Like most homeschool moms, I want to have a successful school year. In order to reach that goal, I do quite a bit of preparation. I adopt a Goldilocks-like mindset as I work to find curriculum that is “just right” for each one of my children. I chat with fellow homeschool moms at the weekly co-op and in online forums to find activities and events to enhance my teaching. I attend informational homeschool conventions and watch inspirational homeschool videos to help me find the encouragement I’ll need when I hit a bump on the homeschool highway.
In spite of all my efforts, if I’m not careful, one word has the potential to sabotage all the homeschool preparation I’ve completed. That word is disorganization and over the years I’ve learned that a disorganized homeschool is a disastrous homeschool.
- If I’m disorganized I can’t think properly.
- If I’m disorganized, I can’t find my materials.
- If I’m disorganized, I can’t plan effectively.
- And, if I’m disorganized, I can’t be the teacher my children need.
Unfortunately, for many homeschool moms, including me, disorganization can be a major dilemma.
But…is it really possible combat homeschool disorganization? Yes. Must homeschool moms throw in the towel and quietly succumb to disorganization? Definitely not. If like me, you’d like to make your homeschool as marvelous as it can be, consider using these 5 resources for the disorganized homeschooling mom.
Calendar: Keep track of where you’re supposed to be and know when you’re supposed be there by maintaining a calendar. If you’re a techie mom, you may wish to use a digital calendar, but if you’re more traditional, you may want to use the old school, yet highly effective, paper and pencil calendar. I like to jot down appointments, meetings, events, etc on the weekly calendar inside my planner, but you may find a daily or monthly calendar will better meet your family’s needs. Select the type of calendar that will work for you and get into the habit of recording activities so you won’t miss or show up late for an appointment or activity.
Trash bags: Sometimes it’s hard to maintain an organized homeschool because we have too much stuff. If we get rid of unwanted, unused, or ineffective items, we’ll have cleaner shelves and more space in which to work. Grab a few trash bags and purge. Fill one trash bag with items you wish to donate to The Goodwill Store or other charity. Fill another trash bag with homeschool materials you’ll no longer need and pass the bag on to a fellow homeschooling mom. Bag up items and set them aside for a yard sale. Then, when the weather becomes pleasant, make some money for your homeschool by holding a yard sale and selling items you no longer want or need.
Boxes/Bins: Control homeschool clutter by using boxes, bins, and other containers to store homeschool materials. When materials have designated spots, everyone in the homeschool knows where things belong. This means homeschool materials can be found and put away easily. Our homeschools are better organized when everything has a place. If you’re looking for effective but inexpensive storage options, visit Dollar Tree and Walmart.
Timer: Use a timer to help fight disorganization. A few times a day, set the timer on your phone or microwave for 15 minutes and spend time cleaning up a particular area or a particular room. If you do so four times each day, you’ll have spent an entire hour cleaning up around the house. Breaking cleanup into smaller periods of time often makes cleaning up easier to handle and prevents big messes from taking over the home.
Checklists/Charts: Make note of your progress throughout the day by using checklists and charts. This running list of tasks and to-dos helps keep you focused on what you need to accomplish each day. Charts and checklists can also be used by homeschool children, so they too understand what needs to be done each day. I love the free printable checklists at Printable To Do List and Smead.com. (Don’t miss my favorite checklist, To Do Now vs To do Later.)
Yes, disorganization is an unruly beast, but it is a beast that can be tamed. By using the resources mentioned above and by exercising some self-discipline, homeschool moms may become better organized and experience the joy of a well structured homeschool.
Are you looking for additional resources for your homeschool? The bloggers of the iHomeschool Network are sharing posts featuring awesome resources for homeschool moms. Click the graphic below to read more posts.
© 2015, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.