In this post I am going to show you how to organize your homeschool with Evernote. At the end of this post I am also sharing a free copy of my Trello board which I now use together with Evernote to plan and organizine our homeschool.
When we were in NJ we were lucky to be limited by very little when it came to homeschooling. We did not have to report with portfolios or make our young people take standardized testing. Not having to “prove” that we were learning certain things at certain times, we had a lot of freedom to let them really follow their passions with learning, delve deeply into things they found interesting, and spend as much time on any given subject that they like.
*Update* We have been homeschooing in PA for about 3 years now (and this baby you see below is now 8!) and although I was terrified at first of the requirements (PA is notiriously difficult to homeschool in, especially when you unschool or self-direct like we do.) but after some deep breaths and a lot of research I definitely found a way to keep to our way of homeschooling and still complete the reporting requirements. If you have questions about how to self-direct or unschool in your homeschool, please reach out to me here and I would be happy to get you started. You can also join our Facebook group, You Can Homeschool.
OK, let’s get back to organizing your homeschool with Evernote.
I started using evernote when my oldest son was 3 1/2 – he has been coming up with up with his own exploration ideas since so having somewhere to keep track of it all is super helpful. Some days it’s hard to keep up with all of his ideas! While I didn’t need to keep a portfolio of our work for reporting purposes (and certainly didn’tt need to at this young of an age) I find that I love journaling these moments of our day.
Benefits of journaling your homeschool with evernote:
- Memories! This is one of the biggest reasons for me. It will be so nice to look back and see all of the ways he was growing and exploring from such a young age-for me and well as for my son (S!).
- This does act as a portfolio should you ever find the need for one. While I don’t need one now, I am sure that at some point my son will need some type of documentation for something and it would be nice to have this already at hand then to have to go back through the years and think of everything we have done.
- Having a journal of passions, interests, and projects helps to inspire and keep on track with works in progress, as well as provides a jumping off point for future projects. In Lori Pickard’s book Project-Based Homeschooling, Mentoring the Self-Directed Learner, I found her idea of hanging photos of recent trips and pictures of your young person working on their projects hanging around their workspace to be very helpful. O often looks at pics of things he was doing and is re-inspired to finish something of gets a shoot-off idea from that.
- It’s a great way to keep track of useful resources that you find and use along the way.
Organizing your homeschool
Now, onto how to keep all this stuff in order. I definitely keep paper artwork (some of course, I literally do not have the space for all of it) and other memorabilia from trips, holidays, ext. As far as daily journaling, to be honest, by the time nighttime rolls around and I would have a chance to sit and handwrite in a journal (or type for that matter) I am so tired and have probably forgotten half of what we have done.
The solution? Evernote. Inspired by this post over at City Kids Homeschooling, I decided to give Evernote a try for journaling and documenting our days.
How to use evernote organize your homeschool:
- Create a notebook
- for each new activity I want to document I create a note within that notebook
- We keep it really simple right now. I have one notebook for all of O’s stuff, and notes from all activities we want to record go in there. Later, I may separate into different notebooks as needed. (I have since added a new notebook for my other son)
- In each note I can quickly add in a picture, a few notes, any links we were using, ect.
Using Evernote to organize my homeschool has a lot of benefits. I now use this in combination with Trello for planning- at the bottom of this post you can download a copy of the trello board I created and use it for planning your homeschool. one of the best things about using Evernote for recording is that it really doesn’t interrupt anything we are doing. In just a few quick minutes (or minute) I can jot this stuff down and be on with it. Later, when I want to organize (which I usually do quarterly, or seasonally) I can sync to my computer and organize away when I have time.
So what do you think? Do you already have an organizing system that works for you or are you still looking for your perfect method?
Grab your free copy of the Trello Board I use to plan my homeschool below!
(make a copy once you open it so you have a clean slate to add your items)