5 Tips for Organizing Your Homeschool
Written by Renae C.
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An important part of a successful homeschool year is organization. Without it, it’s so easy to get behind on schoolwork and projects. By organizing your homeschool, not only are you more likely to keep yourself on track, but it can also save you a lot of stress, time, and even money.
- Know the laws in your state. If you will be required to fulfill a certain time constraint or curriculum choice, or even testing guidelines, it is important to have this information up front. You can easily check the requirements for your state on the HSLDA website. (http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/)
- After learning about the laws in your state, use what you find to make a schedule. Choose something that will work for you, whether it’s a simple day planner or a large wall calendar. By scheduling your daily routine, projects, field trips, and vacation days, it will help you stay on track for the school year. While you don’t need to schedule your day hour by hour (unless you want to!), writing down what you need to get done each day can keep you from forgetting important deadlines. At the end of the school year, it saves you the stress of trying to rush to complete things you haven’t finished yet. Also, for those states that require a record of days/hours attended, it simplifies your process at the end of the year. Be sure to leave some room in your schedule for unplanned fun. You never know when you’ll get invited to join another homeschool family on a trip to the zoo! One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexibility it offers you and your family. You can build this flexibility into your schedule.
- Have big plans for the school year? Gather your supplies, or at least make a list for each large project you are planning at least a couple of weeks in advance. Giving yourself time to plan saves you from last minute chaos and helps to ensure that your ideas actually become a reality. Your kids will thank you!
- In August, the back-to-school sales start and they are a great way to get most of your school materials at a deep discount. However, it is very easy to throw your shopping bags in the back of a closet and forget about them because you don’t need them immediately. For those short on space, organizing your school supplies can be a challenge. Set aside a space, however large, dedicated just to your school materials. Even if it’s one shelf on a bookcase, it can make your life easier. You can’t successfully homeschool if you can’t find pencils, paper, erasers, etc.! This is where you can really get creative and have some fun decorating!
- Throughout your school year, there will inevitably be times when you start to feel frazzled. When this happens, take a step back and re-evaluate what you are doing. Is it a time to re-organize and hunker down, or is it time to throw a little organization out the window? Maybe you need to take some more play time during your day? Sometimes, kids just need to shake up their routine – try taking your schoolwork to the park or the library for the day. While it might go against the grain for a hyper-organized person, change is good. It promotes growth (in you and your child!) and you’ll never find what works best for you if you don’t allow it.
Homeschooling is what you make of it. It can be a fun adventure and challenge or it can be a crazy mess. It’s up to you to decide what you want your school to be. If you thrive in a crazy mess, go for it! For the majority, however, having at least some structure is not only nice, but needed.
Written by Renae C. Renae is the author of the blog ‘Mostly Together Mommy’. In addition to raising three kids, she works full-time and homeschools her kids. It’s no wonder she’s only keeping it “Mostly Together”! Renae is a veteran of the armed forces, was homeschooled herself, and now writes about all of it. She shares her daily life, recipes, positive thinking, crafts, and more at www.mtmommy.com.