Dreams of sunlight streaming into the room, floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves, a padded window seat, table in the middle with multiple drawers full of art supplies and games, desks and storage around the outside of the room….
This is what my ideal school room would look like. But life doesn’t always give us what we want. That doesn’t mean we should shelve our dreams, but it may mean our dreams need some adjusting to fit into the space we have.
I have learned to do this and make our school room OURS and not just a copy of someone else’s ideas. Because of our growing family, our needs and storage change, but our layout basically stays the same.
We’ve been doing an all-room schoolhouse setup for a few years now, and though I had thought my ideal was to have all our school done in one room, I actually like this setup better. It allows for us to change environments and not feel like we are stuck in the basement or at the kitchen table all day long. It works out much better than I think using just one room would (for our season of life now, anyway) and fosters a bit more creativity.
Bonus: We don’t have to store everything all in one place! That means that depending on where we are in the house, we will have access to certain books and supplies to be used in those specific places.
Here’s how we have it laid out:
Our main school area is the basement. The kids each have a desk and chair (new for Keekers, she’s moved up from our little child-size school desk!), maps on the wall and charts in the corner. They have drawing supplies (paper and pencils) at each of their desks that stay there, along with drawers for their workbooks and other books.
The other side of the room behind our gigantic whiteboard (I’m still looking for the perfect size for our All About Spelling and Reading magnets :/) are bookshelves. These hold all our science books mostly on the right (behind the board) and our literature or novel study / free novel reading books on the left, as well as my teacher’s manuals and All About Spelling books for Keekers.
The Trofast unit with bins is where most of the “baby” toys (but not all) are kept at a good access for Miss E to reach while we are doing school.
The other side of the room is a games shelf, along with more books (surprise, surprise!), toys in bins (one bin out at a time), and Miss E and Keeker’s “house” play area (in the left outside of the photograph is my, ahem, sewing area :D It’s been gathering a bit of dust lately)
I recently took over a few of my husband’s tool storage shelves for my homeschool storage. We had another Trofast but sold it to make room for Keeker’s desk, so I had to find a place for my manipulatives and extra supplies. The blue bins are from Ikea (Gles) and they stack on top of each other. They hold my tot and preschool stuff like magnetic letters and numbers, counting manipulatives, alphabet puzzles, and most of the hands on stuff we use.
The subjects we tackle downstairs are grammar, spelling, writing, reading and geography (when we remember :D). All the books and supplies needed for these subjects are kept down here and we don’t often deviate from this plan. It just seems to work out well!
The upstairs has been a work in progress for a while and we have finally nailed down the subjects we do up here along with the zones for storage.
The kitchen table has a basket full of pencils, pens, markers and erasers for the kids to access quickly and easily for whatever they may need it for. It’s also where we do our Bible verse memory work on the dry erase board.
Our main storage cupboard in the living room holds everything for art projects, the kids individual creative art boxes, some toddler and preschool supplies and all our math books and manipulatives.
In the playroom is another bookshelf with a few toys and a bunch of books. The other cupboard holds all the colouring books, some puzzles and more markers. The basket on top is where we keep our current books for science and history.
Yes, that’s our way over-stuffed basket of library books in there too. A little insane, no? :D
The subjects we do upstairs are math, art, music, science and history.
And just so you don’t think everything is always this organized, here’s a few shots of what the room looked like BEFORE I got it all organized.
Oh, and it won’t stay clean and organized either – every day we have a quick tidy, and once a week a full cleanup of the school room, but other than that, we like to have “organized chaos” in our school room :D
I encourage you, no matter your space, to look at what your needs are as a family for your homeschool room, and make the best of what you have! It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive or top of the line. Just functional, a space that you and the kids can feel safe to make a mess in, get creative, have fun and learn. Everything we have is either from Ikea, the dollar store or second hand – it’s nothing fancy, but it works for our space and didn’t cost us an arm and a leg to purchase.
Use pinterest and blogs like this wisely and as an encouragement or for ideas, but don’t let the green monster of jealousy and envy kill your joy in making your space your own. Have fun, get creative, and work toward that dream of creating a space that is safe, fun and encourages creating and learning. The last thing you want is to be afraid to touch or move anything in your school zones in case you might “mess it up”!
I’d love to hear about and see your school room! Post your pics to my Facebook page or link up your blog post below :0)
Need some more inspiration?
Check out the Not Back To School Blog Hop with iHomeschool Network and all the great school room posts that are linked up!