Homeschooling and storage needs go hand in hand. And depending on your state laws, keeping some sort of homeschool records is a necessity. In our state we aren’t required to keep student work, however we are required to keep annual record of our attendance and hours for each student.

So how do I store and organize everything?

Some simple banker boxes, heavy duty rubber bands, and sharpies can go along way in saving your sanity with all of the storage needs that homeschooling can bring on!

I have three main storage needs for long term. Administrative records, student work (not required, but I keep it anyway), and curriculum. Right now I’m using Bankers Boxes as my long term storage organization solution.

Administrative Records:

I keep all of my annual school records in 1” 3-ring binders. In these binders I keep receipts, lesson plans, and any other legal forms required for each year such as a Notice of Intent to homeschool, Standardized Test Results for that year, a list of curriculum used, attendance, and hours for the year. To see a more detailed view of the inside of my yearly binder, visit my homeschool storage and record keeping post.

During the year I keep this binder handy in our school room so I can easily add any forms, receipts, etc. that we accumulate during the year.

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Once the year is over I bring my completed binder down and add it to a banker box containing my records from previous years. That box is stored on a shelving unit in our basement. That way these documents are easily accessible and easily found in the craziness that can ensue a basement. These would also be the binders that might be required by the state so I definitely want to keep these organized and easily accessible.

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Student Work: During the year, I keep student work in a 3” 3-ring binder that is kept in our school room for easy access. As work is completed I add it to the binder which is organized by subject. (See my homeschool storage and record keeping post for more details on the student work binder.)

Once the year is completed, I remove all of the work for that year from the student work binder and secure it in a bundle using heavy duty rubber bands. I also take the binder spine label out and secure it to the front of the bundle so I can easily tell what year that bundle covers. I also write the grade level  on the front of the box as I add to it each year so I know what is included in that box.

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I then add the yearly bundle of work to a banker’s box for that student. Each student has their own box, or boxes depending on amount of work so that it will be easy to find if the need should arise. If I end up keeping it forever I can also pass the boxes onto the kiddos once they are grown. That way they can be in charge of disposing of the materials since their mama can’t seem to bare to part with it.  As you can see this box contains 5 years worth of student work for Strawberry Shortcake.

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Curriculum:

I also store any unused curriculum in the banker boxes as well. I’ve just found that these boxes are a nice size for books and also sturdy enough to handle the load.

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I store curriculum by subject, and then in grade order inside the box. So for example our math curriculum box has all of the curriculum we use for math Kindergarten through our current grade. Keeping the boxes sorted by Curriculum allows me to easily grab the grade level as needed or see that we don’t have that grade level and I can then order it for our upcoming year.

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I am really preferring to sort curriculum by subject. I used to keep things sorted by grade, but then some things don’t work so well like that, and I found that I couldn’t find things, or might duplicate purchasing something. Now it is much easier to see what I already have for a certain subject, and what I might need to get as well.

 

Homeschool Storage Area:

In our basement, I have a metal storage rack from Target and I keep all of my banker boxes on it. Nothing else goes in this area except for school items. Normally I’d say I keep the shelves more organized with student work on one shelf then curriculum on one, etc., but since we’re planning to move I’ve recently cleaned this area out and put them back randomly so, yeah, it’s not quite in order. But since the boxes are all well labeled it’s no problem to find what I’m looking for.

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So that is how we tackle long term homeschool storage. It’s nothing fancy, but it works well and definitely makes the clutter a bit easier to manage, find things when needed, and is a fairly easy system to keep up with.

Have some homeschool organization tips you’d like to share? Make sure to leave a comment below so others can benefit from your experience!

34 Comments

  1. Hi! I wanted to just add that I think the stuff you put up is awesome and so very helpful! I have four children – but the first two are 14 and 13 (19 1/2 months apart), my younger two are 4 and 2! I am an organizer myself, but our basement is damp and hubby doesn’t like to run the dehumidifier too often, so I can’t store anything that can’t be wiped off down there. I have to use an extra closet in our bedroom (we only have three to begin with, 2 in our bedroom – the small one was there, the normal one we put in, and the third one, for linens +, we also made that one). Most of the stuff is either stored around the house or in the attic. I have two banker boxes for my older two. They were public schooled until four years ago, so I would keep their best work from each school year. I started to do the same with homeschooling. I have to say, I would like to just throw all the papers in a folder and store, but I think about when they are grown – my dd13 may enjoy going through some of it, but ds14 wouldn’t… when I have them pick out their best work or things they really liked – he throws it all away! I’ve had to tell him, put the ones in with your highest grades and neatest writing! 🙂 I visit your site many times for printables and tips! Thanks so much!! All of your hard work and creativity is such a blessing and a help for a busy mom! 🙂

    Jennifer
  2. Forgot to add a tip! In my home, with so many and such a span, I find that I need to be as pre-planned as I can be! I tried, and finally go to, make copies of every page from certain books for my older two. I do not have them write in the workbooks, for me it’s a money saver (in most cases). Since I am using much of the same curriculum for each of my older two, and most likely most of it for the younger two. Once I finally got all of that copying done last year it was so nice! I also have folders in my filing cabinet set up, one for each week of school. I placed the papers that would be for each week in them (we use My Father’s World, so the papers from them are labeled the day of the week and which week they go in). For their math and lang. arts I had a file folder behind the weeks labeled math and lang. arts. I placed all of the copies in them, that way they, or I, could pull as needed. My ds14 works much faster than dd13. This year I plan to continue doing the same for the big kids. The little ones I’m using MFW Kindergarten. I’m planning to let the little one tag along (she’ll be 3 in Dec.) she loves to tag along anyway. So I’ve got preschool type activities planned to go with the themes for each week. I have those in zip lock baggies (gallon and 2 gallon size). I did this because I have little things for the themes and I wanted them altogether! I also make lists of things I need/want to do, so I can see it all on paper (which helps me to keep focused and not to overwhelm myself). I do have a blog, but have not been on to update in a few months. I’m still trying to figure out when to schedule that in. I did read on one of your posts, you schedule, but it was older. I’m wondering, do you still use that? I did like the way you scheduled in your time for doing the planning and prepping. Now that your children are older, I’m wondering how much of that has changed? 🙂

