While organization is something I desire, it’s not always been the case in our homeschool space. Oh it’s much better than it used to be, but there is still more to be done. And now that we’re entering our 5th year of homeschooling, I have quite a bit of organizing to do! Between curriculum, books, games, puzzles, manipulatives and more – it’s a little chaotic to say the least.
This week we’re going to talk about getting ourselves organized and ready to start the new Homeschool year!! Are you ready?
First, you need to organize your space. That may be easier or harder depending on your space. But, even the smallest spaces can seem big when they are organized!
When we began our homeschooling journey, we set up a small little desk and area in the corner of our dining room. I set up a couple shelves and cubbies for books, puzzles and such and we were ready to go. Well…that is until the little one (we only had two at the time) became mobile and curious and began actively throwing things off the shelf constantly.
Then, I realized we needed some way to contain our shelves, so I found some cabinets with doors that could be locked! BINGO! This system worked well for us over several years. Yes, it was crowded in our tiny dining room, but it was all in one location and made it easy to pull things out when we needed them. Ahhh…bliss.
And then the Lord called us to Southern Indiana. So we moved. I knew as we looked for a house, our homeschool area was one of our top priorities. With four children now, we needed a dedicated room/space for all of our books, supplies and curriculum. Even though we do most of our homeschooling at the dining room table (so I can keep tabs on everyone), we needed a space for storage.
The Lord blessed us with a 4 bedroom house that worked perfectly to fit our needs!! The Master Bedroom became our schoolroom/playroom/guest room. Yes, I gave up a private bathroom to have a schoolroom for several reasons. One, I didn’t like the idea of sleeping on a different floor than the kids and because of the layout we couldn’t hear them from the master bedroom if there was a problem. Two, the master is downstairs and we school at the dining room table, so I didn’t have to cart things up and down stairs. Third, I can hear them playing in the playroom while I’m cooking, cleaning and doing laundry!
So how can you organize your space? Don’t know where to start? Here are some of my tips on Organizing Your Homeschool Space.
1. Pick your space – I know that sounds basic, but it’s the first step. Whether you have a dedicated room or you are make-shifting a space, you need to plan it out. NOTE: This may or may not be the same space you actually do the physical homeschooling. But, this is where you will house and store everything related to homeschooling. Unless you have a dedicated room or are extremely concise in your curriculum and supply choices, you may use more than one area.
2. Decide your needs – It’s time to decide what is absolutely necessary for your homeschooling year. (Take it year-by-year, trust me it’s easier.) Decide what supplies you need – pencils, erasers, most used craft supplies, curriculum, etc. Decide
if you need how many bookshelves you need to hold the plethera of books you have accumulated. What other needs do you have? Cabinets with doors that can lock to keep little hands out? Totes or bins to hold daily papers/assignments? Whatever you need, write it down.
3. Draw it out – Planning the room layout is an important step in the organization process. I have been known to take graph paper and completely plan out a room in great detail to ensure everything I want in there fits. Now that’s not necessary, but it helpful if you at least have measurements to avoid unnecessary moving of furniture and getting yourself utterly frustrated. Don’t ask…I’m still bitter. But seriously, once I figured out exactly what I wanted and where it all came together wonderfully.
4. Put into action – Once you have picked your space, decided your needs and done all the measuring, it’s time to get busy. Moving everything into place can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming and slightly stressful. Take your time and be patient as you move things around. It’s also important to note that occasionally your “plans” don’t always go according to plan, but don’t fret. This has happened to me many times. Take a few steps back and look at your space and rearrange. Most of the time this happens, I have been more pleased with the new layout!
5. Dream BIG – Now you can dream. Dream about what you want in your schoolroom/area. Dream about how you want everything to be organized. If you could have any organization system or shelving units, what would they be? Do you want a HUGE whiteboard or chalkboard in your room? Do you want multiple computers? These are your dreams, so the BIGGER the BETTER!!
Here is a fun Planning Your Space printable for you!! Simply click the photo below to download.
Do you have a dedicated space for homeschooling? How is your space organized? I would love to know how you do it and see your spaces! Share them in my Homeschool Organization Link-up on the main page of this series!!
Be sure to follow along for the entire series on the Homeschool Organization page! And don’t forget to check out my Homeschool Organization board on Pinterest!