Top 10 Homeschool Hacks
Are you a bit intimidated to dive into the homeschool life?
Looking for some super awesome homeschool hacks to help you create the homeschool of your dreams?
Or at least keep you from miserably failing?
You’re in luck!
I decided to take all of my best homeschool hacks, tips, and tricks from this blog and put them in one place!
These are my top 10 homeschool hacks that I would share with my best friend over coffee if she were about to start homeschooling.
These are also the things that I credit with any and all of the success I have had as a homeschool mom.
So grab a cup of coffee and let me spill all of my homeschool secrets!
They are simple and practical – but they will make an amazing difference in your homeschool year.
10 Best Homeschool Hacks – Simple and Easy!
1.Use Page Tabs for Everything
Page Tabs are the homeschool mom’s best friend.
I use them to mark our place in workbooks, teacher manuals, read aloud books, and textbooks.
Basically, everything I use for homeschooling.
Kids lose interest sooooooooooo fast. If it takes me 10 extra seconds to find the place where we left off, their minds have already traveled to something else.
I can actually feel the energy in the room being sucked out when this happens.
Page tabs help me flip to the right spot.every.time.
They are repositionable and take a ton of abuse. I actually just took the tabs out of last year’s books and put them in our current curriculum – and they are working perfectly!
2. Mini Dry Erase Boards
I only discovered the homeschool hack of mini dry erase boards just last year!
They are a super fun way to keep your kids engaged. I mean who doesn’t love writing on the board in markers (no worries, some genius invented washable dry erase markers)?!
It saves me from wasting mountains of scrap paper and it helps me homeschool in just about any room in our house.
We are super fans!
You can check out more of the benefits of mini whiteboards and the ones I like the best here – My New Favorite Homeschool Hack.
3. Tape Your Markers Together
My first year of homeschool, I literally hated markers.
I kept finding random caps and dried out markers rooms away from each other.
No matter how I tried to enforce it, we just couldn’t keep the marker and the caps together.
I stumbled onto this genius hack and we have literally been able to keep the SAME markers for over a year!
That is amazing! Especially considering I have three girls who color and do art regularly.
What is the secret homeschool hack?
All I do is line up the markers together on a table as if they were in the box. Then I tape the lids together with masking tape.
The clump of lids taped together makes it near impossible for a to lid disappear. My kids can easily see how many markers are missing and get them back to where they belong.
It’s pretty much homeschool magic to a frustrated mom of elementary school kids, you guys.
4. Use A Clear School Supplies Organizer
I only had one child to teach my first year of homeschooling, so I used a pencil pouch and actually tried to keep the art supplies in the boxes they came in.
The scissors and glue were always in random spots away from toddler fingers…and sometimes away from my fingers because I couldn’t remember where I hid them.
When my kids got older, I quickly saw that the pencil pouches were not going to cut it.
So, I graduated to 2 large clear homeschool supply organizers.
And they changed my homeschool mom life!
Now my kids could all easily see and share their supplies.
No more dumping out entire pencil pouches to find the thing they were looking for.
No more dumping out all the crayons to find the perfect color – only to try and cram them all back into the box.
No more wondering where in the world the hole puncher, glue, and scissors went.
It’s all right there!
Oh, and the handles are great for quickly moving everything to any room in the house.
Interested in my other homeschool must haves? Check out 5 Homeschool Room Essentials
5. Figure Out Your Homeschool Mom Uniform
In my pre-homeschooling life, I was an RN and then I was in the army (believe it or not). Both jobs had a non-negotiable uniform that I got very used to.
Getting ready in the morning was a mindless activity.
When I started homeschooling, I noticed that I tended to stay in my PJs much longer into the morning (okay, sometimes the afternoon too). I wasn’t going anywhere, so I didn’t see any reason to put on “real clothes.”
Well, that started to present some drawbacks….such as loss of self respect, total panic when the doorbell rang, my kids thinking I was a bag lady, and my husband wondering if maybe this was some sign of depression.
Nope, just laziness.
I was watching my husband get ready for work one day (he also wears a uniform), and I realized I needed to come up with a homeschool mom uniform!
Now I wear “real clothes” that I can open the front door in, but I’m still super comfy and relaxed.
5 pairs of black leggings and some colorful tunic tops are your friends, Homeschool Mama!
Again, this was such a big deal that I wrote a separate post about it – You can check out more about my homeschool uniform and what I wear every day.
6. Use Alexa!
Most families these days have an Alexa, but they have almost no idea what it is capable of!
New skills are being added all the time and they can make your homeschool mom life so much easier!
You can use it for a timer, to help your kid spell a word they don’t know, to answer a science question you’re talking about, or to play classical music when the house needs some background noise.
Your kids can use it every day to check the weather for a weather graph they are making or to check up on current events.
Yay, you probably knew about all that already, right?
Did you know that Alexa has free games to help your kids with math, language arts, and reading comprehension?
That is just the beginning!
Alexa can also help with things like state capitals and science!