    Jennifer
  3. Forgot to add a tip! In my home, with so many and such a span, I find that I need to pre-plan and prep as much as possible! I tried, and finally go to, make copies of every page from certain books for my older two. I do not have them write in the workbooks, for me it’s a money saver (in most cases). Since I am using much of the same curriculum for each of my older two, and most likely most of it for the younger two. Once I finally got all of that copying done last year it was so nice! I also have folders in my filing cabinet set up, one for each week of school. I placed the papers that would be for each week in them (we use My Father’s World, so the papers from them are labeled the day of the week and which week they go in). For their math and lang. arts I had a file folder behind the weeks labeled math and lang. arts. I placed all of the copies in them, that way they, or I, could pull as needed. My ds14 works much faster than dd13. This year I plan to continue doing the same for the big kids. The little ones I’m using MFW Kindergarten. I’m planning to let the little one tag along (she’ll be 3 in Dec.) she loves to tag along anyway. So I’ve got preschool type activities planned to go with the themes for each week. I have those in zip lock baggies (gallon and 2 gallon size). I did this because I have little things for the themes and I wanted them altogether! I also make lists of things I need/want to do, so I can see it all on paper (which helps me to keep focused and not to overwhelm myself). I do have a blog, but have not been on to update in a few months. I’m still trying to figure out when to schedule that in. I did read on one of your posts, you schedule, but it was older. I’m wondering, do you still use that? I did like the way you scheduled in your time for doing the planning and prepping. Now that your children are older, I’m wondering how much of that has changed? 🙂

    Jennifer
  4. These are great ideas. I always wonder why I didn’t think of things! I have an enormous amount of binders clogging up every crack of storage space, and it’s getting hard to deal with them. I love the idea of taking them out and rubberbanding them together. I also like the banker’s boxes, as they are neat and clean looking and stack well. Thanks, Erica!

  5. Salutations All,

    Im getting ready to homeschool my child for the very first time she will be starting in August and will be coursing the first grade. She has been in a private Christian bilingual school since pre-k but I decided she should home school the next semester because my husband just enlisted in the military and we are waiting on orders for us to move. Since we have no idea on when we will be moving I really wasn’t a fan of paying her enrollment fee, since like a mentioned we have no idea when we would be moving and having to pay for books, uniforms, monthly fees ext in a way to me makes no sense. I also feel that it would be a great opportunity to strengthen her english before we move state side.

    I just wanted to know whats your opinion on saving all school work on pdf files online on drop box or icloud.

    Im already organizing her curriculum and most of her work will be done on her ipad. I have purchased her books in pdf. The reason why is that I find it to be more eco friendly. The only thing that she will have hard copy is her english and spanish class workbooks and of course art but Im still considering scanning it all and saving the pdf files at the end of her school year. We are currently in Puerto Rico so mainly everything is very flexible and there are not many regulations for homeschooling, the only thing that Im required to do is to give similar curriculum and same days and class hours.

    Thank you all so much for reading and any opinions comments or suggestions will be much obliged.

    Sanja
  6. Your organizational skills are impressive!

    My state only requires a notice of intent to homeschool and yearly testing.

    I keep a spiral notebook with what we used. Nearly all my curriculum comes from free printables — sometimes a worksheet here and there, other times entire textbooks — yard sales / thrift stores, library books / dvds and hand-me-downs from friends with older kids. So since I pretty much piece it together, I like having a list of what resources we used. At first I thought a 70-page notebook was a bit extreme, but when you’re factoring in educational dvds, youtube clips, sometimes up to four different books for one subject (we don’t do every lesson out of every book, but if my kiddo runs into a concept that’s difficult for her to get, its very nice to have plenty of practice material ready to go), etc it adds up pretty quickly. Also because I’m slightly OCD and want the list to be by subject, but can’t stand sloppy cramming something in we began using mid-year, l split up the notebook into different sections giving myself ample room to add on….I currently have bible, math, social studies, science, language arts (which is technically split into 4 separate lists for: reading, writing, grammar and spelling) and PE which is usually a list of the sports she played.

    I also have a 1″ binder that I keep our work log in. Just a table with the various subjects in each grid so I can fill in what got done that day, each page has two days worth of logs. This doubles as our attendance record.

    I have another binder that I keep records in (her public school records, notices of intent to homeschool, report cards — which my daughter never sees or asks about, I simply assess her on the same 4 point grading scale public schools use a few times a year in case I ever transfer her back to public school, and annual test results.

    Daily work gets kept for maybe a week. Then most of it gets tossed. I may rethink that at some point just in case anyone ever wants proof she’s doing school work. As it is now, while annual testing is required, I don’t have to submit scores and I’ve never heard of anyone I know personally being asked to produce them. I’m definitely not hanging on to things I’m not required to keep.

    Janice

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