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Homeschooling Many Children in a Small Space

I hesitated to write this post about our homeschool space, since we will be moving soon, but since this is School Room week on the 8th Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, I decided to go ahead and share what has been working for us.  I’m sure we will have to find a whole new groove at the new house, but this current arrangement has worked for family of 9.  Now please understand that nothing about this will be “Pinterest Perfect”.  We have been building our current homestead and the rooms aren’t “finished”, but they are functional.  The main reason I wanted to share was to encourage any Moms out there that struggle with homeschooling or don’t think they can homeschool because they don’t have a “perfect” homeschool room. I have found in my last 15 years of teaching that kids don’t need perfect, they need a space that encourages a love of learning and their things where they can keep track of them easily.  Routines and LESS STUFF has helped with this tremendously.  So while looking at my pictures and explanations, please be kind and remember what works for my family may not work for yours, but hopefully you can find just one thing that may help you on your journey.  🙂

Our room is 12 foot wide so I wasn’t able to get a very good shot of the entire space, but these 2 pictures encompass most of the learning space.  Our dining table seats 9 comfortably and is where most of the written portion of our schoolwork happens.  The sofa isn’t pictured, it is opposite the table.  We gather on the sofa for read aloud time and Morning Basket time.  The large white space above the table is where our projector shoots the picture and we watch documentaries, educational YouTube videos and any video portion of our curriculum.  Having the projector really saves on space and we don’t have to crowd around a small screen.

 

These 3 pictures show how we organize our space in a way that is space efficient and where the children can easily find everything they need for the day.  The first picture shows our shelf that houses our laser printer, laptop crate and IKEA magazine organizers that hold our curriculum.  By storing the laptops vertically in the crate we save space and the wooden crate is sturdy enough to protect the computers from the Littles.  The cardboard magazine files have actually held up much better than I thought they would.  We have been using them daily for a year.  The red rolling cart houses all our math things.  The basket desk holds all our homeschool baskets that organize various things.  The large square basket on the floor holds all our extra spiral and loose leaf notebooks.  The small yellow crate on top of it holds the DVD’s in our history and geology curriculum.  The cardboard Amazon box holds our Thinking Tree Journals that the kids will use when we are done with the ones they work in now.  I buy them as they go on sale and as I earn Amazon gift cards through Ibotta and Swagbucks.  The overflowing wicker basket on top of the Amazon box holds various history, science and What’s In the Bible with Buck Denver DVDs.  The baskets on top of the desk I’ve taken individual pictures of to show you inside them.

 

I am planning a post to show the curriculum we are using this year, but wanted to give you a peek into the baskets.  These 3 baskets are such a joy in our homeschool.  The blue crate is our Morning Basket.  It holds all the good and beautiful things that I want to expose the children to, that use to get put on the back burner because we were so busy with our core subjects.  Poetry, Fine Arts, Classical Composers etc  Now we loop through them during our Morning Time together before the kids start their individual studies.  The middle basket houses some of the kid’s Thinking Tree Journals.  They are held together by child with a book band. That way the kids can just grab their banded together stack and go to the table with it.  The last basket holds some of the older kid’s Thinking Tree Journals.  The Minecraft one is a huge hit at our house.  🙂

This bench was mine as a child and it holds lincoln logs and trains.  The cute bins hold board books and various library books we use during school time.  In my 1st picture I forgot to put the art carousel in the middle of the table so I added a picture of some of the kids at the table that shows it.  When the children need their pencils, gel pens, glue scissors etc I put it on the table, otherwise it is placed on a high shelf where our toddler can’t reach it.  She is in the color the walls, floors, herself, and her siblings stage.  🙂  The last picture is my Mom Basket.  This is something wonderful I learned from Sarah Brown’s books.  I have my own Thinking Tree Journal and these are the books, dvd’s, cd’s etc that I use with my journal.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour.  It may not be magazine worthy, but it works for us.  We learn all over the place: outside, on field trips, road trips etc, but this is where we do our work that requires a place to sit at a level surface and create. 🙂  I encourage you to go over to http://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/school-room-2016/ and checkout other family’s spaces and see if some of their ideas could work for your family.