Every year since we have been in our home, our dining room has changed up a little to meet our current needs. For the past few years, we have homeschooled primarily in our dining room. This is how I manage homeschool organization for three kids organized without our house looking like a classroom.
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Organizing homeschool supplies and figuring out an aesthetically appealing setup is one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. I looooooove starting the school year rearranging furniture, sorting baskets of books, and changing up how I keep craft supplies tidy. Every new year starts with a few new challenges and changes that are like working a puzzle finding the right fit for the season we are in.
We do not have the luxury of a dedicated school room, but the longer we do school in our dining room, the less I wish for a separate school room. I love doing our lessons together at the table, or on the couch, or even at the kitchen island.
Our dining room has changed a lot in the past few years since we started homeschooling. You can see how it looked in 2015 when we just had one little kindergartener, in 2016, and last year in 2017. Once we knocked down the wall dividing the kitchen from the dining room, we were presented with even more spaces for lessons and it became much easier to supervise schoolwork while taking care of tasks in the kitchen.
I have two basic priorities when I’m thinking about homeschool organization every year:
- Accessibility of supplies
- Simplicity & tidiness
The first is essential, of course, because you don’t want to be hunting for the necessary books or manipulatives when it’s time to get to work. I also want to make sure that my kids are able to get what they need without asking for assistance. With teaching three kids, AND a toddler and a baby in the house, our time is limited.
But, keeping things accessible doesn’t have to mean our dining room looks like a big classroom. I still don’t want a ton of posters on the wall, and when school time is over, I want to be able to put things away (mostly).
Keep reading to see lots of pictures of how our homeschool is organized this year. I hope you get some fresh ideas and inspiration! If you have shared a tour of your homeschool space, tell us in the comments– I’d love to see it!
Homeschool Organization Tour 2018
First, a peek at our dining room. It opens right up to the kitchen, has a long farmhouse style table (hand built by my father-in-law), lots of bookshelf space, and a couch for cuddling up with books.
- Library books stay in round metal baskets on the floor. This keeps them together (no losing books!) and in easy reach for read-alouds and independent book time.
- My desk is right in the corner of the dining room. I can work and supervise as needed. Plus, my work chair doubles as my teacher’s chair when I sit at the table and do school with the kids.
- The closet next to the bookshelves holds our activity trays (perfect for occupying the toddler during school time), board games, the printer, and craft supplies.
- Most of the books on the bookshelves are my husband’s (he is a work-at-home pastor), but the kids have about four shelves for books too.
- The chalkboard on the wall is cut from a large piece of chalkboard I purchased at Home Depot. I use the larger portion for lessons, and the smaller portion stays on the wall to display the alphabet for my littlest learners.
- Our nature shelves hold some of our most favorite nature finds from all over. Our pet fish also currently resides here too.
- The map is hung from a strip of clips that I found in the Target dollar spot. I can easily switch it out as needed.
- The long benches under the window were built by my husband per my request. They used to be on another wall, but this year I took the dining room chairs to the basement and moved the benches to this spot. They double as seating for meals and school time, and also for storage space (see below).
- At the end of the bench is our most-used school supplies like pencils, scissors, crayons, glue sticks, etc. I switched them from a more shallow box to this metal box recently and I love it. The supplies stay organized and accessible, but when not in use, the box closes and does not add a cluttered look to the room.
- The round basket is from Five Below and is our “Free Basket”. These are all activities the kids can do when they are not currently working on a task or need something to do independently while waiting on me.
Similar to last year, the bulk of our homeschool materials are kept in this 9 cube organizer from Target. The things stored here are the things we use everyday. They are literally in arms’ reach whether I am sitting at my desk or the table.
(Also worth noting, I had to switch the baskets on the second and third rows recently because my baby’s favorite pastime was pulling out all the nature guides over.and.over. She cannot pull out the heavier baskets. Problem solved… for now).
First row :
- Bibles, theology, and hymn books. We are currently reading through The Biggest Story again. We also often read God’s Wisdom for Little Boys (and Little Girls) often.
- Learning games. Alphabet bingo, pick up sticks, story cubes, connect 4, counting bears, and more.
- More morning time books. Pilgrim Progress books, James Herriot treasury, poetry books.
Second row :
- Nature guides. (More details about our nature guides)
- Picture books. These are some of our favorite picture books, and the ones we read the most. (A few favorites: This is My Home, This is My School. Animalia. Story Orchestra: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Seven Silly Eaters. Quick As A Cricket).
- Nature Study books. More nature books– backyard bugs, flower alphabets, etc. We are working through the Nature Connection this year.
Third Row :
- Curriculum we do not use daily. (Books we will use in a months or more).
- Manipulatives. (Counting beans, unifix cubes, pattern blocks, etc).
- Daily curriculum. (Teacher manuals, student books, copywork journals, and books we are currently reading).
The last thing to mention is what is in all the boxes and baskets underneath the long benches under the window. These are the items we use much less frequently, but still need a place to be stored.
The basket on the end is my work items– headphones, lighting tools, my camera, etc. Then also in easy reach are extra notebooks, laminating pouches, and watercolor paper. The remaining baskets hold more learning games and puzzles, the laminator, flashcards, and lastly, sewing equipment.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of our homeschool organization this year. Organization is always changing because it is meant to meet the needs at the moment, but this what is working for us right now!
I am so thankful for the opportunity to be home with my kids and to learn together! It’s not always easy, but it is a gift and a blessing we don’t take lightly. You can follow along on my new homeschool Instagram account if that’s your thing (@homeofthebrookies).
If you’re interested in reading more about how we homeschool, the Charlotte Mason method, or some helpful resources and printables, check out the links below. And if you’ve found this post helpful, please consider pinning or sharing it!
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