Fun Homeschool Organization Ideas on a Budget
As soon as you begin homeschooling, it becomes clear pretty quickly that you will need to come up with homeschool organization ideas—and fast! Each family’s situation is unique, which means a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply to homeschool organization. Each family needs to look at how many children they are homeschooling, which rooms of the house will work for storage and education, and which types of materials will best fit their needs.
Look at how many kids you will be homeschooling this year and begin thinking about what you need for each child. Before you even think about the actual coursework materials, assess the other materials you need in light of the amount of storage space available. For example, if you live in an RV, you will need to consolidate your materials more than someone with a separate room in their home dedicated to homeschooling. If storage space is tight, think about the basics. Provide each child with a small storage case and a binder for the essentials. If you have more space, invest in a bookshelf with a shelf dedicated to each child. If you are in the middle, as far as storage space goes, purchase an inexpensive utility cart and give each child a shelf to store their school materials. Don’t forget to think about yourself. Where is it the most practical for you to keep your teaching materials? As far as physical products are concerned, where do you keep your three-hole punch or stapler? Do you keep your sticky notes in a place where the little ones can easily find them and turn them into a craft? Be sure to designate a specific area for your belongings so when you need them in a pinch, you have access to them, and you are not scrambling trying to find them under your son’s bed because he felt like making snow with the three-hole punch that morning!
Taking into consideration your planning materials, think about what makes sense for you. Are you a pen and paper kind of parent? While ordering curriculum for your kids, don’t forget to add a planner to your cart. Do you like to keep physical products to a minimum in your home? Plenty of digital homeschool planning options are available for you to use. You will also want to look at the actual curriculum that you will be using. Do you have several children, but storage space is extremely tight? Why not try an online curriculum option such as SchoolhouseTeachers.com? Do you prefer physical books? Search online for used books or look around on local homeschooling Facebook groups. Using inexpensive colored circle stickers from your local dollar store (usually used for yard sales), and packing tape, create a color-coded system for keeping track of each child’s books. Assign each child a color and require each child to keep their books in a specific place. The color system works great as a quick visual aid for clean-up!
What about materials used in homeschooling but not labeled as “curriculum,” so to speak? To help save money, look around your house and see what you have. Can you find puzzles, board games, and arts and craft supplies that could be considered educational? Be sure to keep them in a safe place for easy access if you have little ones in the home who can break board game boxes quite easily. Older ones may be playing Monopoly, and suddenly the two-year-old is eating the box or the four-year-old is running his toy trucks over it! Consider keeping these types of games in bins or even removing them from the boxes and keeping the pieces of the games in Ziplock bags, at least until your younger ones can be trained to take care of them. As far as games for younger learners, keep them in a storage chest or on a high shelf and only play with them at certain times. They will last much longer if the playtime is intentional with games that include many pieces and parts.
One fun idea for homeschool organization is to rotate your learning to include table time, couch time, room time, and outdoor education. Divide up your day and organize your subjects where your children will complete some in each of these locations.
Regardless of the size of your homeschool space, you can be creative on a budget. What is your favorite homeschool organization tip?