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#1 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We just moved about 7 months ago and downsized but didn't know at the time we would be homeschooling. Well..now we are and I'm lost how to set everything up! I don't want to be selfish but I don't want our small home to look like a classroom. I do enjoy decorating and making things look nice.
How did you set up? We would need to use our formal dining room for a classroom(we have a small eat in area in the kitchen as well)
Any ideas?
Pictures?
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#2 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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Keeping the books and art supplies under control are my biggest issues (even in a 1600sq ft. house) If you have the money some nice bookshelves that would be a great investment, I think. If they looked good enough maybe you wouldn't mind them in the dining room? (not a decorator, so that may be a huge faux pas. I don't know!)
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#3 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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We live in a small house with my IL's and decided to homeschool this coming school year.

There is this odd little room off the kitchen that could be considered a pantry. It's large enough for me to set up a table and chairs- child size-, my hutch, and some other odd items- a large plotter for architects that DH is going to take apart if it kills me!!!!!! It is now our "classroom". I'd post a picture if it was clean, maybe that will be a good goal for today since it's raining

I'm interested to see other set ups!!

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#4 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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Storage, storage, storage. And yes, be creative in what could be considered a work space. We do often use the dining room table for our projects, and eat in the living room. But we have a few other spaces carved out for projects, one in a bedroom, and one in this weird walk-way type of space we have. Oh, and our house is about 1500 s.f. but that's for a family of six.
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#5 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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our schoolroom is in our basement in a room that was designated as a media room.....i have pic's in our blog,but we've changed it and made it more waldorfy and set our playstands up in there. we do most of our schooling in our living room though! lol we use these http://www.mercurius-usa.com/shop,cp...98,poster.html to decorate and have the maps that are the "classic" style to make it look nicer. in our dining room we have a big bookcase hutch that i bought from pier one that also houses a bunch of my stuff for planning and teaching. in our old house we used our dresser with mirror attached in the dining room to house items and it looked awesome....my dh couldn't get past the dresser in the dining room though! it's just not okay to have that there! oh well! choosing items that are schooley yet beautiful has been a big goal for me so as not to look to much like a school....does that make sense?
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#6 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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Our house is 1280 sq ft. We have tons of closets and cupboards thank goodness, but I still have a hard time organizing. That has been my goal for this summer, to get it all together. We have a desk in Amethysts room, that is of course always covered with junk, so we don't use that. We usually end up at the kitchen table to do any type of crafts or desk work. I also emptied out a bottom cupboard in our hallway that I am going to use for ALL of our homeschooling supplies. Paper, books, etc... I am so excited to work on it!

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#7 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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We live in a small 1300 sq. ft. house(I think that's how big it is). We have a very small living room, a very small dining room, a small family room, a teeny kitchen that opens to the family room, a little mudroom, 1 cramped little office room piled with stuff, 3 teeny bedrooms (2 have sloped roofs and are very narrow attic rooms), and 1 teenytiny bathroom. And 3 kids and 1 big husky! LOL! We use the dining room for any lessons that need a table, and the big comfy squishy chairs in the living room for reading. Our kitchen does not have room for a table or island for eating. We used to have a kitchen table in the mudroom. It was a really tight fit (and who wats to eat with the coats and shoes?) and I wanted a place for my sewing machine so it isn't there anymore. Since we do lessons in the dining room I have to make sure it's all cleared away for meals (or at least pushed to one side, lol). Our dining room really is too small, though. We have a big table with 6 chairs, a corner cupboard, sideboard, endtable, small kiddie table with chairs in the corner and it's where we put all the big toys (toy kitchen, dress ups, toy vacuum, toy stroller, etc). I keep the books we are currently using arranged as neatly as possible on the side board. We keep a big plastic tub with all the arts and crafts stuff under the dining room table. I do have some school things and artwork taped to the walls of the dining room, but we tend to tape that kinda stuff all over the house, wherever the kids want it displayed. All the rest of the books we use for school are on a big bookshelf in the living room. We have 2 big shelves in the living room, I use one for our homeschool books, past and future, but it is quickly filling up and we're not sure what to do when it's full yet.
We also have a small attic and unfinished basement so we may start storing things we don't need right away in labeled tubs in the basement. We are pretty cramped in this house and could use a bigger place but can't afford one right now.
So far our arrangement in the dining room is working pretty well, but I will admit I'm a lousy decorator (we're still using the ugly curtains that came withthe house, lol) so as long as things are picked up, clean and reasonably organized i'm happy.

