Simple Systems for Organizing Homeschool Materials, Paperwork and Student Work

Simple Systems for Organizing Homeschool Materials, Paperwork and Student WorkAs homeschoolers, we collect a ton of material, papers and books over the years.  If we do not have an organizational system in place, we can forget important activities and lose track of our child’s work.  If we’re not organized in our spaces, we can’t possibly be organized in our minds.

If you want a successful year for your child, I highly recommend an organizational system for your materials.  (Note: This does not mean your space needs to be squeaky clean and fancy.  It means order and function).

This post shows you two simple systems I use to keep everything organized – simple to find, and simple to file.

While organization is very personal to each person and family, what I share today is fool-proof – because both methods make adding to and finding the materials utterly uncomplicated.

The two systems include binders and file folders.

File Folder System of Organization for Homeschoolers

There are two main file folder systems I keep:

  • one for organizing my teaching materials (which I organize by month, since I teach by monthly themes)
  • one for storing my son’s work (AKA a portfolio, also organized by month)

Storing teaching materials

materials storage idea for homeschoolers

This is the system I use to store my monthly teaching materials and decoration. It’s a rather small file folder box with hanging legal file folders. Each folder is labeled for the month because next year, I can go back into the box and reuse some of the materials/ decor.  It mostly stores the 3D lesson accompaniments that I have created and collected over the years. 

educational materials storage ideas for homeschooling

The portable box of my monthly homeschool materials. I am sure that over time, I’m going to have to get a larger storage unit. You can use a filing cabinet or large plastic storage bins that house file folders.

Storing student work

educational porfolio for homeschooling

My son’s portfolio.

porfolio system for homeschoolers

Portfolio organized by month. I include each of the activities my son worked on/ created, plus, the monthly observations and planning sheets, for reference (see image below).

portfolio system for homeschoolers

I pull this package out of the homeschool planner, bundle it together, and slip it into the appropriate month in the portfolio. Easy portfolio system!

Binder System of Organization for Homeschoolers

The other system I use, for storing teaching activities, is the binder system.  I organize by season, because this works best for the way I plan.  You can organize it by month, by theme, by story/novel, by type of activity, by goal, etc.

organizing paperwork for homeschooling

I have two main binders for two seasons, but I know these will eventually become a binder or two of their own. For now, I keep it simple and as space-saving as possible.

binder system for organizing paperwork for homeschooling

In the binders, I have tabs to separate the seasons. I like to keep the activities I find in one place. Much like the file folder system, a binder allows me to add and remove papers easily.

No matter the system you use, be sure that it’s simple to put into action and to use over time.  There is no use putting together an elaborate system that you’ll never use because it’s just too complicated.  I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping it simple, simple, simple.

Related article on this blog:

Organizing for the Child with Special Needs

What system do you use to organize your paperwork and materials?

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Simple Systems for Organizing Homeschool Materials, Paperwork and Student Work

2 Responses

  1. Sounds like a good system to me!
    It’s a great idea to use stackable boxes that contain space for legal boxes. Plastic instead of carton can come in very handy, especially if stored in a basement (more humid) or in the case of an unfortunate incident with broken pipes, water heater, etc.

    Chantal Halle January 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm #
    • I love stacked boxes. They are making them more and more user-friendly now. The options are endless … with compartments, without compartments, for hanging file folders, with lids, without lids, with flap lids, and in many, many colors. There is something for everyone. That’s why I say that an organizational system is really personal. There is no right answer – no perfect system. It’s just a matter of going with the easiest system that you will actually use.

      Gabriella Volpe January 5, 2014 at 9:29 am #