As you prepare to start school this year something you should be asking yourself is how can you make your learning environment better? One thing that traditional schoolteachers have going for them is the classroom budget. At the beginning of every year they are allotted a certain amount of money to decorate the classroom. Unfortunately, as homeschool teachers your decorating will have to be on your own budget. But, having a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t create lasting memories though with a great homeschool room! And, while there are a ton of homeschool organization ideas out there (Pinterest, oh my!), we’ve come up with the 6 must do’s when considering homeschool organization.
- Don’t make it too cluttered. When it comes to homeschool organizational ideas, the biggest no-no is a distracting space. You don’t want your students to be staring at cool artwork on the walls or at a screen when they should be focusing on their schoolwork. Decorations should be kept at a minimum and their work space kept clean so that they can focus on the task at hand. If you’re homeschooling at the kitchen table, consider using a standing 3-sided poster board to give easily distracted kids their own “cubby” to work in. Avoid the distractions of a TV or other screens if possible!
- Use what space you have. Homeschool organization is about making the most of the space you have. If you have a homeschool room, great! Organize it by giving each child their own shelf for curriculum and books, then keep all of your art supplies, science kits, etc. in organized bins. If you don’t have a homeschool room, no worries! Keep each child organized in one work-box and then have a rolling cart or Rubbermaid tote with school, art, science, etc. supplies that you may need throughout the day. Tuck it away in another room or under a bed when you need the kitchen table for dinner at night.
- Use academic decorations. If you decide to hang up posters or other things on your wall choose ones that will help your students to remember what they’re learning and not things that will distract. Think periodic tables for your older students, multiplication tables for the younger ones, and the alphabet for your littlest learners. Keep it simple and uncluttered to avoid distraction but do hang up their work to show them how proud you are of them! Hanging a students work says “You’re awesome!” so much more than a motivational poster.
- Use a whiteboard. This is one of our favorite homeschool organizational ideas! You can make a whiteboard useful for anything from lesson plans to art lessons to math! Draw a column on the side and write daily or weekly assignments, checking them off as you go, and use the rest to help with daily lessons. Have students diagram sentences, practice spelling words, play hangman, etc. White boards get you and your kiddos up and moving around, something that’s very valuable to keeping focused. And, when the going gets tough, use it as a way for your students to take a break and doodle to ease some tension.
- Stock it with activities that fit their learning style! The best homeschool organizational ideas should take into account learning style. If you don’t know your students learning style, you’re missing out on maximizing their potential. Take this assessment that outlines not only their learning style, but also the best learning environment. If your student is kinesthetic have play dough or kinetics available! If they are visual provide globes or magnets that they can rearrange. And if your student happens to be a rare auditory learner play music or let them listen to their lesson on a CD player.
- Allow your student personal space. If you’re going to require your child to work in the space for multiple hours a day, you should probably include them in the design. Homeschool organizational ideas should include your kid’s style, personality, and wishes. Why not share power and let them have some space of their own? Whether that means letting them have a desk, their own bookshelf, or just a corner of the room. If your student has their own space they will feel more ownership over their learning and confident getting work done. If you need to have disciplinary discussions with them don’t do it there. That space should be their safe place where creativity and learning is king!
While there are a ton of homeschool organization ideas out there, choosing the best layout for your homeschool room should follow these 6 principles. A homeschooling space is where more than learning happens, it’s a room for discovery, bonding, and innovation. Need help with identifying the best homeschool program to use in your space? Call or email us today. 800-863-1474