Today I am taking you on a tour of our homeschool spaces and how we homeschool without a room.
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I have been homeschooling for over 8 years now **mind-blowing** and four of my kids are school-age this year. We used to have a designated homeschool room in our basement but I decided this past fall to move everything out. I admit that was a total spur-of-the-moment nesting decision. You can check out my Why I Choose To Homeschool Without A Room post that explains why I decided to not have a separate homeschool room.
RELATED POST: Check out how our homeschool room was setup
We now have two main homeschool spaces. We have a homeschool set up in the dining room and a homeschool setup in the living room.
Homeschool Space in Dining Room
Not only do we eat all of our meals here in our dining, but we also homeschool in here as well.
I love schooling here at our dining room table. All of my kids can comfortably sit here at one time. I find it easier for me to be able to help or keep an eye on multiple kids. It gives us a lot more space for the kids to work at and can better spread out their school work.
A lot of times the toddlers want to be with us and do “school” with their big siblings and they can comfortably sit at the table with us here.
Another big plus to homeschooling at the dining room table is it helps with the sibling bickering since they are a little more spaced. There isn’t as much “he’s touching me” or “I don’t like how so and is looking at me”
Anyone else’s kids do that? Please tell me it’s not just my kids?
Maps are a must-have for homeschooling, IMHO. I bought these huge U.S. and world maps off of Amazon for a really good price. We often use these maps to find the different places mentioned in our books and stories. It’s really cool when you see the little connections your kids make like “Oh Wow! That is near where this person from another story was too!”.
These adorable little vintage school desks are right next to the maps. One was a great thrift find for $9 and the other was a cheap find on facebook marketplace. I have plans on giving these a makeover sometime this summer. These two desks are for my littles.
Roman’s (my two year old) has a bin with a notebook for him to scribble in and a Seton’s prek workbook. His bin fits underneath his desk.
My four-year-old, Ignatius, has a slightly larger desk and if you lift the top there’s storage. I keep his notebook, folder for his drawings, his The Good and the Beautiful alphabet flip chart, and homeschool folder in here. Although we don’t do any formal school work at this age, it’s nice to have some workbooks on hand for when the little ones do want to do “school”.
We just added these built-in cabinets and shelves a couple of months ago and it has been amazing! This opened so much space in the dining room and has given me a ton more homeschool storage space.
Although our built-in cabinets are mainly for homeschool storage, I still wanted it to be nicely decorated and pretty. I still want my dining room to feel very much like a dining room that we happen to homeschool in, versus a homeschool room that we happen to eat in. So the shelves are for mainly decor. I do have a magazine holder that I will put some homeschool books in but the ultimate goal to have the shelves uncluttered with homeschool stuff.
On the top left side of the built-in cabinets is where we have our printer, homeschool caddy, and pencil sharpener. The homeschool caddy is where I store the homeschool supplies we use almost daily like pencils, kid scissors, and glue sticks. Because we go through so many pencils, we finally invested in this nice pencil sharpener from Amazon. It may seem so silly to say but this pencil sharpener is one of my favorite homeschool products.
The left side of the built-in cabinets is our computer area. We built these so if someone is working on the computer, we can just open the bottom left cabinets so we can comfortably sit here. The shelf above the computer is where I keep a junk basket to throw any miscellaneous items and a magazine holder for mail.
Next to the computer is a cheap paper organizer I bought from Ikea. From top shelf to bottom:
- Catholic Homebody stuff
- anything home-related like bills, or recipes
- schoolwork I need to look at/ grade
- kids art work/ drawings they want to keep
The drawer to the far right side of the built-in cabinets is where I keep my special pens or markers, washi tape, lens wipes, note pads, index cards, the bluetooth speaker, and bullet journals.
The next drawer is where office supplies go. This is where I keep all my different hole punches, paper cutter, stapler, extra staples, paper and binder clips, and book darts. I love using these cheap drawer organizers from Target to really organize and create a home for everything.