(Oh, and right now my house is a disaster. I kept gettinng more and more behind in housework with a difficult pg ad new baby and we're just now starting to get caught up.)
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#8 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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Our house is really tiny. We have a living room, two bedrooms and dining room bathroom and a large closet they call a kitchen. We use the dining room for everything. My sewing is at one end of the table. There is a set of shelves on that side of the table for sewing supplies and such. My computer is on the other side of the table. I put a shelf above my computer desk for school stuff. We do school work at the table. My husband and son build rockets at the table. We eat at the table. Everything happens in the dining room. It's a mess all the time.

Yesterday I cleared off the table. It's amazing to see that there really is space there. I still have a sewing machine setting on a corner, but you can actually see the top of the rest of it. It looks so different.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
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#9 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 01:39 PM
 
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We are similar to fourlittlebirds with about 1500 sq.ft. for six of us. Intelligent storage is definitely what's needed. We don't have it. Relentless decluttering helps too, but we all have packrat tendencies ... and with no library we've found it necessary to accumulate huge numbers of books. We certainly have our challenges!

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#10 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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I haven't tried this, but have heard of people using plastic rolling bins (like this)under the dining room table as hs storage - pull them out when you're working on hs stuff, push them under when you want the dr to be a dr, with a tablecloth you wouldnt be able to see them much at all.

My house is big, but we're still messy and disorganized when it comes to storing and using hs and craft supplies.
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#11 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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Our house is 1200 square feet, plus about 400 square feet of almost-finished basement.

Right now the kids enjoy sharing a bedroom, so we use the third bedroom as a classroom. I don't know how much longer this will work, as DD is increasingly wanting her own "space" (although she's not ready to sleep alone at night.) I'm thinking maybe we can get one more year out of this arrangement. Hopefully be then we will be in a new house. I hope.

If not, we will use the downstairs somehow and re-arrange it. If I had a dining room AND an eat-in kitchen I would definitely use the dining room as a classroom.

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#12 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 02:34 PM
 
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Our house is large enough I guess.
We do stuff all over (outside sometimes too) so there isn't a classroom feel. We work in the living room at the coffee table often. Sometimes we use the dining table.

I have a shelf unit with all the books and some supplies in a small area just off the living room. The shelf fits behind the bathroom door so if the bathroom door is open you don't see it at all. I hung up some corkboard above it to hang up pictures or maps in one spot.
I have some stuff like extra paper put away in desk drawers at our computer desk.

If you don't want to see stuff all the time you could put it in a cabinet with doors or a storage box that you put away at the end of each day. In my living room I have an inexpensive corner table with stuff stored under it and a tablecloth covering it all. You would not know that there are ugly weights stored under there. I have a plant on the table.

At our previous house, I had a shelf unit behind the couch to store homeschool stuff. It was about the same height so wasn't super obvious. Dd also kept toys back there.

Maybe you could use your kitchen area for storing homeschool supplies.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#13 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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We live in 1 room with a walk in closet. We have access to bathroom and kitchen but that is shared space.

We put wall length shelves up to store any supplies.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#14 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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We live in a 1100 sqft house and have only 2 bedrooms, so not really any extra space for anything. Dh and I came up with a design for a built in office area in our dining room. Here is a pic (scroll mid of page). http://naturallysimple.blogspot.com/...ramblings.html we also added a small filing cabinet. I have file folders that I store everything in. In the bottom drawer I store extra supples and I also have a few baskets on the upper shelves that store extras. Other than that I keep everything on the shelves on the left side. I keep it simple and use the library as much as possible so that i can return the books and not worry about storing them!

