Peep Into Our School Room

This post is part of the January SACH Carnival.

This month’s theme features ~

Where our family learns

Before we start a new school year, I spend a few days and de-clutter, pack away and re-stock the school shelves and rearrange the books for 2012.

Here’s a peep into our school room with some more of my organizational tips 1 and 2.  (I had fun on Picasa and created some collages of our old photos.)

The kids’ side ~

  1. Book shelves – for anyone who enters our school room, it is obvious this is where our learning happens, but we are flexible and do school work elsewhere when we need to, but we store everything  back here.
  2. Round table – 3 of us can sit around it and view the same book or white board and share the same box of markers or pencil crayons in the middle,  and I can squeeze in between who ever needs my help.
  3. Plastic table-cloth – a neat, pretty and practical solution – we wipe paint or glue off in a jiffy.
  4. Chair bags – all textbooks, files, minioffice, readers, etc. on hand so that each child stays in their seat.
  5. Individual pencil bags – each child has their own scissors, pens, pencils, ruler, glue and white board marker
  6. Stationary station – once a year I buy the largest sets of colouring pencils and big set of thin felt-tipped pens (markers), some glitter pens, stamps etc and put them each in their own boxes which tuck neatly into a larger box stored on the shelf.  We just pull out the box we need for the lesson and share the loot.
  7. Paper and card drawers – coloured paper and card, scrapbook papers etc. in plastic shelves for any project or activity.
  8. Clipboards – tucked in on the bookshelf – we grab these to go outside to do nature study or art activities elsewhere.
  9. Large white board – for my “teacher” moments for quick lessons, but it is used more often for a place to hang maps, timelines or pictures.
  10. Small white tiles – these are cheap (loose tiles I picked up after a renovation job), each with a dog-clip and sponge, the kids use these for individual spelling and maths drills and I write vocabulary in a word-bank for young narrators. (Note: not one tile has ever broken, but tiles chip or shatter if they fall.)
  11. Computer desk – I have saved for a new computer since my post here, and at last, we have a neat, new system!  Headphones and educational games in CD disk holder are really handy.
  12. Colour-coded books – thanks to Sonlight, we have their coloured stickers which help us keep readers and read alouds in their relevant groups.
  13. Nature study bags – we each have our own nature study bag with our own waterpaints, water bottle, nature study books and magnifier glass ready, hanging at the door.                                                                         
  14. Notebook files – each child has their own small file with dividers for each subject for current work.  They file completed notebook pages in a large file and bind their notes at the end of the year.
  15. World map and timeline chart – I love to use laminated maps and write and paste pictures, current events, places in our history books, journeys, etc

My side ~

  1. My desk – I’m territorial [smile] and I love my own place to work and plan, blog and pray.  I’ve just made a lovely new quilted mat for under my laptop.  I always feel good when the clutter is under control, so I try clear my desk every day week.
  2. Chair on wheels – I’m a mom on the move!  I whizz to the kids’ table and back to my desk and sit where ever I am needed.
  3. Laptop – I love my laptop!  Need I say anything more?
  4. Printer – is vital to our schooling.  The ink refill guy sees me at least once a month [smile].
  5. Notice board – a place to pin and keep my notes of things to do, calls to make, etc.
  6. Calendar – I print out a nice, large-boxed month calendar each year and keep records of school terms, visits, appointments, trips, farm information such as rainfall, cow’s lactation cycles (yes, really!) vegetable plantings, blog stats and carnival themes and dates etc. – it’s my quick reference.
  7. In/ Out trays – I bought these last year and it has kept the clutter off my desk, which I love.  I file all downloads and printouts on the bottom shelf weekly.
  8. Reference books – Right next to my desk, I can grab my favourite books easily.
  9. Planning files – I have large year files for each main curriculum on the shelf and a monthly file with everyone’s current work that generally lies on my desk.
  10. Laminator – It is one fairly expensive item I bought some years ago that I love and use!  I laminate important charts, pictures and cards that we use often.  Stuff lasts and lasts, and looks good years later!
  11. Binder – my newest office item!  I so wanted a ProClick binder, but Amazon does not post to my part of the world, so I bought a little binder and use this to create neat notebooks for some subjects and to bind the kids’ 2011 notebook pages.
  12. Paper guillotine – we all use this often!  (I bought mine when I was still a public school teacher)

It is lovely to have a dedicated school room, but when we travelled for 18 months some years ago, all that we really needed fitted into a small suitcase ~

  • an atlas
  • laminated world map that folds up
  • light plastic white board and markers
  • a pocket-sized dictionary and thesaurus
  • Bible, concordance
  • punched exam pads and notebook files
  • selected reference books
  • books for our main core studies
  • writing journals
  • maths unifix cubes in Ziploc bag

What works for you and your family and where do you and your family learn?


15 thoughts on “Peep Into Our School Room

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  6. Love this Nadine! We do so many things similarly. Perhaps due to our teaching background? Clipboards, paper drawers, statiobery supplies – all similar! I also like to keep things organized but I find it difficult to maintain it! My ADD-edness interferes and messiness ensues! I am enjoying your blog very much. Thank you for your great tips. It’s always good to learn from those a little further down the road than oneself. 🙂


  7. Thanks for the brilliant idea of using white tiles. We had some in the garage doing nothing, so I got them out and gave them to the kids. Spelling practice has never been done so cheerfully before!


  8. I love the nature bags, especially! Ours is an old backpack that should probably be replaced sometime soon.
    Thanks for sharing! I love to see how other people set up their school areas.


  9. Nadene: I really admire your creativity! I have ideas but am overextended with time demands. What I finally did to keep my sanity was create a “current” notebook for each child with separators for Language, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Personal Enrichment. As each task is accomplished it goes into the current folder, then when I need to provide a report each month (we charter homeschool), all the completed work is in one location. At the end of each semester, those pages go into the “annual” notebook. So each child ends up with one notebook per year of completed work. It’s functional. And, most importantly, it’s a system my children understand. I’d really love to be more creative and fun for my children, so I hope to adopt some of your lovely ideas!


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