Our Homeschool Organization & Space

Since we do not have a dedicated Homeschool Room in our home, this is our Homeschooling Corner, I guess you could say. We do still need a place to store all the things we use daily, preferably mostly hidden and away from toddler’s hands… this is what is working for us right now. I’m pretty sure I will change this setup before the year is over because I change things all the time. But for now, this is it. Let’s take a look!

The dry erase / chalkboard easel is from IKEA. It was one of the kids’ combined Christmas gifts last year. We’ve been using the chalk side as “Our Chore Board” and the dry erase side to write our daily school assignments.

    

 

The 3 cubical rustic shelf is from Walmart. On top of it we have our “Communal Supplies” – the ones that are for anyone to use. It’s easy to grab the box of crayons or tin of colored pencils to take to the table to work on a project if we need to. In the top cube, we have this metal organizer with our “Extra Supplies”… extra glue, extra boxes of crayons, extra boxes of our favorite pencils. We stock up on these with the Back to School Sales. Those boxes of crayons are $0.50 right now, but if I need a box during the school year, that same box is going to cost me over $2. I’m super frugal and cheap so knowing that – it’s really hard for me to pay that price later on. Stocking up is necessary. So necessary. Little ones need several boxes per year… not just one.

The lockers are a favorite of mine! While walking through a flea market with family members one day, I went to look at some lockers (with a hefty price tag), and expressed how much I would love to have a set of lockers one day. The following Monday, my father in law, brought me this set from his school that were just being thrown away. Score! I love having things that are like “real school”, but also fit into my home as well. Rustic industrial would be my preferred style probably so these metal lockers work well. If anybody sees a deal on an old wooden filing cabinet or a wooden library card catalog, let me know. Those are on my wish list. 😉

Each of my children have their very own locker to keep their books and specific supplies in. I’m on the hunt for locker shelves, because we currently aren’t utilizing the vertical space of these as best we can. I don’t know what else we will store, but I’m sure I can find a way to use that space too. 😉

Here’s Layten’s locker. Her color is pink so she has her pink binder portfolio, her pink clipboard, and also a magazine file with a sketch book, a coloring book, stickers, and various busy bags from previous weekly themes. These are all things I can grab for her to do to “entertain her” while I work with the older boys if I need to.

This is Layten’s portfolio binder. I just use it to file her work after it’s completed to look back on if we ever need or want to. There are no dividers or anything fancy. It’s just for me.

We use a clipboard to keep up with her weekly themed work, and her daily work. I clip on the front what we are doing for any given day, and it gives us a hard surface to write and color on. We usually like to do Layten’s school time on the couch.

Inside Layten’s clipboard is where we keep all of her work that we will be doing for the week. I also keep this tin of crayons in here so we have what we need when we go to the couch for school. This tin came from Cracker Barrel years ago, but I love it because it’s flat, and it fits the colors she needs for school perfectly.

This is Linkin’s locker. It’s got his portfolio binder, his cards folder, his clipboard, the Bible he uses for Bible Roadtrip, and a magazine file to file his previously completed work. Periodically I empty these files by adding the pages to their portfolios. I would say “Break Weeks” would probably be a good time to do this, but to be honest, it’s pretty random.

This is Linkin’s portfolio binder. We just add the pages in order of completion… no dividers necessary.

This is Linkin’s Cards Folder for Raising Rockstars Preschool that he’s working through this year. I used these with Lawson previously, so I laminated these cards, and they are placed in baseball card sleeves in this plastic folder for Linkin to use as well. We can use these cards so many different ways, but we love having this book to keep them in. It allows us to review previous letters, memory verses, numbers, and sight words each week as we are putting in the new cards.

Here’s Linkin’s clipboard because he also likes to do school on the couch. On the front I clip his daily work. These front pages you see are also pages I used previously with Lawson, so they are laminated. We used to display them, but since we do school mostly in the living room, I don’t want to display them in there.

And here’s a peek of the inside of Linkin’s clip. I took this picture on a Friday at the end of our term so there’s not too much to see here.

