CAN YOU HOMESCHOOL WELL IF YOU ARE A DISORGANIZED HOMESCHOOL MOM? SHOULD YOU STAY DISORGANIZED?
It’s true that you don’t need to be super organized to homeschool well, but many disorganized homeschool moms find things a bit more difficult.
While I’m far from being the most organized mom in the world, I have always been pretty good at staying organized.
I can’t really thrive when my environment is messy. I may be able to ignore it for a short while, but eventually I have to do something about it. I like it better when there’s some semblance of order in my life.
Now I know there are moms who struggle to stay organized. They find it very hard to balance homeschooling and housekeeping for one reason or the other.
I know exactly what they are going through because I face the same struggles in my life. While I am relatively organized, I am no where close to being as organized as I was before I had kids or started homeschooling!
Homeschooling if done right is a full time job. When you throw in housekeeping and other responsibilities, it can get overwhelming fast.
If you’re a mom who is struggling with getting or staying organized, I would like to encourage you. Know that you’re not alone in this struggle and if you wish, there are a few things you can do to become more organized.
I know there are moms who gave up on homeschooling because they felt they weren’t organized enough to homeschool their kids.
While that’s pretty sad, I can empathize with them. If you’re a disorganized homeschool mom who is thinking of giving up, I want to offer you some hope.
You don’t have to give up or stay disorganized. All you need to do is make some changes in your life and homeschool.
If you’re ready to take back control of your life and homeschool, let me share a few strategies that I use to keep my homeschool clutter free and organized.
This post may contain affiliate links.If you buy anything using my links, I may receive a small commission.
SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR DISORGANIZED HOMESCHOOL MOMS
1. GET RID OF CLUTTER
It’s extremely hard to stay organized when you’re surrounded by clutter.
When you homeschool, it’s very easy to accumulate clutter. Between curriculums, art work/projects, worksheets, records and everything in between, your home can start to look like a chaotic mess.
Many homeschoolers are drowning in paper clutter and have no idea how to free themselves so they just resign themselves to living with it.
If you have a lot of clutter in your home and you don’t know where to start this post how to start cleaning a messy house in 5 simple steps can help you get started.
Decluttering your home can feel quite overwhelming so I suggest you don’t try to do everything in one day.
Pick one area of your home and work your way from there. You can start with the smallest or most visible places like counter tops or floors before working you way to closets, cupboards etc.
Be as ruthless as you can. Get rid of anything that’s broken,or torn. Don’t forget about stuff you haven’t used in a long time and don’t plan to use in the foreseeable future.
You can choose to sell or donate some of the decluttered items.
I have sold a few unused or old items on eBay. While it does take a lot of time to sort through, clean and photograph items for sale, I have made a bit of extra money doing that.
So, go ahead, take the first step and start decluttering your home. I promise you will feel better when you reduce the clutter.
2. CLEAN AND TIDY UP YOUR HOME
I know it’s hard to find the time to clean and tidy up when you homeschool, but it’s an essential part of staying organized.
How do you find the time to clean when you have multiple kids at home including babies and toddlers?
The answer is, you make the time or you get some help.
If you balked at the idea of cleaning and tidying up your home, know that I am not asking you to do everything yourself or to clean everywhere at once.
Cleaning and tidying up your home shouldn’t be something you do alone. You can delegate some tasks to your kids (especially older kids).
Create a chore list and assign age-appropriate chores to your kids. I admit I’m one of those moms who like to do things herself. I find it takes less time when I do stuff myself (and of course it gets done the way I’d like).
But ultimately, I end up spreading myself thin because I am trying to do everything. I am getting better at delegating and assigning chores now that my kids are older.
I find it easier to give them responsibility because they can do a lot more stuff without supervision and to an acceptable standard.
Just like decluttering, choose an area of your home and go from there.
If your house is really messy and you can afford to pay for cleaners to come in, please don’t hesitate to do that. It’s a worthwhile investment.
A clean and tidy home would make a big difference to your sanity and homeschool environment.
You may also find using a cleaning schedule helpful. A cleaning schedule helps you stay on track and tells you how and when to clean the different areas of your home. You don’t have to use one if you don’t want to.
What’s important is that you have some kind of routine or schedule for cleaning your home.
3. ORGANIZE YOUR HOMESCHOOL ROOM
Okay before you roll your eyes at me, I know not everyone has a homeschool room.
While I don’t have a homeschool room, I have a designated place for all our homeschool supplies and curriculum. I think it’s very important to have everything in one place.
For purposes of this strategy, your homeschool room refers to the part of your home where school is done and the resources and materials you use.
We do most of our lessons on the dining table so I try to keep it as clutter free as possible. You won’t find stuff on the table except for a basket like this one we use for circle time.
My kids do some of their school work (math, grammar,copy work etc) on the dining table and some of their readings in their bedrooms or living room.
It’s getting a little bit tricky for both kids to do their lessons on the table, so I am considering getting my son a desk and chair for his bedroom so he can focus more on his work.
