Homeschool Planning Tips: How to Get Started and Stay Organized

Homeschooling can be a rewarding experience for both students and their families, though requires planning and organization to be successful. From setting goals, organizing materials, and creating a schedule, there are many considerations that go into creating a structured and effective learning environment at home.

Homeschool Planning Tips: How to Get Started and Stay Organized

Whether you’re new to homeschooling or a seasoned pro, there is always room for improvement and optimization in the learning process. Let’s dive in and explore some clever ways to make the most of your homeschool journey!

Setting Goals and Homeschool Expectations

Setting goals and expectations is an important step in the planning process for homeschooling. By clearly defining what you hope to achieve, you can create a roadmap for success and help your kids (and yourself) stay focused and motivated.

Think of both academic as well as personal goals when making your plan.  Academic goals may include specific subjects or skills that you want your student to master, such as math, reading, or science. Personal goals may include developing important life skills such as leadership, teamwork, or communication.

In addition to setting goals, it is also important to set realistic expectations.  I know we want to do all the things and lofty goals help us strive, though we want to keep things manageable as well. This will help your kids hit milestones, stay on track, and avoid feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. By setting achievable goals and expectations, you can help your student to build confidence and feel a sense of accomplishment as they progress in their learning.

Plan your Homeschool Curriculum and Lessons

Planning your homeschool curriculum and lessons, while daunting, is essential for success. With so many options available, it can feel like an endless rabbit hole once you start looking. Consider your child’s learning style, interests, and goals when evaluating different curriculums.

Also think about how much time and money you are willing to invest in each subject or activity, and allocate your budget accordingly.

Establish a Dedicated Learning Space

Create a dedicated learning space in your home that is quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions. This will help your child focus on their studies and feel more motivated to learn.

When setting up your learning space, consider the needs of your child. If they need more room to spread out their work, make sure you have a desk or table large enough for them to do so. If they need more light, add some task lighting or move the desk closer to a window if you can.

Also, make sure that the space is comfortable and inviting. Add some decorations, artwork, and other items that will make your child feel at home in their learning space. (Check out our classroom decor and wall art for some ideas!)

If you’re homeschooling multiple kids, make sure they have enough space and they’re not disturbing or interrupting each other (as siblings often do.)

Check out some homeschool room ideas on Pinterest for inspiration for the best layout of your space.

Organize Your Homeschool Supplies

Make sure you have all your lessons, homeschool materials, art supplies, etc. organized and ready to go. 

It can be difficult to keep track of all the books, workbooks, school supplies, project materials, and other homeschool resources. To make sure that everything is in its place and easily accessible when needed, it’s important to have a system in place for organizing your curriculum.

Craft bins, color coded folders for different subjects, bookshelves, etc. can help you keep everything in its place AND make sure you can find it when you need it.  Having all the homeschool supplies in the world don’t do much good if you can’t find a pencil or the laptop charger when you need them.

One way to organize your curriculum is by creating a filing system for each subject or topic you are teaching. This could include folders for each subject with dividers for different topics within that subject.  Color coding can help keep things easy to find. You can also create a binder with tabs for each subject or topic and store all relevant materials in there. Check out our printable homeschool planner to help keep you organized.

Additionally, you can use labels on shelves, bins, or drawers to help keep things organized and easy to find. Having a designated area where all the materials related to homeschooling are stored will help ensure that everything is kept together and easily accessible when needed.

Finally, establish a routine for using the space. Set aside specific times of day when your child should be working in their dedicated learning space and stick to it. This will help them stay focused and organized while they are studying.

Managing Time and Prioritizing Tasks

Effective time management and task prioritization are vital for success in homeschooling.  Having a well planned schedule helps both teacher and student stay on track and stay accountable.

Start by making a list of all the tasks that need to be completed each day. This should include lessons, activities, projects, and any other tasks related to homeschooling. Once you have your list, prioritize each task according by importance and urgency. This will help you determine which tasks should be completed first and which can wait.

In addition to these strategies, it is also important to encourage self-motivation and self-direction. A little but of autonomy can go a long way towards kids taking ownership of their learning and developing  time management and self-discipline. By providing guidance and support, parents can help students to develop these important skills and become more self-sufficient in their learning.

Create a Homeschool Schedule

Once you know what you need to cover and what tasks are most important, you want to make sure you have a structure to get it all done.

