Throughout our homeschool journey we have worked in a variety of places around the house. From the basement to the living room sofa, we have tried everywhere. We now have a dedicated space off of the kitchen in a converted porch area (that gets frigidly cold in the winter). While we still sit at the dining room table for math or on the sofa to read, the “school space” is where we keep the supplies for all three kids. It is not always easy, but here are three tips we use to help keep our homeschool supplies in order.
#1. A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place
This old adage serves us well. We hung a pegboard between the door frames and added some utility hooks and baskets from the home supply store. We have metal buckets that hold pencils, colored pencils, rubber bands, and what-nots. It amazes me that we have been able to keep this area organized, but it looks so organized we just don’t want to mess it up! If you don’t have a spot for a pegboard, try a shelf and baskets or covered bins.
#2. Go Digital
We definitely go through our fair share of paper like any other homeschool family, but we try to do as much online as possible. I also submit digital portfolios of my children’s work to the school district (a portfolio is a requirement in PA), so I snap a photo of their work and add it to an online folder. This makes it easy to cut down on papers and virtually eliminates the To-Be-Filed pile.
#3. Start Fresh
Starting the day with a messy workspace makes the day much more stressful than it needs to be, so we make it a practice to clean off and organize our work areas when we finish work for the day. It sounds so simple, but if you snap the photos, put away the books on the shelf or in the buckets, and put away the supplies, it is so easy to keep your homeschool supply area neat and tidy. Trust me, there are days when none of us want to straighten up, but those 3-5 minutes of tidying make it so much easier to start the next morning with a positive, uncluttered attitude. It’s worth every moment.
For those starting off on the homeschool journey it can all be intimidating and overwhelming. Between choosing curriculums and dealing with equal parts self-doubt and full-steam-ahead-enthusiasm, the question about where to do school can weigh heavy on the mind. And the heart. Here’s the thing…Learning isn’t about the place, it’s about the space. And by space I mean the ability to stretch out, the opportunity to sit in the grass and read on a sunny day, and the fact that it’s totally okay to crawl under the table and do math facts.
That, Mama, is the beauty of homeschooling. Embrace it.