8/13/2012

Organizing Our Homeschool

Today, I'm linking up to iHomeschool network for the Not Back to School Blog Hop:  School Room Hop.


I really enjoy seeing how others organize their homeschool.  When I was first thinking about homeschooling, all I wanted to do was to be invited to other homeschooling families' homes so I could see how this thing called "homeschooling" was done.  

What I've learned over the years is that each family is so different and that's the beauty of homeschooling.  You can organize/decorate/do/use what works for you and your family.

So, this is how we organize our homeschool.  :) 

We live in a ranch style home with each room being used for its intended purpose, which means that we do not have a separate room for our school stuff.  However, I enjoy using our small spaces in creative ways to accommodate homeschooling, while still maintaining the style of decor that I like.  In the past, I've had different ways of organizing our homeschool.  This was one way we used to have our "school space" set up.

Currently, this is where our kids do some of their independent, sit-down, pencil-type schoolwork.  Here's a post about this area.  We also use the kitchen table which is on the other side of the kitchen - just opposite this table.  It's nice to have two places for kids to be separated if they need their "own space".


All of their current school work is in those baskets.  I also bought these Ikea magazine files and those fit on each side of the baskets.  They hold their planners and some lightweight workbooks and readers.

I used to have plastic rolling drawers in the entry closet that held paper, crayons, markers, art supplies, play dough, etc. but my entry closet was always cluttered.  In order to free up closet space, I was looking for a new storage unit that could go in the hallway to hold all the school/art supplies.  I recently found this cabinet at an antique store.  It was exactly what I had been looking for.  Even the color was perfect! 

The elephant carving is a souvenir from a mission's trip to Thailand.  I lugged that thing on the plane as my carry-on.  Everyone thought I was nuts (including myself at times!), but I'm so happy I bought it.  It's such a beautiful work of Thai art!

Before we entered the store, I warned my children that there would be "absolutely no touching".  Jonny (6 years old) replied, "What happens if my arm accidentally flings out (exuberant flinging of his arm ensues) and touches something?"  After laughing, I told him that there will be "absolutely no accidental flinging of arms".  They all did very well in the store, and there was no accidental (or otherwise) flinging of arms.  :)


Emilia and I searched through the house to find any baskets, buckets, and jars we could find to hold all of the "stuff".  I wanted it to look organized and cute, but I also didn't want to spend a lot of money on matching baskets to achieve my goal.  


Painting supplies.  Everything is easily accessible and not too crowded so that it's convenient for little hands.


The markers are in the box (that came with a whole set of car waxing stuff) on the bottom shelf.  The basket on the top shelf holds the scissors, glue and tape.  


I've had this elephant bucket sitting in my basement for years, just waiting for a purpose.  It now holds paper and coloring books.  :)


And here is a view of our "school space" all together.  I like that it's close to the kitchen so that I can check on whatever they are doing while I'm doing what I do - making food, cleaning up the food, making more food, cleaning up again...  ;)

As far as extra storage for books and curriculum I'm not currently using, we have built in shelving in our living room, space under the couch, and tall metal filing cabinets in our basement.


The "command center".


The organized cabinet that holds children's picture books.


The unorganized cabinet that holds mostly baby toys and books with some random school stuff as well.


I cut down boxes to use for more book storage under the couch. We have a lot of books.


And here's the messy chapter book bookshelf (at least the books aren't all over the ground like they often are) and the load of laundry that I hadn't folded when I took the picture.  :)

 
Right next to the couch in our living room, I keep a basket full of our library books.


And when they are done reading the books, they go in this basket that's in our new entryway closet area.  I used to put all the library books that needed to be returned on the ledge next to the door, but that looked so messy.  So, I decided we needed a new place.  This is working out much better.  Emilia will sit here against the pillows to read.  So practical.  Gotta love that.


So, there you have it!  Our homeschool.  :)

(Also linked up to the Hip Homeschool Hop)





 


24 comments:

Jennifer said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I LOVE it. As I was browsing through blogs, I was just thinking how everyone without a dedicated schoolroom seemed to forgo nice-looking houses in favor of bright and overcrowded learning spaces. I don't want to do that when/if we homeschool, so this was a breath of fresh air :)

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thank you Jennifer! I totally understand what you mean. Thanks for visiting. :)

Jamie @ The Unlikely Homeschool said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love...love...love it! You have such a beautiful home, Heidi. Eclectic, artsy, and clean lines...just like I love. The Hubs has been working tirelessly to do a master bedroom redo for me and then onto...??? I'm hoping the kitchen.

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Jamie! Would love to see your master redo. I'm a fan of redoing houses...often. My poor hubby. ;)

Ivanna at http://www.snapparties.com said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love it! I love your cute containers to hold things. You are so good with all the little decorative items. Looks like from a magazine. I love the antique cabinet. I LOVE old furniture. Would you like to come over and give me tips to make my space cuter? :) We did build our house with a school room/office but it isn't very big so it feels quite cluttered. Homeschooling topic: our homeschooling spaces-keeping it cute and functional. You could totally lead it.

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks Ivanna! Yes, I'd love to come over! Not sure how many tips I can give, but I do enjoy decorating/organizing. :)

Laura said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

LOVE your house! So light and bright and pretty! Lots of pretty old things, without being stuffy or unlivable. And the way you have merged your homeschool areas into your home is amazing! Great, great spaces!

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for visiting Laura! :)

Samantha Kelley said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love, love, love, the antiques!

http://samsnoggin.com/2012/08/the-schoolroom.html

Mariah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh I love your house! How beautifully organic it is! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

8)(8 said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very nice! We do the same, and I think the designated library or built-ends make it workable. At least for us, anyway.

That reminds me that I didn't take a photo of the dining room table, but usually my spouse is the only one who uses it for a work surface.

Blissful Blooms said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love it all Heidi- especially your new cabinet! So cute!!

melismama said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

LOVE LOVE those huge built in book shelves! Thanks for linking up!

...they call me mommy... said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How AWESOME! Thanks for sharing! :)

Amy Barker said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love your school space!!! So awesome!! :)

Kim said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

How beautiful!! The entry closet is GENIUS! Everything is so lovely and organized. Thanks for sharing! Blessings for a great year! http://lovinglosingliving.blogspot.com/

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks ladies. We enjoy living and learning here. :)

Kelly said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have that flaying arm problem too! :-D
Kelly

Darcy said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This looks great Heidi! Way to go! LOVE LOVE LOVE it all. Every bit!

The Mrs. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love it! You have a beautiful home. I love white kitchens! We started out homeschooling with a homeschool room, but I quickly realized that with a baby, that doesn't work for us. He needs to be able to wander about and not be cooped up in a room, so the homeschool room became a craft/art room instead. With another baby coming soon, I don't see us moving back to our school room soon...or ever! It's not big enough for 5 people!

kim said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I realize this is an old post, but I love, love, love what you've done. Could you come to my house and help me make it practical and beautiful. I'm sure the potential is there. :)

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks, Kim!

kblog said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am visiting from a link your sister posted. We homeschool as well, so I ended up browsing around a bit. I was immediately drawn to the elephant carving above the hallway hutch. We are currently living in Thailand and have grown to love and appreciate these amazing animals. I also love that hutch. You have a great space that doesn't sacrifice style for learning. Glad your sister shared a link!

Heidi said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hi kblog! That's so cool that you live in Thailand right now. We really enjoyed our trip while there. Although, my hubby wasn't too fond of the food. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!

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