Our homeschool room “before”
Our homeschool room “after”
We just organized our homeschool room, and I am very happy with the results! In our old house, we did school at the kitchen table. This was distracting for the older boys because our only living area was next to the eating area. We had plenty of storage in the form of built-in shelves in our laundry room, so organizing our school materials wasn’t a problem. However, we did have to clear everything off the table every day in order to serve lunch!
Now we are blessed to be in a much larger home and to have a room that is just for school! We are using the formal dining area (downstairs) for our schoolroom. It’s right off the front door and overlooks the living area, so I wanted it to look pleasant and have plenty of organization in place so that we can keep it neat. (Well, as neat as it can be with four busy boys!) We have a play room upstairs, so the boys can play up there while they are not working and (hopefully) not distract their brothers as much. (We’ll see how that goes!) I also have a desk set up in the “under-the-stairs” closet for isolation, if need be. I’m trying to keep a positive spin on that (“Look! You can sit in this neat little hiding spot when you don’t want to be distracted!”).
The first order of business for our new school room was book shelves. We had only one particle board book shelf with sagging shelves because we had all that built-in storage at our old house. We decided to bypass the particle board and shop for something that could endure many years of homeschooling with four boys.
To make a long story short, affordable (yet solid!) bookshelves are hard to find! We ended up with a compromise.
We bought two tall five shelf books cases from Target. A couple years ago, we bought two exactly like these for our master bedroom, and so we knew that the quality is ok, but not the best. However, Target was running a good sale the week of July 4th, and the low price made it worth compromising on quality. Unfortunately, the two shelf book case to match from Target would not fit under the trim on our half wall. I looked at a million stores both online and in person and could not find low shelves that would both fit our wall and match the tall shelves while also being a price we wanted to pay!
Somewhere along the way, I discovered Land of Nod, which is Crate & Barrel’s kids division. I was so excited to find this library cart! It adds a great schoolhouse look to our school room, and it’s a great place to keep library books so that they don’t get lost!
We also purchased this six cube book case from Land of Nod:
I bought the canvas storage bins from Land of Nod as well. This shelf is our toddler/preschool area. I have all of our board books in the shelves, and I’m planning to rotate toys in the storage bins for Owen (and eventually Jonathan) to entertain themselves while the older boys are doing school. I’m thinking that I may start collecting a few educational toys/puzzles for these bins that are only for school time so that they hold a little more interest for Owen.
I also purchased three mesh stacking trays to hold paper, construction paper, and completed drawings and papers. The magazine files and the mesh trays were from The Container Store. They are having a great home organization sale right now!
School starts tomorrow at our house! It’s just too hot to do anything else. We started early like this last year, and I loved it. We’ll be ahead, and when the weather cools down (in October) we can take some time off! Hopefully things will go well in our organized room!
Shelly Smith Jul 23, 2012
We start early too, for the same reason you do! Our start date is next Monday, since we have doctor appointments and swim meets this week still. However, I agree that it is too hot to play outside much (at least in Indiana!) Love your bookshelves- so you ended up with the ones from Target?
Ann @ Being a Woman of the Bible Jul 23, 2012
I am envious!! Love it! I see you have a tray for "completed drawings and papers." I have found it helpful to have a spot/bin/tray/drawer marked "To Be Graded" where the kids immediately put tests, etc. that they have finished...until I can get around to grading them. Makes it easy when the kids come to me saying they are done, and I am in the middle of something else, to say, "Put it in the bin." (If it's in a workbook, it gets ripped out and put in the bin.) Once it is in the bin it becomes my responsibility, and they don't have to try to keep track of it until I can get to it. We have a lot less lost stuff that way. Glad you're having fun homeschooling! :-)
Sheri Jul 23, 2012
The school area looks great! Tidy and efficient, the perfect set up to learn (and make messes). Love that library cart too!
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