Our homeschool room is, and always has been, our dining room (and sometimes our living room too). We live in a small condo, so I’m constantly looking for ways to maximize our small space for big ideas. This fall, I did a homeschool room makeover and I’m so excited with the results!
For the past several years, we’ve used the same homeschool cabinet for our books and supplies. Each year, I’ve switched out the past year’s materials for the new year’s materials. I wasn’t totally happy with this cabinet, but I didn’t have any better ideas. I liked the drawers for the girls’ workbooks, though the drawers also became a dumping ground for other papers and notebooks. The cupboard was good for our textbooks, but it was too small for some of our encyclopedias and bigger books.
Here’s what our homeschool area looked like in our last home (and then in our condo, without the bookshelves):
A few months ago, I was visiting my friend Anna and noticed her new homeschool bookshelf. Like me, she has a small dining room in which to do school with a lot of kids. She’d gotten an Ikea Kallax shelf and organized each cube for various topics or kids’ work. I loved the idea and began thinking about how I could do a similar homeschool room makeover.
As the school year approached, I went onto my local buy-and-sell sites and began searching. My husband and I discussed a few ideas and finally found a cube shelf we thought would work. After we confirmed we’d buy it, I thought of another place in our home to put it. Once I got it inside the door, I pushed a few other pieces of furniture out of the way to fit the shelf in. It worked perfectly!
Our new homeschool shelf sits under the end of the kitchen counter, beside the dining room. It’s narrower than a previous shelf we had here, so it gives us more room to move about. Taking the previous cabinet out of the dining room also let me slide the table a foot towards the wall. That’s helped with the angles of the counter and table to also create more space.
The homeschool shelf is close to the dining room where we do all our work. It’s easy for the girls to grab their books and sit at the table, or head around the corner to the living room couch. It also hides the back of our computer desk, so Joey can’t pull out the computer cords anymore.
The sections in our bookshelf have let me organize our resources better. The top row has textbooks, workbooks, colouring books, and reference books. The lower row has fabric cubes for wood blocks, play dough, and baby toys to keep Pearl and Joey busy while we’re homeschooling. (Joey currently prefers to stand up and pull the encyclopedias off the shelves, but we’re trying to convince him that the cubes hold interesting things too.)
I’ve put all the girls’ workbooks into magazine holders. (I found these metal magazine holders at our local dollar store.) This makes it easy for them each to find their work. Sunshine likes to take hers to the table when she’s doing school. There also isn’t room for them to stuff extra papers, pencils and junk in, so I’m hoping it stays a bit more organized than their drawers did. It also helps that we have less workbooks this year because they’re doing more online learning.
The sections in the shelf let me organize our books better. Left to right, each section holds:
- teacher’s manuals and extra books
- colouring and art books (um, yeah… I even decluttered these a lot!)
- history books and workbooks
- encyclopedias and reference books
On top of the bookshelf, I’m storing a few things that don’t fit in the shelves or get used frequently. This includes our Saxon Math toys, an alphabet puzzle, pencils and pens, Jade’s basket of phonics books, a plastic box with smaller supplies like glue sticks and scissors, and a spider plant (gotta have some greenery). Joey has already demonstrated he can stretch up to grab the pencil cup, and the girls have already attempted to toss their drawings onto the top of the shelf (“But I don’t know where else to put it!!!”) but I like this area neat.
And that’s my homeschool room makeover! For our first week of school, it has worked great.
Check out other homeschool rooms in the 10th Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop!
Have you ever done a homeschool room makeover?