One of the great benefits that we have as homeschoolers is flexibility. We are not held to someone else’s schedule for getting up, getting to a school building, going to classes, etc. That is not to say that we do not have a schedule, however. Our family must have some organization because, well, it is the best way I have of making sure that my children are doing their absolute best in their pursuit of learning and because I need some structure to make sure that I am doing my best in teaching them.
There are a few things that we do to make our learning processes easier.
We use a calendar
I’ve seen many homeschool parents use different types of calendars, or planners, to help them stay organized. Some are very basic, some are pretty complex, some are handwritten, and some utilize technology.
We use a calendar software called Anytime Calendar. This software works great for us. I use the to-do list all the time. Once a month, usually around the middle of the month, I plan out the upcoming month. I have found that doing more than a month at a time is too much work at one time and makes more work if we find that we have to adjust our schedules. So one month at a time works best for us. Although this would also work well for those who want to schedule only one week at a time.
We use to-do lists
I use the to-do list feature in the software and schedule each child’s work every day. I can assign a different color to each child. I assign my child’s name and subject to the task and then put their specific work assignment in the notes of that task.
Every school day, I take out any worksheets that my children will need for that day and I put them in a folder for them. This way they are not having to go through the workbooks looking for the sheets when they are ready to do that subject.
I pull up the Daily To-Do List on the software and leave that up. When my child is ready to work on a subject, we can open that task up to see the specifics of what they need to do.
One of the best things about this software is that when we mark a to-do task as “done”, it disappears from the list. It is still in the calendar, but it is check marked done. So you don’t lose the information, but seeing the list of school work reduce during the day is a good motivator for my kids.
I also like this system because they can check to see what they need to work on without me.
At the end of the month I can export the to-do list and the notes to an excel spreadsheet, where I sort it by child and subject, print it off, and then file it with their completed schoolwork.
We keep curriculum in one place
All of our curriculum for the year is in one spot. We have a bookcase with three shelves specifically for curriculum and other school materials. I also keep the curriculum separated by child and in alphabetical order by subject. Can you tell that I like organization? Would you be surprised to learn that I worked in a library at one point? 🙂
With our curriculum is also our school supplies and a tray for finished schoolwork. When the month is finished, I file the schoolwork with the detailed list of their tasks (see to-do list above).
We use bookmarks
Now you may wonder why I put this in. I did this because, believe it or not, even though I use book marks all day long for my reading, it took me some time to think about using it for our schoolwork. I cannot explain this phenomenon, but I will tell you that using bookmarks really makes things easier during the day when we grab a school book and do not have to search for where we left off the previous lesson.
What about you? What have you learned about organizing your Homeschool?