I am a firm believer that learning can happen anywhere. I don’t think you need a fancy classroom at home or color coordinated bins, or anything like that in order to learn. But I do think having a dedicated space, whether it is a room, a shelf or a nook in a corner somewhere, just for homeschool supplies, is so helpful for keeping organized and on track.
We have a spare room that works wells for a small classroom. We have a small card table, books shelves, and a white board. We have recently moved Kyri’s personal bookshelf and easel into the classroom, so that the space now doubles as the playroom. This works well for keeping Ender (our 2 year old) entertained while Kyri and I work on her studies.
I actually love doing our school work in the classroom because there are less distractions. But with two littles to keep up with (and four dogs) it often works out better for us to do our work at the dining room table. However, having a dedicated space to keep our books and supplies organized is absolutely essential to keeping our homeschool running smoothly. If we didn’t have the spare room, my shelves would be located in the dining room.
We have a smaller shelf dedicated to school supplies: basic supplies such as crayons, glue sticks, paper and binders, math manipulatives, a multitude of flash cards, science equipment such as magnets. My office supplies such as hole punch and laminator are also on this shelf. I have another shelf (not shown) with bins of craft supplies, in our classroom closet.
The second smaller shelf is full of Kyri’s personal books, Leapfrog items, and musical instruments (triangles, train whistles, rhythm sticks, etc).
Our tall bookshelf holds all of our homeschool curricula and materials. Here I have each year’s portfolio binder for Kyri. We are starting Before Five in a Row with Ender this year, so there is a smaller binder for his work as well. While we have a ton of games tucked away on a closet shelf, I keep our logic games on our school shelf since we play those more frequently (you can read about the games we play for our Logic and Critical Thinking here).
We have a nice collection of books that comprise our personal reference library. We have gone through a couple rounds of downsizing with our books, but I think it’s important to have a core set of reference books for the children. Children’s dictionary, various children’s encyclopedias, bug guides, nature guides, etc. round out our collection.
I separate the curricula we are not currently using (either we have finished with it or it is for the upcoming year) from this year’s material. I have an entire shelf with workbooks, books, and curriculum guides that we are working from this school year.
Finally, I have bins, one for each week day. I plan out the week, and then fill the bins with workbooks, books and printed pages. Each morning I can grab that day’s bin and have everything we need ready to go. This especially works well for working downstairs at the dining room table – I just take the bin to the table and have everything we need for the day without several trips back to the classroom.
For my school planning, I like to plan out 6 weeks at a time. I use hanging folders labelled for weeks 1 through 6 to hold printouts and materials. The Sunday before, I can then take all the material for the coming week and distribute to the daily bins. I also have a hanging folder for Math printouts. Because we use a Math Journal as a supplement, I try to collect printouts and activities from around the internet. I print pages off and keep in our Math folder. Kyri then has a selection of activities available to work on each week. I also have folders to hold printed materials that I compile for upcoming Five in a Row (FIAR) and Before Five in a Row (BFIAR) lessons. Completed schoolwork is placed in the “To File” folder for me to file into our portfolio binder at a later date.
This is our school room. Even though we spend more time doing school work at the dining room table, our classroom gives us a space to keep our school materials organized, and it gives Kyri a place to go when she wants to work ahead on her own.
Be sure to check out what what other homeschool rooms look like! Head over to the Not Back-to-School Hop at iHomeschool Network!