August 2017, Issue 13
"Organizing Your Home for Homeschooling"
by Homeschool.com's Rebecca Kochenderfer
So, you've decided you're going to homeschool this year. Congratulations
on making the first step toward a lifetime journey! You've narrowed down
your curriculum choices—maybe you've even made purchases—and you've been
burrowing your boxes of supplies in the corner of the dining room. That
way it's out of the way and no one trips over it. It then dawns on you
that you can't possibly keep them there. After all, how will anyone
access anything daily and that stack can only hold so much more anyway.
You've been on Pinterest and are growing jealous of the gorgeous in-home
classrooms some people have. From spare bedrooms to gigantic basements,
some people really have it made when it comes to setting up
homeschooling spaces! But that's not you. You barely had room to help
your child do homework, let alone teach children. So how can you make
If you aren't one of the ones with an extra space just begging for
you to decorate it with school-related materials, you're certainly not
alone. Remember, people usually put the best of the best on Pinterest,
so don't let the fact that you don't have such a stunning space get you
down. All you really need to organize your supplies is a good-sized
bookshelf (to hold books, baskets, and maybe math manipulatives) and a
firm surface for your kids to work. Many families use the dining table
for homeschooling. Some clear the dining table at the end of the school
day and some don't. If you have a bookshelf, you can use the very top to
store caddies of shared school supplies and give your kids small baskets
for personal supplies. Or, they can store small supplies in a pencil
pouch inside a binder.
As for organizing schoolwork and papers, many families find it
helpful not to tear pages out but to instead keep them in the
child's schoolbook. For any loose papers, have a "homeschooling
notebook" (a 2- to 3-inch binder with dividers for all subjects) instead
of juggling a different binder for each subject. For several years, one
family I know only had a homeschooling notebook/binder, a math spiral
notebook to work out any problems, and a composition book for science
Some math and science curriculum programs come with the notebooks
required, so there is no need for an extra notebook. You can purchase
products that use consumable notebooks to help cut down on the amount of
loose papers your students have. Alternatively, you can use online
homeschooling if space is seriously an issue.
Alpha Omega's Monarch both offer
excellent online homeschool programs. Your children will eventually have
some things printed up with both programs but it's going to be far fewer
papers than if you were using a program with textbooks.
Whether you have a large space to homeschool or must make do with
what you have, you can have a successful homeschooling year. Don't
pre-determine your success based on how much space you have (or don't
have). Get creative with what you do have, and maybe consider using an
online homeschool program to alleviate the amount of papers you'll have.
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