Reduce Homeschool Stress by Getting Organized

a stack of colorful books sit against a yellow-green background

Looking to have a more enjoyable homeschooling experience than you had last year when you ended disorganized and burned out? Good planning and organization are essential. Even if you are an eclectic homeschooler, having an organized routine and materials can prevent stress and reduce aggravation in your day.

An important part of getting organized is making sure you are in compliance with your state’s homeschooling laws. Laws vary from state to state, so know your state’s laws—don’t rely on the information you get from others. Depending on your state’s rigidity, you may need to keep stricter records, or get away without writing down anything at all.

Homeschool planners can help keep track of things if you need strict records kept for state accountability. These are also helpful if you’re keeping transcripts. A planner can help you keep track of textbook and workbook pages covered, projects completed, units you studied, field trips attended, books read, and daily attendance.

There are many homeschool planners available on the market, simply search the internet for homeschool planner, and many options will come up—from computer programs to membership sites to paper planners. You can easily find the one that makes the most sense for your family.

Reduce Homeschool Stress by Getting OrganizedReducing clutter can help reduce stress when you’re a homeschooling mama, too. Books, workbooks, art materials, DVDs, computer software, etc. can quickly get out of hand and spread all over the house. In order to minimize the mess, assess your situation and figure out what system makes the most sense for your family.

If your kids are older, you may want to keep their homeschooling supplies and curriculum centrally located in the kitchen, study or living room, or wherever you spend the most time doing school. If your kids are younger (or if you have toddlers who get into things and damage them), you may want to keep your supplies high up in the kitchen or on bookshelves, out of reach but still easily accessible for you.

You can organize art materials, paints, paper, pencils and erasers in smaller plastic tubs or containers with lids so everything stays together. If you have multiple kids homeschooling, you may want to have a color coded system so everyone knows where their stuff is. Color-coding has saved my life! Each kiddo has a color that is used on the calendar, on the spines of workbooks with tape, and even with water bottles for the day. Sometimes it helps to think like a preschool teacher – make it easy for kids to recognize their stuff and their stuff’s “place.”

As a homeschooling parent, you might find that a Sunday night review or planning session before you start your week helps everything go smoothly. I’m particularly bad at setting aside time to do this, but when I do take time to look over the coming week and plan for it, everything runs so well. 

It’s also good to reassess every once in awhile to make sure things are going well for everyone. Keep homeschooling enjoyable and rewarding for the whole family. It’s a lifestyle choice—make it a good one. Think about what’s working well and what’s not working. Simple adjustments can be very helpful in getting back on track.

Remember that learning can get messy! Relax your standards a bit and be ok with messes. Plan ahead, know messes are coming, and jump in with the kids. The key to organization and enjoyment is to know what’s happening when, and to enjoy each moment as it comes. You’ll be glad you did.

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About the Author

Colleen KesslerColleen is a former teacher of gifted children who hoped for nice, average kids. Since things never quite work out as planned, she now stays at home to homeschool her highly gifted kids, trying desperately to stay one step ahead of them while writing about their adventures {and messes} at Raising Lifelong Learners. You can find her avoiding housework by playing on the trampoline or going for hikes with her kids.