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Homeschooling Your Way: Homeschooling as a Family

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source: Mykl Roventine

source: Mykl Roventine

This week we’re talking about organization for homeschoolers. One of the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility it affords families to tailor school to fit their lifestyle. Because I’m just starting out on this journey, I’ve asked several people to share their experiences and systems with us. And of course we’d love to hear from you in the comments with your experiences as well!

The following is a guest post from Amy Norton from Amy Loves It!:

Where in your home do you homeschool? Do you have different areas for read-alouds, workbooks and/or independent work? Is there anywhere that’s off limits?

We do our school lessons at the dining room table. It is in the front of the house and near a window, so we have plenty of light and space. When we read, we move to the couch or the recliner, with the girls on either side of me. There are also times we do shorter lessons at the bar in our kitchen (during snack time or just to change it up a bit). We do not do lessons in the bedrooms or the playroom; there are too many distractions there!

Do you have a set schedule for your school days? Do you have a set start time? A set end time?

Our “normal” time for beginning school is around 10 am, when my youngest goes down for her morning nap. Sometimes it begins at 9:30 (because the girls get antsy and are ready for school!), but it always ends between 11:30 and noon so we can have lunch and see Daddy when he takes his lunch break from work. In the afternoons, I will read to the girls, and we have an informal, relaxing time of just reading and quiet time while the baby takes her afternoon nap. This can happen anywhere from 2:00 to 3:30.

How are your school supplies organized? Do you stock up on extra supplies? How do you organize the extras?

Our school supplies are kept in two places: the cabinet below our hutch next to the dining room table and inside the cabinet the television sits on. Our everyday supplies, books, the girls’ crayon and pencil box, our reading list, writing paper, etc stay in the hutch. It is right beside our work area, which makes it easy to grab what we need.

The extras (and yes, I’ve stocked up on all the supplies we might need, thanks to the recent sales at CVS and Staples) are kept in a large drawer in the cabinet below the tv. I have our items organized in sections: glue sticks, pens, pencils, 3×5 cards, paper, staples, etc. That way we can easily find what we need (and when Daddy does his Monday teaching, he does not have to ask Mommy where to find something!).

What do you use for record keeping? Do you store completed work? Do you go above and beyond the recordkeeping requirements of your state?

Right now, I keep my records in a 1-inch binder filled with notebook paper. I write down the date, what we do, the books/curriculum used, comments the girls make, projects, and time spent. I am very detailed about it all. We currently live in Oklahoma, which has very loose guidelines (pretty much, NONE) on homeschooling. This troubles me, as I know it may not always be this way, and so I am prepared for that time. I want to be able to “prove” that my children were taught well and properly and according to the strictest guidelines. Therefore, I choose to follow the guidelines of the strictest states to make sure I will always be in compliance with any future laws or if we ever move to a more strict state.

I do store completed work, for the most part. I also take several pictures, especially after finishing a project, and store them in a homeschool file on my computer.

What is one area that you wish was more organized about your homeschooling?

I really love that my husband and I are able to homeschool our children. Yes, my husband takes part! He is off of work on Monday, and that is the day he sits down with our children and teaches them his lessons. It is informal but organized. He teaches about things he loves: Jesus, God, the Bible, Creation, the solar system, etc. He is definitely going to be their science teacher!

The area I really wish was more organized about our homeschooling is actually having a “homeschool room,” where we could leave everything set up not have to always clean it up so we can eat lunch! That is really the only drawback of having school at the dining room table; it has to be used for us to eat on, and so we have to put away projects even if we are not finished with them. Also, if we had a separate room, I would be able to decorate it with school-related banners, posters, etc. Right now, I have to tape things up to the closet door!

Amy Norton is a homeschooling mother of three who is just beginning her homeschooling journey. She blogs about all the things she loves – including coffee, cleaning, couponing and blogging – at Amy Loves It!

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5.5, 4, 2.5 and a baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

5 Responses to “ Homeschooling Your Way: Homeschooling as a Family ”

  1. I have a really hard time keeping my homeschool supplies organized! I am constantly organizing and re-organizing, so I’m looking forward to more posts on this subject!

    Amy, I love that you keep records according to the strictest guidelines. That is such a great idea! I doubt Texas will keep their homeschool laws so lax forever, so I need to start doing this as well!

    Great post Amy! You have given me a lot of ideas to improve our homeschool!
    Stephanie´s last blog ..Freebie Friday 8/14 My ComLuv Profile


  2. “It is right beside our work area, which makes it easy to grab what we need.”

    We do this too…it makes it so much easier, rather than hunting around for a supply.

    Amy – I’m sooooo excited for your new adventure! You are such an amazing mommy – one of these days we’ll get together (in person…not over the!)
    Britt´s last blog ..$5.00 Off Coupon and a Free Month of Hosting! My ComLuv Profile


  3. I’ve been wondering how much time people spend homeschooling each day. I’m a public school teacher and I see how much time gets taken away from actually teaching with all the transitioning and disruptions. Enjoyed reading this post. Thanks!
    Kim @ whatsupbird´s last blog ..Reign in Us My ComLuv Profile


  4. First, @Mandi – I am really enjoying this series so far! It’s definitely given lots of ideas for our possible project of homeschooling. It’s also a great way to answer some of my husband’s question on the matter, like “Where would you do it?”, “When would you do it?”, “How do you keep track?”, “What do you need?”, and so on.

    The schedule mentioned in this post seems to be something that might work for us as well. My husband works at home, so we also eat lunch together. He also was quite excited at the idea of giving “guest lectures” here and there (and would probably be in charge of French as the kids get older because I’m not very good with grammar!! I should mention that we are both francophones from Québec living in Ontario, and it is important for us that our children not ony have both languages, but can also write French properly – and it has a complicated grammar…) Glad to hear that having her husband involved is working well for Amy – that’s so great! :)
    Johanne´s last blog ..Irish Immersion Week{end} My ComLuv Profile


  5. [...] You can read Mandi’s interview with me here. [...]

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