By the very nature of a blended learning program, where the three components of face-to-face, virtual, and independent learning are combined to create a comprehensive educational experience, HTA students will spend more time in their home learning spaces than in their respective Learning Centers. The home learning space should be conducive to focused learning, both virtually and independently. Creating an organized space, where there is a place for everything and everything has its place, is easier than you might think - and HTA is here to help with tips for organizing your home learning supplies and materials.
Though HTA does not require families to provide an extensive list of school supplies to the individual classrooms at the beginning of each year, don’t ignore those early school supply sales just yet! The standard items like scissors, pens, pencils, crayons, etc. are all essential supplies for your home learning space. Since a significant proportion of learning will take place in the home learning space, that space becomes a classroom of sorts, complete with lined paper, workbooks, and plenty of glue sticks for the little ones! So how does one organize all of the supplies - not to mention the books and materials that are shipped to complete assignments and experiments? Check out these ideas:
Organizing Books and Workbooks:
- If space permits, consider a cubby for each child. The cubby can be as simple as a grocery crate or as ornate as a large armoire with a decorative basket for each child’s books.
- If space is at a premium, consider DIY seat sacks. A large piece of material and a bit of craftiness are all you need to create these functional book holders that hang on the back of your child’s desk or table seating.
- If you prefer to put “school” away at the end of each work day, consider an inexpensive rolling cart for each child. A simple plastic 3-drawer bin on wheels may be found at any local department store.
- Book shelves, of course, are always an option for storing books and workbooks in an orderly way.
- Old fashioned lift-top desks may be a great place to store books and workbooks if space is limited. A desk like this one is cute and easily assembled, with the added benefit of an adorable chalkboard writing surface!
Organizing Supplies and Manipulatives:
- Remember those over the door shoe hangers, these provide the perfect 12-pocket (or more) storage option for many of your school supplies. The clear, see-through pockets make the supplies easily visible and accessible for older and younger students alike. Consider storing those supplies frequently used by your youngest students in the lowest pockets!
- For the craftier among us, consider decorative, labeled mason jars or cans on a tabletop Lazy Susan.
- For larger science supplies and math manipulatives, consider labeled shoeboxes or rubbermaids on the top shelf of a closet. These will keep the supplies organized, but out of reach of those little hands who may mistake these important educational supplies for everyday toys.
- For an inexpensive alternative to purchasing storage containers, consider saving or collecting empty baby wipes containers. They serve the same purpose with no cost attached!
- If keeping supplies out of sight after “school hours” is important to your family, consider a shower caddy filled with necessary supplies. Keep the caddy on a shelf in your linen closet and pull it out as needed.
The ideas for storage are endless. It matters less HOW you choose to store books and supplies. It matters more that you choose a method that works for you.
Remember, an organized home learning space is a functional one. If you have any ideas, add them to the comments. Sharing ideas with members of the HTA Ohana leads to greater success as an HTA community!
Director of Communications