Organizing Our Relaxed Homeschool

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If I was to list my positive qualities, organized wouldn’t even be considered. Homeschooling six children and living over 15 years with infants and toddlers, my standards have been in a continual state of readjustment.

I would love to have a perfectly organized home where everything was always in its place, but the reality is I have six children who are home all day who don’t see that as a priority. It’s taken a while, but most days I accept that I can only do so much.  Reasonably clean and somewhat organized while keeping my sanity, is better than perfect but never sleeping.

Full Disclosure: Yes, I cleaned for this post and moved the superhero figures, library book stacks, and craft tidbits from the shot. I wish it were always this neat, but it most certainly is not.

The Library

We don’t have a school room, but instead, have a library. Perhaps it’s just semantics, but my house isn’t a school, and we’re more likely to sit at the table and play a game then complete a worksheet.

Our library is considered the formal living room but is the perfect space to hold all of our bookshelves, computer, table for projects, and craft overflow.  When we first moved in 3 years ago I was seven months pregnant with my little guy, and the only goal was to get the books on the shelves, but this summer we removed everything, and my 15-year-old helped me to implement a little more thought into their placement on the shelves.

The bookshelf on the left contains most of our picture books, printer, mom books and reference books. The top basket holds all of our math manipulatives such as pattern blocks, base ten blocks, rulers, calculators, dice, etc. I finally pulled all these things together this year so that when we want or need these things, we know where to look.

The magazine holders on top contain our origami supplies (math) and some preschool music books and CDs.

The bookshelf on the right contains most of our history materials. Everything from historical fiction, project books, and coloring books are on these shelves.

On top, the magazine holders contain all of our past magazine subscriptions, and the basket holds some quick and easy craft items for when a little one needs something to do.

Also, down in the corner, you’ll see a bucket that contains most of our picture books.

The tall bookshelf holds most everything else. Chapter books, Shakespeare, Science, Math, Art, Poetry, etc. are all located on this bookshelf. In our reorganizing this summer we also sorted through and rehomed those books that weren’t serving us well.

I realize this is a lot of books, but I like being able to walk to the shelf and pull off something that we’re interested at any given moment.

One of the baskets up top holds our microscope and slides, the other contains phonics materials, and I think the other is empty. What?

Lastly, in this room, my least favorite item, a wire storage rack that holds fabric cubes. It isn’t the prettiest but it serves its purpose. Each child has their own cube which holds things they might be working on individually. They will also store things they don’t want a sibling to bother. The remaining cubes keep items like extra copy paper, games, puzzles, and craft supplies. On top, we have games and things we don’t want getting into the hands of the three-year-old, such as permanent markers and our new alcohol inks.

The Living Room

Since most of our time together is spent in the living room, we keep quite a bit of material in there. My hope is to make them somewhat concealed, but we live here, and that doesn’t always happen, that whole out of sight out of mind problem.

The first area is one of my favorite spots in the house. This bookshelf was once an old, 1980’s wet bar that had a mirrored wall, glass shelves, bi-fold doors, and a black Formica countertop.  We completed this project last year, and I couldn’t be happier.

It now is a space for me to keep books we will (or would like to remember) to read. I also have a bin with different cards (i.e., art, history, and vocabulary cards), a basket with CD’s, and a basket of markers, again kept out of reach.

The cabinets below allow me to put away all the toys and puzzles that the little guy brought out.

Having a space like this has been incredibly helpful, I can pick things up in the living room and have a place to stash them until getting them to their proper home.

In the living room, I also have a small end table that has a basket of Funschooling Journals, Mad Libs, and other journals for the girls, as well as small games in the drawers. Luckily, I found this at the Goodwill and painted it myself.

The most important space in our homeschool is the hearth of our fireplace. Here I keep all the books we’re reading in a basket, I have a sling book display rack that holds the most important books were working on, and another basket that holds picture books for the little ones.

On either side of the hearth,  I have built in cabinets that hold games, puzzles, and our music books.

Making it Work for You

In the end, all that matters is to make it work for you. We all have different spaces, priorities, and children. I don’t use grade leveled curriculum in eight subjects for every child, so my organization reflects this. You may have two children and don’t want any homeschooling things in your living room, that’s okay too.

If you’re a somewhat disorganized person, like me, the biggest hurdle will be to find a way to make your materials accessible without them taking over every room in your house. Over the years, I’ve bought numerous baskets, boxes, and bookshelves hoping they would be the key to the organization I was seeking, yet they never seemed to bring calm. It has been trial and error along with frequent maintenance; the Container Store doesn’t sell those things.

I won’t win any interior design awards, but it works for our family, and that is all that matters.

Would you like to see how other moms organize? Check these out.

MON 08/21 – 7 Tricks to Organize Your Homeschool – They Call Me Blessed

TUE 08/22 – Our Organized Homeschool Space – The Musings of Mum

WED 08/23 – 6 Homeschool Curriculum Organization Hacks – Lit Mama

THU 08/24 – How to Organize Your Digital Homeschool Files – Amy Michaels

FRI 08/25 – How to Organize Your Small Homeschool Space – Deliberate Homeschooling

SAT 08/26 – How I Organize Our Homeschool Room – Ranching with Kids

SUN 8/27 – How to Create a Toddle Proof Homeschool Space – Making Her Mama

MON 8/28 – Homeschool Organization With Or Without A School Room – Plum Cheeky Solutions

TUE 8/29 – An Organized Space for Unorganized Homeschooler – Unhurried Home

WED 8/30 – Tips to Organize Your Homeschool in Your LIving Room – They Call Me Blessed

TUE 9/5-Three Tips to Get Your Kids To Help End Homeschool Clutter – Kingdom First Homeschool

WED 9/6 – Practical Ways to Organize Your HOMEschool Space– Intentional in Life

THUR 9/7- The Classroom – Kim and Kaira’s Great Homeschool Adventure

MON 9/11 – How to  Keep Track of Digital Homeschool Files – Techie Homeschool Mom

TUE 9/12 – The Best Homeschool Organization Tools – Deliberate Homeschooling

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You may also like:

How I Cultivated a Homeschool Mindset

Homeschool Mindset: The Reading List

Homeschooling: It’s Not All About the Children

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