Assuming you’re like most of the other homeschool moms I know personally, you are probably wishing for more storage space, money for the school budget and hands with which to get all your tasks completed. Do those things actually exist for anyone, anyway? Since we are all in this together, I made a list of a few homeschool hacks I’ve found to be helpful in our regular schedule.
Repurpose that old kitchen caddie to hold a school day’s worth of supplies. Each of your angels doesn’t need his or her own huge stash of supplies, so pick what everyone needs and organize it in the caddie. Let it swirl in all of its (I paid too much for this thing to get rid of it) glory.
You know those old CD cases we don’t use anymore? Grab one or two for each of your students. Clean it up from all of the last decade’s worth of dust and adhere some cute nametags to the insides. Also, attach a ribbon which is also attached to a dry erase marker (Or stash a few in the caddie listed above) and you’ve made your kids their own dry erase boards that are small enough for them to manage.
Repurpose stained books. Have you spilled precious coffee on a beloved book? Let it dry in the sun, then stash it in your craft supply bin. You can make some great crafts with the pages of your book.
Do you have a few worksheets that you know you will need multiple copies of? Or perhaps you know you’ll have more than one child complete the sheet? Consider laminating it for future stability and protection. Another idea is to slip that sheet into a plastic page protector, the higher quality protectors are as smooth and nice as a laminated page.
A toy exchange. When your kids (toddlers, especially) become bored with their toy selection, consider trading bins of complete toy sets with a trusted friend. Your kids will feel like they have double the toy choices and you only need to store half the quantity. Be sure to keep up with all of the pieces, but also know that it is likely you may lose a few parts when trading. Don’t trade the kids’ favorites to avoid major heartbreak.
Testing swap. Speaking of trusted friends, ask someone with a background in your style of schooling to administer assessments, evaluations and end of the year tests. This increases your accountability and prevents your kids looking to you for little helps during the test. Be sure your test-giver understands the test itself and your goals of homeschooling.
Consider cooking and baking using the large batch method. Prepare multiple batches of the same meal, dish or dessert and freeze all of the extras. Then, you’ll shop for ingredients and mess up the kitchen only once, while preparing dinner for the next four Mondays! Just about everything can be made and frozen; even basic PBJ’s, biscuit dough discs, and pasta casseroles. Yumm!
Car pool. When you know that another family has signed up for the same extra-curricular class, consider offering to take turns picking up and driving the kids to the class. Besides being neighborly, you will also enjoy the weeks that you don’t have to drive!
Whether we (the very independent homeschool community that we are) like to admit it or not, it truly does take a village to raise a child. We can learn to share ourselves, our stuff and our skills with others in order to make our lives – and the lives of those around us – a little easier. I hope these homeschool hacks make your week a little nicer.
Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.oaksreplanted.blogspot.com.