Some personal information here ~ I LOVE organization! My best friend once called me “The Organization Police” because I continually look for ways to bring sense and order to end chaos! Homeschool is a pleasure when I’m organized, but when those days happen, and the kids are out of their chairs every 5 minutes to “get something”, I make a plan! So here are some of my practical plans….
Our School Room
- Round table with chairs ~ The round table is handy because I can sit between 2 children to show a picture or be near both to help with work. It’s easy to share supplies in the centre.
- Plastic tablecloth ~ pretty, yet practical and easy to wipe those spills.
- Book shelves ~ with colour-coded stickers on every book for each year/ curriculum. Thanks Sonlight for their idea! It is a breeze to keep the books organized! I train my children from early on to put things back where they found them. The coloured stickers is simple enough for a 2 year-old!
- Shelves for games, puzzles, educational toys, stationary, crafts and supplies
- Large whiteboard ~ I put 2 rings over the top of the screws and I hang pictures and charts on the 2 S hooks hanging on the rings. All the charts and maps have 2 curtain rings on them and they are on hooks behind the white board. I whip it over and it’s ready.
- Timeline with timeline figures in a box
- Mom’s desk with computer and printer ~ use headphones for educational computer games, spelling and typing practice.
- Secretary chair on wheels ~ and I fly around on this!
We use a large clear plastic box stored on our bookshelf with all the separate supplies in smaller boxes. We just take the smaller boxes to the table and share it in the middle.
So what do I keep in our little boxes?
- Scissors with all the different edge blades
- Pencil crayons
- Sketch pencils (B or softer) with soft erasers
- Glitter pens and gel pens
- Twisty pencil crayons
- Stamps and stamp pads
- Mathematic kit
- Caligraphy sets with ink
Craft Boxes ~ We bought different coloured suitcases/ boxes for crafts. I remove the craft kits from their store boxes a put them into ziplock bags. I cut out the box instruction and front illustrations and place these in the ziplock bags. This keeps all the little bits and bobs together. These fit into our craft boxes easily.
Chair bags ~ Each child has a chair bag tied on the back of their chair so that they can take out their next activity without having to get up. We keep things simple this way. Everyone has specific personal equipment that they need stored here; my eldest in 9th grade has her science calculator and math equipment, my youngest has sight word fash cards in hers.
- Each girl has her own file (more on that in the next Practical Organization Tips 2 post)
- Maths workbooks and textbooks
- Mini offices
- Flash cards (sight words/ maths tables) in a small ziplock bag
- White board ~ I use a white ceramic tile with a small foam sponge attached by a dog clip.
Just a word about using other people’s systems to organize – it should help and not burden you. If the system does not fit your lifestyle, it will just add stress.
When I prepare and stay organized and keep lessons short (thanks Charlotte Mason), we have happy and easy homeschool days!
Creative learning moments occur when we have time to take the “scenic route” and stop if something interesting comes up. I find that creativity requires some structure! In my experiences of teaching and in motherhood, I have found that when we schedule and organize our routine, the children feel secure, and yet I must stay flexible and open to the joy of the spontaneous!
I hope that you can use some any ideas in your homeschooling system!
What works for you?