Practical Homeschooling
Any homeschooling family knows that the process of learning takes up most of your time. Getting things organized may the key to success for some families. We've compiled tips and ideas to make your homeschooling practical and a good fit into the rest of your life. As a bonus, we take a look at some of the ways you can save money while learning together as a family.
Organizing Tips
An organized home may seem impossible when you have kids around all day long, but it can be done. Here are tips and ideas that will help your household run smoothly.
Avoiding Burnout
Everyone faces it at one time or another. Read through these tips for inspiration and ideas to combat homeschooling burnout, both for parents and children.
Money Savers
It is a fact that homeschooling will cost you some money. But there are ways to keep costs down. In fact, you can homeschool quite inexpensively and how much you spend is really up to you. Browse through these resources, tips, and ideas to help you save some money.
Housekeeping
Doing the household chores can seem like a burden when you have so much else going on. There are some strategies to help make this burden lighter. Read through these ideas and tips on keeping your home clean and how to get the whole family involved.
In The Kitchen
What's for dinner? That is the age-old question every mother has faced, day after day. Browse through these menu planning ideas, recipes, and strategies for getting food on your table without all the hassle.
Chores
With children learning and playing (and, let's face it--making messes) all day long, chores become an inevitable hurdle for the homeschooling family. Here you'll find everything from printable chore charts to chore organizers, along with helpful ideas on how to get kids to do their chores and how to divvy them up to make it fair for all.
Lesson Planning
Don't know what to teach today or how to get everything done? Explore these resources for planning your lessons and get ideas on how to help your homeschool day run smoothly.
Record Keeping
Record keeping can be a great way for you to see how you and your children are progressing, as well as a means to meet state requirements for reporting and administration of your homeschool.
Calendars
You can use calendars to keep track of activites, plan your lessons, keep your records, and organize your life.
What's Popular
Destinations Homeschool Guidebook
Destinations Homeschool Guidebook is a system with total flexibility and real accountability. Step-by-step instructions help you develop a plan for learning tailored to each child's unique needs. Are you unschooling? Destinations allows you to track learning from everyday life while measuring progress toward your goals. Using a formal curriculum? Destinations helps you adapt it to your child's needs. Includes instructions on use as a portfolio.
Sidetracked Home Executive...In Touch Forum
Join the fun as sidetrackers from all over commune to help each other get organized. Along the way, we have a lot of laughs and make a lot of friends.
Chores
A homeschooling mom shares some simple ways to encourage children to help around the house based on the principle that one should never do for one's children what they could do for themselves. This leads to a more smoothly running household and the children's sense of pride in their own work.
Vernon Library Supplies
Vernon Library Supplies has lots of items that can help you organize your homeschool materials and protect your books. From shelving to desk, book jacket covers to magazine protectors, they have everything you need to organize, repair, and protect your supplies.
Meal Planning Made Easy
It's no fun trying to decide what to make for dinner every night. Planning your meals ahead of time often saves you time as well as money. There are many different ways to plan your meals. How you plan yours depends on how much time you want to spend now to save yourself time later.
Large Family Workbox System for Homeschool
An example of an organizational system for a large homeschool family.
Getting Organized Part 2
More organizing tips from Katherine Von Duyke. How to use Velcro, slip-in report covers, and large plastic containers to tame your homeschool supplies.
Singing the Burnout Blues
A homeschooling mom shares her struggles with burnout and explains some coping strategies that have worked for her.
TheHomeSchoolMom In The Kitchen
TheHomeSchoolMom In The Kitchen is an e-mail group designed to provide economical, balanced meal ideas that are quick and easy for busy moms. Provides dinner tips, recipes, and resources that help take "piranha hour" and turn it into calmer and more peaceful time.
The Cost of Homeschooling
There are now so many resources available for free or very low cost that money should not be a deciding factor.
Home is Cool: Get Organized for Home School
Homeschool families, like Tolstoy’s happy ones, are all alike: drowning in a sea of clutter. Home schooling a child beats all other organizational challenges hands-down. How do you count the clutter? The books. The papers. The biology experiments on the kitchen window. The six-foot-tall child sprawled on the floor, reading. The record-keeping. College admissions and testing and letters from the correspondence school.
The Opportunity Cost of Homeschooling
If someone offered you a million dollars in exchange for not homeschooling your children, would you take them up on it? Whether you’ve been homeschooling for a while, or just started recently, you’ll miss out on a substantial amount of earnings over the time you homeschool. Economists call this an “opportunity cost,” meaning what something costs you in lost opportunities. Each time you make a choice between two or more things, you incur some opportunity costs.
HomeSchool Minder
HomeSchool Minder is an all-in-one homeschool organizer that manages: daily school activities, lesson plans, grades, attendance, and much more! Completely intuitive and very user-friendly, HomeSchool Minder will help homeschool teachers maintain accuracy and integrity of student data, automate daily tasks, standardize procedures, and save time. . . all for about the price of the average school textbook!
A Place for Everything
Includes tips for organizing in the office, closet, craft room, living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Creative ideas for storing kids' toys and other odds and ends.
Developing a Homeschool Budget
So, how much does homeschooling cost anyway? As much as you can afford. That isn't a very comforting answer, but it is a realistic one. Some families reportedly homeschool on as little as $50 a year. Most likely you will spend more than that. How much, exactly, is going to depend on the resources you have available and your children's needs.
Resources
Educational Travel on a Shoestring : Frugal Family Fun and Learning Away from Home
Educational Travel on a Shoestring shows parents how they can help their children learn–and have a blast–while traveling. From researching destinations to sharing activities that both teach and entertain, this priceless guide offers practical information for parents who want to have more fun with their kids, build closer family ties, and enjoy richer educational experiences–all without spending a fortune.
Help for the Harried Homeschooler : A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life
Homeschooling moms and dads can be overwhelmed by the demands on their time. Between their children’s educational needs; their roles as spouse, parent, and more; and their own individual desires and goals, these mothers and fathers struggle to accomplish all that must be done. In Help for the Harried Homeschooler, experienced homeschooler, author, and mother of four Christine Field offers sound advice for parents who want not only to achieve homeschooling success but also to reach a balance in their lives.
Conquering Chronic Disorganization
The real-life stories of chronically disorganized people and the ground breaking, easy-to-learn organizing methods used to end their chronic disorganization in the area of residential clutter, office organizing, paper management, storage, and time management. Conquerings pages includes an extensive index, user-friendly summaries, quick tips, helpful photographs, and a resource section of products and organizations.
One Thing at a Time : 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day
Simple, effective ways to put things in their place

