Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homeschooling Without a School Room

I've always wanted a school room - a room dedicated to all of the books, pencils, marker-boards, encyclopedias, posters, and arts and crafts projects we use daily.  We don't have a school room, though. When we aren't living in a travel trailer {traveling with my husband's job}, we live in a 2000 square foot home {which isn't that big when you have five children}.

Our school is done at our dining room table. Until recently, we had a small table and four chairs, with two extra chairs at our kitchen bar {which is table-height and I love it!}. Now, we have a huge table with eight chairs, and two more at the kitchen bar. We finally have plenty of room for everyone to eat and spread out!

This is our dining room/school room! Most of work is done at this table. I love how we can all sit here and have plenty of space to spread out our books and pencils and crayons. In the china cabinet, on the bottom shelf, you might can see where I keep our encyclopedia set. This is an old set that belonged to Rod's grandmother. I think it's from the 1970's! It is still relevant - after all, history is history - but I would love a newer version with current events and modern history.{I'm sure you noticed his antler collection on top of the china cabinet.} And, yes, when school is over, the table is always this clean. It's imperative to me that our dining room table be cleared off each day after lunch. I don't like clutter, especially on my table!

This is a view from the other side of the dining room. The shelf to the left holds all of our manipulatives - pattern blocks, Cuisenaire rods, place value village, letter and number tiles, counters, dice, get the idea! I like having all of our manipulatives in one place. It makes it much easier to grab what I need and put things away where they go. The polka-dot bag holds our library books. {Notice my husband's arrowhead collection in the top left corner. He found most of those himself!}

Here is a close-up of the storage shelf. I thought about taking pictures of the inside of the storage cubes, but I decided to spare you the details!

These two shelves hold our reference and education books {like dictionaries}, as well as books the kids will be reading for school, my teacher binders, my blog binder, and a few more manipulatives. The shelf to the left holds our pencils, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks and scissors. In the brown basket, I keep extra scissors and white glue, do-a-dot markers, crayons, staplers, and things like that. Our pencil sharpeners, hole punch, and paper clips are to the left of the basket. On the top of the right shelf, I have a tray with all of our stickers {and apparently a tube of paint today}. I also have a white basket with random things that I may need for the week. It gets cleaned out each Saturday. In the very right corner, we have a basket of coloring books.

To the right of our fireplace, I have three bins. {These bins came from Wal Mart for less than $6 each!} I have Mercie's, Silas's, and Titus's school work in their own bins.

To the left of the fireplace, I have two bins with Mikaela and Eli's schoolwork in them. The plastic draw has paper - printer paper and construction paper. I like to have it handy! On top, in the blue bin, I have loose papers we are using and other things like that. I keep my printer on this little table. Under the table, in the orange basket, is my laminator and laminating sheets. I have our two laptops on top of the printer, along with the headset we use for Rosetta Stone. I like having everything in a central location. Our computers share a charger, so it's convenient to keep them in the same place.

I may not have the fanciest, cleanest or best-decorated home, but we love it. It feels very cozy and comfortable to our family {and my husband is proud of his deer and his collection of antlers and arrowheads}. Sometimes, I worry that our dining room will lose the "dining room" feel {does that even make sense?} and feel too much like a classroom. I try to keep it clutter-free and as organized as possible to keep it "dining room-y". {I'm making up words now, ha.}

I showed these pictures because some people feel like they can't homeschool because they don't have a school room or a big enough house. This is not true! With a little organizing and creativity, you can make any room a "school room" without losing the homey feel. That's what I hope I've done to our dining room!

Where do you do school? How do you organize? What would you change about my dining room if you were me? Hey - I'm always looking for ideas!


  1. you've done a great job of organizing your house, keeping all the parts handy, while still maintaining the usefulness for both jobs. :)

  2. It's lovely! Cozy and comfortable. ♥ And organized! So happy you have a nice dinner table - love that you keep it cleaned off. :)

    1. I think it's pretty cozy myself. It's a task to keep it cleaned off, but one that I diligently working at!

  3. It's well organized. Love your big table!

  4. It's pretty and it's well-organized, unlike my schoolroom when I did have one. LOL We have always done most of our homeschooling at the dining room table as well.

  5. I sometimes think I would like a schoolroom but then I imagine how much more it will take to keep it organized! We also school at the table/around the house. Each of our girls has a desk in her room and that helps when peace and quiet is needed. Love the look and layout. - Lori

  6. I love the cleared table. Mine always has something on it. I miss it looking like that.

    And the antlers brought a smile. You are a sweet wife :)

  7. We use the kitchen table for most of our schoolwork and we have two whole shelves in the bottom of the pantry for all our non-book school supplies. I too MUST have the table cleared off when school is done. I can't stand clutter. Your room looks lovely.

  8. I used to "think" I wanted a school room, but realized that we love to school all over our home. We use our table for our Morning Basket time, and then we migrate to where ever we are comfortable. This week it our extra room - like a school room so we could watch our chrysalis and I'm guessing that next week as temperatures drop we may want to be in front of the wood burning.

    Enjoy your new table!