No matter how you homeschool, there are always materials to be kept in order. So much paper. So. many. books. (Well, I mean, if you’re at my house, there are more books than a library.) So many craft supplies. You need to keep all that stuff on hand because you just might need it, but you also have to keep the stuff you absolutely are going to use this year separate from the extra.
Whether you follow a curriculum of your own devising like I do or you purchase someone else’s, you have to be able to just grab that stuff each morning and get busy. And you have to make sure you know where that stuff is all year long.
What, oh what, is a homeschooling mama to do?
My 6 Best Curriculum Organization hacks
I’ve been at this a while, and I’ve learned some tricks. Though my classroom is pretty much walled in bookshelves, not all of them are books I need for this year. Seriously, this year’s books could get swallowed up in there and I could spend half the morning searching for what we need. We can’t have that, my friend. We need to be organized. Even if you don’t have a separate classroom for your homeschool, you can use some of these tricks.
Curriculum organization hack #1
The very first trick I learned (and still use 7 years later) was to get a bin to keep next to each of the boys’ chairs. These bins hold their individual everyday books. Notebooks, binders, math books, writing practice, journals, personal dictionaries—that type of thing. These are just the books and writing materials each uses himself. It is so much easier to have them grab what they need out of these bins every day. But that’s just the simplest hack. There are 5 more and each is more awesome than the last.
Curriculum organization hack # 2
Binders. Oh. Yeah. For years now, we have used a binder or a 3-pronged folder for each subject. We keep note-taking paper, notebooking materials, worksheets, lapbook stuff, every piece of paper that goes with each subject in its own separate binder. I often put them together before the school year starts, but sometimes we add to them as we go.
I also use a binder for planning. It isn’t fancy. I don’t need fancy or even pretty–I need something that works, that I can glance at and get on with our day. No frills here, just my personal homeschool planning pack that has exactly 3 different pages. You can have one, if you want.
If you want something more detailed, check out Heather’s beautiful Homeschool Mom Life Binder over at Life of a Homeschool Mom. This thing is so detailed you’ll never have to worry about anything ever again. Except filling it out. Which is kinda the fun part. Plus, there are 5 cover designs to choose from. Get your pretty on.
Curriculum organization hack #3
Everyday supply caddy. We used to have these on a lazy susan in the middle of the table, but as the boys have grown, they’ve needed more work space. Now they just sit in a line in the middle of the table. I can’t tell you how convenient it is not to have to get out the markers, crayons, scissors, or glue whenever we do a project. Plus, pencils. I mean, they’re always losing their pencils, right?
Curriculum Organization Hack #4
So how do I keep the books we’re definitely using together this year separate from the shelves of books we have to choose from? IKEA to the rescue! These handy-dandy picture shelves cost me less than $20 (for both!). As you can see, we’re studying Africa, Australia, Art, Huck Finn, and (for Littlest) Survival this year. I love these shelves because I can see every book on them without having to strain my old and tired eyes. They are at the front of the classroom so I can just grab them when we need them. This is, by far, my Favorite Thing about our classroom. It’s super-functional And it looks pretty! I would not hate having to put this up in the living or dining room if that’s where we homeschooled.
Curriculum Organization Hack #5
IKEA again! These buckets hold our weekly project supplies and my chalk and eraser for our chalkboard wall. So on Sunday, if I know we’re going to need supplies beyond what’s in the everyday caddies, I load up the buckets with what we’ll need for the week. That way I don’t have to go searching through my craft or science bins for materials. They’re right there! I crush super hard on these buckets. Thank you, IKEA. (Yes, I’m aware that my chalkboard wall needs a new coat. I have a week before school starts. Wish me luck.)
Curriculum Organization Hack #6
Brochure holders. No, I’m not kidding. These things are lifesavers. The bigger one (top pic) sits on the bookcase under my IKEA shelves to hold the heavier books that might tear my preciouses off the wall: the college bio text (a tome), our nature study books, and more. The smaller one holds extra 3-pronged folders (so I don’t have to dig them out when we need them), printables, and maps or other small items.
Everything. is at. my fingertips, y’all. I seriously don’t have to go searching through the closet, the bins, or any of the rooms for our school items. All the extras are elsewhere, but these few tricks keep all our curriculum for the current school year organized and ready-to-hand.
Mmmmm. I love the smell of organization in the morning.
Get organization tips from other homeschooling mamas!
MON 08/21 – 7 Tricks to Organize Your Homeschool – They Call Me Blessed
TUE 08/22 – Our Organized Homeschool Space – The Musings of Mum
WED 08/23 – 6 Homeschool Curriculum Organization Hacks – Lit Mama
THU 08/24 – How to Organize Your Digital Homeschool Files – Amy Michaels
FRI 08/25 – How to Organize Your Small Homeschool Space – Deliberate Homeschooling
SAT 08/26 – How I Organize Our Homeschool Room – Ranching with Kids
MON 08/28 – Homeschool Organization With Or Without A School Room – Plum Cheeky Solutions
TUE 08/29 – An Organized Space for Unorganized Homeschooler – Unhurried Home
THU 08/31 – Organizing Our Relaxed Homeschool – Bethany Ishee