Whether you’re just delving into the homeschool world or if you’re a seasoned homeschooler, you may find that organizing your home is one of the bigger challenges you’ll face. In order to be successful learners, your children need space to be able to learn, read, write, experiment and more!
Some parents are able to dedicate a room to homeschooling, while others like to create learning areas throughout the home. Either way, what follows are some tips to help make the most of whatever space you have:
- Invest in at least one set of shelves – You can find excellent organizational shelves at Ikea, specifically the Kallax series, but you can make almost any type of shelving work for you. If you’re on a tight budget, you may even be able to find a suitable set at a thrift store or on Craigslist. Ideally, your shelves should be deep enough and tall enough to allow room for you to insert organizational bins. This is a great way to keep things like manipulatives, projects, games, art supplies and other materials separated, easily transportable (the bins are removable and can be moved to any part of the house) and looking presentable.
- Label everything – Labelling each of your bins will help your children keep everything in its place, but it will also aid in teaching early readers how to sound out words. Children who haven’t started reading yet (age 4/5 or younger) will require pictures along with word labels.
- Use a shoe organizer to store writing supplies – This is a great storage solution for several reasons. The clear plastic will allow children to see what is in each compartment, and it’s so affordable! Instead of having pencil cups, boxes, or pouches strewn all about your home, keep different types of writing materials in each “shoe” pouch! Pencils, pens, markers, highlighters, erasers, paper clips, colored pencils, post it notes, glue sticks, notecards and even paper can be stored in an over-the-door shoe organizer. Your children will have access to supplies without having to interrupt you while you may be busy instructing another child.
- Devote a space to your own materials – As the teacher, you will need adequate room for your own supplies like manuals, stickers, rewards, planner, pens (that you want to keep for yourself!), paper cutter, laminator (optional), computer and printer, etc. By devoting an area solely to your own materials, you’ll be able to stay further organized because the children should not have access to the “teacher only” area.
- Spice things up – Take the time before homeschooling begins to add little extra touches that make your homeschool area(s) inviting and attractive. Just like a traditional classroom, children (and teachers) are happier and find more success when they are in a welcoming environment. Use vibrant colors on posters, labels and book covers to brighten up the space. Turn regular, boring binders into a design feature of the room by simply covering them with colorful fabric and then displaying them on one of your sets of shelves.