Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Homeschooling without a school room - WFMW – 5.19.2010


When we moved here last November, we went from having a separate dining room to a combined living/dining room. I didn’t have enough room for my desk, filing cabinets, and all my bookcases. So we made due with what we had and after 6 months we finally have a workable space to learn in.

I have always liked having a set place to homeschool. A place to keep all of our books and materials. A place where I could hang my whiteboard. A comfortable, roomy area to spread out our work on the table and dive into learning. Sure our last school room was also our dining room, but it held all of our school things easily without overcrowding our space. This has been a very different experience and it has taught me to think about the things we really need and use everyday and how to keep those things close-by without taking over our living space.

So how have we adjusted? Our dining area holds our table and chairs, and a large cube style bookcase. I also have space on the wall to hang our pocket chart and our whiteboard. Our bookcase holds all those important items we need to be able to grab as we need. On the top of my bookcase I have 2, 4 drawer plastic towers that fit just right. These hold all our craft supplies, manipulatives, flashcards, and school supplies in a compact, out-of-the-way manner. Next to that I have a stack of plastic letter trays that hold printer paper, card stock, colored paper, graph paper, etc. Next to that is where my wonderful, awesome Epson wireless all-in-one printer has it’s home. The cubbys in the bookcase are a great way to divide the different things that are housed there and keep related items together and make them easy to find. Each boy has a cubby that holds the things he uses every day, workbooks, texts, notebooks, binders, and schoolboxes. One cubby hold little stackable trays with all of our markers, pencils, crayons, and colored pencils, as well as the markers for the white board. I have 3 teacher cubbies where I keep important papers (in a fabric basket) and all the teacher manuals etc we are currently using. Then the rest of the cubbies are filled with various fabric bins and plastic trays holding other things we use on a regular basis.

My desk, filing cabinets, and tall bookcase are upstairs in my bedroom. It’s not ideal, but it works for now. I am rarely up there sitting at my desk these days. Pretty much everything I need is downstairs. This area sadly is rarely clean and organized, and when it is, it doesn’t stay that way for long. The major reason is because I just don’t get to spend a lot of time up there. I am going to be reorganizing this space so that the boys can take their independent work up there and work on it in a quiet place.

I gave up the ideal of a “normal” looking home years ago. When you walk into our home, it is evident that we homeschool. We make no attempts to hide it. In fact, I am quite proud of our school area and how it looks. I put a lot of work and thought into making it our perfect space. I am a firm believer that with a little bit of ingenuity, minimal investment, and lots of hard work, you can make any space work for you. You just have to get creative and try some new things.

It works for me!



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