Est. 2011

August 20, 2019

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Life with Littles | Back to School Organization

Ah, Back-to-School season is upon us! Every time I open Instagram, I see more first day of school photos. We’re not officially starting up our homeschool until after Labor Day (we’re hanging onto summer for as long as possible). But that doesn’t mean we’re not getting excited for it and starting to prepare for the transition! We began gearing up for school this week by going through all our school supplies, getting rid of things that no longer serve us well, and picking up some new must-have supplies and organizational pieces from our local Tuesday Morning. Then we emptied out our beloved pie safe and turned it into Homeschool Central.

I’m still figuring out this homeschool thing (and have a feeling I will be for the next 18 years). But that’s one of the best aspects of homeschool: you can “figure out” and tweak and adjust and modify along with the shifting seasons of life, and for the needs of each child.

My think my three main challenges this year (this is said without yet starting, so these challenges may change after we – hopefully – get into a good rhythm) will be:

  1. Figuring out how to homeschool a first grader and pre-ker while also having a 2 year-old toddler and a newborn;
  2. Figuring out nutritional, quick lunches and dinners that allow me to spend less time in the kitchen prepping meals; and
  3. Maintaining order and organization in our tiny home while also cultivating a love for learning and experimentation.

More on challenges #1 and #2 in a future blog post! To help with #3, I’m trying out a new system for organization/order this year (we never really had a system in years past). Zoe and Naomi are so incredibly eager to do all the things and if I allowed them, they would make craft supply mess after school supply mess all day long. So, I’m trying to set up some boundaries regarding school and craft supplies, and within those boundaries, give them lots of freedom. We’ll also be trying to figure out a homeschool rhythm (I say rhythm instead of schedule because schedule implies a rigidity I’d rather not cultivate in our home) that works for our family.

For our new organizational system, we stopped by our local Tuesday Morning and found everything we needed: bins, baskets, caddies, a plethora of new school and craft supplies, and even some treats to enjoy with our afternoon poetry. Thanks to a suggestion on Instagram, I’ve given the girls each a “caddy” for their daily school supplies: pencils, scissors, colored pencils, markers, etc. They’ll be responsible for keeping track of their things and putting them away when they’re done. They won’t be allowed to leave the caddy unattended (we don’t want Jojo wreaking havoc with scissors or markers). They also each have a big bin for their books: textbooks, library books, and workbooks (all the books). The bins are large enough to corral everything they’ll need for the entire year, while not so large that things get lost. I’m hoping that the caddy and the ownership helps the girls take care of their supplies and keep things orderly.

For my books and teacher guides and planner, I found a large metal basket at Tuesday Morning. It’s front and center in Homeschool Central, and will also house our rotating library books (I’ll be trying to get to the library weekly this fall). Then, we have a few other baskets to hold other supplies like our card-making items (Zoe will have a penpal in China this year!), afternoon tea & poetry treats (I try to read poetry in the afternoon a few times per week while the girls drink tea and snack on a treat), and stamp kits. I’ve found that when everything has a designated place, it’s easier to maintain order and for the children to clean up after themselves without too much oversight.

Do you have any tips/tricks for maintaining organization? We’ve all been thoroughly enjoying this transitional time of preparing for Back-to-School.

I loved shopping at Tuesday Morning to help prep for and get excited for going Back-to-School next month. I really appreciate the savings and quality that comes with shopping at Tuesday Morning; and I never know what I’ll find and everything is so unique. I love the treasure hunt, and seeing how much I’m saving by shopping at Tuesday Morning! Check out your local store to see what you can find to help prep for this fun time of year!

If you homeschool, I’m eager to learn how you juggle teaching the older children while not neglecting the younger ones! I’d love to hear some of your go-to easy lunches and dinners (bonus if they’re one-pot or instant-pot recipes). And I’m also super curious how you (whether you homeschool or not) organize craft/school/learning supplies and allow your children access to these things, while also not allowing the house to turn to chaos every moment of every day.

Sponsor Note: Although this post was sponsored by Tuesday Morning, all content, words, and ideas are my own. Thanks for supporting the partnerships that help keep this blog running.

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