Lazy Genius Your Homeschool–Principle #3: The Magic Question

This might be the question that rules all others! What can I do now to make homeschooling easier? There are, of course, a million ways to answer this question–that’s the beauty of Kendra’s work. She’s offering principles. Not hacks, but ways of thinking that can guide your own decisions.

One (tiny!) shift that has made all the difference for us is the Homeschool Shelf. We have one shelf where the homeschooling books for the year live. It’s actually an end table with a shelf on the bottom that my parents got as a wedding present over 50 years ago! Just this one place. Textbooks, free reads from the historical era, picture books that we own–this is the place I stash things as I come across them or they arrive from the bookstore.

I also have a morning time basket and shelves for our notebooks and workbooks. When it’s time for school, everything we need is in one spot. And when school is over, there’s one place where everything returns.

This isn’t rocket science, and it certainly won’t solve all your problems. But this one trick saves my bacon regularly! And that’s the heart of the magic question. What can I do now to make things easier later? It’s very hard to homeschool if you have to track down what you need before you ever get started. Having a dedicated shelf means things have a home, and we can begin our work with ease.

These first 3 principles work so well in tandem. I’d put them in reverse order: Magic Question, Start Small, and Decide Once. If you just used these 3 to guide your homeschool planning this year, you would be so far ahead of the game!

Which principle resonates most with you?

If you are new to The Lazy Genius, here’s the Starter Kit! 20 episodes that will get you energized and moving in the right direction!

And you can find all the posts in this series right here.


  1. The magic question by far! – though remembering that steps are small and not leaps I need to keep ever fresh in my mind! This magic question can apply to so much in ordering our home/ life I might post it on the fridge to remind myself to ask it. Thank you for sharing about your table – it would help to have a better place for changeable homeschool items. We have a library bin but it is always full to overflowing, a dedicated space is genius! p.s. also glad you are doing this series I always enjoy hearing your thoughts. 🙂

    1. I hear you on the overflowing library bins! It keeps on surprising me how much the *other* areas of my life impact our homeschool.

  2. Oh my goodness! I did not even think of that! lol I have our school books littering my living room on end tables near the couch. But it is messy! After reading your blog I realized that I can actually clean out a drawer of the end table and put the books INSIDE! This will definitely make my life more peaceful (my living room will be cleaner at a glance) and the books will still be closer at hand when I need them every day! Thank you!

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