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A Weekly Home-Ed Folder

Assigning homeschoolers a weekly home-ed folder is a good way to give flexibility and choice to home learners while making sure the schoolwork you (parent-teacher) have assigned for the week, is completed.

What is a weekly home-ed folder?

A personal folder for each homeschooler that contains all schoolwork that must be completed INDEPENDENTLY by the home-learner. The parent-teacher fills the folder; the home-learner has until the end of the week to complete it.

Why are weekly folders useful for homeschooling?

One of the biggest skills students can learn is to manage their time and take control of their own learning paths. By assigning schoolwork to homeschoolers in bulk at the beginning of the week, the choice of when they complete what is left up to them.

In practice: We schedule periods of the day as ‘folder work time’. Similar to the idea of prep time used by boarding schools, the time must be used for study (folder work) but what they study on which day and the order in which they complete work is the learner’s choice.

What to include in a weekly home-ed folder?

Any learning that in a school would be completed either in the classroom without teacher help or would be assigned as homework, AND additional tasks that practice skills, revise knowledge or delve deeper into a homeschooler’s interest.

  • Practice worksheets – maths, science, languages etc
  • Writing assignments – creative/grammar-focused/related to a specific subject or topic
  • Revision of past lessons
  • Pre-reading assignments (eg. before starting a new topic, assign reading that provides background info/basic facts about the topic)
  • Art projects
  • Extra reading related to current affairs/off-subject topics
  • Logic-based problems
  • Maths puzzles
  • Vocab games

Where to find resources for homeschool folders?

It’s useful as a home educator to have a resource bank to pull from, or trusted sources to use. When it comes to pulling together a weekly folder, we rely on our regular curriculum sources, books on the bookshelf, our chosen news sources and alternative websites like these:

The Critical Thinking Co.

Education Quizzes


Wondrium Daily

ps. There are many reasons a Twinkl subscription makes sense if you’re a homeschooling parent and finding resources to fill a weekly home-ed folder is one of them.

Does a weekly folder have to be offline schoolwork?

Nope. Weekly folder work could be assigned via a Google classroom (or whichever online classroom option you use) and a paper-based weekly home-ed folder can include instructions to students to go online for specific tasks. The purpose of a weekly folder is to provide homeschoolers with academic and skills based work they can complete independently and to free up time in the day-to-day planning of homeschooling for home educators – online or offline is up to you.

Assigned documentaries for learners to watch, online quizzes to complete, podcasts to listen to etc. are all positive activities to include in a homeschool week.

Weekly Homeschool Folders = Clear Expectations

Lessons always go smoother when a learner knows what’s expected from them. This logic applies in a school classroom and at a home-ed desk. Setting out at the beginning of the week how much extra schoolwork – outside of lessons – is expected from the home learner helps reduce any teacher-parent-pupil-child clash.

At the beginning of the week, homeschoolers are able to

  • clearly see how much is expected of them
  • understand what is expected of them and how they need to demonstrate learning (completing worksheets/tasks etc)

Using weekly folders

One of the biggest mistakes we can make in home education is expecting home learners to understand intuitively what they need to do.

If you’re going to use weekly folders as part of a home-ed routine, at the beginning of the school week go through the assigned folder work and make sure home learners understand what they need to do to complete each piece of schoolwork. A worksheet stating ‘fill in the gaps’ may seem to need no explanation but you’d be surprised how many times, left to their own devices, young learners will get the wrong end of the stick. The chance for learners to clarify expectations/instructions before beginning work sets them up to succeed.

NB: understanding the WHY is so important to learners. Clarifying the purpose of the lesson/activity/study subject automatically reduces learning resistance from homeschoolers.

Bonus use of weekly folders from a parent-teacher perspective

  • Weekly folders make it much easier to stay on top of marking and filing homeschool work.

On Friday, collect all the work they’ve completed that week and mark it – alongside the home learner, if possible. Marked work can then be filed into subject-specific folders (if you’re holding onto paper-based school work*) or photographed and uploaded into an online filing system.

  • It creates an automatic revision/review folder for you to use

Saving schoolwork like this builds up a revision folder of all topics covered in your homeschool over the term/year. This self-generating revision folder can be used by homeschoolers as a reference to recap knowledge and repurposed (by you) as resources for revision lessons/to create spelling lists etc.

  • Balance online/offline school

Because it’s 2023 and because so many amazing resources are online-based, it can be tricky to keep the balance between online/offline learning. Weekly folders are a great way to ensure that at least a big chunk of the school week is spent working on paper – practicing handwriting (still important!), revisiting online learning out of context of the computer (allowing you to check they are truly understanding what the computer tells you they are because it’s not always the case…) and to an extent, mimics a school environment which can be useful to passively remind home learners that homeschool is still as real as school**.

  • It helps with supporting multiple students’ needs.

If you’re a homeschooling parent to multiple home learners of differing ages and/or abilities, sometimes supporting their individual strengths and weaknesses in the classroom can be tricky without pushing one student too much or holding another back.

Weekly folders mean you can add extension lessons/additional practice work for each pupil as needed without having to drastically alter multistudent lessons. It’s much easier to teach in the middle and provide the support each child needs one-to-one than to try and juggle all needs simultaneously in the schoolroom.

  • It’s prep you don’t have to do on the day

Home educating is time-consuming – not just the actual day-to-day homeschool, but the planning and prepping, and printing too. Weekly folders force you as a home educator to get a lot of the prep work out of the way before the school week begins and your future self will thank you for it.

  • You’re prepared for when life stuff happens

The balance of home and school sometimes necessarily tips to make home take priority in the week. If someone else has to take over ‘school supervision’ for a day, there is work already set homeschoolers can work on independently or with minimal guidance from an adult. Weekly folders can double as grab-and-go lessons, and grab-and-go lesson resources can be used in a weekly folder.

There are so many ways to home-educate and weekly folders won’t work for every homeschooling family or each individual child, but for us, introducing the system was a game changer.

*empty shoeboxes totally count as filing.

** while I dislike the idea of replicating school at home and don’t try to replicate a classroom environment in our homeschool, it can be easy for home learners to relax a bit too much -especially the further into the school year you get. Handwritten work, that must be completed on time and legibly written, kind of gives them an extra reminder that while home learning might be fun, it is still school and they need to put the effort in.