When getting ready to homeschool your children at home it’s really nice if all of your books and supplies are organized so you can access them quickly and rule out the frustration of trying to locate something needed for the homeschool day. Organizing your homeschool classroom space is one of those things that can be seemingly overwhelming.
Luckily you don’t have to spend a lot of money or have tons of extra room in your home to be organized and efficient for homeschool.
While I would love to have a complete Pottery Barn set up to our homeschool classroom that is just not reality. I had always thought we would homeschool in our home office but when Peanut actually started preschool it made more sense to set up activities in our ‘bonus room'. You know those rooms that are not really rooms at the top of the stairs in two story homes? While it is seriously not big enough to really be a room (no matter what they say when it's in the real estate ad) it was just the right size to house her Peanut sized table and chair, the video set up, a bookshelf and toy kitchen with room to walk around. A perfect homeschool space!
And just in case you think this only works for short stuffs (my other nickname for our daughter) my sister, who has a similar home, set up her homeschool classroom in their similar ‘bonus room” for her now college student son (yes homeschooled students can get great scholarships and do great things in college). For them it housed the computer table, a small work table, and a small video center. The books were stored in the shelving below the computer table. This was for high school homeschooling.
So are you looking to organize your homeschool classroom? Here are some tips I hope you find useful.
Basic Tips for Putting Together Your Homeschool Space
First find your space: Where will you be homeschooling? In the dining room? The family room? Do you have a spare room? A big hallway (such as our ‘bonus room')? Figure out where in your home you could reasonably homeschool. Where do you have enough room
Can you also house supplies there?: For us the answer was no. We actually house all the homeschool supplies on bookshelves in the home office. And we homeschool in the open space at the top of the stairs. The open space fits the workdesk and chairs, the tv/dvd combo, and the set of class bins. And the new schoolroom pet (hahaha). If, like us, you’re using a room that also serves another purpose plan where you can locate a bookshelf or cabinet to hold books and supplies. If your homeschool has to go into a place such as the dining room look for cupboards that close, boxes with tops (you can decorate these with fabric or paper). This will help you to tune out the homeschool use of the room for a peaceful dinner or rest if you’re using a room such as a bedroom.
Get Help: Next call in reinforcements. Pull in another set of eyes to help you plan out the space. A good friend, family member etc. Tell them the project and ask how they would organize it. You don’t necessarily have to go with their set up sometimes just hearing other options can help you tremendously.
Organizing Your Homeschool Space: So now you have your space pull together the books and supplies you will have to organize. Know how much stuff you have to organize before shopping or pulling in furniture. Measure your space before shopping. Nothing is worse than going to get what looks to be the perfect solution only to find it doesn’t fit. If space is tight think vertical. Such as the elfa® collection at The Container Store You can line a whole wall with shelves and make the bottom shelf the desk space. Anchor free standing bookshelves to the wall to keep them secure.
Use baskets and boxes to keep project tools together. Art supplies in this box. Reading books over here. Music supplies here.
I've take the liberty of collecting a few links to some homeschool rooms around the internet. I chose them based on the use of regular items you might already have in the home rather than buying a whole new set up. True you might not have somethings but showcasing what you can work with is important.
- The iHomeschoolnetwork.com Schoolroom Hop 2012. Visit many homeschool schoolrooms around the net here.
- Confessions of a Homeschooler: Erica has updated her schoolroom via Ikea. It's very pretty and white. Being Ikea it's very affordable (many like to duplicate the ideas in this room).
- The Momma Lisa: Another real homeschool room. This room is also the family room (not the living room).
- Learn at Every Turn: Love the piano in the room! I swear this looks like the dining room of a friend of mine. But I know it's not. We do have that easel though. You can get one for very low cost at Ikea.
- Faithful Provisions: Another nice homeschool room. She used a professional organizer to get this done so be sure to read the details on that through the link provided.
I know it's really easy to get envious about the lovely furniture that others may have but keep in mind that your space is what you make of it. If you throw it together it will look thrown together. Put some time and thought into the area your child will learn in. Use what you have. Try to look at your homeroom on it's own and not in comparison to another's. Stand back and take a picture. See! It's lovely too!
Organizing Your Space with Homeschool Furniture
This year we updated with some Kidkraft furniture. Our previous set was from iKea and while that was nice (and you can't beat the price) Peanut is taller now and needed a bit more to accommodate her workbooks and such. Kidkraft was a pleasant surprise in this department. More sturdily made than…well Ikea and with a cute drawer (we got the Avalon set) I can see this set lasting a couple more years. It's labeled as being for ages 5-8. Peanut is 7 and some of her playmates are 5 and she is not much taller than they are so I can see that. The seat height is 2 inches wider and taller than our previous Ikea table and chair set. I've linked up to a some table and chair sets below just like hers (we have the Aspen in honey).