If you are anything like me, tis the season to think about organizing your homeschool. The official school year has come to a close, conventions and book sales are on the horizon, and visions of next year are swirling in your head. As I begin my planning journey for next year, I thought I would give you a peak into two homeschool rooms that have worked for me in the past.
Each student had desk space and a handwriting strip. I even had alphabet cards for the wall.
Below is a picture of the desk space. I made these desks out of the scrapbooking organizers found at Michael’s craft store. When they were on sale for half off, they were a much better deal that the filing cabinet style desks that I was desiring from Pottery Barn Kids (the whole thing was over $1000 less). I LOVE this space because it keeps all of the kid’s supplies, notebooks, and projects organized.The alphabet cards are from Veritas Press (they come as part of the Phonics Museum). They feature beautiful and authentic works of art. We painted a blue rectangle on the wall and put up cork board squares to feature the children’s art work. The center board is also cork board covered with some red fabric. On the center board you will find our schedule and several pictures of the missionary families that we pray for.
Also in the schoolroom was a computer table (purchased at CVS Pharmacy). We converted one of the walls to a giant white board by putting up shower board and some molding (project was $40 and took about an hour). The center of the room was complete with a table for group work and teaching times with mom.
Being a former classroom teacher, there is rarely a lack of teaching materials. I struggled to find a place for all of my treasures. The picture on the left shows the organizational cube that was used mostly for tot school. My two year old had toys, books and other things to keep him busy on this shelf. On top was daily folders with work for the girls and a pencil sharpener.
The middle picture shows our IKEA shelf. It holds 3 shelves of children’s books, then curriculum, easy readers and chapter books at the very top (which you can’t see in the picture).The final tower is two of the organizational cubes mentioned above, plus a few assorted containers on the sides. The tower held math manipulatives, games, handwriting tools, art supplies, etc.
I absolutely loved this schoolroom and it worked beautifully for a few years. Then we moved. The new house did not have space for a schoolroom. By this time in my homeschooling journey I had begun to learn that school worked well mixed with everyday life. I wanted to wash dishes while supervising a math lesson or bake muffins while calling spelling words. More and more I was finding that school was being carried into the kitchen.
So when we moved, I made the big change and cut out the schoolroom all together. Instead we made school a part of our living space. Our home is small with the living room, dining room, and kitchen all within a few feet of each other. So I bought the IKEA Kallax shelf and used it to divide the dining room and the living room. The kids enjoy reading on the couch or on a soft pillow in the corner. The computer is in full view, so I can both monitor and be of assistance.
This is the dinning room area. I converted it to office space. To the left is an eat-in kitchen where the children do table work when needed. To the right is the living room with the couch and computer. This center space is where I spend a lot of time. From this chair I can see what most everyone is doing at any given time. I can offer assistance when needed or redirect a child who has gotten off task. Most of our materials are stored in the IKEA cube on the right. It has 25 cubes of 12×12 space.The magazine files are the perfect place to store curriculum. I have one for each subject, plus any as needed topics. On the second row far right, you will see 3 binders. These binders are annual notebooks. Each child makes one for each grade level.
Also in this space is my desk and another computer that the kids can use. This comes in very handy as we use computer programs for much of our school curriculum. (The laundry basket is a temporary fix, I haven’t found a table in the right price range yet!)
I love the new schoolroom. It fits our needs very well. I do find that I have to store materials that we aren’t currently using in a closet downstairs to free up cubes space in our school area. This rarely causes a problem. I love that we can cuddle on the couch and read together or that I can finish up the lunch dishes while supervising math.Be sure to check out my Pinterest board for other great organizational ideas!
Your turn…what does your schoolroom look like? Do you have a separate room? Do you prefer a separate schoolroom or family room? Why?