Organization and keeping an ordered homeschool tends to be top on every homeschool mom’s list of things to accomplish. Let’s face it, a well organized day allows things to flow more smoothly. There’s nothing quite like waking up and realizing you have a million things to do and wondering how on earth you’ll get through them. We’ve all had days like that, where we want to sit down and ask for a do-over or at least a few extra hours to accomplish the never ending list of tasks we set for ourselves. Or at least that spelling test we meant to give out..
Keeping An Ordered Homeschool
One year we had a running joke in our family that if it wasn’t 7pm we had to put our forks down and watch the clock until the hour arrived. Why? Between homeschool, long work days for my husband, and the typical day to day things in our home dinner was consistently late. So much was the routine and pattern of this late evening meal that one evening upon sitting down after dinner clean-up our youngest announced we must be having two dinners tonight because it was only just turning 7 o’clock. Even now, with life a little less insane we still joke about this!
There’s this interesting myth that floats around the homeschooling community and is especially rampant amongst newer homeschooling families. It always results in the #1 question: “How do you get it all done?” Let me put your mind at ease, we don’t. It’s not something to be ashamed or worried about, it’s a conscience choice one can make. You can stress over accomplishing it all or you can settle into the confidence that your children are educated and your family is fed. Find the balance that best works for you.
I’m with you. I want a clean and tidy home, hot meals, and well educated children. I want it every single day, but that’s not always my reality. My sink was recently photographed full of dishes while a child was running a science experiment over the top of them! Walking through my lounge room before tidy-up time can be like attempting to cross a pit of lava on roller skates. I often find it newsworthy to announce to the family when the kitchen floor has been freshly mopped. Things like that use to bother me and quite honestly still do at times, but I’ve learned to see the bigger picture.
The smile on the child’s face who spent the last three weeks trying to remember exactly how to spell that one word holding him back from moving on to another lesson. The resounding whoop that can come from the depths of the library when the new math lesson clicks and the learner can’t wait to share it with everyone else. Those moments when we’re driving to one activity or another and I get to listen in on the kids debating the outcome of a book we might be caught up in, explaining to each other a history lesson we’ve learned, or gushing with enthusiasm to be the first to share the days activities over dinner.
Those are the moments we live for, the ones we cherish forever. I may appreciate a well scrubbed kitchen floor, or a lounge room that doesn’t make me consider installing a zipline from doorway to doorway. But when my kids are grown and on their own, these are the moments I’m going to remember and cherish.
This month the authors at The Curriculum Choice bring you their reviews, hints, tips and tricks in helping keep their days ordered as they move along. These are the little things that help us keep the balance in our daily strides to bring order to an otherwise chaotic and crazy time in our lives.
Keeping An Ordered Homeschool from the Archives
Homeschool Rooms and Organizational Ideas from our Review Authors – One of our all-time most popular posts. (With links to our homeschool rooms!) This is the time of year for new pencils, clean notebooks, and freshly organized bookshelves. The authors here at The Curriculum Choice want to help you get organized by sharing our homeschool rooms and organizational ideas for everything ‘homeschool.’ Enjoy!
Wrapping Up a Homeschool Year – Storage Ideas and Graduation – lots of great ideas for storing the remnants of your homeschool year, as well as planning for graduation.
Homeschool Planning – A round up of all our best homeschool planning tips and resources. Including the free Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Planning ebook! (subscribe to The Curriculum Choice for your free copy!)
- A Simple Plan Homeschool Planner
- Let’s Homeschool High School Review
- High School Prep Genius
- The Homemaker’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule
- 10, 20, 30 Go! Prayer, Reading, Chore System Review
- The Everyday Family Chore System Review
- My Favorite Planner
- My iPad for Kids review
- Back to Homeschool Help from Curriculum Choice authors
- Favorite Ways we Organize Our Homeschool Days
- Help Your Teens Stay Organized
- Homeschool Curriculum Rental Service
- Scripture Memory Box
- A Week in the Life of a Homeschool Planner
- Organization Ideas for Your Homeschool Space
- Homeschool Rooms & Organization Ideas
- Organization archives at TCC
From Our Review Authors
Cindy West of Our Journey Westward
I used to think I was a distant relative of Martha Stewart. Then I had children – specifically children #2 and #3 who happen to be wonderfully active and utterly disorganized boys. All hints of any Stewart genes have disappeared and I now painstakingly do a little here and a little there to keep myself, our home and our homeschool organized. There’s so much more I could (and should) do, but a few bright lights of organization attempts have worked really well and I’m sharing those with you today…
- Our weekly lesson notebooks have kept all of us on task and caught up on schooling!
- This guest post about organizing e-books has been a lifesaver in keeping up with the fabulous curriculum stored on my computer!
- I really try to keep our school room as organized as possible. Try being the key word.
- Games are a big part of our “living” homeschool and I keep them organized in our game closet by subject.
- And, finally, you might like to see how I put together a general order to our homeschool week so everyone knows what to expect daily. The schedules can be found at the end of the post.
Tricia Hodges of Hodgepodge
We are always updating something to meet the changing needs of our age range – and tackle the visual clutter that makes me crazy!
- 10 Homeschool Learning Centers at Hodgepodge – because creating learning centers is a bit of a passion for me. It’s an ongoing room by room makeover to meet the needs of our homeschool, our children. I share all this so you might take one thing for inspiration. One rearrangement that might work. Just remember that all of this was done over several years. (Including our IKEA and Chalkboard Homeschool Room).
- Annual Planning and Goal Setting – How I ‘generally’ plan annually plus set goals for each child. For several years now I have looked forward to annual planning and goal setting – on vacation over the summer. I do this while watching the sunrise, cup of coffee in hand. I’m away from home, relaxed and often have a new perspective. With five children, I devote one morning to each child. Anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to just jot down ideas and God prompts. Not only do I consider academics but life skills, character training. I also take a morning to set goals for myself and my marriage.
