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Organize All The Books!

Keeping Your Homeschool Curriculum Organized

As homeschooling parents, it's easy to become curriculum collectors. We love finding great deals and stocking up on resources for future use. But all of those workbooks, manipulatives, and books can quickly become overwhelming if you don't have an effective system in place. In this post, I'm sharing my best tips and strategies for organizing your homeschool curriculum and supplies.

Choose Appropriate Storage

The first step is taking a close look at the space you have available and choosing appropriate storage solutions. Here are some options to consider:

  • Bookshelves or cabinets: These are perfect for storing teacher's guides, workbooks, and literature books upright and within easy reach. Look for shelving units with adjustable shelves so you can customize the height. Make sure to measure your tallest books and curriculum boxes first to know what will fit.

  • Plastic bins or crates: I like using bins and crates to corral curriculum units or to sort materials by subject. They stack neatly on shelves. Label the front of each bin so you can quickly find what you need.

  • Rolling cart: A rolling cart on wheels lets you keep everything together in one place and easily move it from room to room. Look for one with both shelves and baskets to accommodate boxes and loose items.

  • Binders: Use binders to organize and protect printed worksheets, activities and other loose pages. Put divider tabs between categories and slide pages into clear sheet protectors to keep them neat and clean.

  • Hanging wall files: Wall files are great for a small workspace or school room. You can insert folders or baskets to hold workbooks, manipulatives and other supplies.

  • Baskets: Keep small manipulatives like math counters, letter tiles, and flashcards organized in labeled baskets on shelves, carts or hanging files.

  • Clear plastic totes: For a really space-efficient storage solution, clear stacking totes can be used to hold curriculum, books, and manipulatives. Label the sides so you can see contents at a glance.

  • Take time to think through your space and needs before choosing furniture and containers. Having adequate, optimized storage will make keeping everything organized much easier.

Sort and Categorize Materials

Once you have your storage furniture and supplies, it's time to sort through all of your curriculum materials and categorize them. Here are some common ways to sort:

  • By subject (math, language arts, science, history, etc.)

  • By grade level or age range (Kindergarten, 3rd grade, middle school)

  • By individual child if you have multiple kids using different curriculum

  • By unit or week of study if using an all-in-one program

I like to organize by subject as my first level of sorting since I often pull from several different programs and tailor to my child's needs. Within each subject, I group materials in a logical way such as by curriculum, grade level or week/unit.

A key decision is whether you will store teacher's guides and student workbooks together or separately. I put our teacher's guides on shelves for my easy access while workbooks and activity pages go in labeled binders for each child. However, if your kids are older or more independent, you may want to store these together in bins for them to access directly.

If using manipulatives like counters, tiles, or puzzles, have a place to store these right alongside your other curriculum materials so they are available during lessons. Baskets, bins, and zippered pouches all work well for keeping small pieces organized.

Create Long Term Storage

Curriculum and resources that you aren't actively using this school year still need a home. Here are some tips for long term storage:

  • Keep on shelves, in bins/boxes or in a closet labeled by subject and grade level

  • Store underneath beds to save space

  • Before packing away curriculum, make sure all student and teacher pieces are consolidated together

  • Reusable cloth grocery bags work great for holding boxed sets neatly

  • Use acid-free archival boxes to prevent damage to important books and documents you want to preserve

When I finish using a curriculum set with one child, I gather all of the books, workbooks, manipulatives and visuals and pack them in a cloth bag labeled with the curriculum name and subject. I store these underneath the kids' beds to save room on our shelves. When I pull it back out in future years, everything is together and protected from dust and damage.

Accessible In-Use Storage

Curriculum and materials you are actively using this school year should be stored in the most convenient and accessible place in your homeschool space. Here are some tips:

  • Store on open shelves, rolling carts or bins in your main learning area for easy access

  • Keep manipulatives handy in labeled baskets or containers near where you use them

  • Bind printed workbook pages, worksheets and activities into organized binders or folders by subject or week

  • Use checklists, schedules or tables of contents posted on the wall for tracking assignments

  • Have a special spot just for books students are currently reading to encourage use

In our school room, I keep all of the curriculum we're using this year on open shelves and in crates right next to our table. My kids can easily grab their language arts folder or math workbook for the day's work. I also have baskets of manipulatives right on the table for hands-on activities.

Digital Organization

In addition to physical curriculum materials, you may have digital components like PDFs, audio files, videos or online access. Avoid the messy downloads folder on your hard drive and instead set up a digital filing system.

  • Use cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud to store everything digitally

  • Create a folder structure with main folders by subject, sub-folders by grade, curriculum, unit etc.

  • Download printable supplements, worksheets or activities into your digital folders

  • Install the app on your mobile devices to access your curriculum library from anywhere

  • Maintain a master folder of records, schoolwork samples and photos of activities and projects

  • Use cloud services like Google Calendar to map out lesson plans and assignments

I love having our entire curriculum library at my fingertips no matter where I am. The Google Drive app allows me to review lessons, print worksheets or share samples with grandparents on the go.

Additional Organizing Tips

Here are a few more ideas for staying organized from year-to-year:

  • Use colored bins, folders or tape to color-code curriculum subjects

  • Post curriculum checklists, schedules, tables of contents or scope and sequences for easy reference

  • Store supplies like pencils, scissors and glue near your workspace so they are handy for lessons

  • Have a clear system for loaning out curriculum materials to friends and co-ops and tracking what you've borrowed

  • Create file folder storage or purchase portfolios for saving student work samples, tests and special projects

  • Designate a wall, bulletin board or other display area to highlight student work

Don't be afraid to experiment to find what works best for your particular homeschool environment and teaching style. The key is having an intuitive organizing system that makes curriculum and supplies easy to find, access and maintain over the long term.


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