Monday, June 18, 2012

(Semi) Organizing our homeschool

I am not the most organized of homeschoolers. But as I clean up the year's detritus, I realize there are a couple of tricks I've learned to keep chaos at bay.

Poor Yorick is in charge of pencils
Each child has a box for workbooky-types of things. There's also a "fun box" with puzzle books and critical thinking challenges. Around here, your work isn't done until the book is back in the box.

We also have an ample supply of clipboards. This allows kids to plop down in any location to do work. Except when they're doing handwriting, I don't really care if they work lying down, upside down, or on the sofa.

Coffetable/bookcase from Ikea
School-related books we use regularly (dictionaries, our read-aloud, a Bible, an atlas, reference material, and the occasional textbook) go in the coffee table. There's nothing more annoying than sitting down to read a book and being unable to find it. 

We need a bigger library truck

Library books are stored separately, because it's a pain to have to fish through shelves (and under beds) when it's library day. We use an oversize wooden truck, left over from preschool days. This isn't a foolproof method, but it helps.

I didn't take a picture of our science box because it's a mess. My one piece of advice on science is to buy every single item you will need for experiments at the beginning of the year. Unlike our art supplies, the science box is not open for use without permission, because otherwise everything disappears. There is no faster way to derail a day of experiments than to discover you're missing a key item.


  1. I wish I were as organized as you. But then again I switch up our stuff way too often thinking that this time it will be better! I keep up with a lot of folks on my homeschool blog if anyone would like to check it out. Occasionally I will post my "extras" books on there too! Stop by and hit "like" Trying to get to 100 by the end of the week!!

    1. Heh heh -- just don't ask to see my lesson plans! In fact, usually you can't even ask to see the top of my coffee table!

      BUT now that school is officially done for the year, Little Guy has pulled out the Earthsearch book by John Cassidy and is working his way through it. Because, you know, that's not SCHOOL. That's fun.

      Which is one reason I try to keep our definition of school very narrow, and our time on formal academics limited. I'd rather have them exploring things that they think are fun, on their own. Because *that's* the skill that will stick with them for their entire lives.