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Organizing Art, Once and For All

In this short little post, I want to show you my system for organizing art as a homeschool community art teacher. I’ll walk you through my process including picking out projects, preparing for Tutor Meetings, and grabbing needed supplies on community day.

You can listen to an audio version of this blog post at the Ridge Light Ranch podcast called Anyone Can Teach Art. (6:46)


I start by reviewing the concepts for the next 6 weeks of projects and determining what we’ll be doing. I love looking around Pinterest for ideas, but I try not to spend too much time in that rabbit hole. For the first six weeks, drawing, I feel like there’s a lot more flexibility in what the projects will be, so it takes me a little more time.


Once I decide on the projects, I create a Master Art Document (shown above) that lists the project, supplies, and a short description for all six weeks. I put supplies that I, the director, will bring in one color font and the supplies that the tutors will find in their director-supplied-classroom-bins in another color font. (Although, I’m both the Director and one of the Tutors this year.) The supplies I’m bringing are the shared items. I find it’s always a balance between quantity and quality when looking at art supplies. If I can get a bunch of something cheep and the classes don’t have to share, great! However, if the quality is going to suffer too much I’d rather just get one set and share between the three classes.

Organizing CC Art Supplies

I put this Master Art Document at the front of a three-ring binder just for art. The binder has all six weeks of art in it so I don’t have to mess with it each week. There’s a tab for each week. Behind each tab I have an explanation of the art project and a sample. I use high capacity page protectors in the binder to put 30 copies of any reference images, sheets or papers that will be needed in class. I put the smaller half sheets of paper in ziplock baggies labeled with the week number, so they’re easy to find each week.

Tutor Meeting

I print each tutor a copy of the Master Art Document.  We look through the binder at the six week tutor meeting but I don’t provide copies of it all yet because each tutor may decide to do a different project. I do however, put it all in a DropBox and give my tutors access to it so they can look through it again or print it prior to community day and know what will be in the binder.

During our six week tutor meeting, I try to actually DO as many of the art projects as possible. I think this physical practice helps give the tutors a lot more confidence.  This is also when they get to double check that the supplies I said I put in their bin are actually in their bins! I’m a big fan of us all double checking each other!

Organizing art supplies

Speaking of Tutor Bins, I use a nice tub with a handle (it’s about 12 x 9 x 8 inches) for each tutor. (It was what was on sale when I went looking a few years ago). I purchased a bunch of $1 pencil pouches and put everything in them

As we go through the project, I find I usually need to make myself a few notes on things I need to change or additional supplies I need to buy. I pencil those notes right on to my master art document and follow up on them right away.

Community Day

Supplies for community day

The day before community day, I look at my master art document and move any supplies I said I’d bring into my bag (a standard $2 grocery bag).  It usually fits all the science and art supplies. There’s usually still room for whatever Directer stuff I’m bringing for opening meeting too.

Binder to organize art supplies

The binder also has a rotation schedule written out on the front so any mom can help move supplies between classrooms.

I’ve found this is the least stressful way I can prep and still keep supply costs low.

That’s it! I’d LOVE to see how you organize your supplies! Comment here and/or post a photo tagged @ridgelightranch on facebook, instagram, or twitter!

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