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Organizing Your Homeschool

For some of us, homeschooling is done at the dining room table, the living room couch, a room set aside for lessons or all three. No matter what type of space you choose to use as the primary location for schooling at home, it is important to be organized in order to afford that things will go smoothly.

If you have a computer that needs to be used during your lesson time, create a station around or near it that anticipates possible needs your student may have during computer use: pencils, pens, note paper, headphones, blank cd discs, labels and manila envelopes for current projects are a good start along with basic office supplies such as tape, staples, paper clips, and binder clips for anything your student may be printing out from the computer while studying.

Having a supply station with sharpened pencils, extra erasers, various papers and the like near where you students do the majority of their work will be helpful. You can also organize their individual work, reading books, binders and textbooks that are currently in use to avoid multiple interruptions throughout lesson time. Any manipulatives that are used with current lessons can be kept near this space as well.

An arts and craft shelf or cabinet can hold supplies for the week/month. Keeping a supply inventory list taped up on the wall or cabinet makes it easy to write down when you need to replace something to avoid running out of supplies mid-lesson.

A basket or crate can hold mom's teacher materials, it is always wise to have your own set of pencils, pens, etc. to be kept separate from the student materials.

Science materials generally are kept in a kitchen or space with a sink and easy clean up supplies. Set aside a cupboard, or a basket specifically for the week's supplies and you'll always have what you need and when.

Remember, less clutter and clean spaces will only add positive elements to your homeschool experience. Anything you are not currently using in your homeschool should be stored away in clearly labeled bins or organized neatly on shelves for when you need to easily locate them. If you do not foresee really needing certain materials or books, let them go and donate them, sell them or throw them away. There is no need to hang on to things you will not use, this will only bring stress and confusion to you homeschool experience.

While you're organizing things, think about organizing your time too: what time of day seems to be the best for lessons. Consider everyone's personalities and tendencies. One child may not function well early in the morning while another leaps out of bed before dawn. How about you, the teacher? Are you more tolerant and peaceful during a certain part of the day? Can you think of things like freeze ahead and crock pot cooking that will free up more time in your day to teach? Turn off the tv, phone and other distractions that may keep you from following a schedule, ask others not to visit during certain times of the week, only run errands on days you won't be schooling. Learning to organize your time well will benefit your homeschool tremendously and you'll have much more peace in your home as a result.

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