Monday, August 20, 2012

House Bountiful, Not Beautiful

Not Back to School Blog Hop

I've been having all kinds of fun following a Blog Hop over at I happened upon it by accident, but it is a four week meme focusing on four different "Not-Back-To-School" ideas- curriculum, school room, school pictures, and a day-in-the-life. Too much fun for people like me who just love to know how other home educating families do it!

My homeschool room is lame compared to some of the ones I visited via blogosphere. One of the things I really loved about our new house when we first looked at it was the little room off the entryway. I knew at once it would be my school room, or school closet I should say. It's about 10x8 in size, so it's larger than the average closet. But not big enough to actually set up for doing school work.

The colored bins hold writing tablets, each of the kids' readers for this year, and the read-alouds for this year, as well as the math books we won't be using until later in the year. I also keep my collection of homeschooling help books here, handy if anyone should want to borrow one. I have several bookcases that are strictly school books, organized by science, history, and language arts, plus electives.

It's not just a school closet, it also has wrapping paper and gift bags. The drawer bins hold our craft supplies. The white file holders on top of the table hold catalogues and homeschool magazines, and notebooking supplies like dividers, cardstock, page protectors.

It's also our coat closet and in the blue rubbermaid tote I keep everyone's winter boots.

It's not nearly so pretty in here as I'd like it to be, but I still feel blessed to have a place to corral all the bounty that comes with home education. I recently finished reading Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson and I loved their very practical chapter on keeping things organized. I also loved their description of the home where school takes place- House Bountiful, not House Beautiful! It's so true! There is so much extra stuff to keep track of.

So where do we school? Well, last year I tried setting up a place in the living room. We have a table in there that is kid-height and this black armoire. One drawer holds language arts materials, the other math materials. Our Bibles, dictionary, and a few Geo puzzles are kept handy for this year's study of countries and cultures. The radio is for listening to music and other audio cds and the cube has all our core books in it, as well as workbooks and books we will be using frequently.

But it is not where we are homeschooling anymore. In late spring we were given a bunch of furniture from some friends who were moving to New York. We always know people who could use furniture items, so we took it. But no one needed a kitchen table. I got tired of it blocking our entry way, so I set it up in the kitchen. And school just seems to work best for us in the kitchen. I especially love having a surface to put our wall map. The kids really enjoy studying it and I think it will help them learn their countries much more naturally this year. I throw a pretty fabric tablecloth over it if I want to make the kitchen look a little nicer. I'm also in the process of spray painting the chairs a butter yellow color.

My big hope and plan for the school closet is to get things even more organized and have more shelves and bookcases. For now, we use what we have and it is just fine. This week will be spent putting the final touches on things to hopefully set us up for a great school year!

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