Homeschool Organization Methods - From the Early Years all the way to College

Summary:  Does your child or teen struggle with organizing his work?  Does she have executive functioning issues?  Here's the organizational methods that worked best for us in our homeschool.  #homeschoolorganization #adhd  #homeschoolhighschool

This week was not a cold one here, as it was in so many places around our country....We were lucky to have sunny mild weather here.  We hope those of you with snow, maybe piles of it.. are warm and cozy at home, or playing outside in it, if it's only a little.....   

This week was a regular one for us, with my daughter's college midterms being over.  

Monday evening I sat down with my newly college student daughter as usual, to hear her college study plans for the week.  This was an outgrowth of our weekly study meetings from our homeschooling years. 

Then she pulled out this....  


It was a simple organizer, that she had designed herself, to hold her assignment sheets and papers from each of her college courses. 

I had no idea she was working on this!  It kind of resembled our old system of workboxes, but in a new way.

I don' t know if I shared this before, but my daughter used to struggle a lot, with organization, especially in the elementary years.  A LOT.  

We tried a number of ways to help her learn to be organized in her studies, and finally settled on workboxing.  

Homeschool Organization Methods

Work boxing can be a real help for kids and anyone who struggles with organization or executive functioning skills.

During the earlier homeschool years we often used work boxing as our organizational method.  That just involves putting each subject's book, papers, etc in a desk top box, one for each subject.

Later, in the early teen years and in high school, we used spiral notebooks for each subject. That way important papers did not get lost. 

SO there was one spiral notebook for math, one for history, etc, etc.  All of the math problems were worked out in the math spiral bound notebook.  

The for English, all of the written work was done in the English spiral bound notebook, until it was time to write on the computer.

Did that save a lot of headaches.

But it still was a day to day struggle for many years, with papers getting lost, notebooks being misplaced, pens disappearing, and such.  We just kept practicing the organizational skills...

Things began to improving around middle school, but to see her come up with this idea, on her own, was really rewarding to see.

My Teen's Own College Organizational Method

Referring to the photo above:

There was a folder for each course, plus one for printer paper.  She used notebook folders, from the dollar store, and put them into a clear envelope that she had found around the house.
This made the package thinner, lighter, and easier to carry, than if she had used a notebook.  So everything was at hand, and there was always  paper for printing things at college.

Simple and frugal, and kind of like our old system of workboxes....

When a homeschooler goes to college....they take their organizational skills learned in homeschooling with them.

All the organizing and study planning that we do with our high school kids, and all the efforts we make to teach our kids organizational skills from early on...makes a big difference for our kids in the future.

A lot of kids from public school may not have these skills in structuring their time, and setting a study schedule, like our homeschoolers do.  

Do we give ourselves credit for that?

College Activities and a Potluck

1)  My daughter, on the way to class, on campus, 2) volunteering with a friend from college, 3) lettuse from my neighbor's greenhouse garden, 4) pizza casserole for the church potluck 

Fruits from the garden

Well, my fall/winter garden took a hit from the cold and wind....We had some nice green onions, but lost some due to the cold.  I made a big salad using lettuce from our friends, and added in some of our remaining green onions.  We had that with a pizza casserole and some roasted acorn squash. 

Nature Road Trips

We also went to a potluck at church, as a family, and enjoyed seeing friends.  Then, later in the week, my husband and I got out for a mini road trip.  

We have a favorite country road that we like to take, by a local river....wishing that my daughter could come with us, but she has lots of studying to do these days...This gave my husband and I an all daylong date...

...and the mountain was out!

Nothing like getting out in nature!  As the native american prayer goes....

Beauty in front of me,
Beauty to the left of me,
Beauty to the right,
Beauty behind me...................

Glorious...How was your week? 

Do you use the workboxing approach in your homeschool?  What type of organizational issues come up in your family? 

I love reading your comments...

And thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition,   She offers homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting and has had some of her articles picked up by the Huffington Post.

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  1. I like the organiser. It looks like she is doing a great job keeping things organised.

  2. Thanks, Beth, for your kind comment! It was such a nice surprise, her organizer. I wish you joy in your homeschool,

  3. That's encouraging to hear they take all we've taught them to school since I just spent the past week trying to teach the kids how to take notes and feeling like I made no progress.

    1. Hi Ticia,

      I remember going over and over how to take notes with my daughter. I think it was the third time, that it stuck! It's was such a hard concept for her to understand.... I hope that you see progress on that very soon! Glad to hear that this was an encouragement, and thanks for stopping by!

  4. You are correct about our traditionally schooled student and my briefly homeschooled through high school student. He had major organization and study habit problems. My daughter had utilized some of the tips we use in homeschooling during her transition to college.

    1. Thanks, Nita for stopping by and sharing your experiences! Isn't it exciting to see things taught in homeschool, utilized later in college. My best to both of your teens, and have a good week,

  5. My kids also struggle with organization - but that's because the apples don't fall far from the tree.

    I clear my throat.

    It's nice to hear that an early elementary study can go from struggle to success in little time.

    Next year, I'm going to be more organized!

    I'm hoping to also develop a bit more independence. And it's not because I am having a new baby and want to breastfeed him/her while they are in school or because I want the blogging time - but more because i want them to go away to college and be able to function on their own without coming to mommy for every little thing.

    You know what I mean?

    I want them to go away (I know this sounds weird), live in a dorm and have new experiences with new people. I want them to be able to do lessons and projects without discussing them with me first.

    You know, the more and more I take a deeper look at the homeschool community (especially through my co-op) I can see wayyyy too much coddling. I mean, I have to walk my 10 year old across the parking lot, and pick-up a green card because he might not know who mommy is. It's ridiculous.

    You know, Mommy taught him to look both ways. He can really walk out of the car into the building on his own.

    I know it sounds silly and I am talking randomly, but your post just brought up a lot of things in my mind. Sorry to get them off my chest on your blog.

    1. Thanks, Lisa Nelson, of the Squishable Baby, for stopping by and sharing your thought provoking comments! Independence is so important, and thanks for sharing your story. I hope that you and yours had a wonderful holiday, and I'll be back again, to visit your great blog hop at #homeschoollinkup, soon!

  6. It is a joy to see our kids succeed! We have 5 sons and we really target organizational skills just before and during high school. Our goal is to teach our kids to be independent and disciplined. That's a challenge for me, because I tend to be a seat of my pants planner. Our second son is a junior in high school and is beautifully organized. He even teaches workshops on how to organize high school. Love it!
    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Yes, Bekki Sayler, I's hard for me to teach organization, too, as sometimes I like to go more by my intuition, than an organizational system, lol. Thanks for stopping by, and that is so nice to hear about your son teaching workshops in organization, himself! Congratulations to him, and you!!

  7. Your daughter seems so self motivated...that's awesome! I love her folder system :)

    Thanks so much for linking up with us last week! Hope you come join us again for this week's Inspired By Me Mondays :)

    1. Thanks, Rachael DeBruin, for your kind comments! Homeschooling has been the key to developing self motivation in my daughter. And I'll be back to your great blog hop, Inspired By Me Mondays, very soon!

  8. Always fun to see how other people do it; great for getting ideas that may work in the future for your bunch! Featured you on Mom's Library this week!

  9. Thanks, Ashley, for featuring me at your great blog hop, Mom's Library! There are always lots of creative resources there!


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