- From there we have our Weekly Homeschool Planning Meeting with Multiple Ages – Along with our habits, our weekly planning meeting helps build the ‘bones’ of our homeschool days. Our family meeting with all our children gives us an outline for the week ahead. There are so many benefits to this time together.
- I’ve gathered all the Best of Homeschool Planning at Hodgepodge which includes When do you plan for homeschool and how long does it take? weekly homeschool planning meeting, how to plan individual time, afternoon art projects, Tapestry of Grace, plus our FREE ebook Return of the Routine!
Heidi at Heidi’s Miscellany
Flexible Homeschool Planner – Notice I said “pencil in”…I am what most like to call a “free spirit”, so I like to be able to change things up a bit as we go. This planner is flexible enough for me and keeps me in line with our planning at the same time! And the best part…I get a planner for the entire year for about 20 bucks, even less if you have a coupon!
Kendra at Aussie Pumpkin Patch
- Planning Ahead — I like to be prepared, it’s such a great feeling isn’t it? When I say I like to be prepared I like to prepare myself for the upcoming things I can predict. When we’ll start school. Where our Terms will lay & things like that. Check out how and enjoy the freebie as well.
- My Student Logbook Review — A simple checklist type planner for the younger crowd and oh so simple to use. Created by a homeschool Mamma with the homeschool student in mind! it’s so amazingly simplistic and extremely effective! We’ve been using ours for a few weeks now & I’ve been bursting at the seams to share about it.
- Staying Organized — I recently saw a question asking how much time one spends on planning lessons, gathering school materials, researching topics, and so on. All the typical things most of us get caught up in doing. This question really struck me because this is something that I use to get really caught up in. I mean really caught up in… I thought I’d share some ways I put the fun back into our homeschool, and some tips I have for staying organized with the least amount of effort…
- Obsessive Planning — This nifty little box holds all our school papers, planning pages, crafts, recipes, and more. In short it’s like it’s own little hub and city and the best part? It sits quietly on a chair in the corner of our dinning room. Over the years what goes in the files has changed and perhaps how I use it has been tweaked here and there, but overall the idea is still the same.
- Little Brown Bag — Sometimes organization tools come in the funniest of places, this one came from the middle of the crafting section! The tote, or basket as we call it, is loaded with pockets and spaces to hold just about anything under the sun. It is actually a scrapbooking storage tote, but we prefer to use it for our school supplies. Take a peek at what’s inside!
- Ebook & Audio Books — The delightful thing about today’s technology is the ease in which we can obtain books to listen to or read on our latest e-device. The problem is once they go into or onto the machines it can be so much harder to keep track of what we have! We’ve accumulated hundreds of ebooks and audio books, and finally found a way to keep track of what we have!
- Keeping Track of Read Alouds — Do you compile a list of books you’d like to read aloud to your children? I usually have a mental running list of the books.. The problem is, I can get really carried away when it comes to books… and these fun and simple to make lists help me keep it all straight!
- Kitchen Gadget — I know around here we generally talk about homeschooling, but this one kitchen gadget was a true blessing! Not only does it allow us to get dinner served on busy days without little effort, it means I don’t have to spend a lot of time stressing over feeding my family a lovely home cooked meal on busy days.
- Homeschool Helps — I’ve been sharing things around the house that make our school days run smoother or that we simply use daily in our homeschool. A couple more came to my attention this week and I couldn’t help but share them.
- Favorite Homeschool Items — This list might surprise you because not everything on it is curriculum based or even considered schooly, but this list, from a few years back, is a list of our then top favorite items that help keep your day running smoothly. Not a lot of it has changed either..
Heather of Blog, She Wrote
Our Learning Environment– A tour of how we use our space to keep our homeschool organized. We have many learning areas in our home, but the home base for our educational materials is in our school area.
Project Workspace– These are the places in our home devoted to projects. Each of the six of us have a space where we can work without interruption. We’ve made workspace a priority so that we can leave projects out which allows us to work whenever we have time.
Barb of Harmony Fine Arts
How to Make An Overall Plan for the Year – (one of our most popular posts!) Often I am asked by new homeschoolers about how to make an overall plan for the school year. They are looking for the nuts and bolts of putting lots of great ideas together because they tend to get overwhelmed by whole process. I shared the following ideas with a friend and I hope they help and encourage readers here at Curriculum Choice.
Review Team Features
- Our Curriculum Choice Homeschool Organization, Homeschool Planning and Homeschool Helps Pinterest boards.
- Browse our organization and encouragement sections of the site.
- Have you enjoyed this special post from our review authors? Our Curriculum Choice review team features a topic monthly. You can see all that our authors have shared on electives, math, curriculum choices and more under Review Team Features.
~ Hosted by Kendra of Aussie Pumpkin Patch
originally published 2014
So true, we don’t get it all done. Great list and advice! And with myself and my husband both working outside the home, we don’t even try, lol! However, we do have a ‘tidy up’ time which is just before bedtime. I do freezer meal planning so all I have to do is throw dinner in the oven or crockpot. The kids have to clean up their schooling desk/corners after they are finished their work. They also take turns doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. We save cleaning the rest of the house for the Saturday morning tidy. The one area that stumps us is – laundry. No matter how we try and stay on top of it, we always fail.
WOW! You’ve packed so much into this post! Thanks for including our planners in your post. I know all of your tips will help many homeschool parents.
Thank you! That’s a lot of wonderful information on how to keep an orderly house and homeschool you’ve built up through the years. It’s handy to have all the links in one spot. 🙂