Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baby steps to homeschool organization

Baby Lu loves trying to fill her sister's shoes, but I get a little discouraged sometimes when I see how organized all you other homeschool moms are. So, I've been trying to take some baby steps toward getting our homeschool stuff organized.

I didn't do much, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully it will translate into our days being leaps and bounds ahead in in terms efficiency.

Below is my old system. Basically our current year Sonlight shelf is organized and all other books and workbooks ended up being crammed into every cabinet, nook, and cranny available. We were running out of space and I had just ordered another half dozen books. I knew I had to do something.

So I moved this little plastic storage chest next to my big homeschool breakfront. I'm hoping it's not too terribly noticeable as it doesn't exactly go with the decor, but it is exactly what I was looking for.

Each of my homeschool age kids gets a drawer and it's packed with all their workbooks including their CBS homework spirals, which I'm sorry to say one of my kids recently lost due to our disorganization. This is my loose interpretation of "work boxes". It's really very little work and great in that it helps each kid keep track of all their books.

The two younger girls (9 and almost 7) also have folders in the tops of their drawers that contain their assigned work for the day in the left hand pocket. When they complete their work (which lately they've been doing at funny times like 9:30 pm and 6:30 am) they move it to the right hand pocket for me to check at my convenience. Monk (10) doesn't have a folder, but just knows his assignments for the day.
Am I the only one that starts the school year organized only to realize toward the end of the year that we've been reduced to chaos? Well, I'm hoping these small changes translate into big results for us. My girls love having the freedom to work on their school work anytime. Invariably, as soon as I put the worksheets for the next day into their folders, they start asking me if they can get to work on them. I love their enthusiasm so I'm allowing for a little leniency in our schedule right now. I'm actually very excited about what we accomplished in school this year, it just wasn't pretty in terms of organization. I want to change that, though, thus my baby steps.
How do you get organized for your homeschool and how do you keep it that way? Do you let your kids organize their own time and do their work when they want or do you stick to a strict schedule? We're still doing our together school time according to a rigid schedule since it revolves around Baby Lu's nap time. Do you encourage your kids to work ahead or do you try to keep them on a steady pace to finish the year on time? Do you give your kids more than one day's assignment at a time? I've been toying with the idea of a week at a time, but I'm afraid they'd work hard for two days and finish their work by Wednesday. I can't wait to learn from all of you!


  1. I want to answer you because we have been where you are. However, I will come back and answer when my brain is rested. I am currently in the process of setting up my new blog. Come on over and check it out. I now have my own domain name!

  2. you know, at the beginning of this school year i bought each girl a backpack. that way they can take their books with us if i have to go somewhere...doc apt or curves...they do their work while waiting.

    it's been great tho, b/c it makes them responsible for their stuff. they will have pencil boxes next year i think!

  3. You are not the only mom who struggles with organization. I've been homeschooling 18+ years, and organization is still a challenge. I was absolutely shocked when one day a friend I've known for years told me she wanted her home to be as organized as mine!!!! I've always thought her home was well-organized.

    It is so much a matter of perception. I love when bloggers give us a glimpse of their chaos because it reassures me I'm not the only one. Yet, we don't show that all the time because we choose to focus on the good, while chipping away at the ugly :)

    Becoming organized and efficient, for a lot of us is a life-long challenge. You can do it! You are doing it. Don't get discouraged. Staying organized and tidy with little ones around is a tough job. Just keep plugging away.

  4. Organization is an on-going thing here. I always think I can tweak it just a bit more (and usually I can!) For some reason, it's easy for me to no longer see the solutions when the problem has been there for so long. I have to really shake things up in order to get to a solution.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.