Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Work Space

A poster over at Secular Homeschool in this post asked to see pictures of fellow homeschoolers' work spaces. I love to see how other homeschoolers organize and create areas for education within the home. I always come away with ideas and inspiration. I know that for our family, we have a dedicated work area, but we often venture out of that area and into other parts of the home (namely the kitchen). That was especially true before I converted the playroom on our second level into a space dedicated to housing the things we use for homeschooling. One of the reasons we bought this home was this room and we know how lucky we are to have it! It was great as a playroom, but even better as our workspace. It's such a bright, sunny spot that we actually look forward to mornings spent in the room. But wandering still does occur - and is encouraged! At some point, I hope to get new furniture so that I can consolidate some things and have an area with some overstuffed chairs for reading. But it will have to wait... for now I'm really happy with the way things turned out!

I actually store some of our books in the hallway just outside the room
The first shelf houses novels, anthologies, ancient history and books on the middle ages.
The second shelf is home to (more) novels - especially books in a series, holiday books, picture books, & early modern history through today.

View from the doorway - we have an enormous timeline that goes along the top of the back wall

My middle two sit at the center table for the most part, but we often do our art projects, music, etc. at this table

This is my desk (messy!). The bookcase on the right holds more project supplies as well as some extra teaching resources that are not currently being used. The shelf on the left holds extra binders, books and manual that are currently being used, and behind the doors - extra paper and materials needed for projects throughout the year (it is not normally decorated for Chinese New Year - but it's a great spot to hang stuff like that!). Obviously, the bridging shelves hold even more of our books.  And one of the best things in this corner... the photocopier/printer and stand. Talk about well-used!

View from back corner - I use the back of the doors to hold our word books, calendar and 100s chart (mainly used for my 6-year old), and a white board - I really need a bigger white board and am in the process of figuring out where it would go.

The windows are all flanked with bookcases. The low bookcases are organized by subject. The tall bookcases are for books and curriculum in use by the kids. Each daughter has one of the bottom shelves. This becomes her "locker" (though we don't use that word) where she keeps her black holder (this holds all workbooks, reading books, etc., that she needs on a daily basis), her current binders, and anything else she wants to keep there (we have purses, dolls, crayons, etc., on these shelves). The top shelves hold the upcoming curriculum & books for each girl, and on the right-hand shelf, the middle shelves hold their assigned reading books for the year. The bookcases are also used to hold the girls' reading chains (they add a link for each assigned book with the title, author, and their rating). My youngest daughter usually sits at the round table in the corner - she likes to spread waaaaay out and usually ends up working under the table instead of on it. =)

We have a fishing line across the room to hold art projects and other items that the girls want to display (it's a little bare right now as I just took everything down last week so we could start over). There is also an extra desk that is a computer "station" and comes in handy for spelling (I use Spell Quizzer) and internet research. The low shelf on the end holds science books and displays books we are using for any subject.

The math shelf (math + goldfish = fun). I added labels this year in an effort to help the kids remember where things go after they take them out - it has made a BIG difference! Things are being put away correctly for a change.

This shelf is home to poetry, geography and biography books/games.

Each daughter has her own bulletin board for displaying her work for the week. I added this feature in this year because the girls felt that they weren't able to share their work enough. At the end of the week, they show everything to Daddy (or Nana... or the neighbor...) and it's really worked out well. It's helped involve my husband more than he ever has been before. And the girls are really proud of what they do so it's nice for them to be able to showcase it a little. (This board belongs to DD9.)

DD10's board - her desk is right below it.

DD7's board - above the computer station

DD6's board - above the photocopier/printer

I added the round corner shelves in order to store our art and science gear out in the open. The low shelf next to it holds more science equipment, and the cart below it holds scrap paper.

I added an additional bookcase this year to hold our reading reference material (dictionaries, thesauruses, etc.) plus reading instruction books and leveled readers.
This has to be one of my favorite bookcases in the room because the drawers neatly hold so much! All the construction paper, tissue paper, wood craft sticks and dowels, buttons, beads, clay, pipe cleaners, etc., etc., etc., are hidden away but easily accessible. The top holds a few more supplies (scissors, tape and other things we grab every day) plus more of our picture books.
Thanks for visiting our work space!


  1. Fabulous space, it is so workable, thanks for sharing, love it!!!

    The bulletin board for each child is something I want/need to do also, just have to find the wall space really!

  2. Love your space! Wow! For your white board you could get the white board paint *Michael's should have some* and then find a decent section of wall. Or make smaller ones for each of your daughters with it. One packet produced two decent sized white boards for us.

  3. Wow! What a great space! I am so envious!!

    I love the drawings of your girls next to the bookshelves in the hall!

  4. Oh my gosh, you are so organized! You definitely do not want to see our...ummm...workspaces. One because we don't have any and two because they are always strewn with markers, papers, toys, and every other thing imaginable.

  5. Awesome! I am hoping that you will drop in and do that to my space;) LOL

  6. Looks amazing! What a perfect room--so light and spacious.

  7. Thank you all so much! I really appreciate the nice comments - they have made my day!

    @S - Ours is strewn, too, during the week!!! Every Friday we pick-up so that we can start the next week clean, & this was taken early Monday before we started. ;)

    @Holmes Family - Did not know about whiteboard paint (chalkboard, yes; whiteboard, no)!

  8. Ok. I am officialy jealous!
    Your room is amazing and such beautiful natural light!

  9. I LOVE your workspace! I'm also extremely jealous, I would love that much space! It is beautifully organized and looks so inviting. I read my blogs in google reader & read so many it's hard to keep track of what blog has what kids, but the moment I saw the bookcases outside your schoolroom I said-- no boys! I would love glass front cases but I know my son and it would be a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen!

    I agree about hanging their work up. My guy is just a toddler and right now we use the side of the fridge but he is so excited and proud to show Daddy and Nana the work he has hanging there.

  10. What a great space!! I wish we had a space like that - we use the dining room for most things "school". Eating dinner at the same small table the artwork is drying on can leas to some hectic days.

  11. Thanks so much for all the nice compliments!! =D
    I appreciate it so very much!