One of the biggest hesitations people have with homeschooling is this: I would love to homeschool but I am not organized at all! Having an organized homeschool doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, I much prefer the simple to complicated organizing techniques.
I have found that when I keep things simpler, I can accomplish way more with my kids in our homeschool–and with much better quality, too!
When it comes to organizing, I never recommend a copy and paste method from someone else’s ideas. That almost never works. We’re all different and the way we organize is so different too.
But what I do suggest is when you’re struggling to get organized, go do some searching.
See how others are doing things.
Experiment a bit.
When you’ve adapted some ideas to fit your family’s needs, tweak as necessary. Before long, you’ll have developed some ways to stay organized that fit your needs.
To help you get started, I’ve scoured my site and put together a beefy list of ideas to get you on your way of organizing your homeschool.
You can have an organized homeschool.
It might look different than your friend’s homeschool, but you can do it.
Let’s get started.
Helpful Homeschool Planners
First, I always think it’s super helpful to have all your thoughts in one place. I have two planners for this.
One is my main homeschool planner. I keep my ideas, book lists, lesson plans, daily records, and notes in here.
I created and designed my own printable planner that you can find HERE.
I love to see how people lay out their planners and set them up. I’ve created a video here to show you how I set my own up.
The second is my Master Homeschool Binder. This is where I keep all the super important things that I do NOT need on a daily basis.
Things like: state exemption forms, test scores, transcripts, and course descriptions.
Organizing your Homeschool Year
I like to organize my homeschool like this: start with a wide angle lens…the whole year. Then I zoom in a little bit and focus on each week. Then I zoom in a little more and focus on each day.
Remember when you’re planning your homeschool year, to leave loads of white space. Things come up. Interests change. You don’t want to be nailed down to a year scheduled out in stone.
So, plan in pencil.
Another thing to keep in mind while you’re planning is that school changes throughout the long year.
For us, school looks much different in winter than it does in fall. The weather has changed, which means we are indoors more and our energy lessens a bit. But then in the spring, we seem to get an urge of energy with the warmer weather and we finish the school year with lots of fun projects.
Planning your Homeschool Week
For us, this changes about once each quarter. At the beginning of the quarter, I’ll sit down and sketch out what our week will look like according to the activities we’re currently involved in.
In the fall, we might be involved in baseball, gymnastics, and music lessons. So I plan around those things.
Then in winter, we might just have music lessons only.
Again in spring, we may have to plan around baseball, softball, gym time, and music lessons.
I will block out those items first and then sketch out what I want the rest of our week to look like with the open times, always making sure there’s plenty of time during the week for my kids to play with friends, read and just “be.”
You can find quarterly planning sheets to help you with this exercise in my printable planner.
Planning your Homeschool Days
I have tried so diligently to schedule my days to a “T.” I would love for our days to look the same every day.
But then again, what would be the fun in that?
My solution to the ever-changing day-to-day is this: a rhythm over a schedule.
With a rhythm, your days have a natural feel to them.
Mom wakes up, drinks coffee, wakes kids.
Breakfast together, everyone gets dressed, start Morning Meeting.
After lunch when school is over, everyone needs a break, so it’s outdoor time or quiet reading time.
Dinner hour: everyone watches a TV show while mom cooks dinner.
After dinner, kids bathe and have read aloud with mom.
It’s a rhythm. Nothing is set in stone or timed. It just flows.
We always start our days with Morning Meeting.
When Organizing Tactics Aren’t Working
Let’s be honest, this is real life! Kids are kids and life happens and sometimes no matter how much planning and organizing we do, things still look like an explosion went off!
Here’s some ways to troubleshoot if you’re facing an organization strike.
Final Thought: Don’t Make this Harder than it Needs to Be
You don’t need to have tons of charts and graphs and back-up plans to your back-up plans.
Unless that feels good to you. But you don’t need to make it harder than it needs to be.
Keep things simple.
Organizing your homeschool doesn’t have to take exorbitant amounts of time or make you pull your hair out.
Keep things simple.
Organize around your own personality and enjoy homeschooling your beautiful kids.
Happy organizing and happy homeschooling!