The year 2020 has brought with it Covid-19 pandemic homeschooling. For minimalist parents looking for ways to organize your homeschool room, start here.
Covid-19 Pandemic Homeschooling: How to Organize Your Homeschool Room Minimally
As the school year quickly approaches, many of us homeschooling moms are getting excited with plans and preparations for an amazing year ahead. Our desks are clean and the school area is decorated with a cute new theme for the year. Pencils, crayons, colorful art supplies and science experiments are lining the shelves. The curriculum is chosen and sorted and field trips are scheduled. We can’t wait for the first day to “start school”.
Homeschooling during the Covid-19 Pandemic
However, this year, there is a whole new group of “homeschooling” parents that are maybe a little less excited, or even hesitant to enter into this new school year. Although these situations will look very different from traditional homeschooling, these unsuspecting parents never entertained the idea of school at home and are scrambling to buy kid-sized desks and chairs, upgrading their current internet situation and trying to figure out how to best organize their homes to facilitate this new reality.
For many of us, feeling led to homeschool our kids was born out of our desire and giftedness to teach. Understandably, not everyone feels led in this same direction. We all need to follow what our hearts tell us is the right direction for our own family. Unfortunately, with all that 2020 has dealt us, many kids who had planned to head back to a traditional classroom setting this year have been delayed or in some instances canceled altogether. Families are being forced to keep kids home for remote learning in one form or another.
It’s my hope that this post would not only support my current homeschooling friends and followers but could lend some encouragement and practical help to this new group of folks who, undoubtedly need a little extra love and support this year. After all, we’re in this together!
How to Organize a Pandemic Homeschool
Over my 10+ years of homeschooling, I’ve learned so many valuable lessons. One of the most important has been that of organization. I need to be incredibly organized to keep my kids learning at their greatest potential, run my home, and keep up with my own business. Over the years products to assist me have come and gone. I’ve increasingly become more and more minimalist in my homeschool methods. Recently I’ve discovered a few new things that I’m really excited to share with you. Please note that this post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
Organizing a Minimalist Homeschool Room
Minimalism and frugal homeschooling go hand-in-hand, really. I’m finding out that buying one high-quality item that lasts forever (like my favorite Ticonderoga pencils – yeah I should be a spokesperson for them as much as I mention them – Hey Ticonderoga, can I have some free pencils, please? Just kidding, I digress). Ok, so you and I both know that some homeschool resources are made to last, and can be used for multiple years with multiple children. But some products do not. I have begun to lean more towards buying products that I know are made for my minimalist family. The following are a few favorites:
One good way I’ve found to remain organized and frugal at the same time, is to find products that encourage reuse. Rather than having to repurchase everything at the start of each year, I can simply clean up many of my trusty supplies and use them again the following year. Two products that I absolutely love, both come from Quartet.
- A glass notepad – Kids love these! This first product would be a great addition to a new school-at-home environment. It’s called the Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Computer Pad and is a really great way to replace sticky notes and other paper note pads. It’s topped with tempered glass for note writing and also has a little drawer to hold dry erase pens and other desk supplies. It’s about the size of a keyboard, so it is easy to keep on most desk or tabletop setups.
- Ditch the stained whiteboard! – The other product may be more suited for traditional homeschooling homes, but I’m sure after “homeschooling” has ended folks may find a transitional use for it. It is the beautiful Glass Dry-Erase Board in full size. This full-size board comes in multiple sizes ready to suit any environment.
General resources for use with ANY subject or project
It’s always easy to use binders and filler paper to keep notes, worksheets, tests, and other curriculum and notes organized. I love to buy the ones that have a clear page protector layer on the front and in the binding so they can be re-used by simply sliding in a new title page/binder label each year. Also, see my Homeschool Binder Front Labels and my Homeschool Subject and Planner Spine Labels for Binders and Notebooks.
Realistically, not everything can be reusable when it comes to school supplies. When I find things that can’t be reused, I want to be sure that they lend to creativity and support organization. If you need something that is innovative in design and serves a multitude of purposes, that doesn’t take up quite as much space as a traditional binder, check these favorites out:
- A “Notebinder” – Here are my favorite binders. I recommend looking for the Five Star Flex Hybrid NoteBinder. This cool organizer includes the best of both the traditional binder and the pocket folder. It comes with 60 pages of binder paper, 5 tabbed dividers that double as pocket folders, and has a 3-ring design so that other papers can be added. It acts like a notebook but works like a binder!
- Interactive Notebooks – Five Star has come up with another really cool notebook that I’m super excited about. It’s called the Customizable Interactive Notebook. It facilitates a new way of teaching and learning by incorporating so many cool features including a table of contents that is customizable by the student according to what is in the notebook making it easy to find what you’re looking for later. It has 100 sheets of high-quality paper allowing students to glue or tape things and avoid ink bleeding through. Along with pocket folders, this new notebook is sure to be a hit for traditional homeschoolers as well as those new to the group.
- A Student Planner – Planners are a great way not only for teachers to keep organized but great teaching tools for your older students in the lesson of organization and keeping on top of their work. If your kids are anything like mine, any old planner won’t do. I have created my own free printable planner, but for the kids, I prefer this one: the Mead Modern Chic Cubes Academic Weekly Monthly Student Planner. Offering weekly and monthly views, a plastic pocket for holding loose items, as well as student reference pages are included for extra organization.
I know I’ve only cracked the surface of organizational supplies for this school year and I’d love to hear from you what you’ve found. Whether you are a traditional homeschooling family or entering into a year of remote or hybrid learning, we can all share ideas to create an amazing learning environment for our kids!
RIGHT NOW: You can save 10% on any of the products linked above by using code AF3G4J9AXD!
More Pandemic Homeschooling Resources
How to Stay Sane While Homeschooling Multiple Kids
Homeschool Planning Tips and Tricks
Homeschool ID Cards for teachers and students – customizable