Thursday, September 5, 2013

Homeschool Organization (Part 1)

Yesterday I mentioned that I was frequently asked the same 5 questions again and again.  The second most common question is "Where do you do or put your school stuff?"
I don't have great pictures.  Please forgive me.  I am working on saving up for a new lens for my camera, since mine broke last October.  :-(  I do have enough pictures to show you a basic idea though.  

When you homeschool, you have a lot of stuff.  When you homeschool 4 children, you have a LOT of stuff.  This is how we keep everything organized.

This is a peek at my "school room."  It is the second half of my kitchen.  It isn't super fancy, but we did just get AWESOME desks from Ikea to make sure everyone has functional space.  We also got huge maps because I never really learned geography as a kid and I want my children to have a firm understanding of where things and places are in their world! 

I have one book case near our desks that holds our current curriculum and daily supplies.  We are studying early American history this year, so have a lot of books about Native American culture jammed in one of the cubbies.  At any given time, anything the children need for any subject other than some science, will be either in their desks or in this book case.  I love these 9 square things.  I get them at Target, and they put up with a lot of abuse!
I have a storage room off of my laundry room that I use for holidays, excess kitchen stuff, and our books and supplies.  We call it the homeschool storage room.  I told you I love the 9 cubby things.  You'll see a few more ask I blog more!  Anywho, this light colored one holds the boys' book series.  We have all of the Magic Tree House books, which helps when I need a quick read for someone on the go.  The bottom shelves are used for my Bible study stuff.  

This is our non-fiction shelving unit.  The cubbies are organized in the same order as the ones in our actual "school room."  the boxes on top hold readers by grade level for my younger three.  I rotate the books in the reader boxes so they don't just memorize the books!

The tall bookcase holds our fiction books.  I used to keep all my books in alphabetical order, by size, and by color.  OCD much?  You can see I've let go of that control issue.  I have given away, sold, and donated several thousand books in the last 4 years, which has been almost painful.  I do like that it forces us to explore the library more often.  Libraries make me so happy. :-) I keep 3 tubs of Christmas books in our Christmas side of the room (aka most of the room), but all the other holiday books are in order at the bottom so we can bring them out by season/holiday.  The black box contains extra school supplies, and the blue box contains the second semester books and supplies for our curriculum.

I am WAY more organized with the schedule/paper stuff.  I will post on that tomorrow.  
Now that you've seen all that, I'll admit that I would be a HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY girl if I had cupboards to hide all the chaos in.  I don't like open shelves.  The colors all over make me twitch sometimes.  I don't like seeing school supplies in my home at all.  I'm trying to remember that the home isn't just mine, and that the children will read more if they can see the books.  They will take out more books if I am not being all controlling about where they go after they are borrowed.  This is a functional home.  This is their school.  Order is important, a great learning environment more so.

I'll catch you tomorrow.

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