Friday, May 20, 2011

Homeschool organization

I am constantly reorganizing our homeschooling stuff. (And by "homeschooling stuff," I mean books, toys, games, curriculum, etc.)

My hubby's always saying, "You're moving stuff around AGAIN?"

"YES!" I answer. There's no one perfect way to organize when your needs keep changing; it takes regular effort!

Part of our spring cleaning in April was to sift through the things in the boys' bedroom. Because the three boys share a room, I've tried to simplify what we keep in there.

They each have a drawer or two for miscellaneous treasured objects. The fish tank and hamster cage sit on the dresser. One small bookcase holds chapter books and science books they like to read to themselves.

Legos, Nerf guns, Hot Wheels tracks, and stuffed animals are the only toys in the bedroom -- just their favorites.  I prefer to keep Legos separate from most of the other toys -- they're easier to clean up that way! They also have the biggest floor space in their bedroom.

We reorganized their books, and gave away a few, so the rest fit better on the shelves. I moved the puzzles and games that were being ignored into the cabinet in the playroom. Eldest spent several hours sorting the Legos from one giant tub into smaller ones, and now they fit on the shelves where the floor puzzles used to be.

I've tried to arrange things around the house according to how and where we like to use them. Right now I've got most of our books in the living room, plus some puzzles and games. I moved the game table and four chairs by the front window. The boys have loved that spot for playing chess, cards and Dinopoly, and there's room on the floor for puzzles. Library books are in their own basket in a corner.

The rest of the games are in the cabinet in the schoolroom, arranged by age level from bottom to top, so Littlest can easily reach things he might like. His toys are all at that far end of the play/schoolroom around his rug, which has been working AWESOMELY since I moved everything!  He goes in there to play by himself when no one's available to join him, and he's spent a lot less time on computer games.

Most of my education books, curriculum we're not currently using, and future history literature, are in my little office (currently a giant mess) off our bedroom. The older boys have their Math/Latin/History binders on their desks in the play/schoolroom, which they can easily bring to the dining table if we want.

Science kits, Bible and history books (except ones we're not using yet) are on the dining room shelves, because we usually read Bible and history while snacking. Unfortunately, I'm going to lose those shelves in the remodel, so my next project is to find a new place for them!

What I plan to do is see what I can pull out of the dining room closet, and put the science stuff that's on the dining room shelves into that closet, but make it accessible somehow.  I also want to get a book basket for each boy that can be kept in the closet and brought out for school on the dining room table.

Fyi, while I like to organize, I am not the best at daily housekeeping. Things usually get pretty messy around here during the week, and then we have a big tidying-up on Saturdays. But since everything has a place, it doesn't take very long, and the boys can all help!

I really like the Thomas Jefferson Education idea of The Closet as a means of inspiring learning. I just happen to spread our Closet all over the house!

How do you organize for homeschooling and indoor play?


MissMOE said...

Like you I love organizing, but not so much housekeeping. I reorganized several book shelves over spring break, but I need to figure out someway to keep track of exactly where I put all our resources. We have a tiny home, you'd think that would make it easier, but not so much. I'm always tucking things away and forgetting about them. I think I'll have to resort to just plain writing it down. I guess I have my summer time project!

Diane Gauthier said...

Amanda, your post speaks directly to me! As a public school art teacher, who teaches in an older room with one sink, an office area, and two storage rooms, no window, two doors, minimal cupboards and counter space (i.e. a room that was formerly a health room, and before that an electronics room where circuit boards were made) I have been constantly challenged how to make the best use of my space (see my blog from a year ago for photos). I realize that my fluctuation in organization is an organic response to each new semester of classes and when my 'prep' period falls. I teach clay classes and fiber classes. I have sewing machines set up on a back table, near the 'clay' table. Not the ideal situation, but it's what works for now.
Thanks for sharing your ways!

Lynette said...

John is always commenting on the constant change of our home school areas too. Who knew a huge part of home schooling would be dealing with so many organization issues. Your areas look and sound great!

mandi said...

It all looks great! I am in the midst of homeschooling organizing, and planning and thinking. Mostly thinking.

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