Next is the middle drawers
The top middle drawer doesn’t have anything homeschool-related in it. This is where I keep all my table linen and extra candles. The middle drawer is where I like to keep extra diapers and wipes. The bottom middle drawer is where I keep our portable DVD player and a case of educational CDs/DVD. Having the DVD player has been such a nice thing to have on hand especially because some of our studies like Latin are reliant on DVDs. It’s also nice because the portable DVD player can stay on the charger while in the drawer.
To the left of the middle drawers is where I keep colored pencils, crayons, and markers. I’m using basic plastic pencil cases because they are fit perfectly in the drawers, the kids can easily grab them and go, and they’re super cheap! I also keep our educational flashcards here.
The last drawer is where I keep extra school supplies like glue and crayons (always got to have an extra box of crayons), my dry erase markers, printer ink, water color paints, jars for painting, and paint brushes. We do water color painting a lot and it is nice to have all the painting supplies ready and easy for the kids to get.
Now for the bottom cabinets. On the left is where I keep a banker box full of extra school supplies like folders, binders, notebooks, lined paper, and binder tabs. Does anyone else like to stock up on extra school supplies during back to school season?
I have another banker box that stores extra art supplies like tissue paper, contact paper, and acrylic paint. My girls’ activity books to keep them busy while they wait for me in between subjects are in here too.
I also keep a paper organizer that has card stock, copy paper, and line paper.
Next is what I call my “littles cabinet”. This is where I store all the stuff to keep my little guys busy while I do school with the big kids. I have a container of playdoh. Playdoh is a favorite for my little ones and actually keeps them busy for more than two seconds. I have a bin that has a couple blank books, number shape erasers, and a letter tracing kit. My goal is to stock up on various items that the littles can mess with while we homeschool. These items are meant to be used ONLY during school time too.
We eventually plan on adding a shelf to this cabinet so we can also use this space to store education games like Boggle, Scrabble, etc.
Until I can find somewhere else, our Math U See manipulative are kept here as well.
Then it’s my “teacher cabinet”. In here I have my accordion organizer that holds our future schoolwork for the open and go homeschool folders and any schoolwork I decide to save. I also have a bin that holds the teacher manuals I reference often and my teacher binder.
It’s important that our homeschool stuff is organized in a way the kids can easily put their school stuff away when they’re done. But because we do use our dining room to eat, the reality is that our built-in cabinets often get cluttered by the end of the day.
Funny thing now but not so funny in the moment thing, when we were in the middle of building our built-in cabinets and shelves, we ended up having a pipe leak in the foundation. This resulted in us having to reroute all our plumbing from going down into the foundation to going up through the ceilings. So now we have all these holes everywhere. We will be patching those up soon. Plus side is now I have an excuse to give my dining room a mini makeover **wink wink**
Well, right next to one of the ugly holes in the wall is our homeschool carts.
Bradley, my middle schooler has his own cart. His is the smaller green cart. I bought this last year from Ikea. He has a lot more books compared to the girls and since he does most of his studies independently so he gets his own cart.
His top shelf has his Kolbe binder, narration notebook, a grid notebook for math, IEW, grammar, and then Latin books. IEW, grammar, and Latin are in magazine holders that I bought as a pack from Amazon for an awesome price.
The middle shelf is where his history, science, and religion books will go.
The bottom shelf is empty because it is very awkward putting anything on the bottom of these carts. Although I love using carts for organization, my biggest problem is that I can’t comfortably fit a lot of books on anything but the top shelf.
My girls share this larger cart I bought from Michaels. I love how this one is wider and can fit at least all three of my girls’ main books on the top.
From left to right, first is Genevieve’s section which has her folder for completed schoolwork, notebook, open and go homeschool folder, and in her magazine holder is her religion, narration notebook, and grammar. Kateri’s is in the middle and then Avila’s section, both set up the same as Genevieve’s.