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#15 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Storage is key, especially if you don't want your house to look like a school room. I've seen some pictures of converting an armoire into holding most of your supplies behind closed doors, seems like the neatest and easiest solution. If I find the link, I'll come back and post it, but you could also find some ideas by doing a google seach on the subject.
good luck,
Di
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#16 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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I keep alot of our "school" stuff in a microwave cart I recycled and a small armoire with doors. Books, reference, craft materials, ongoing projects, etc.

My house is 2300 SF and the truth is that is TOO MUCH HOUSE.
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#17 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 05:34 PM
 
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We've got about 2300 square feet, but it's broken up in an odd design and we don't have one room just for homeschooling. I store supplies on a bookshelf in the computer area and I have an organizer cart I purchased from Lowes (it has 5 pull out drawers with Monday - Friday stenciled on the front) where Elle keeps her current work for the week.

We work on the dining room table or at the island in the kitchen. Sometimes she works on a lap desk in her room. Dh purchased a piece of plywood to sit on top of my son's train table so that it can double as a work space. The problem I'm having is that, due to the strange layout of the floor plan, our supplies are in one part of the house and our work area is in another. It seems much more disorganized to have it set up this way. I'm hoping we can finish part of the basement so that we can have a separate area for schooling.
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#18 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakesuperiormom View Post
LSM, how big are those posters? I can't find dimensions on the site. They are beautiful.

**Kat**
Homeschooling her 5 year old.
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#19 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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we have a 4 bedrooms/2bath home and it's 2200 sq ft. our 4th bedroom is my husband's office right now (and where my computer is too), but this set-up will hopefully change in the next year or two - i plan to make it our "school room" when dh gets an office in charlotte. right now we do "school" in the kitchen or in the kid's play tent on our porch. i store stuff on a big shelf in our laundry room. next year, i may create a school space, but like the OP i don't want "school" in the kid's bedroom. i tried that already and have redecorated it already..... it just was too modge podge for me and we hated it.

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#20 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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Tiny ~700 sq. ft. we have no room for everything, so our living room is basically like an unorganized library!

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#21 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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Our house is 1500 square feet (3 bed/2 bath with a den and living room). We don't have a school room or a play room. We also don't have enough bookcase room. That said, we have two of these shelving units from Ikea, but we took one shelf off one and added it to the other. So, in the living room next to my hutch and file cabinet is the taller one with as many books as I could put on it. Then, in the dining room as a "sideboard", I have the shorter one with homeschooling stuff. Also, when we planned the kitchen (we did a major remodel before moving in), I made sure to have one cabinet/drawer at the end nearest the dining room table for homeschool supplies. Sometimes we'll do something at the dining room table (the only real written work that we seem to do anymore is math). The boys love to draw/do art, so that is done at the dining room table too. (I need to get a picnic table table-cloth to keep my table a bit nicer.) But, yea, getting good storage and also being picky about what you have/use is important.

Bookcase in Living Room
Lakeshore Learning cubbie shelves used as another bookcase in Living Room
Kitchen cabinet for hs'ing storage
Cabinet drawer for pencils, pens, crayons, etc
Shorter bookcase in Dining Room as sideboard for hs'ing books

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#22 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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We have a space for school in our "office" room, but most of what we do is at the kitchen table anyway. It allows for all 5 of us to sit and have space and my 2 yr old feels included...although sometimes I want her ex-cluded! At least she can sit at the table and not reach the scissors and microscope.
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#23 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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Our house is 1500 square feet (3 bed/2 bath with a den and living room). We don't have a school room or a play room. We also don't have enough bookcase room. That said, we have two of these shelving units from Ikea, but we took one shelf off one and added it to the other. So, in the living room next to my hutch and file cabinet is the taller one with as many books as I could put on it. Then, in the dining room as a "sideboard", I have the shorter one with homeschooling stuff. Also, when we planned the kitchen (we did a major remodel before moving in), I made sure to have one cabinet/drawer at the end nearest the dining room table for homeschool supplies. Sometimes we'll do something at the dining room table (the only real written work that we seem to do anymore is math). The boys love to draw/do art, so that is done at the dining room table too. (I need to get a picnic table table-cloth to keep my table a bit nicer.) But, yea, getting good storage and also being picky about what you have/use is important.