Those piles of papers, clothes, and other things you thought you'd successfully de-cluttered have returned, and this time they brought friends. What's the use of trying to fight the clutter? Is there a better way?

This powerful and useful guide delivers solutions that work, no matter how overwhelmed you feel. The answer isn't an elaborate new system, or a solemn vow to start tomorrow. Instead, psychotherapist and organizer Cindy Glovinsky shares 100 simple strategies for tackling the problem the way it grows--one thing at a time. Here's a sampling of the tips explained in the book:

*Declare a fix-it day
*Purge deep storage areas first
*Label it so you can read it
*Get a great letter opener
*Practice toy population planning
*Leave it neater than you found it
Written in short takes and with a supportive tone, this is an essential, refreshing book that helps turn a hopeless struggle into a manageable part of life, one thing at a time.
Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two-Income Economy
Save Thousands of Dollars a Year

Jonni McCoy and her family are proof that you live on one income. The McCoys made a successful transition from two incomes to one while living in one of the most expensive parts of America: the San Francisco Bay Area.

Her Miserly Guidelines will help you save thousands of dollars a year on everything from groceries to electricity to insurance and household cleaners—as well as reveal the hidden costs of holding a job and common money wasters. Her practical, proven cost-saving techniques, strategies, tips, and recipes will help you live frugally without feeling deprived.

