Thursday, January 23, 2014

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials: Storage and Shelving

Homeschool Essentials - Storage and Shelving

When I started homeschooling, one homeschooling friend told me, "Expect about one bookshelf per kid per year."  Meaning one homeschooler, first year - expect one shelf.  Two shelves for next year, etc. She never warned me that that was the "minimum" and homeschooling supplies would start taking over everything!  I started with two bins of "working from" materials, and a bookcase cabinet with some craft supplies.  (This wasn't counting three shelves under the steps with school supplies like crayons,  filler paper, pencils, etc. from all the kids.  Or the external hard drive I got to store downloaded curricula and ebooks.)

Then we started adding to our pile of things...more craft supplies, more books.  Cardboard tubes from paper towels that piled up on a counter until I had enough to do the project.  (When we made the Nativity Set pictured here, we needed half a dozen cardboard tubes and a formula case box.  I'm not sure if the excitement was to make the creche, or to get the kitchen counter back.)

I think the last straw was the binding machine.  I think that one, combined with the stacks of curricula and projects sent my used-to-my-clutter hubby round the bend.

We rearranged our basement to fit a table and chairs, moved things down there, and mostly reclaimed the dining room.

I think part of the issue is we have younger students -- we're still in the "games and crafts" phase of education.  We have manipulatives for math and language, sensory bins with rice and sand.  We have stacks of books for every day and for holidays.  We also have special needs kids, and instead of phys ed we have physical therapy.   That means we have that equipment as well - a balance beam and balance ball, a set of stepping stones, a hopscotch rug. And small kids like to play big-kid games, even if they're too short.

scaled small twister mat
Doesn't everyone have a scaled-down Twister game?
It all needs homes!

Now that we've got a year behind us, we also have "old curriculum" to store.  This will be a blessing as Damien comes up through preschool and into elementary grades, as we will be able to re-use what we have.  (Of course, assuming it works for him...Murphy says I'll be holding onto at least one or two things for nothing.) Ditto for Luke's things once Matthew moves up to high school. Plus, we have some great stuff from the Homeschool Review Crew that we're still using, or planning on circling back to, to fill yet another shelf.

This summer, we added a sink and counter in the basement, so that we could move the paint downstairs.  (It's hard to paint with preschoolers when you don't have running water.)  The undercounter cabinets hold shoeboxes for dioramas and egg cartons and paper towel holders for arts and crafts.   Behind the wall for the back of the cabinets, we also have a storage closet.  It now houses that binding machine, and a laminator, and a couple boxes of not-current-holiday books.  I'm trying to sort through what I want to put in that closet, because it's more suited to infrequent use/longish term storage. 

But we still have plenty that doesn't fit in the cabinets.

So I say one of the biggest essentials for homeschooling is storage and shelving units.

5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials Schoolhouse Crew ReviewThere are 90 Crew Members sharing what they think is essential to them.  That's a LOT of reading.  It would be awesome if you could read all 89 blogs, but almost 450 posts in one week is a tall task.  However, to make it a little easier for you, we've divided ourselves into smaller groups.  I'd love if you'd take a few minutes to visit the others in my group - I know there are MANY great ideas.


Laura @ Day by Day in Our World
Julie @ Nurturing Learning
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Nicole @ Journey to Excellence
Adriana @ Homeschool Ways
Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Sarah @ Delivering Grace

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  1. I agree that storage is such an important part of homeschooling and keeping organized.

  2. Oh boy, storage is one thing I need more of. We live in a very small house and I have bins and boxes everywhere!

  3. If there is a shelf in our house (in a closet, exposed, or otherwise) it is full of homeschooling books and supplies!


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