Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homeschool Organization

One of the greatest challenges for homeschoolers can be organization of the books, notebooks, papers, pens, markers, calculators, etc, etc, etc. I am no exception to this challenge and there have been times that I have spent days searching for that one book that alluded me!
This year I think I am the closest to find the perfect organizational method for us. I have older children so that does have a bearing on the method I am using. Our needs have definitely changed over the years and holding on to one way of organizing things can really cause chaos.
I share this not because I think it is for everyone but because I know how much it has helped me to see how others are organizing. It both motivates me and gives me ideas. So I offer these as just one idea that might lead to something that works for someone else. :)

Up until this week, I had two small bookshelves. But since our schoolroom is our small dining room I decided to go with one tall shelf.
<----You can see it here of course. :) On the very top shelf are books that will use this year but aren't using yet. On the 2nd shelf down is a basket for pens, pencils, calculators and other small items. Beside that is our 2-tier shelf for papers I need to correct and blank paper. On the third and fourth shelf are books we are currently using. Once we're done with them they go on a shelf upstairs so that are out of the way. On the bottom shelf is resource material and teacher's manuals that I am not currently using but are for this year.

The milk crates you see in front of the shelves are for the kids' subject notebooks. I found that having these notebooks on the shelves caused chaos with their uneven sizes and levels of emptiness/fullness. Oftentimes smaller books would get lost behind them.

<----This milk crate is mine and is the teacher's manuals I am currently using and answering keys. I also have my bill organizer in there. I keep it behind my chair.

<---This notebook has helped me so much. Each week I put the kids' schedules from that week and any paperwork they don't need to keep. I have each child's paper separated by a sheet of construction paper. This way when I do their portfolios I can easily grab a sample from the beginning middle and end of the year. The work they need to keep is in their subject notebooks.
For easy grading I have a sheet of paper in the front of each subject notebook with grading categories: Daily Work, Research Papers, Labs Quizzes, Tests. When I give out a grade, my sons/daughter or I record it on that sheet. Then, when it's time to figure grades I have all the numbers right on that one sheet for each subject.
I had to institute one important rule. Under no circumstances are there to be any loose papers left out. Nor are they to trust me with them as I'll get sidetracked and before you know it have a pile to file. SO, they either stay in the notebook and I correct them there or I correct and hand them right back and they can be filed by the person they belong to.
I would love to hear how others organize their homeschool!! I really do love to get new ideas!! Please share either in the comments or leave me your link so I can visit you online! :)


  1. Thank Karen. I love to hear how other people organize. We also have the tall bookcase and milk crates. Each child has a shelf and then the bottom and top one are for future use books. Each milk crate has a file folder for each subject where they keep the papers they are working on. There is extra room for what few text books they use, like science. Like you I am always trying to find the best way to do things! It changes a lot.

  2. Hi Julie!! Thanks for visiting! After all these years I finally realized that it's not only okay that it changes alot but that it needs to keep changing as we change and grow! I definitely prefer a system where the kids can do more to keep themselves organized!! :)


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