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How to: Organize learning materials at home

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

"The Times They Are a-Changin'" as Bob Dylan once stated and we all need to support each other with our new "Shelter-in-Place" lives!

I have had several clients contact me during the recent school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ask me, "How do I get my kid's school stuff organized so they can be productive while still allowing me to work from home?"

There is no doubt there has been a big shift to our daily schedules requiring numerous adjustments within our homes and of our family dynamics. Teachers and school districts will soon be sending out curriculums, if they have not done so already, which will guide us during the transition into remote learning so we feel less like we are homeschooling our kids. However, as there was little notice about the transition, it is important to set yourself up properly so that you are able to manage the school assignments. With a few great products and tips, it is possible for everyone to get their work done!

Create a schedule but keep it flexible!

Since I do not have to drop off and pick up kids from school or rush them out of the house to catch the bus, I am letting them sleep in a little later. This provides me with a little extra time to myself in the morning to get a few tasks done before anyone even wakes up!

Here is my "School from Home" or "Distance Learning" schedule:

8:00AM | Breakfast | No TV (unless I have a work meeting)

9:00AM | Log in to computers or school apps and begin working on daily assignments

10:30AM | Free choice and snack

12:00PM | Lunch

1:00PM | Play outside/physical activity

2:00PM | Creative time: Art work, reading, writing

3:00PM | Finish assigned homework or do an activity for the day not school related.

Discuss your work schedule with your children the night before. If you have an important meeting at 8AM which is also the time they are demanding breakfast, figure out the night before what they can make themselves the next morning. Set some time aside to interact with them throughout the day, even if it is just over your lunch break.

If you have time, teach your kids to bus their own dishes, make their beds and pick up after themselves. Now that they are home, they have more time than you do if you're also working from home. It is time they sharpen up on their "life skills!" I will be posting about this next! ;)

Online resources:

There are several great resources online, but the easiest thing to do is Google the topic they are interested in and find teaching resources online.

Here are a few of my favorites:

We have done a variety of projects over the last two weeks: planted seeds, baked bread, learned how to ride a bike, even learned how to clean a bathroom and load a dishwasher! When I asked my children what they wanted to learn about next week they said, "the planets, the Presidents and how to build a rocket!" Thank goodness for the internet and flashcards!

How to: Organize distance learning materials at home

Create a file for each child and categories best fitted for each child.

For example, Lauren is a four year old who is doing take home work such as color by number, coloring pages and practicing writing her name. Category examples for her could be: Incoming Activities, Completed Activities, April, May and June. If the school has specific classes or terms they use that may also help you decide what to label the folders.

Tip: Don't over organize

What does that mean? You don't need to have a completed folder for activities, math and writing for a four year old, one "completed activities" folder is good.

Tip: Avoid organizing "contraptions" For instance, you don't need a marker organizer to organize your markers!

If your child is in middle school or high school and has multiple teachers and subjects it makes sense to have a completed folder for each teacher or specific projects that need to be turned in. Teachers will let you know what method they prefer the finished work to be submitted and if you are unsure, ask them. Remember, they are transitioning to this type of learning too!

Here are my top two essential items for organizing school work:

AmazonBasics File Folders, Letter Size, 1/3 Cut Tab, White, 36-Pack

Horizontal Triple File Folder Organizer

I keep these in my office so my children don't tear through them in the morning and take everything out at once. The night before I read over their lesson plans and lay out their assignments so that in the morning they can decide what they want to work on first.

Another must have which I started using last week, earphones! This was a total game changer and also so simple. My little ones discovered my iTunes account and listened to music for two hours while I conducted virtual consultations with some new clients.

Here is a list of recommended products that I am using in my home. They are all available on Amazon for delivery. Simply click the photo to order!

Bluetooth 5.0 Wireless Earphones with Mic

10-Pack Reusable Dry Erase Pockets 9 x 12 Inches Assorted Neon Colors

EXPO Low Odor Dry Erase Markers, Chisel Tip, Assorted Colors, 8 Pack

AmazonBasics Fine Point Tip Permanent Markers - Assorted Colors, 24-Pack

IRIS Small Modular Supply Case, 10 Pack, Clear

New Apple iPad (10.2-Inch, Wi-Fi, 32GB) - Gold (Latest Model)

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk Deluxe | Perfect for PreK learning!

Want more information or have a specific question? We offer virtual organizing consultations! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @joorganized or contact us for more ideas to keep you organized in your home. Joorganized video series will launch in 2020! xoxo

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