Home Organizing Workbook: Clearing Your Clutter, Step-By-Step
Failing the Mary Poppins' snap-the-fingers approach to cleaning, here's the next best thing: an utterly practical handbook that offers lasting results for anyone looking to banish clutter from every room in the house. Home organizer par excellence Meryl Starr offers up her hardworking organizing solutions in The Home Organizing Workbook, a straightforward guide to getting organized. The room chapters begin with targeted questionnaires that help the reader identify specific organizational problems, followed by hundreds of hardworking solutions and strategic maintenance tips. Those itching to get started can dive right in with step-by-step organizing projects ranging from quick-and-easy weeknight jobs, like overhauling the spice cabinet, to more intensive endeavors such as reorganizing the bedroom closet. Accessory lists at the end of each chapter feature dozens of the best products available, from lazy susans to shelf dividers, and explain exactly how they can be used to optimum effect in each room, while the extensive resource list shows where to get them. It's a package as tidy as its solutions: concealed Wire-O lay-flat binding, tabbed chapters to take readers straight to their problem area du jour, and full-color, solution-oriented photographs sure to inspire action. Ready to clear that clutter and keep it that way? The Home Organizing Workbook is the ultimate guide to preserving open spaces.
The Well-Ordered Home: Organizing Techniques for Inviting Serenity into Your Life
Organizing the home is one of those desirable and beneficial activities that remain elusive for many. This practical guide explains the many benefits - physical, emotional, and spiritual - of an organized home and shows how to attain them. Breaking down the process into 50 steps, the author uses her own experiences as a psychologist and professional home organizer to help readers clear away not only the physical clutter but the psychological blocks that encourage it and hinder organization. She tells where to start, encourages small steps, and explores the psychology of organizing. Next she addresses fundamental principles, including keeping tools where they will be used and making the most of active storage space. Finally, she shows how to get rid of excess stuff, including how to attack those never-ending piles and junk drawers, and stem the inflow of junk into the home. These easy exercises, tips, and stories will truly help readers organize their homes for efficiency, peacefulness, and well-being.
The Organizing Sourcebook : Nine Strategies for Simplifying Your Life

The nine habits of highly organized people

Organizing consultant Kathy Waddill demonstrates how the simple act of being organized can improve your quality of life. In The Organizing Sourcebook, she presents nine organizing principles that can easily be applied to any situation, activity, or environment. The book gives you the tools for managing time; decreasing stress; and dealing with cultural, personal, and emotional change. Case histories illustrate how each strategy solved a specific problem.

Organizing Plain and Simple: A Ready Reference Guide With Hundreds Of Solutions to Your Everyday Clutter Challenges
Desk drowning in papers? No room for the car in the garage? Santa still sitting on the roof in May? A less-is-more philosophy is great, but we all still have way too much stuff. The home office swallows up whole rooms, as does the family computer station. Then there's the home gym, the TV room, and the playroom, not to mention our collections - books, CDs, toys. Time management experts agree that when the minor things that take up space in the mind are eliminated, there is room to think about the big things. The same goes for the home. The visual clarity that comes from de-cluttering rooms, finances, and time promotes mental clarity, peacefulness, and contemplation. When everything is organized, it is easier to enjoy the meaningful things in life.

Organizing Plain & Simple is like a course from an expert teacher, grounded in the fundamentals and enriched with philosophy, tips, anecdotes, illustrations - everything necessary to make home and life run more smoothly. Donna Smallin takes a personalized, nonjudgemental approach to explaining how to assess each individual's situation and suggesting where to start organizing - room by room - and then covers how to stay organized. Then she offers advice on organizing time and finances, as well as organizing for the seasons and for special events - the birth of a baby, combining households, a move, kids going off to college, successful downsizing. Smallin presents a broad range of innovative solutions in the running feature "One Challenge, Three Solutions" that includes tips for solving classic organizational issues from a wide range of professional organizers.

Homeschooling on a Shoestring : A Jam-packed Guide
So you want to homeschool but don't think you can afford it. This book is a compendium of ideas for the family that wants to start or continue homeschooling on a tight budget. Includes ideas for making money as a stay-at-home mom, sources for inexpensive curriculum, affordable teaching tools, and ideas for low-cost field trips. Also discusses ways to run your household more efficiently and with less cost.
Looking for Another State?
Featured Resources

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this site.

Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days: Share a Day With 30 Homeschooling Families
From a bedroom community in Nebraska to a farm in Vermont, from families who rely on workbooks to those who have sworn them off, this in-depth examination of the lives of homeschoolers covers a wide range of people and methods. When author Nancy Land...
The Organizing Sourcebook : Nine Strategies for Simplifying Your Life
The nine habits of highly organized people Organizing consultant Kathy Waddill demonstrates how the simple act of being organized can improve your quality of life. In The Organizing Sourcebook, she presents nine organizing principles that can easily...
Real-Life Homeschooling: The Stories of 21 Families Who Teach Their Children at Home
The book that shows homeschooling in action! What does it really mean when parents say they homeschool their child or children? For Rhonda Barfield -- a homeschooler for the past 10 years -- the definition is as diverse as the 21 families she studi...
Responsible Driving, Student Edition
This easy-to-read book features explanations of safe driving techniques and is used in many states as a textbook for in-class driving instruction. It is a great learning tool for a new driver and a good refresher for the more experienced driver.