RELATED POST: Check out what and how I set up our Open and Go Homeschool Folders
The middle shelf is where I keep our history and science books. The girls do history and science altogether. When it’s time for history or science they can paint or do some type of quiet handiwork while they listen so I have here some watercolor paper.
I had bought a bunch of cheap drawer organizers from Target a while ago and they fit nicely here and am using them to better organize Kateri and Avila’s shared books. Luckily all this stuff are small and was able to organize this middle part well.
The bottom shelf is where keep our toy basket. My kids are notorious for leaving toys scattered all throughout the house so I like having small baskets like this in almost every room to throw the stray toys in.
Here on the side, I keep our family basket/ morning basket/ bag. This is where I keep all the books we read aloud together as a family. I’ve always felt weird calling our morning basket a morning basket since it’s not in an actual basket and we read our stuff at various times of the day, not just the morning. I know it doesn’t really matter but I’m weird. Using this cheap canvas tote bag is nice because it makes it easier to carry around. I got this as a two-pack. The other one is for library books.
So that’s our homeschool set up in the dining room, now onto the homeschool space in the living room.
Homeschool Space in Living Room
I want our living room to still mainly be a living room and not overrun by homeschool stuff however we do have this small table.
I bought this from Ikea, it was actually my mother’s day gift to myself. A lot of times I work with only one kid at a time here because the table is so small. The other kids will just play on the other side of the living room. Occasionally, I will have two kids doing school at this table at once. It just depends on what it is they’re working on.
In general, this table has been really nice to have here in the living room. We often have kids play board games or draw here at the table. Especially when we are doing our family read alouds in the evening, they will like to sit here and color.
So when I decided to move everything out of our basement I knew I wanted all of our books to be in the living room. I love having our books in the main area of our house because I believe it helps encourage a love of reading.
The top two shelves on the left bookshelf are where I keep any curriculum I am not using. I do have the books categorized by subject.
Below those is our nature shelf. This is where my kids can keep any nature treasures they find like sticks, feathers, rocks, etc. and under the nature shelf is where our nature books, art, and science books are.
Next is mom’s shelf. I use this shelf to keep the books I am currently reading, which usually consist of a religious book or two, a homeschool book, and a book for pure pleasure.
The very bottom shelf is where I keep our library books and some toddler puzzles.
The top skinny middle shelf is this cute home sweet homeschool sign I picked up at Hobby Lobby last year. This is such a cute piece to have here. Under that is all of our virtues and habit training books are.
In the middle is where I like using this small caddy as our junk bin. Any miscellaneous item just gets thrown in this. This is very helpful in preventing the bookshelves from getting cluttered with random things.
Below that is where my homeschooling books for mom, parenting, and other self-help types of books are.
The two bottom shelves on the middle bookshelf are where any school books or papers go when we do school work up here. I would eventually like to get a paper tray for here.
The top shelf on the bookshelf to the right is where our adult Catholic books are and under that are all our Catholic kid books.
Under the religious books are mainly classics. These books are usually where we keep our family read aloud.
The next shelf is beginner reader books and beginner chapter books.
Below that are all our picture books.
Lastly, at the very bottom of the right bookshelf is all the board books.
And right next to my bookshelves is my reading chair. I love this little setup because it’s my little comfy spot although my kids like to read here too.
Occasionally we do school on the couch. Especially if I am not feeling well, when I’m pregnant, just had a baby, or if nursing. We do our family read alouds mainly in this part of the house. So we keep our morning basket/ family read aloud either on the bookshelf or fireplace if its not in the dining room.
Sometimes I go through phases where I prefer to school in the living room over the dining room and I will bring up their homeschool carts. That’s one of the nice things about using carts, they’re mobile.
So that’s it for my homeschool without a room tour and how I’ve set up homeschool spaces in both my living room and dining room. Now I would like to know, where is your preferred homeschooling spot and where are you currently setting up your homeschool space?
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