Bookcase in Living Room
Lakeshore Learning cubbie shelves used as another bookcase in Living Room
Kitchen cabinet for hs'ing storage
Cabinet drawer for pencils, pens, crayons, etc
Shorter bookcase in Dining Room as sideboard for hs'ing books
oooooooh ahhhhhh

i wanted to climb into my computer & into your photos and sit for hours thumbing through your books! LOVE it!! LOVE it!!

homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7 blogging.jpg

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#24 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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oooooooh ahhhhhh

i wanted to climb into my computer & into your photos and sit for hours thumbing through your books! LOVE it!! LOVE it!!
Thanks! The sad thing is that lately we have been watching more TV than reading all of those wonderful books. So, I'm making a point of reading a couple different times a day to the boys. We used to read a lot and then with moving and unpacking, the TV was an easy distraction and now it's a habit.

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#25 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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Our house is 2bdrm, with a walkthrough kitchen, formal dining room, living room, and office. The office doubles as the school storage room. I had to come to a compromise about the use of space - I didn't want it to look like a schoolroom but I wanted to have one. So, we have a dresser that holds all the different manipulatives for each subject, with out of date ones in boxes. There's a small bookcase that has most of the books. Only a poster of G. Washington on the wall, since I believe that maps, drawings, etc. should be down for easy access during lessons. In the evening, the surfaces are cleared off, the drawers are shut, and it looks like a normal office area. During the day everything gets pulled out and used anywhere else in the house.
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#26 of 57 Old 06-04-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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We're in an 1100 sq ft place and have no cupboards. I am currently on the search for a wide shelf unit that looks nice to stack all our games/puzzles on. I have a few drawers in my entertainment unit dedicated to smaller games/puzzles etc and the kids have an activity table at one end of our long lounge room with craft/writing area with nice looking baskets/trays etc set out so I don't feel like it looks too utility like. All our books are in the kids bedrooms along with most toys (which they are free to bring out into the living rooms).

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#27 of 57 Old 06-05-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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Our house is 3050 sq/ft. We do have an office with desks for the kids and shelves with lots of our homeschool supplies on them, but we end up at the kitchen table almost 100% of the time.

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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#28 of 57 Old 06-05-2008, 03:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
Tiny ~700 sq. ft. we have no room for everything, so our living room is basically like an unorganized library!
Same here! Each room of our house seems to house some of our hs'ing items, but most of the books and my hs'ing magazines are in the living room. Basically we just have things stuffed and piled all over.
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#29 of 57 Old 06-05-2008, 06:40 AM
 
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We live in a large house but have no school room. We are lucky enough to have a playroom and that's where I've got maps on the wall (though you could put maps in the bedrooms), a computer, dvd player, toys, stuff like cuisenaire rods, microscope, electricity set, etc.

I keep books in DS' bedroom and we have a fairly large bookcase that I found at a thrift shop. It's a large square divided into 9 squares. It's perfect for holding kids books. Even though I prefer living in this house, we had a similar set-up (minus playroom) when we lived in 800 sqft apartment for 2.5 years. I really don't think you need a large space to homeschool.
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#30 of 57 Old 06-05-2008, 10:22 AM
 
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We have a measley 980 sq ft. It works for us (family of 4) for now. Hopefully we can get our basement re-done in the next few yrs & add on an additional 600 sq ft.

Lola , loving my DH, Mama to & we &
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