How to Organize Your Homeschool Life the Easy Way

How to Organize Your Homeschool Life the Easy Way

You know what the hard way is. You wait until you absolutely have to get curriculum, ideas, and your homeschool space in order. You stay up late, get irritable, and feel like you’re behind before you even start.

Then once you make it past the back-to-school rush, you find yourself wondering how to get dinner on the table when it’s covered in school projects, how to stay connected with your kids as mom and not just as teacher, and how to get ready for the holidays when it’s all you can do to teach and keep up with the laundry. You even wonder if you’re cut out for homeschooling since you can’t seem to figure out how to balance it all.

You troll the Internet for answers, pinning things that seem like they could help, and downloading creative worksheets that you think will help your child finally grasp a concept you’ve been trying to teach. The problem is you have no idea what to do first and if you can even find the resources you need again when you decide.

That’s the hard way: last-minute, go-it-alone, willy-nilly. 

 

How to Organize Your Homeschool Life the Easy Way

There’s an Easier Way to Organize Your Homeschool Life

#1 Plan Ahead Instead of Waiting Until the Last Minute

Planning ahead is the best way to save time, money, and stress in your homeschool life.

You save time when you plan ahead. When you make a list of everything you need for science, you only have to make one trip to the grocery store. When you register for outside classes before there’s a waiting list, you don’t have to waste time trying to find other options. When you have the kids put their shoes by the door at night, you won’t be late for a morning appointment because someone couldn’t find theirs.

You save money when you plan ahead. You get school supplies, curriculum, and gifts at the best price. You don’t have to spend extra money on gas driving around looking for what you need because your regular store is sold out. You don’t have to pay extra for expedited shipping.

You save yourself stress when you plan ahead. You don’t have to worry that you’ll let everyone in your co-op down. You don’t have to worry that your child will be miserable because you didn’t register for the team in time. You don’t have to feel like a failure as a mother and teacher.

Planning ahead is the easy way to organize your homeschool life.

The Organized Homeschool Life

#2 Get Advice Instead of Going it Alone

Getting advice is the best way to find what works for you, what works for your children, and to be encouraged.

You find what works for you. The main reason we don’t ask for advice is because we think we have to make our own way. We think we’re unique and we need a custom solution to organizing our lives. The truth is we’re not that unique. Other homeschooling moms like you have been down this parenting, homeschooling, homemaking road and have discovered solutions to the problems you’re experiencing. It may take you years to figure out answers on your own. Ask for advice!

You find what works for your children. We have the same view of our kids. It’s true that there’s no one else exactly like your son or daughter, but there are plenty of other kids who are strong-willed, anxious, or dyslexic. We can read books, see professionals, and Google, or we can get help that’s much more likely to work for our child by getting advice.

You’re encouraged. When we keep our difficulties to ourselves, they loom large. They take on nasty personas that tell us we aren’t cut out for this–that other moms are doing it better. We think our kids may be better off if we quit. But tell a homeschooling veteran what you’re insecure about and I’m willing to bet she will laugh and hug you and say she’s been there. She’ll say that if she can do it, so can you. You’ll have the encouragement you need to keep doing what you do.

Getting advice is the easy way to organize your homeschool life.

#3 Follow a Sensible Plan Instead of Working Willy-Nilly

Following a sensible plan is the best way to achieve your goals, find balance, and maintain organization.

You achieve your goals. Without a step-by-step plan, we won’t get what we hope for from our homeschooling lifestyle. We can end up spending lots of time on subjects we and our children hate that aren’t even required because we saw a great lesson plan on Pinterest. Or we can fail to adequately prepare our students for college entrance exams when college is extremely important to our family. A reasonable plan that fits your priorities will help you get what you dream of in your homeschooling life.

You find balance. A huge list of ideas for enriching your studies of history doesn’t take into account your schedule, your marriage relationship, or your budget. The best homeschooling plan is worth nothing if it runs you ragged, causes conflict in your marriage, or puts you in debt. In contrast, a sensible plan will help you keep homeschooling in its proper place. You’ll thrive in the other areas of your life as well.

You maintain organization. Binge organizing sessions whenever the mood strikes are very unlikely to result in lasting change. Instead, you need to develop good organizing habits that will maintain the order and peace you crave. Habits are borne of small, consistent steps. A sensible plan will outline potential steps so you don’t have to wonder what to do.

Following a sensible plan is the easy way to organize your homeschool life.

The Easiest Way I’ve Found for Organizing My Homeschool Life

I’ve struggled to organize all the aspects of my homeschool life and keep them that way over the years because I waited until the last minute, went it alone, and worked willy-nilly. But I had finally had enough. I needed a sensible plan that incorporated other homeschooling moms’ advice and allowed me to plan ahead. But I couldn’t find one. I found organizing calendars that were created for housekeeping, but nothing that was specifically designed for a homeschooling mother’s needs. So I created my own.

The Organized Homeschool Life

The Organized Homeschool Life is an easy-to-follow plan that will help you develop lasting organizing habits 15 minutes at a time. It’s a plan that reminds you to plan for homeschool tasks, holidays, and seasons well in advance. It is the result of the advice of many homeschool moms who’ve solved the problems we struggle with. And it’s available now. I will be using it all year to organize my homeschool life the easy way. I would love for you to join me.

