Many times we start out the school year with perfectly ordered bookshelves and a shiny fresh start with our homeschool organization. By the time we are on the home stretch looking at spring, that order is a distant memory. The schoolroom slowly gets more and more disorganized.
School must go on though, but it goes so much smoother when I am organized. I’m making it a priority over the next few weeks to declutter, and organize our learning spaces. It’s important to me to have a variety of resources available for my children, and to have a lovely learning environment, so I’m excited about getting it whipped back into shape.
Our shelves are organized by subject, one for arts and crafts, another one for history resources, and another for science. I also have a shelf of our Peaceful Press teacher books and resources. Towards the end of a school year, I will cull the shelves for unwanted titles, and switch out our display books for new selections that correspond with our upcoming studies (this year it will be choices from The Kind Kingdom book list).
In addition to all the books, I like to have easy access for my children to markers, colored pencils and stick glue. In this way they can put together creative notebook pages, or quickly make a greeting card without having to ask me for supplies. I keep most of these supplies in a caddy in the middle of our school table, but several times a year I sort through each jar full of pencils, brushes, and pens to toss broken bits and resharpen pencils.
While there are tons of books to reshelve and organize, and pencils to sharpen, we can also get inundated by all the papers. Throughout the school year, I simply place finished work in a folder in each child’s school file. Then, at the end of the year, I will save a couple for their books, and toss the rest. Many homeschool cover schools require a few work samples per semester, and we try to keep at least that many in a file.
School at home can be so much fun, but one important aspect is taking the time to prepare your home to be a place where children can focus on their work, find supplies, and do the research they need to do, in order to be well prepared young people. Organization isn't just about having a nice looking room, it is also teaching our children good mental sequencing skills and making our homes more functional places to learn.
A few favorite tools for organizing-
Book Buddy-an inexpensive app for cataloguing your home library
Brother Label Maker-label your shelves and supply boxes to streamline clean up.
Wide Mouth Mason Jars- cheaper at a local hardware store, but great for organizing paint brushes, pencils, and markers. We use the shorter ones for crayons.
Silverware Caddy-we keep a caddy similar to this one for storing all writing/painting/drawing implements.
Bookcase-our hall closet contains an 8 cube bookshelf for storing and organizing books by subject. A former home had multiple built in bookshelves, a home educators dream, but we make do now.
What are your best tips for organizing your homeschool area?
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