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New Contributor! Plus! The Organized Home School - Simply Helping Him: Marriage Experience from a Help Meet



Aug 04

New Contributor! Plus! The Organized Home School

Please help me welcome Renee from Joyful Mom–in everything give thanks! I’m so excited to have her on the Help Meet Corner team, she will be our Home Schooling Mom Contributor!



Renee is passionate about living her life with intention.  She inspires and encourages women to find their authentic purpose through her writing and one to one coaching.  Renee is a wife, mother to 4 kids and 2 angels, artisan, and foodie, sharing her journey of blessings @ Joyful Mom–in everything give thanks. Renee is also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and G+.


The Organized Home School


“I bet you’ll be happy when school starts!” “Are those ALL yours?” “What no school today?”

These are all questions that I’m asked, over and over and over again.  My reply is always the same, “I homeschool my kids.”, followed by gasps, oh my, “I couldn’t do THAT” and the MOST frequent response is “you MUST be very organized!”

Well, I must be honest and say that I’m sort of naturally a planner and organized.  I like to know what is going to happen and for how long.  I also love to learn new things, try new things and explore my world.  When you combine those skills and passions it makes homeschooling look easy from the outside.

In homeschooling no matter what “style” you may use (Charlotte Mason, traditional school at home, unschooling) there still needs to be some organization to your classroom.  I have tried a variety of different styles and they all lend themselves to a different level of organization.  Another factor in homeschooling is the age of the children–older kids are NOT always easier to homeschool but neither is giving a spelling test while nursing a baby!


Top 10 Tips for an Organized Homeschool
  1. I get myself together!  I make sure I am ready for my day before I get anyone else up.  (Unless of course it is a pajama day!  I love those:-)
  2. I have a meal plan.  I put my meals on my Google calendar so I know that if I have a busy soccer night–a crockpot meal is the best option.  I also set reminders for myself to thaw the chicken or get the bread machine going.
  3. Pick a time to start your day!  I try and start school at the same time everyday–it may not be all the kids at once–often times I start my oldest first, then stagger the kids after that . . . the idea is that they won’t be completed with their tasks all at the same time.
  4. I pick a time to end the day.  This changes a little bit but I really like to be done with school by lunch or just after.
  5. Designate a quiet time–we have an hour of quiet time each day–usually right after lunch–which then dovetails into my own time to write, grade papers, pay bills, clean, and simply catch my breath before the evening activities.
  6. I have a chart that is a visual reminder of what we will be doing and how long it should take.  This is keeps us all on track–the kids can see if they get working they “could” be done in 3 hours or less–that is very motivating.  When they are done with a task they turn it over.  I love the chart because each day is a little different and I’m a visual person–it helps ALL of us! (if you have more question about this chart–please ask them in the comments.)
  7. Have a designated place to study–sometimes we all go to the Starbucks–that is a lot of fun but I have found that when each child has their own spot–they get more done.  One daughter works best at her desk, another sprawled on the floor with papers everywhere, my son does a lot of work on the computer and iPad–so he just sits snuggled on the couch until he needs “table time”.
  8. We take LOTS of field trips–so often I will teach 3 weeks and take the 4th week off for planning, tweaking and field trips (I taught all year long that year).  I have also had a schedule that has every Friday “off”.  This year I’m thinking about taking off between Thanksgiving and Christmas!
  9. Trial and Error.  I have tried something new each year for at least one of my kids–I have used folders for each week, planners, store bought curriculums, online programs–I have had great success and great failure.  I just remember that what didn’t work for one kid might be the BEST option for another kid.  Stay flexible!
  10. My last tip is that I organize my materials by grade.  That way it is easy for me to adjust a quick learner or to review.  I keep my kids on grade level for the most part–I learned my lesson the hard way–when my 6th grader went “back to school” the books that they were using my son had used in 3rd grade.


Was this list helpful to you?  Is there something that I missed?

Be Blessed as you learn and grow with your kids!
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  1. christa sterken

    Renee, what a wonderful addition to ANYONE’s team! This was a great piece, thanks for the great tips. Even after all these years, I still need them

  2. Dana D

    So, Renee,
    Do you keep the kids “on grade level” as a just-in-case they jump back to traditional school? (Like your oldest) That’s sort of how I’ve treated my kids. It was a much easier solution when they were (are) in high school. Sports and college recruiting/scholarships are often grade level based. Plus it gave us flexibility if we chose to make a schooling change.
    Great suggestions, too. I let my high school boys do their daily work piled up in their beds, but make them come to the table to study for exams – since they’ll have to sit at a desk for those standardized exams.

  3. laura

    Very helpful! I’m not a homeschooler but there is still a lot of takeaway for any mamma. Thank you.

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      This whole week is an organization throughout our homes. I’m glad that you were able to find some good ideas! 🙂 Blessings!

  4. hsmominmo

    Congratulations, Renee as a new contributor!
    This is a wonderful list. You’ve described our homeschool very nicely 🙂 Much to everyone’s desbelief, I did not begin homeschooling highly organized and we did not begin homeschooling because I had an overabundance of patience. Rather, homeschooling was opportunity for me to begin learning these things.
    AMEN! to the menu planning and #9. I love the freedom to customize what we use and how we use it.
    Look forward to future posts from you!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      I am so thrilled to have her on the team! 🙂 Thank you for stoppin by! Blessings!

    2. renee@joyful mom

      thank you so much!

      I’m so excited to finally be working with Misty!

      When we embrace the path ahead of us–with a “in every thing give thanks” attitude amazing things can happen.

      Be Blessed.

  5. Mrs. Sarah Coller

    These are great suggestions—thanks!

    1. simplyhelpinghim

      I always love reading everyone’s suggestions! 🙂

    2. renee@joyful mom

      I could have written a zillion but these are my best “go-to” tips!

      Be Blessed.

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