It may not be the beginning of a school year but it is the time of year when people like to have new beginnings! If you haven't been happy with the physical organization level of your homeschool space than I'd like to share with you just three easy to implement ideas that will transform your homeschool room.
Books of all kinds are obviously a huge part of homeschooling! Therefore having an effective way to manage those books is crucial.
Let's talk about the books your kids use daily - the workbooks, textbooks, notebooks, etc. I have tried keeping these in desks, on shelves, and in bins. By far the bin method has been most effective!
Get one bin per child so nothing gets mixed up and no one can blame anyone else for things being misplaced. This bin has worked really well for us:
Have your kids put all the books they need daily into their bin and place it somewhere close to their work area. This way everything is always close and easy to find. No more wasting time trying to find that book you just used yesterday! Plus, your kids can always pick up the crate and move to another location if needed.
Oh, and if you go with a wooden crate like the one above your kids can personalize it with paint!
Okay, let's tackle the pencils, markers, erasers, scissors, popsicle sticks, hot glue gun sticks, and paintbrushes! It's time to hit up the dollar store to organize these babies.
I found that leaving markers and pencil crayons in the boxes they came in always ended up being a mess! The boxes break with use and the kids were always dumping everything out to find the colour they wanted. I picked up some colourful pencil holders and that has been the BEST solution for three reasons:
1. The kids can easily see all the colours and pick what they want.
2. They can be easily carried around with out the bottom of the box opening and everything ending up on the floor!
3. All these rollable items stay in their place instead of rolling off desks and all over the floor...again!
Hit up your local dollar store and you can easily get these items organized for under 20 bucks!
I think the biggest deterrent to organization is when the kids (and you!) just don't really know where to put things. Everything needs to have a specific place to call its home.
This brings me to my last tip for better homeschool organization. Create (and maybe even label!) homes. Now this really isn't as overwhelming as it might sound. In fact you have probably already done this but you might need to add some intentionality to it.
Thinking just about your homeschool space, not your entire house, where do you keep your manipulatives? Your art supplies? Your educational games? Your resource books?
Take some time and put like materials together. Whether you use shelves in a closet, bins, plastic storage drawers, or anything else, just make sure you have like items grouped together.
For example, all math manipulatives in one or two drawers. All art materials in one bin. All logic games on one shelf. This is helpful for two reasons:
1. When you need something for math or art, you only have to look in one spot.
2. When you are cleaning up, you know exactly where everything goes.
But here is the crucial step! The kids. They NEED to know where the homes are. Once you have put like materials together, take your kids on a tour and show them where things go. We assume our kids will notice that all the art supplies go in one spot and will automatically put them back in that same spot. But let me tell you, that is not the case! If kids don't know that specific items have specific homes, they will not put them back where you want them!
If you are a labeler lady than get out your trusty label machine and start labeling! This will further help you and your kids to put things in their homes.
By organizing your most used items into specific bins, holders, etc. and designating specific homes for your supplies, your homeschool space will be much tidier, welcoming, and conducive for learning.
Don't wait until next month or next school year to get on top of the chaos! I guarantee you will see drastic improvement in the organization of your physical homeschool space if you implement just these three simple ideas.