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How to Be an Organized Homeschooling Parent

 

Sometimes in our homeschooling I’ve felt like a disorganized mess, especially when I had babies/toddlers. However, I’ve learned through trial and error some systems that work for us. There are ways to be a very organized homeschooling parent, it’s just a matter of being intentional about it one simple step at a time. In my efforts to be more organized this year, check out my tips for how to be an organized homeschooling parent.

7 ways you can be a more organize homeschooling parent. hsbapost.com

How to Be an Organized Homeschooling Parent

Get a Calendar

Whether you’re using a paper calendar or the one on your phone, it’s extremely important to use a calendar or planner whenever you’re homeschooling. You can use the calendar to write down when things like CO-OP will happen or even when you have a homeschooling field trip. With how busy everyday homeschooling life can be, it’s also important to know what’s going on each and every day.


I like this one because you can use it as a desk calendar or a wall calendar, plus a free vision board. {I wrote about making a vision board here.}

Set a Timer

What does a timer have to do with organization? Well, sometimes when you get going on a lesson or something else, you can forget to move onto the next task. A timer can help you stay on track throughout your day, so you don’t lose track of what you’re supposed to be doing, which can lead to disorganization.

Have a “Space” for Homeschooling

Even if you homeschool at the kitchen table, it’s important to be organized. I have some friends who use a closet to keep their homeschooling stuff organized and others have a whole room. If you do use the kitchen table, set up a few crates for homeschooling items, so you can stay super organized. I always say that you do not need a lot of space to stay organized, it just has to happen.

Create a “To Go” Bag

Another way we get disorganized in our daily homeschool life is by just grabbing stuff and putting it in the car. I’ve implemented a to go bag that helps us stay organized. Everything that needs “to go” with us goes in this bag. It cuts down on clutter in our vehicle and just helps us all be a little more prepared when on the go.

Do Things Electronically

Although this isn’t possible for everyone, I love the idea of it. A lot of school work can be done online and even saved online. In my opinion, it’s a lot easier to organize things electronically than they are paper wise. Homeschool Planet is a good option that I’ve tried. It has a 30-day free trial.

Get a File System Going

One of the best ways to stay organized is to use files. Although it’s not always fun to use files, it can be a lifesaver when it comes to getting organized as a homeschooling parent. Keep it simple. You can have a “done” folder, for schoolwork that is complete and you can have a “to be graded” folder that helps you keep track of what needs graded or reviewed. I like this one for its versatility, plus it’s a space saver.

De-Clutter

And one last thought, get rid of the clutter! It’s so hard to be an organized homeschooling parent when you have paperwork up to your ears. I promise if you ditch some of the clutter, it’s much easier to stay organized, no matter what you are up to.

What are your best tips for staying organized?


The Organized Homeschool Life

 

Linking up with my friends in the Homeschool Blogging Network:

Weekly Meal Planning Printables – Living Life and Learning

One Simple Tip for Organizing Homeschool Supplies– Schooling a Monkey

5 Tips for DIY Homeschool Organization – Jenn Gerlach Simple At Home

Organizing Small Items in Your Homeschool- A Sip of Southern Sunshine

Books, Books and More Books – Keeping Them Organized – Chestnut Grove Academy

 

Sara (141 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Strict Schedule or Flexible Routine

Do you follow a strict schedule or a flexible routine in your homeschool? Here are some of the pros and cons of both. hsbapost.com

We’ve recently started a new calendar year, and for many of us we’re about halfway through our school year, so it’s a time when we’re also considering what we may need to adjust. One aspect I usually take a look at is whether our routine or our schedule needs to be tweaked. If we’re behind in the lesson plans, or realizing that some subjects are being neglected or forgotten, we might be able to solve the problem by adjusting our routines.

We stick to a routine rather than a schedule. Did you know there’s a difference? A schedule has designated time-slots for specific activities, while a routine establishes a specific order for the activities but doesn’t lock in a time. For us, the routine works better for a couple of main reasons – my students are old enough to work independently and manage their own time; and my own preference is the more laid-back and flexible framework of a routine rather than a more rigid schedule.

Which is better for you?

If you lean towards unschooling or child-led learning, you probably also lean towards a flexible routine. If you homeschool following a classical style or using more traditional textbooks, you may need to follow a more detailed schedule. If your children go to a co-op or attend online classes, you’ll need to stick to the schedule for at least those activities.

Personality and preferences play a big role too. People who have that natural desire to keep everything around them organized and are details-oriented tend to prefer schedules, while those who are more laid back and are big picture thinkers manage well with a general routine. It’s seldom that mom (and dad) and all the kids have the same preference, so each homeschool family needs to find the balance and combination that works for them. I believe that we all need some level of routine, but some people really do function better when it’s detailed, and sometimes the tendencies are obvious even when they are babies! The little one that must have their afternoon nap at exactly the same time and place each day, or wakes up on their own at the same time each morning will probably be a student that works well with a schedule. The baby or toddler that adjusts handily to changes and disruptions and can generally fall asleep almost anywhere likely will be just fine with an easy-going routine.