While homeschooling can provide a great deal of flexibility, but it’s important to establish a regular schedule for educational activities. This will help keep everyone on track and ensure that you have enough time to cover all necessary material.  Decide when classes will take place, how long they will last, what homeschool activities you’re planning and when, etc.

One way to manage time and prioritize tasks is to schedule blocks for different subjects and activities.  Planning out chunks of time so you know what you’re covering on a weekly and daily basis is critical to homeschool organization.  

This can help students to visualize their responsibilities and prioritize their time accordingly. For example, a student may have dedicated blocks for math, language arts, and science, with additional time set aside for extracurricular activities or projects.

In addition to time blocking, prioritizing tasks helps get things done.  A simple whit board to-do list may be sufficient, or you can step things up with a planner.

Stay Organized with a Homeschool Planner

One way to stay organized is to use a planner or to-do list. You and your kids can track progress and stay organized, as well as to identify and prioritize important tasks. For example, a you may use a planner to mark deadlines for assignments, tests, and projects, or to schedule time for review and practice.

Homeschool Planner Printable

We have a printable homeschool planner that can help you plan your monthly, weekly, and daily tasks as well as your academic plans, homework, reading, scores, grading, etc.   This planner is undated, so you can save money and use it year after year.

You could also use a digital planner or calendar app if you’re looking to cut down on paper or save some costs.  (also check out our post on saving money for homeschool parents.)

Break up the Daily Schedule and Plan for Some Downtime

It’s important to include breaks and downtime in your homeschooling schedule to allow your child to rest, relax, and recharge. This can help prevent burnout and increase overall enjoyment of the homeschooling experience.

Having the flexibility to structure your homeschool day is one of the perks.  Plan a fun activity after a hard lesson to break things up.  Plan hands-on activities after they’ve been sitting and reading or studying to get them moving and break up the day.

Stay Flexible

One you set your plan and schedule, homeschooling doesn’t have to be inflexible or rigid.  As you’re going through, you may find some tasks or topics take extra time or may move quicker than you had anticipated.  That’s okay.

Be open to making adjustments to your plan as needed and don’t be afraid to try new things or switch things up if something isn’t working.  Everyone learns differently, and you’ll find what works best for your kid(s.) Figuring out and adapting to your kid’s learning style may involve some trial and error.

 You can make adjustments to your daily plan as you find what works best (and what doesn’t.)

Build a Support Network

Homeschooling can be challenging at times, and it’s important to have a support network in place to help you through the ups and downs.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about how to proceed, don’t be afraid to seek support from other homeschooling families, educators, or online resources.  Consider joining (or starting!) a local homeschooling group or connecting with other homeschool families online to share resources and get advice.  

Legal Forms and Planning for Homeschool

If you’re eager to get started on your Homeschooling journey, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. As much as you may want to dive in and do all the things, you need to make sure you’re doing the RIGHT things.

There are legal aspects involved in homeschooling that you need to make part of your plan. Make sure you’re following approved curriculum and necessary guidelines.

You can find a state by state breakdown of laws at Time 4 Learning to get you started.

Home Education Legal Documentation Tips

The law requires parents to provide proof that their child is receiving proper instruction. This includes academic testing, attendance records, etc.

If you’ve been homeschooling for awhile, chances are you already have lots of documents related to your family’s education. But if you haven’t kept track of things like test scores, report cards, etc., now might be a good time to start doing so. Make sure you have copies of everything you need in case anything happens to your originals.

It may be beneficial to scan your documents to pdf and store them locally and online storage like Google Drive or One Drive to have a backup. We’d recommend a folder for each student, with a folder for each academic year. If you want to break it down further and create a subfolder for each subject, you can do that as well.

Check With School Districts Before Making Changes

Before making any major changes to your homeschool, check with the local school district to see whether there are any requirements for homeschooled students. For example, many districts require homeschoolers to take standardized tests every few months. Some schools may offer free tutoring to help homeschoolers catch up if needed.

Final Thoughts – Homeschool Organization Tips

Homeschooling can be a daunting task, but with the right organization and planning tips, it can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your children. Planning your homeschool curriculum, setting goals, preparing your homeschool space, and creating a schedule should be key elements in your homeschool plans.  

We hope these favorite homeschool organization ideas help you set up for success! If you’re on a budget or cash conscious, don’t miss our post on Money Saving Tips for Homeschool!


Howie Miller is as dedicated to fatherhood as he is to life long learning. Musician, Photographer, Educator, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Blogger, and founder of STEMtropolis, where you can share his adventures in STEM and STEAM with his family.

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