I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Color-Coded Supply Bag for Co-op Mornings

Co-op Morning Organization with a color-coded supply bag {The Unlikely Homeschool}

A typical co-op morning for us is a frantic rush to find shoes, clean up from breakfast, find shoes, make sure everyone is wearing clean clothes, find shoes, and gather the needed supplies for that particular co-op morning...oh, and FIND SHOES!

A few months ago, I came across this pin on Pinterest and nearly began singing the Hallelujah chorus out loud...OK, so maybe I did hum a few bars, but only loud enough for the neighbor to hear!

Up until this year, I have always carried a simple bag back and forth to our co-op meetings. I've always kept our geography binders in the bag, never unpacking them once we came home. BUUUUUT...everything else...all the school and craft supplies that were required for co-op mornings...constantly had to be packed and unpacked each time. Whatever crayons and markers were needed for co-op mornings were also needed for regular school days.

Co-op Morning Organization with a color-coded supply bag {The Unlikely Homeschool}

And then, I saw the pin, and a LIGHTBULB TURNED ON!  

Why didn't I just apply the "binders stay packed in the bag" principle to everything else we used for co-op? Then I'd at least be eliminating some of the frantic chaos of co-op mornings. I'd have the peace of mind in knowing that everything we need is already accounted for and neatly organized in a Co-op Bag...or at least, in theory!

Co-op Morning Organization with a color-coded supply bag {The Unlikely Homeschool}

Since purchasing our vintage library table for the dining room, we no longer have room for our color-coded pencil boxes to hold our home school supplies. Our supplies have been grouped together in drawers in our school hutch and the boxes have been collecting dust in a cupboard.

So, I cleaned them up, outfitted them with brand new school supplies in the appropriate colors, and packed them neatly in my old 31 Bag that has tons of pockets to hold water bottles and baby supplies.

We are mixin' things up a bit in co-op this year and will be offering a class for two different age groups. So, my two oldest kids will be heading off in one direction and my two middle boys will be going in the other. They'll each be able to take a pencil box to his/her class and have everything that is needed for the planned assignments.

Now, if I could just color-code all of our shoes....

Got any tips to organize co-op mornings?  I'd love to hear about them!


  1. I totally understand the shoe problem. We were once on our way to church and found out one of the kids didn't even have a pair of shoes on or once we have arrived at our destination and one of the kids was wearing the completely wrong shoes.

    Great tip for be ready on those busy mornings.

  2. Besides having co-op supplies separate from regular day school supplies, I swear by freezer breakfasts/meals. Making my own uncrustables to toss into our bag with some pre-baggied carrots and jar of dip and whatnot eases my morning (I'm pretty much allergic to mornings). As well as having easy-to-heat breakfasts ready to go in the fridge. My 9yo can heat up/serve breakfast to everybody while I'm in the shower. So lovely. :)

    As for the shoe thing... we've gotten mean in my house over the years. We now have a Trofast shelf unit from Ikea in the living room. Each child has a bucket for them to put their shoes in, and it's their responsibility to make sure their shoes get to their bucket. Makes the shoe searches not as horrific, at least part of the time.

    1. Yep. We have a similar shoe policy. It's the baby who finds them and drags them about most of the time. He'll outgrow it in time.

  3. I do the same type of thing for some of our supplies

  4. The shoe problem hits everyone. ;-) I had a daycare that required me to manage 6 kids, all under the age of 5. I put 3-drawer bins in my coat closet and put their names on the fronts of the drawers. They walked in the door and put all of their things in the drawer and I could always find it. Another tip (since I was condensing all of the shoes in one place) is to put your favorite dryer sheet in the bottom of each drawer and one on the top shelf. I got the added bonus of always feeling like my laundry was done! ;-)
    Great idea for co-op. You can use that concept for going out to restaurants/family outtings, too! Love it!

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