Last week I was invited to be a part of a webcast hosted by organizing guru Peter Walsh and sponsored by Office Max. I am an organizational nut so this was right up my alley. Peter and a panel consisting of a teacher, a mom and 2 students discussed common organizational problems that families face at back-to-school time. I am going to summarize the webcast here and at the end I will be sharing some of my own homeschool organizational tips (because I disagree with what the “teacher” shared about organizing your homeschool).
Organizing at home for school success: Clutter makes it difficult to study.
- Whether your child’s homework area is a desk or a study table like the Malaysia’s best ergonomic tables, it needs to be cleaned off regularly and have the supplies organized and accessible.
- Keep pencils in a pencil cup for easy access.
- Use an expanding file for organizing projects.
- Use the tools you have to their full potential. If your desk has a file drawer organize color coded files by subject to keep papers organized etc.
- Teach middle and high school students how to use a planner to organize their time and activities.
Organizing your child:Organization relieves stress and increases confidence.
- Teach your child HOW to organize and pack their backpack. The big section for books and binder, middle section for lunch and smaller section for accessories.
- Teach your child HOW to organize their binder. Shoving papers into a binder does not equal being organized
- Have a place for the child to empty their backpack daily
- Purge the binder at least once a week
- Set out their clothes the night before
- Elementary and middle school students need their parents to oversee and guide their organizational habits. Parents must take an active role in making sure papers and books are traveling to and from school as needed.
Establishing clear organizational routines and following through the routine will help your child feel more confident about school. Also, get your child involved from the beginning-make a list and go shopping together, work out the routines together to help him take ownership of the tools and the process.
Organizing your homeschool: This will vary by family and homeschooling style.
The teacher on the panel said to clearly differentiate between living space and school space in your home. We tried that…we have a small house, it didn’t work for us-it may work for you. Here are some of my homeschool organizational tips.
- Color code by child-Each child gets their color for the year. This helps them know what is theirs as well as helping mom know who left their supplies laying around.
- If the child works in multiple places around the house use a plastic bin to store all of their school supplies. They can take their bin to wherever they are working today be it the kitchen table, living room couch, back porch or grandma’s house.
- Daily file papers into the proper binders. Paperwork can easily overtake the homeschooling household, file daily to avoid the clutter.
- Before buying everything new for the new year, see what you can re-use or re-purpose from the previous year.
While you are doing your back-to-school shopping, make sure you check out OfficeMax’s kid-centric school supplies line, Schoolio-Von-Hoolio.
I don’t know about you but I dream of owning Peter Walsh’s In Place System for organizing all of my homeschool and home office filing.
Disclosure-Office Max sent me a sampler of their Schoolio-von-Hoolio products as a thank-you for being part of this webcast.