Do you have lesson plans, notebook paper, textbooks, and math manipulatives lying all over the place? You might be a disorganized homeschool mess.
And you would not be alone! Many, many of us struggle with homeschool organization, especially when there are several kids to teach or when we’re juggling other responsibilities such as working, homemaking, caregiving, and volunteering.
The good news is that, even when you’re a disorganized mess, you can still homeschool successfully. Here’s how.
How to Homeschool When You’re a Disorganized Mess
1. Take it Back to Basics
Feeling overwhelmed as a homeschooler can be a major contributor to lack of organization. Whether you’re overloaded with curriculum from years past or you’re nervous about beginning as a new homeschooler, getting organized may require you to strip down to the basic homeschooling necessities.
There are a lot of bells and whistles with homeschooling. But remember there is nothing wrong with sticking to the basics and covering them well.
This isn’t to say that you have to skip the homeschooling extras you might be looking forward to, such as a co-op, elective subjects, or extracurricular activities. Those extras that breathe life into your routine and motivate your kids keep homeschool fun!
But returning to the basic subjects—math, language arts, science, and social studies—can give you a good starting point for organizing your lessons. Choose a reputable curriculum that makes it easy to teach those basic subjects so you don't have to spend extra energy on last minute hunting for lessons plans on Sunday night.
2. Schedule Everything
Once you establish your most important subjects, it’s time to start scheduling! You can use an online planner, a paper planner, or a whiteboard, but having a good scheduling system is crucial to organizing your homeschool days.
Personally, I use a large binder with separate sections for each child’s weekly assignments. I also use an online planner to organize all of the resources I intend to use for the year. Plus, I put important due dates on our family whiteboard as they come up. Sometimes it truly takes all three of these planners for me to keep up with everything.
The point is to find a system that you will actually use and remember to consult as you go along. Try out each of these planners, find the one that works best for your family, and begin by planning time for the essential homeschool subjects you’ll teach. After a week, reevaluate to see what worked and what didn’t and reschedule accordingly. Over a few weeks, you’ll start to see how your days flow best.
Now that you’ve established your homeschool schedule, you can bring in some reinforcements—namely, your kids! Fill each child in on the daily schedule and have him or her learn to use a planner too!
When kids have their own written schedules, they do a much better job of following the routine on their own. And they’re excellent at reminding us when we miss something!
It doesn’t matter if you’ve struggled with organization for years. It doesn’t matter if you’ve gotten off to a rocky homeschool start. It doesn’t even matter if you can’t find the math textbook you wanted to use this year. You can start getting organized today.
Simplify your focus, start scheduling the lessons that matter, and get your kids to help out. You’ll be on the road to successful homeschooling before you know it!
BookShark is a complete, literature-based, homeschool curriculum developed for Pre-K to Age 16 students. Our curriculum uses a variety of educational resources including literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations and hands-on experiments to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbook memorization.
Their curriculum is easy for parents to teach. All of the planning and preparation is done for you so you can enjoy learning together. They provide 36-week, 4-day schedules designed to save one day a week for sports, field trips or other extracurricular activities.
BookShark combines a proprietary History, Science and Language Arts offering with a wide range of math options, including Math-U-See, Teaching Textbooks, Saxon, Singapore, and more to ensure you have everything you need for an entire school year. Visit BookShark to download samples of the Instructor's Guides and to request a free catalog.
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