Learn More

read more
The Best Homeschool Hack: Organize All Year

The Best Homeschool Hack: Organize All Year

You spent so much time organizing the books, supplies, and notebooks at back-to-school time and now…they’re a mess.

The kids can’t find their notebook, binder, or workbox that you knew would solve all your organizing problems. And for that matter, they can’t even find a pencil!

Your toddler has gotten into the art supplies because your older child left the cabinet unlocked. To top it off, your preschooler has mixed up all the pieces for those 40 great learning kits you created.

Or maybe that was just me. I would tell myself that I’d find the hacks I needed to fix everything over Christmas break, when I would have so much extra time. Ha ha ha. I don’t have to tell you how that worked out, do I? As winter turned into spring, I would give myself the same pep talk. Come summer, I would figure out how to get and keep my homeschool organized. No matter how determined I was, the cycle kept repeating.
The Best Homeschool Hack: Organize All Year

 

If you’ve struggled to get your homeschool organized and keep it that way, one explanation is because you think organizing is a once-a-year event. After 16 years of homeschooling, I’ve learned that it isn’t. In fact, I’ve learned that the best homeschool hack is to organize all year. Here are three reasons why:

1. You’re Not Just Organizing Your Homeschool; You’re Organizing Your Life

As a homeschooling mother, you know you’re more than a teacher. You’re the cook, janitor, technology director, homeroom mom, field trip chaperone, and much, much more. Yet we often approach organizing our homeschools as though we were only a teacher. Once the classroom and lesson plans are organized, we think we’re done. Wrong!

In order to have the peaceful, organized homeschool we desire, we have to organize our entire homeschool life: meal planning, housekeeping, computers, parties, and trips. There is more to do than you could possibly finish in a summer organizing session.

Because you’re organizing your whole life, you will also have tasks that must be done in season. Holiday planning, outdoor activities, and purchasing items at their lowest price are examples of to-do’s that can’t be completed in one organizing session in the summer. Not being prepared for seasonal activities is a source of stress that none of us needs.

The Organized Homeschool Life

2. Organizing Isn’t a Skill; It’s a Habit

We say we didn’t get the organizing gift and we don’t know how to make our school rooms and homes look Pinterest-beautiful. But the pretty bins and baskets we ogle are primarily the result of the skill of decorating–not organizing.

We can definitely be overwhelmed and need help from an experienced homeschooler in scheduling our days, planning lessons, and arranging our space. But that skill (that honestly comes primarily from experience and not genetics) is a very small part of homeschool organization. Organization that lasts is because of the habits you have. 

As a psychologist, I’ve been exposed to the let’s-analyze-why-you-don’t-have-good-habits philosophy and I can tell you it doesn’t get you the organization you want. Maybe your home was a very disorganized place and you didn’t learn good housekeeping habits. That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn them. Keep doing the same small things in exactly the same way every day (as I did with flossing my teeth) and in short order, you will have developed a habit. If we try to organize once a year, we will not develop the habit that will keep our homeschools and lives organized.

3. Organizing Isn’t Static; It’s Responsive

We started homeschooling in part because we wanted an education that fit our student’s needs. In fact, learning how to teach to our child’s strengths and interests can be one of the most rewarding aspects of homeschooling. It’s tempting to sigh with relief that we’ve found the curriculum, the environment, and the activities that work for our child. We got organized and now we’re done.

But then things change. A new baby is born. A learning challenge is uncovered. Puberty happens. Our homeschool has to respond to these changes. A once-a-year organizing session can’t address your family’s needs in a timely fashion. Waiting to address them can threaten your and your family’s commitment to continue homeschooling.

Static, once-a-year organizing can also lead to perfectionism and procrastination. We wait to address a problem until we have lots of time (summer?) and the perfect solution. Procrastination can lead to disappointment, frustration, and discouragement. In contrast, organizing all year means we find practical, if not perfect, solutions to the challenges we have in our homeschools and families now.

But How Can We Organize All Year Long?

Perhaps you agree with me that you should organize all year long so you can organize your whole life, develop the habit of organizing, and be responsive to your family’s changing needs. Your next question may be, “How do I do that?”

That was honestly my question. Over the years, I learned many of the things that I should do to make my homeschool and home more peaceful and effective, but I didn’t know where to start. So I started brainstorming. I made a list of everything I thought would lead to more sanity and put it on the calendar for the week it made sense to do it. I broke each of those organizing challenges into daily missions that took about 15 minutes. Then I looked for ideas and resources that would help me complete those challenges.

It made organizing all year long seem so simple! And it specifically addressed my unique needs as a homeschooler. But I didn’t want to be selfish with it. I knew this simplified approach to homeschool life organization could help other homeschoolers, whether they were new or experienced. So I put it in book form. The Organized Homeschool Life will take you to homeschool sanity week by week. You can have a more organized life no matter what time of year it is. It’s available now.

Learn More

 

read more

Pin It on Pinterest