Hey everyone, it’s Emily, the girl behind The Susan Morris Team’s home organization division, Organized Chaos! If you’re new here, be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram accounts (@organizedchaosrva) and give us a follow! We share tons of info and inspiration for home organization and we’d love for you to join in on the fun!
Today, with school gearing up to start here soon in RVA, I thought it’d be a great time to share some of my tips on organizing for this new normal of virtual learning. Some of you may have a handle on it at this point since last semester looked similar, but to those felt a little overwhelmed and were constantly looking for a sharpened pencil or glue stick, I’m here to offer some help that will hopefully have you and your kids more organized and prepared for a successful year.
There’s a learning curve for everyone when it comes to this virtual learning business. Most of you aren’t teachers and are still trying to wrap your heads around how to make this work, but I promise that one of the major keys to providing your child with the best start to this time learning at home is proper prep and planning.
Now, I don’t have any kiddos of of my own, but my Mom has been a teacher since I was young, so I’ve had my hand in organizing school supplies and work spaces quite a bit over the years and I have a few tips that I hope will be helpful to you all as you navigate this school year.
Designate a specific space in your home for school.
Choose a place with the least amount of distractions, that has a desk or table for your kids to work quietly. If you have older children, or just one in school, setting up a desk area in their own bedroom is a great solution for independent learning. This keeps your family spaces clear and gives them a private area to focus and get in those Zoom classes without extra background noise.
Of course if you have multiple kids working at once, especially younger ones, one room for all may work better for you. Just be sure to have headphones in a bin nearby for virtual classroom learning.
Start a calendar.
I love a written calendar! I am a true believer that writing things down makes them easier to remember. In a lot of cases, the school provides an agenda for students to keep track of their assignments. However, if that’s not the case, I highly recommend a daily planner to organize your child’s schedule and everyday work. Without a bell or teacher to tell your child when their next class starts, this will be that reminder they’ll need to get to each “class” on time.
If Mom and/or Dad also needs to be on top of things, I recommend a large dry erase wall calendar. Once assignments are completed and turned in, simply erase them and move on to the next. For more than one child, use different marker/pen colors for separation.
Alternative options are a digital calendar, bullet list, or buying a planner for yourself to keep it all handy. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you have some sort of coordinated calendar system.
Organize your supplies.
This will look different for everyone depending on which room you’re working from and what system works best for your preferences. For example, if your school space is a common area in your home, I love a rolling cart to keep all of those supplies in one portable place. Once you’re done with school for the day, simply roll it into a corner or closet until the next day. Organize your supplies by type in the cart and label, label, label!
If you have a dedicated room for homeschooling you could organize items with bins and labels on closet shelves, or in a stationary cube organizing system. You can choose to organize bins by child, class, supply type, etc. If you have multiple kids and you’re working with paper assignments, accordion files are a great way to keep things separated.
For bedroom desk spaces, drawer organizers are perfect for small supplies that aren’t used everyday. For pens, pencils, and everyday items, find an on-the-desk organizer for easy access. Keep subjects together with binders or a filing system in a deeper drawer
Regardless of the space, The goal here is to have any and all supplies in one easy-to-access location.
Clean up at the end of each day.
Have the kids (or you) tidy up and put school away when they’re done. This is where those bins, baskets, file folders, etc. all really come in handy. Not only will an uncluttered area help you to separate school time from normal home life, it will also give everyone a clean slate to start with tomorrow where things are easy to find without Mom or Dad’s help.
I hope these small tips will help ease even a little bit of the stress that comes with all of these recent changes. And remember, you’ve got this!