Organizing Our Homeschool Room


Last year, my husband needed an at home office for an 8 month period. It needed to be quiet. We are a homeschooling family with four active children. {I can almost hear you laughing now.} The most logical place for his new home office was our backroom. It is located in a far off corner of the house. Quiet and situated well for work related activities.
Unfortunately, that was our homeschool room. {See it here.}
Changes in the places where we homeschool had to be made. in August. with school starting. the next week.
So, we moved rooms around in the house, quickly.
All last year, I never felt settled in our new learning room. Sure it worked. There was enough space for all our tables and desks. Our long term storage remained in the newly created home office. It was conveniently located near the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room.
Yet, something never felt right. Could it be the piles of books on the floor all year long?
This summer, I decided to give the room an organizational overhaul. My budget was small, or maybe nonexistent. I did splurge for two square baskets which fit nicely on one of the book shelves. They were on clearance at JoAnne Fabrics.
Our storage shelf in the school room houses only current materials and reference books. The very top shelf holds our rock and insect collections as well as a globe.
Proceeding downward, the apple basket keeps blocks handy. The blue basket {empty at time of picture} now holds science and history extras. Classification cards, models of metamorphosis, and a loon whistle for science. History story CDs and small postcards fit in the square container well.
The next shelf is solely for books I am using to further my own knowledge, what I like to call homeschooling myself. Astronomy and photography books are the current reads.
One of the two blue and brown baskets hold identification books for stars, rocks, trees, insects, etc. The other has multiple ink cartridges for our printers and any extra cords for electronics.
The remaining shelves hold all my planning binders, the children's binders and reference books.
Additionally, I rearranged our long term storage in the backroom to be more effective. Books that we will use later in the year are organized chronologically, by child or group.
For our children, each one has been given their own work space. Our youngest, a second grader has his own table. With the move last year, we upgraded him to a regular size table. However, he hardly did any work there. It was more of a storage place for his books. We routinely used the living room sofa for his work space. While he'll still be situated on the sofa for most of his work, this year he will use the table a bit more, especially for learning cursive writing.
Our daughters, who are in sixth and eighth grade this year, have their desks positioned side by side toward the wall. From their point of view, this allows for ease of conversation, but really, this is how the tables and desks best fit in the room!

The Greek vases you see on the tables are from last year. Our children wanted to keep their creations and decided to place them on their table tops.
Our oldest son {tenth grade} is using my old desk. It may not be very masculine, but it is our only desk which has a spot specifically for the high school computer, which also happens to be my old computer. His area is in a corner with shelves above and paper organizers beside the desk.

We tried to make each child's area customized to their particular ages and needs. Years ago, my husband had made each child a wooden box which we still use. The boxes are situated next to or under each table/desk and hold current school books.
I also tried to find interesting and purposeful pieces to hang on the walls. For decorations, we have original artwork created by one of us, copies of classical works by well known artists, and maps.
Since homeschooling is more a way of life than just education, our homeschooling spills out into other areas of our home. I'd like to think visitors would know we homeschool not just by seeing our homeschool room nor the obvious baskets of books and hands on projects strewn about the house. 
I'd like to think visitors might notice our passion for learning by seeing the root growing experiment and sea shell collection atop our dry sink or the homegrown herbs drying over the sink. Passing through the hallway, visitors could notice the historical poster from an 1800's mail advertisement, or rounding a corner, the small chalkboard may catch their eye. Maybe they would take the time to read our growth chart where we measure and compare our children's growth each year. Or perhaps, they would gaze out the windows and see our attempts to attract birds of all kinds with food and houses.
Is it obvious to others that we value learning? I don't know and truthfully it doesn't matter. It is not the point. Creating an environment where learning can occur and our children's interests can be cultivated is the motivation for our home organization. Yet, sometimes, I wonder...

Linked to the 6th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the view; I think I like your comment on how you homeschool yourself the best--I call this "re-education," since I do so enjoying learning right along with my children!


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