Homeschool Purchases and Organization — Furniture, etc.

Actually, there is no such thing as homeschool furniture or purchases since everybody’s home is unique and everyone has their own style!  But that being said, there are a few purchases I’ve made in the past six months that I really love and I wanted to share. 

Book Display Shelves:

We have all kinds of book displays, but I wanted one that looked “nice” and would display the writing books in a forward facing style in “my” part of the writing workshop area.  (The kids and I write together every day… and you can see pictures of our “writing workshop area at the bottom of this post.). This wood forward facing book display was about $55 from Amazon. I wanted forward facing shelves so I could easily grab what I wanted.I like that the shelves are tilted and quite deep. I often have 3 or 4 layers of books stacked on these shelves.

Desktop Easel:

We started back up with our spelling program this semester. We didn’t do any spelling last semester because we spent a lot of our energy creating a daily writing workshop routine. (Read all about our Homeschool Writing Workshop in this series of posts.)  We use All About Spelling and just love it!  ED started the first volume and just loves it. DD is in the 4th book and LD is in the 5th volume.

We bought a new tabletop easel (by Learning Resources) recently.  It is bigger than the one we used to use (which you can see in our writing workshop pictures at the bottom of this post).  We store some of the other spelling tiles in the space behind on another magnetic board and bring it out only when needed. I really like the way this one looks. Some people use wall mounted dry erase boards. We always work together on the floor, so this works well for us!

 Desk Organizer:

The other recent purchase I made was a desk organizer. My work area sits in the corner of our dining room (I/We spend a lot of time in the kitchen/dining room!!). But… papers often piled up and made my little desk look messy. I wanted something that I could close off the mess, but still have my calendar, post ideas and other thing close at hand.

If you zoom in on the papers to the left you can see it looks pretty messy, right? What I love about this desk organizer (by Victor) is that you can close off the shelves! Perfect!

Wooden Tray Table:

We get a lot of use out of the wooden tray tables we bought at Walmart (for around $10). We haul them around the house or outside.  They’re convenient to have on hand.

Organizing Tote:

I have had a lot of medical (ear/balance) issues the past six months and we have had to homeschool on the go more than I ever envisioned (because of doctor’s appointments and tests).  When my son’s gymnastics’ team had a fundraiser, I hesitated and fretted about getting a thirty-one utility tote. In the beginning of the year, I saw a blog post by a teacher who raved about her bag.  In the end, I wound up ordering a zip-top tote.  I am so glad I did! It has come in so handy. It holds tons of books and holds its shape so it will stand upright. (There are 4 notebooks and 3 books in the bag in the photo and there’s room for much more).  I liked it so much that I wound up getting a smaller one that holds my Kindle and 4 or 5 small books. I especially like that there’s a mesh pockets on the ends that can easily carry two drink bottles (without the worry of tipping over and spilling on our books and notebooks). I linked to their catalog above (I’m not affiliated; nor am I a consultant) and I’ve seen them on ebay as well. (Shhh… don’t tell my sister, but I just bought one for her!)

Since I’m on the topic of organization, here are some pictures of what we do with our homeschool room:

This room is truly a mish-mash of furniture… much of which was free from friends (including the long craft table, the coffee table where the CD player sits and that computer table where the kids do math!).  It works for now!

On our “craft table” we always have long strip of butcher paper (you can see the roll of butcher paper under the window), which the kids draw on all the time!

We still use workboxes that house various textbooks, printables.  These are great for keeping our homeschool materials organized (most of the time!)  You can often find these on sale at Joann Fabric.

And just because you might be curious here are some other pictures of our homeschool area that I’ve shared before.  As I said above, our home is a mish-mash of furniture because when we moved back from Australia a few years ago (where we had lived for 12 years) we had very little furniture and a family of five to buy for (beds, couches, dining room table, etc.). We love the couch our friend gave us last year.  We sat (warm and snug) in front of the wood stove all winter long!

I’m no carpenter, but have the ability to use a saw and hammer. When LD was little, I wanted a book display case. They couldn’t be found anywhere in our small town in the Australian Outback, so I took an old curtain rod, some dowels and a few pieces of wood to construct my own.  We STILL use this (as you can see in the picture above!! Here are pictures of the project in action… by the way, I only had about 4 tools total… I’m still pretty impressed I eyeballed this and made it work!

And finally, here is our writing workshop area:

That’s about it!

P.S. I’m not an affiliate at this point (April 2014) for Amazon or All About Spelling. I just shared the links to their products for your convenience and because I like them. All About Spelling has really wonderful service.

P.P.S. If you like organizing, you might check out the ideas at Bored Panda. I thought their  organization ideas were useful and creative. Some of their ideas include creating drawers under the stairs and hiding/camouflaging those ugly computer cables in various ways.

~Liesl

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