for those items. Or there may be certain projects or artwork that you want to store for longer. Create a system so that each child has a place to keep these treasures. Filing crates work well for this, as they are stackable and movable but an easy way to access your storage.
Keep each child’s work separate.
Using binders, folders, and color-coded supplies are some homeschool organization ideas for keeping track of each child’s work in a separate space. If you already have curricula in bins for each child, you can add these binders and folders to each bin. Keep pens, pencils, paper, and other supplies handy in each bin as well. Each day of school, your children can grab their bins and any other shared supplies they need to be ready for the day. Use a clipboard to keep track of assignments “in progress.” The clipboard is a versatile tool: writing surface, paper clip, and mobile workstation.
Organize reading materials.
Encouraging a love of reading is an integral part of homeschooling. Set up a cozy reading nook for your children where reading materials are easily accessible. If you are taking advantage of a local library, keep those books separate from books you own. Then you can return them on time without losing any.
How to Organize Your Homeschool Curriculum
What do you have and what do you need?
The first step to organizing your homeschool curriculum is to make sure you have what you need for the school year. If you have been homeschooling multiple children for a while, you may have years where you only need to buy fresh workbooks for some of your younger children. Having a system of shelves or bins by grade level and subject will help you keep track of what is missing.
Keep curriculum up to date.
You might be able to use outdated curricula a few times, but great curricula like BJU Press are regularly updated to stay current with educational best practices. If the curriculum you have is too old, it may be time to freshen up with some new materials.
Keep lesson plans in a binder.
For each subject by grade level, you can organize lesson plans into one binder with separate tabs for each unit. Undated versions of these lesson plans will be most valuable if you are using a “do the next thing” approach to homeschooling. This homeschool organization idea allows you to stay on track with lessons and assignments, even when life throws curveballs at you.
Keep supplementary materials handy.
You might have projects, hands-on science demonstrations, or other materials to supplement your curriculum. Keep these organized along with your curriculum, so that you have easy access to them when needed.
File completed work.
You can decide how much completed work to keep based on reporting requirements in your state and your record-keeping practices. Each child should have an organized place to file completed work so that you can find it again when you need to.
Create high school transcripts.
Your record-keeping in high school should be geared toward creating a transcript for your child to use for college entrance.
3 of the Best Homeschool Organizers
A wide variety of homeschool planners exist for organizing schoolwork at home. Several options for physical or printable planners are available for those who like to see everything and plan on paper.
Many digital tools can also double as a homeschool organizer. Google Workspace or the Microsoft 365 suite are some examples.
If you are not familiar with bullet journaling, it is a more freestyle approach to planning and productivity.
Tips to Keep Your Homeschool Organized throughout the Year
Maintaining your organization system is as important as establishing one in the first place. Follow these homeschool organization ideas to help keep your homeschool in order throughout the year.
Maintain your master calendar.
Put all assignments, field trips, and personal days on the master calendar so you can see your school year at a glance. Schedule time at the end of each week to ensure the following week is up to date.
Involve your children.
If your children know your organization systems, they can be responsible to help keep their part of the area clean and organized. Plan to clean up your homeschool area at the end of each day so that you can start fresh each morning.
Use checklists and routines.
There is nothing more satisfying than checking tasks off a list. Use checklists to make sure everything gets done each day. If you create a checklist for your daily routine, consider laminating it so you can reuse it each day.
Review, revise, rotate, and purge.
You will want to periodically evaluate how your organization system is working for your family. Consider whether changes could help your homeschool organization ideas work even better. Rotate learning materials, especially if you have limited space. And whatever you don’t need or aren’t using, go ahead and purge. No one has room to store everything forever, so go minimalist and get rid of whatever is not worth keeping.
Back up digital files.
If your homeschool is mostly or partly digital, you will want to regularly back up files so that you don’t lose key information. If a piece of work belongs in your portfolio, your back-up might be a printed copy. Otherwise, use a second hard drive or cloud storage to back up files.Jennifer
• • • • •Jennifer is a pastor’s wife and mom of two young girls and loves homeschooling them. During her own twelve years of being homeschooled, Jennifer developed a passion for reading and writing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and relishes writing during her free time.