Do we need to change our approach?

Are you or your child anxious and always looking at the clock, or feeling rushed? Perhaps it’s your cue to loosen up on the schedule and lean more to a routine. On the other hand, if you or your child are having trouble staying focused, or feel disorganized and confused by too many options and things to do, a stricter schedule may provide the framework you need to stay on track.

As kids get older, their needs change, and they can gradually take more control over their own time management and experiment with what works best for them. Even if you relied on a schedule when homeschooling preschoolers and elementary grade children, you may find that a more general routine works well to keep everyone coordinated as they gradually work more independently in middle and high school grades.

My own preference is for a routine, but I’ve also learned that I need to set a timer or watch the clock in order to stay on task in some areas and to remember to do the tasks in other areas! The kids are each a little different in how they work best too. Honestly, if I hadn’t made myself follow a schedule when we started homeschooling, I don’t think we would have finished much. A couple years into the adventure, I was perfectly comfortable just studying subjects in whatever order and my oldest son was cool with that too. But my second son was constantly distracted or anxious trying to figure out what was next on the agenda, so I eventually realized we needed a set routine. Good thing, because the third one literally could not focus on a page of a math if he didn’t know what subject was next or how soon it would be lunchtime! With him, I often had to set a timer and assure him that if he worked on the math worksheet until the timer went, then he could have a snack and go on to the next subject. Now that he is in high school, he has established his own balance of schedule and routine. He starts with the same subject every morning and works on it every day, but some of his other subjects he works on some days and not on others. That’s what works for him, and he’s learned to manage his own time fairly efficiently.

As for me, I’m still working on managing my time well. In fact, my timer just went off, which means I need to publish this article and then go on to the next task on my list. Which is probably grading essays or algebra, so I can make the deadline for submitting report cards!

What’s the right balance between strict schedule and flexible routine in your homeschool?

 

Kym (14 Posts)

Kym is in the middle of her 17th year of homeschooling her four kids, two of whom have graduated. She and her husband of 27 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.


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Groovy Lab in a Box: A Science Kit That Includes EVERYTHING!

My kids absolutely love doing science experiments – and so do I! What we don’t love is having to find all the needed supplies, and forgetting something, and then not actually doing the experiment because we didn’t pick up the last supply at the store.

That’s why I was SO excited to find out about Groovy Lab in a Box! They have everything – and I mean everything – you need to complete a science experiment, all in one convenient package!

groovylablogo

From the website…

“Groovy Lab in a Box includes everything you need to complete all activities, inquiry experiments, tests, and engineering design challenges. Including the basics. You never have to go looking for popsicle sticks or straws or pipe cleaners ever again. If the activity, experiment, test, challenge, or inquiry requires a specific tool or supply, it’s in the box!”

I love that! No more hunting the house trying to find something that will work – because it all magically arrives on your doorstep! Go here to read more about what’s inside each box.

Not only that, but you can choose to have one groovy lab box mailed to you (hurry, they’re going fast!) or you can sign up for a subscription plan!

GroovyLabBirdKit

{All-inclusive “For The Birds” science kit!}

I’m also thrilled to announce that Groovy Lab in a Box is giving away one science experiment kit to a Homeschool Blog Awards winner!

Here are the details:

  • One Prestigious Parents’ Choice® Award winner Groovy Lab in a Box – Lunar Launch Box
  • Engineering Design Challenge: Can you design, build, and launch a rocket which travels the farthest vertical distance?
  • Investigate Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy. Build Balloon Rockets, Paper Rockets, Foam Rockets, and a rocket that you engineer and design.
  • Emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
  • Extended learning through our exclusive online portal.
  • STEM•ist /stĕmʹĭst/ n. Expert in applying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Explorer, creator, inventor…STEMist!
  • For STEMists ages 8 and up

Thank you, Groovy Lab in a Box!

To connect with Groovy Lab in a Box so you don’t miss information about deals, sales, new products, science tips, and fun ideas, you can visit their blog, follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Pinterest.

And I’d love to know – if none of the science kits were sold out, which one would you choose?

 

Davonne (17 Posts)

Davonne Parks is a married Christian homeschool mom who began teaching her children at home in 2009. She blogs about cultivating a heart for motherhood, as well as organization and simplicity, at DavonneParks.com. Davonne believes that some of life’s richest moments happen when we embrace the beauty of imperfection as we extend grace to ourselves and others. She’s written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


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