Saturday, September 17, 2011

This Year's School Room

As time is passing and our family is growing, I'm noticing that our homeschool has been growing, too - along with the amount of supplies, books and school-things that we have been accumulating!  A couple years ago, we set up our first little schoolroom in a corner of our basement, and it was so nice to have a "spot" to keep all of our school stuff.  But we ended up only using the room for crafts or special projects, not our daily school lessons - mainly because it is very hard to "baby-proof" that room & Little Monkey (who was the baby at that time) would get into all kinds of mischief during our schooldays...and now we have little Peanut who loves to do the same!  Also, there are only two tiny windows down there (that don't let any light in because they are below ground level with wells) - and this might sound silly, but I really didn't like spending so much time every day away from natural light (especially in the winter, when there is so little sunlight to begin with!).

So we decided to move our schoolroom upstairs to the kitchen/living room area this year, since that is where we usually end up doing all of our lessons anyway.

Here's a pic of how the mostly finished schoolroom looks from the kitchen:

And here's the view from the living room:

The process of moving everything upstairs gave me good reason to re-think what we actually need to use on a daily basis for our lessons, and I was able to clean out many unneeded items that had accumulated - or that I had been holding onto for "just in case."  It actually wasn't easy to do - I never realized how much I just like school-stuff!

~ the supply cabinet ~

This used to be a TV cabinet...I used two shoe-racks to make the four little shelves in the former TV-opening.  The plastic shoe boxes are going to be for Little Monkey's workbox activites (once I put them together!).  I also stocked one of the little cupboards on the bottom with diapers and wipes (not pictured, but possibly the most useful part of the entire schoolroom!)  ;)

~ notebook paper, construction paper, art paper-tablets, and other craft paper ~

~ a few art supplies that we use everyday (I am keeping all of our paints, pastels, and other special art supplies on a storage-shelf for now) ~

~ a peek at what's inside the baskets on top of the cabinet : one holds Rose's math book & manipulatives (Right Start Math), the other holds her spelling book & manipulatives (All About Spelling) ~

~ the "little" bookshelf ~

For now, I have filled this shelf with all of my favorite some of our preschool/kindergarten and early-reader picture books.  I used to keep these up in the little ones' bedrooms, but I brought them down here into the schoolroom so I could read to them more often.  I am still deciding if this is the best use for the bookcase, thought, because we also are quickly accumulating a long list of books for our history curriculum this year and need a good place to keep them!  In that case, I will probably keep a few picture books nearby in a basket and rotate them week-by-week.

~Peanut's book basket ~

~ the kitchen "file" cabinet ~

One of my biggest challenges last year was keeping all of our finished schoolwork organized.  We were using the notebook system (one 3-ring binder for each subject; for filing finished papers, notes, artwork, etc.)...but we ended up instead with piles of papers everywhere "waiting to be filed" that would then get lost, misplaced, or tattered/dog-eared.  So this year, I invested in a few file-boxes which I am using for both lesson-prepping (I am putting each week's maps and other printouts, project ideas, etc. into the folders in my box) and also for filing each child's completed work, by week.  I still like the idea of notebooking, and at the end of each unit (or semester...or even the year, lol!), I can go back and put together a notebook for each child if I want to....but at least in the meantime, there is a safe and tidy "place" for all of their work!

~ General's "Morning Lessons" basket ~
~ Rose's "Morning Lessons" basket ~

~ Little Monkey's basket ~

~ our supplies basket, which I was excited to find in the clearance section at Target...the basket sits on the top shelf of the supply cabinet & we bring it to the table for lessons.  The items in this basket are for school-time only, so we have what we need when it's time for our lessons...without having to search for them :) ~

~ working on our first week's lessons ~


  1. Do you know how good this is????

    Really, do you???

    This is fantastic!!

    So organized and well thought out. I COMPLETELY understand the whole basement thing. Our school room is in our basement, and while we do enjoy it, it is not where we spend all of our time. We usually end up upstairs where, you guessed it, the sunlight is. :-)

    Love that you moved it upstairs. it is so nice to have it right off the kitchen. When we do our school work upstairs it is at the dining room table which is right off of the kitchen and I love being able to fix them a snack, or lunch, or be doing dishes, yet be right by their side if they need something.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.
    Very inspiring.

  2. I'm just going to stop squeeling in my living room and second what Carissa says and then go to squeeling some more :) It's great and lovely and jealous-worthy and beautiful and inspiring and serene and lovely and I just love it!!

  3. it's all so beautiful.

    very,very organized and beautiful!

    A fine place to learn and i'm so happy you took the precious time to share it with us.

    im encouraged by the organized way you have put it all together!!!


  4. wow. so organized.

    and having diapers and wipes handy ... genius.

    we used the 3-ring binder method for 5+ years and switched to composition notebooks this year. so far, so good. i cannot stand spirals or ripped out notebook pages! yuck.

    *i also love that your school room looks like another room in the house, not too 'schooly'...and not all bright and plastic.

    i want to sit down and do copywork in there! ... a few nice autumn-y quotes!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

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