Tips for the Disorganized Homeschool Mom

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I’m not a completely disorganized mom, but I’m certainly not one of those super-organized ones either. I remember when we first started homeschooling, lots of moms were talking about a very popular scheduling book. I bought it.

I’m really not sure why I kept reading after looking at the sample schedules that involved people getting up at 3 and 4 in the morning to milk cows and feed chickens. Nope, I’m not mocking those people, but that is a far cry from my reality.

I did continue reading and even tried to put together a pretty little color-coded schedule. Yeah. That did not work.

So, I may not be so disorganized, but I relate more to disorganized folks than super-organized ones, which is why I thought I’d share some tips for disorganized homeschool moms.

1. Have a routine.

No, no, no. Not a detailed schedule. Trying to implement a detailed, 30-minute blocks schedule is setting a disorganized (or only moderately organized) homeschool mom up for failure.

You don’t need a detailed schedule, but a predictable routine is very helpful. That just means that you know that after breakfast, you’ll do X, Y, and Z before lunch. Try some of these ideas (even though they have the “S” word in the title – just replace that with “routine”):

The key is finding a routine that works for your family and sticking to it as much as possible.

2. Have a spot for school stuff.

One of the biggest hindrances to a smooth school day is wasting time looking for school books and supplies. This can be a big hurdle for disorganized homeschool moms. The trick? Have a specific spot for school stuff.

We have a bookshelf just for books that we use frequently. Each of my kids has their own magazine holder that houses their workbooks and planners. When they regularly used binders, we had pencil pouches inside them for their pencils, colored pencils, scissors, and glue sticks.

Cindy West has some wonderful tips for organizing the unorganized learner that might benefit both students and their disorganized moms.

Oh, and you may just want to stock up on a few cases of pencils. They seem to walk away at an alarming rate no matter how much I attempt to have a place for them. Every so often, I go and collect them from a certain kid’s room. {ahem}

3. Have a spot for library books.

Having a spot for library books gets its own special heading. You know, unless you enjoy supporting your local library with your late fines. I’ve read lots of different tips for library books, such as a specific basket or bookshelf for them.

In my post, Library Tips for Homeschooling Families, I shared tips for keeping up with library book due dates, too. To me, that’s almost more important than knowing exactly where the books are at any given time. If I’ve got reminders in place for the due dates, I’ve got some time to look for the books – even if it means I have to renew the loan to have more time to search.

4. Have a meal routine.

The less I have to think about meals, the better. I do have a meal plan each week, which I know is probably too organized for some of you. However, even if you just have a regular meal routine – and least for homeschool lunches – that will be a huge sanity saver during the day.

At our house, Tuesday has been pizza day as long as I can remember. Far from becoming a rut, the kids complain if something happens to mess up pizza day.

Even if you just have a theme for each day of the week, that can cut down on some of the stress of meal times. Maybe Monday is soup day and Tuesday is sandwich day, for example. Then, you at least know the general details of the meal.

Being disorganized can be stressful and a huge time suck. I don’t have to be super-organized to be happy and efficient, but I’ve found that some basic organization makes my day go much more smoothly.

Are you a disorganized homeschool mom? Have you found any tricks that help you stay on track. If you’re the more organized sort, what tips do you have to offer?

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  1. I had similar experiences. I spent hours, maybe as many as 8 to 10, on a beautiful color-coded schedule that was supposed to revolutionize my homeschool. We weren’t able to follow it for even 1 hour (and we tried daily for weeks), and all that work ended up being a beautiful reminder of my failure at a basic homeschool function, following a schedule. Sigh.

    But fast forward 10 or 11 years into the future (aka now), and I can confidently say that following a schedule is not necessary to successfully homeschool. Consistency is essential, but schedules and rigidness is not.
    Robin E.

    1. “…following a schedule is not necessary to successfully homeschool. Consistency is essential, but schedules and rigidness is not.” Thank goodness! Otherwise, I’d be in a world of hurt. 🙂

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