This is Lawson’s locker. He is in first grade so his, of course, has the most in it. From left to right he has his portfolio & weekly assignments binder, his Apologetics textbook, his Apologetics notebooking journal, his Botany textbook, his Botany notebooking journal, his Good and the Beautiful Language Arts textbook, Window on the World (for Bible Roadtrip), and 66 Books One Story (also for Bible Roadtrip). In his magazine file he has his primary journal (for handwriting), his kids’ happy planner, and his ESV children’s BIble. (Links for these are in our Curriculum Choices post.)

Lawson’s binder actually does have dividers and sections, so I’ll show you what we’ve got in there. Here are the tabs we have for the different subjects we use. These dividers actually have pockets on each side so they are perfect for keeping math flashcards, Bible roadtrip crafts, etc.

I made one of these Student Weekly Checklists for each of my kids actually to keep up with all of the things we need to accomplish in a week. This would be nice if we wanted to use dry or wet erase markers with it and keep up with it all for the week. Maybe towards the end of the year, we can work towards this – but for now, I like adding the specific details of which pages to read, which lessons, etc. on our board each day. And Lawson doesn’t mind. I don’t think he’s ever taken the time to look at this page in his binder. He just does whatever I tell him to. Compliant first child. 😉

This is the Bible Road Trip Notebooking Journal. The first three weeks of it came with a sample pack I signed up for a while ago to see if the curriculum was a good fit for us. Obviously, I decided that it was, but I did not order the Notebooking journal for the rest of the course. I feel like it’s something we can just duplicate ourselves on simple paper in Lawson’s journal.

Here are some samples of the pages in the Notebooking Journal though. I do love that it uses Narration (a Charlotte Mason idea) where Lawson call dictate back to me what he’s learning. Sometimes I write that down for him on paper, and then have him copy the sentences. We’re working on handwriting and copy work a good bit right now.

Here’s Lawson’s First Grade Reading List. We’ve also got a Reading Log in here where he can keep up with the books he’s read. I may even have him do a few book reports and keep them in this section this year.

Here’s a peek inside Lawson’s journal where he’s done some scripture copy work.

And here is Lawson’s planner. He loves to work in it when he has free time, using his stickers and journaling. I’m not being strict with it or really giving him any guidelines.

Here’s another locker that doesn’t belong to anyone in particular. We use it to store extra paper supplies like construction paper and loose leaf paper packs. It’s also got larger sticker and activity books and our boxes of manipulatives. The boxes contain our Math U See blocks and puzzles. Linkin likes to play with these independently after he’s finished his school assignments some days. On the hook at the top, I have a container to hold our chalk that I use for the chalkboard. In another locker, I have one with dry erase markers. I have to keep these things put away up high because I have a toddler and a sensory-seeking child who cannot contain himself when he’s around markers. They will be all over my furniture, walls, and him if I leave them out (which has happened quite a few times).

This is our file for future weeks’ materials. Each child has their own set of folders – one for each week of the school year. Linkin and Layten only use 26 folders because there are 26 letters in the alphabet. I number them just for organizational purposes when we are initially setting up the file during the Summer. Then, for the most part I just grab the material from the very next file and move it to the back of their section. Easy peasy, and it saves me a ton of time by having it all done already. In the front we have mini books from Lawson and Linkin’s curricula and stickers, of course.

In Lawson’s “Next Week” folder, I have his math pages (which we will add to his blue binder as the week approaches) and the Bible Road Trip plans. I printed these scaled to 80% and will cut them down to add to my homeschool planner when it’s time. I usually grab a few of these out at a time to cut down and punch for my planner, actually.

Inside Linkin’s “Next Week” folder, we have his materials for Raising Rockstars Preschool, all printed and ready to go.

And finally, in Layten’s “Next Week” folder, we have her materials and vocabulary development cards for her Tot School Printables curriculum. Some weeks have additional, related activities added in that I’ve collected over the years, but this week looks pretty simple.

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