He gets distracted when I am doing math lessons with his sister, which means his work tends to run a little late.
Since he’s doing higher-level work and does most of his work independently, I think he needs his own space.
If you have older kids (or kids who get easily distracted), you may need to create their own space for them to minimize distractions and stop their lessons from dragging on too long.
Here are some ideas for organizing your homeschool area:
- Organize your bookcase. Remove books from the shelves after you’re done with them (or move them to the bottom of the bookcase).Keep the ones you use frequently on the top shelves.
- Assign one or two shelves to each child (especially if you have kids in multiple grades). Put their books, notebooks, binders, folders, files, lessons etc on their individual shelf so you don’t have to keep looking for them.
- Give each child a work area. Let them choose where it’s most comfortable for them. It can be the floor, table or couch. What’s important is that they get their work done.
- Have a place for everything. Depending on what you have at home, you may need to invest in some supplies to help you organize your homeschool.
- Have a separate place for all your teacher supplies. It can be a shelf on the bookcase, a basket on your desk or something like that. I find it easier to keep my stuff separate from the children’s.
- Get in the habit of putting everything back at the end of the day. This is one of the easiest ways to stay organized. For example, books and folders go back on the bookcase, pencils go in their pencil cases or pouches, art supplies go in their bins, baskets or drawers etc.
- Get rid of out-of-date materials, records, paperwork,empty containers or consumables that are no longer useful
There are a few other ways you can organize your homeschool area but I hope the ideas above will serve as a starting point.
4. ORGANIZE YOUR CURRICULUM AND LESSONS
One of my biggest struggles as a homeschooling mom is lesson planning. I am getting good at it but there’s still room for improvement.
One of my goals or new year’s resolution is to get better at lesson planning and prereading books. I find that when I actually take the time to plan out my lessons, things tend to move smoothly and I am more consistent.
I know this area is a big struggle for many disorganized homeschool moms, so let me share some helpful tips.
First let me just say you don’t need any kind of elaborate planning to do this. Being intentional and investing a little bit of time is all that’s required.
Before buying a curriculum, figure out how much time you have to devote to each child. If you have a lot of kids or some little ones, you may want to choose an “open and go” curriculum like Sonlight or My Father’s World which doesn’t require a lot of planning.
Please note that I haven’t used either of those curriculum. But here are a few posts if you’d like to know more about them.
Another way to organize your curriculum is to spend some time going through them and crossing out the things you don’t need (you can also make a list or use stickers or post it notes)
You don’t have to follow your curriculum to the letter. You can ignore some things your kids already know or things you don’t think are beneficial to them.
Doing this in advance, will save you lots of time down the road. Once you know what you want to teach, lesson planning becomes easier.
Some other ways you can organize your curriculum is by breaking them into weekly, then daily lessons. Make a list of all the projects/activities/assignments that go with each lesson and possibly the learning objectives.
Once you have organized your curriculum, it shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming to organize your weekly or daily lessons.
I’m currently working on my children’s curriculum for the new year (we homeschool January-December), so maybe I will write a detailed post on how to organize your curriculum.
But I hope the tips above will be a useful starting point for you.
5. CREATE SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES FOR YOUR HOMESCHOOL
This is just a fancy way of saying you should have a method or methods for completing your homeschool tasks.
One of the benefits of creating systems for your homeschool is that it helps you to become more efficient and saves you some valuable time.
There are a few systems you can create for your homeschool including: a morning or evening routine, a filing system, record-keeping system, grading system, weekly and yearly planning system, meal planning etc.
You can also create a system for tracking your progress or writing progress reports.
I have a grading system that I started using since my oldest child turned 11.
I let him grade his math once he is done with the day’s lesson. After grading, he files his lesson in his graded binder, and I check it at the end of the day.
I grade my daughter’s math as soon as she’s done and we go through any revision right after.
I used to have a lot of ungraded work before I adopted this system. If you have older kids, I suggest you let them grade their own work where possible.
Just remember to go back and check their work to make sure they stay on track.
This is one way to stay organized and not get too overwhelmed.
If you don’t have a system for getting thins done in your homeschool, I encourage you to start by creating some simple systems.
You can start by creating a morning routine, or create a system for storing your supplies or putting things away at the end of the day.
Creating systems will allow you to use your time wisely and efficiently.
There are lots of other homeschool organization hacks and ideas you can use to stay organized. If you have a problem keeping to deadlines or if you keep forgetting important dates, you may want to use a calendar to help you stay organized.
You can also use a homeschool planner to help you plan your homeschool year and stay on track.
Whichever method or tool you choose doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you actually take action.
HELP FOR THE DISORGANIZED HOMESCHOOL MOM
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be too stressful or chaotic. Knowing how to manage your time and energy is key to your success.
If you’re struggling with getting things done because you are unorganized, use some of the strategies above to regain control of your time and homeschool.
How do you stay organized as a homeschooling mom?