To leverage Alexa for your homeschool success and find out all of the commands, check out Alexa Skills to Rock Your Homeschool.
7. Rewards Charts
Do you want to have self motivated, happily engaged, hardworking homeschool kids?
You need a rewards chart!
Using a chart to track every completed day of school is a great way to guarantee positive, productive homeschool days.
At the end of every school day, my kids delight in putting a fun sticker on their chart to show that they have completed their work!
When they get 5 stickers in a row, they earn a small prize – they love it!
It is amazing to see how providing a short term reward results in long term homeschool success!
You can download my free rewards chart and see exactly how I use it here – How to Motivate Your Homeschooler
8. Use “Morning Time” To Batch Subjects
If you are homeschooling more than one kid, you will quickly find that it can be quite the balancing act.
In order to save time, energy, and your sanity, batching subjects is an absolute must!
I choose to bring everybody together for what we call “Morning Time.”
Even though my kids are all in different grades, we can still do Bible, Literature (read aloud books), History, Art, P.E., Music, Science, and Chore time (yes, that’s a thing) together.
I sometimes have my older kid do extra writing or reading, but for the most part, you can absolutely batch these subjects in the elementary school years.
It saves me time, but also helps us feel so much more like a school instead of one-on-one tutoring.
My kids love doing things together and everybody is included!
Want to know more about how to handle multiple ages?
Check out – How to Balance Multiple Ages in Your Homeschool
9. Prep the Night Before
It takes me less than 10 minutes to prep my lessons the night before, and it is probably the most important thing I do for my homeschool.
When we all get up for the day, the homeschool day is already on autopilot for me.
The Morning Time books are stacked up on the coffee table, I just have to sit down with my kids and start reading them.
The papers are pulled/printed/photocopied and in their prepped folders.
My kids can look at our whiteboard and quickly see what they need to do for the day.
I just have to go through the motions with them and execute my lesson plans.
If I waited to do all this the morning of school, I know that we would have a much slower, later start.
I would be a much less consistent homeschooler and we would get a lot less done.
I also think my kids would see me as a lot less organized and serious about homeschooling.
Definitely make it a priority to prep the night before – it can make all the difference in how your homeschool day turns out!
Need some help with getting your homeschool morning on track?
Check out my #1 Homeschool Morning Hack for Tired Moms
10. Teach Chores as Life Skills
If you thought your house was hard to keep clean before homeschooling, you haven’t seen anything yet!
Homeschooling with all of its books, papers, pencils, art supply mess, and snack time crumbs will definitely challenge anyone’s housekeeping skills.
Trying to do it on your own will lead to burnout and resentment – you need your kids to help!
Put your kids to work helping you around the house!
I know this can be very difficult to keep up with and be consistent. When we are tired and done with the day, it is so much easier to just do it ourselves.
The trick here is not to wait till the end of the day!
Chores or “Life Skills” is a subject you teach right alongside reading and math!
All my kids know they have to complete their assigned chores every day in order to be done with school. That also means I have to set aside time to teach them how to do things like fold laundry, empty trashcans, clean baseboards, and wipe down sinks.
Life Skills is a hack that has helped tremendously with keeping our house presentable and me from going crazy. My kids will actually follow me around the house asking, “What is my chore today?!”
They know it has to be done, so they want to get going with it to get that rewards chart sticker!
Happy homeschool mom – happy homeschool kids – happy homeschool life!
Want to know more about how to keep a clean house while homeschooling?
Check out 10 Best Tools to Help You Clean Your House Faster (So You Can Homeschool On)
And One More Homeschool Hack: Visually Display Your Schedule Every Day
I know I said the top 10 homeschool hacks…but I just had to add this last one!
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I am just about obsessed with displaying routine cards in my homeschool room.
They are my #1 homeschool hack by about a mile.
What are they and how do they work?
Each of my kids has a section of our whiteboard where their subjects for the day are displayed on individual cards. As they complete each subject, they turn over the card.
When all the cards are turned over, they are done with school for the day.
This helps significantly with keeping us organized and productive.
The cards keep each kid accountable with what needs to be done that day.
They are motivated to do their work and turn over their cards because they can see a clear “finish line” for the day.
My kids never ask me, “Are we done yet?!” because they can clearly see the answer on the whiteboard!
It also helps me to see what needs to be done without having to remember (ha!) or flip through teacher manuals to check.
You can read more about my routine card obsession here – A Homeschool Routine Strategy Your Kids Will Love
Recap Homeschool Hacks + Free Printable!
There are hacks for just about everything these days, and homeschooling is definitely not the exception.
There are so many things you can to make your homeschool day easier and more fun – for all of you!
The longer you homeschool, the more hacks you will discover on your own that work for your kids and your family.
If you already have some, I’d love for you to share!
Just drop a comment below!
Interested in getting your hands on some of those routine cards?
You can download your own set of my routine cards today!
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Want to hold onto all this info for later? I totally get it. Just pin this post to your favorite Pinterest Board and share with your homeschool friends and followers!