When Your Homeschool Organization System Fails You

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We all use some sort of homeschool organization system.

These are the little tricks that keep you on track and somewhat organized. Not perfectly organized, just somewhat organized.

So for the last 8 years, I used a homeschool organization system that I call a simple filing system.

It worked when I had two toddlers and three high schoolers at home.

It worked beautifully when I had two high school teens and two little elementary kids.

But this year it failed. And it failed big time!

Instead of being able to grab my printed worksheets, activity pages, and coloring sheets I found myself searching the house for the printouts I needed.


Because the children grew, changed, and matured. So instead of everyone being on week 5, suddenly I had children on week 7, week 3, and week 5. And papers were scattered everywhere.

I pulled sheets out of my files, plopped them down where it was most convenient, and then lost them.

Pages were buried on my desk. Hiding in children’s binders. And forgotten in the filing system.

In short, my homeschool organization system failed me.

When Children Change

That’s what happens as your children grow, change, and mature. Your family adapts. Your homeschool transforms.

And it’s a good thing! You want your children to grow into mature, responsible adults. But that means you have to stay flexible and grow with your children and your homeschools.

Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the past, trying to make an outdated system work for you. And for your children.

In my case, I spent 8 years using this system successfully. That’s right, 8 years. Two runs through Tapestry of Grace.

And then it failed and I have to adapt.

So what’s on the table now?

I switched back to an old binder system I used to use when the kids were little. All the necessary pages and sheets for each subject are placed in the binder under the appropriate tab. For instance, all my SOTW activity pages are in the binder under, you guessed it, Story of the World.

When I sit down to read volume 2 to my children, the pages I need are at the front of the binder. After all, I’m not going to read chapter 10 to my kids before I read chapter 7, am I? So the pages are placed in the binder in the order that I need to pages.

My binder is huge, a 4-inch binder stuffed with paper. I have a tab for Story of the World, a tab for English Lessons Through Literature, and a tab for math. all the papes I need to educate my younger children are in the binder, in the order I need, and placed behind the appropriate tabs. And the tabs are simply the subjects we’re studying this year.

And in case you’re wondering, my high school teenager is not filed in this system. I only use this system with my elementary kids.

But the point I’m trying to make is this. Life changes. Your children grow, mature, and change as your homeschool. This means your homeschool must change and adapt to new life circumstances.

This year, my beloved filing system isn’t working. So I reverted back to the old homeschool organization system I used when I first started homeschooling.

But I’m not taking my filing system apart. Because I know that soon my younger kids will grow up.

Life will take another turn. The kids will grow and change.

So, I’m tabling my filing system for a couple of years, knowing that soon my homeschool organization system will need to change again.

And my beloved simple filing system will be the answer I need.

homeschool organization system fails

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One Comment

  1. This is such an encouraging reminder! Just because a plan or organization system worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best fit in each season of homeschooling. It’s so important to be flexible as our children and family dynamics change!

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