31 Days of Organizing Homeschool Stuff: iTunes Playlists

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Organizing Homeschool Stuff

When you think “organized,” what picture pops into your mind? Probably something that would make a splash on Pinterest: something beautiful, something labeled, something amazing. But, organization is actually about being prepared and having a useful home for your stuff – and that’s it.

Being organized means making it work for you, not you for it. If it makes your life harder rather than easier, that’s not organized.

iTunes, my audio file organizer

containing homeschool clutter

Even stuff that doesn’t take up space needs to be organized, to be accessible, to be available quickly when you need it.

I use MP3s extensively – both for life and for education (and I don’t draw hard lines between the two). Many of our memory chants or songs are MP3s, a number of our “read-alouds” are audio books, we use the audio Bible daily, and I have accompaniment to play when we sing because I can’t stay on key without help. We also record our Bible and catechism memory (most of them recorded by my husband) so we can have audio review in the car or individually with an iPod. Audio materials save my voice and my sanity; my kids, also, enjoy getting a respite from always hearing mom’s voice all day long. Plus, it means I can whisper threats or deal discipline to toddlers without interrupting the flow; it helps the toddler or preschooler not get the chance to become an center-stage tyrant.

But for those MP3s to be useful, they have to be loaded and on playlists where I can find what I need quickly and easily.

Here’s how I organize my playlists:

  • I have a folder for “school” which within has playlists for each subject or audio CD, such as “Geography Songs,” “Timeline Song,” “Shurley Grammar Chants,” “Bible Memory Songs,” and “LFC A.”
  • I also have a folder for each term, with internal folders for each day of the week as well as term playlists for composer, hymns, listening time, and review. Inside each day’s folder are playlists for memory time.
  • I also made a folder for children’s audio books, with a playlist for each audio book we have.


I like this set up because I have listening material, singing backup, and memory review all in my pocket for Circle Time, chore time, car time, or even bored puzzle-piecing times.

organizing homeschool stuff

More on using audio resources in homeschooling:

Knowing where your stuff can be found is critical to being organized.

Digital Home Organizer and Planner

Also, check out my eBook Paperless Home Organization, which lays out step-by-step instructions for creating a home management organizer & planner digitally. Make that smartphone, tablet, or iPod touch a useful tool of your trade!

Moms have a lot of details to keep track of. Here’s how to make your technology work for you, using only your mail program and 2 free apps.

6 Responses

  1. Lisa
    | Reply

    What a great idea! We use audiobooks all the time, but I never thought to organize them. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Cindy
    | Reply

    I am using audio more these days too and my son is thinking of buying iPads for each of his little boys for their schooling. I am trying to figure out how to make stuff they can use on them easily.

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      Trying to figure out how to record audio for them?

      You can also make pdfs that could be viewed with Dropbox or the Kindle app. :) I think if you had the device’s kindle email address, you could send them directly to the app.

  3. ginger
    | Reply

    Hi There,
    OK, I just got my first smart phone iPhone 5c, and it has actually made me less organized because I am having trouble understanding the syncing between iTunes and the phone and the computer. In the middle of it our computer crashed, got a great new computer but it is Windows 8 which seems neat but it’s very foreign to Windows 7.
    Do you think you could explain how to sync up your computer with your iTunes and your device? Everytime I sync plugged into the computer it duplicates also all my contacts….
    A little frustrated since I have spent a lot of time between menu meals and organization only to become more disorganized….

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      It always takes time to learn how to use new tools and to figure out the best new habits.

      My computer is Apple, also, so I just plug it in and it does its magic and it works. :) Of course, I also do want all my contacts and calendars and all that synced on my computer & iPod (no smartphone here). I’m no help at all with using Apple and Windows together. Google might have answers for you, though. :)

      • ginger
        | Reply

        Google and Windows are competing now, which seems to be the problem in finding solutions to syncing…Anyway I found out how to get in touch with 11,000 library kindle books for free through overdrive.com…..AMAZING STUFF, since I just returned some books that we hadn’t had a chance to finish reading and have to wait until they come available again.
        knowing how to get organized is just the beginning actually doing it is another thing altogether.


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