As the new homeschool year approaches, you want to make sure your homeschool classroom is ready to go by the time the first day rolls around. After all, this is where most of the learning will take place. But all the books and supplies can clutter the classroom. So in order to keep everything in a neat and orderly fashion, all those things need a home.
If you don’t organize your space before the school year begins, you’ll soon have a mess on your hands. That mess is not conducive to learning and it also causes stress. Avoid the clutter bug by using these tips for keeping your home and your life neat and organized!
Put your wall space to good use! Stackable bins, shelves, and tall cabinets can be used to store many things. For example, your stackable bins can be used to separate the different subjects you may be covering: math, language arts, science, social studies, etc. Shelves and tall cabinets can be used for your student’s books, workbooks, and binders. Walls are also great for charts, weekly schedules, and planners, or for hanging whiteboards, maps or other visual teaching instruments.
*Make sure to keep a step ladder nearby in case you or students can’t reach things.
Open the Door
You can purchase an inexpensive over-the-door shoe organizer and fill the individual pockets with your things. This is a great place to store arts and craft items, note cards, and more! The best thing is that no one will see it as it hooks on the inside of the door. So when you are finished using the items, simply close the door and they’re gone.
Many homeschoolers swear by this method. Natalie, a homeschooler with three children, loves the idea. “Each of my children picked their favorite color and I organize their things by their color. I can organize their notebooks, bins, pencils, pens, sneakers, almost anything by their preferred color. So, then when it’s time for them to find something, they simply look for their color. This way they’re not mixing things up and getting themselves all confused.”
Many online homeschool curriculum tools don’t require books and other supplies, which will cut down the clutter, as books can take up lots of space. You can store test scores, homeschool portfolios, records, and more online. When you need a printed version, just go to the appropriate file and print out what you need. Online curriculum is also handy when you travel or when you move the classroom outdoors. Your children can just pick up their laptops and log on from anywhere.
Teach Your Children Well
If you’re an experienced homeschooler, then you know that the neatest classroom can turn into a disaster area quickly if your children don’t put their things away in an orderly fashion. Teach them at an early age that once they’re done using certain materials, the items should go back to where they belong before they can pull anything else out. Melissa, a mother of two young homeschooling children, explains how she taught her rambunctious students. “My two boys were notorious for leaving their clothes and other stuff on the floor. But I taught them that if they didn’t put their school supplies away, then we would not do the fun things they enjoy each day. It’s like a reward system. It took a little time but they got the message. Now, I rarely have to remind them to clean up.”
Once your children outgrow certain materials or curriculum items, get rid of them. Don’t be a pack rat. When you bring new things in, take inventory and find things you can throw out or sell at a discounted price to other homeschoolers. This way, you’ll keep your home organized and maybe make a few extra dollars.
Organizing your homeschool classroom now can save your sanity later. You may find that there are a few adjustments that you’ll have to make as the year progresses, but that’s okay. Whatever organizational system works best for your family is the right system. As Benjamin Franklin said: “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” And those hours gained can be spent with your family.