Reader Space: A Lesson in Homeschool Organization

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I couldn’t be more excited to kick off 2015 with such a happy, organized and colorful reader space!

I have a lot of pals that have decided to go the homeschool route and wow!  I give them huge double high fives.  I know it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and of course, organization!

Knowing that I also have a lot of readers in the same homeschooling boat, I asked Sara of Simply Happenstance to visit today and share her absolutely stunning space.  She has created a homeschooling room that looks extremely playful, yet joyfully educational.  Enjoy!

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What is the main function of your space?

“The main function of the space was as a homeschool room for my four children. {Last year, our family moved to our local Southern California Mountains, where I began homeschooling for the first time.}  I hoped to create a space that was bright, cheerful, and conducive to learning.  I wanted my kids to feel comfortable, and be inspired daily, by their colorful artwork, schoolwork, and favorite books.  Not only did the area function as a homeschool room, but also as a creative space where the kids built with Legos, did crafts, and played boardgames.  It truly became the heart of our home!”

Any superstar tips for keeping your space organized?

“The two different bookshelves I bought from Ikea offered us numerous cubbies that I kept neatly organized with bins.  I found colorful striped bins, numbered bins, and metal bins from one of my favorite kid stores — The Land of Nod.

Since I have four children, I gave each child their own row where I organized their school books, workbooks, math manipulatives, and learning games.  Each child also had their own work station {desk space}, with their own set of drawers where they had everything they needed to work during our school day {within arms reach}.  For example, sharpened pencils, erasers, crayons, a ruler, their journals, and a few educational activities to work on quietly when they finished their schoolwork.  

Additionally, my handy husband put together a simple organizational toy bin and built bookshelves, in the closet, to house our puzzles and toddler activities {for our youngest son}.”

What items did you find essential while organizing the space, and why?

“For the space to function well and keep organized, everything in the room had its own place!  Also, school books and workbooks that we used everyday were stacked in an easy to reach location, while things we used to a lesser degree, were stored in bins, or organized in the closet.  The bookshelves and drawers for each child, were the most essential for keeping everything orderly.”

What did you do to go the extra mile and “make it pretty”?

“This was definitely the fun part!  I kept the wall color a simple creamy white, so that our artwork, school posters, and materials on our bookshelves would POP!  My husband and I found an amazing vintage globe, that lit up, at a nearby antique store.  It sat proudly on top of our large bookshelf and proved to be quite a lovely focal point in the room.

I made sure that I decorated the room with things that had meaning — a small giraffe carved out of wood made by my grandfather, the kids’ handprint art that my mother created with them, a favorite brass anchor, and even a darling portrait of the four children, blown up on a canvas.

It really made the room feel personal, loved, and overall…. cozier!  Also, I have a “thing” for beautiful curtains, cheerful garland, and artwork.  The curtains and garland were great finds from The Land of Nod.

The artwork we displayed on an art wire that we found at Ikea.  Throughout the year, we made numerous art projects, such a vibrant Chinese Lanterns that we also left out to enjoy year round!”

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

“My husband and I had some serious DIY plans, but in the end, we never quite got to them!  Life is so busy, so we focused on being bargain shoppers for this room!  All of the furniture {desks, shelves, and the repurposed kitchen cart} we bought at Ikea, with the exception of my favorite modern-industrial chairs {which we found at Target}.  The bins were purchased, on-sale, from The Land of Nod, while the educational posters only cost a few dollars at a school supply store.

All of the artwork was proudly created, by the kids, throughout the school year!”

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

“My children were free to use this space to learn, create, and discover.  As I previously mentioned, it was the heart of our home.  We have since moved, but have recreated this space in our new house.  I can’t imagine our life or home without it!  We are lucky to have a space designated to being a school/learning room, but families can certainly create similar areas, if even a small nook in their home.  I think the key is to have a spot with lots of natural light, a few organizational pieces of furniture, and lots of personal art to make the space feel cozy and bright!” 

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Even if you are not a homeschooling parent, this room is great inspiration for playrooms and even children’s bedrooms!  I love that Sara started with a blank backdrop which has allowed the heart of the room to shine.  Simple additions to the space such as the garland, handmade art projects, striped bins and family canvas, all made a big impact to the overall warmth.  The room just feels so special and loved, yet there are definite systems that keep everything orderly and tidy.  Can we talk about the awesomeness that is the work table?  And that each kiddo has a set of organized drawers below?  Sara is such a smart cookie!

There is so much more goodness going on over at Sara’s blog, you can read even more about her homeschooling room here.  A jumbo sized thank you to Sara for sharing her ideas, creativity and special space with us today.  I definitely have a few takeaways for our own playroom.

Such an incredible and inspirational way to kick off the New Year right!?  I couldn’t be more thrilled to see what you friends have in store this year!

*  All images courtesy of Simply Happenstance
ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life, big or small.  They can be anything from an organized drawer or cabinet to an entire room.  Please submit your story and photos to iheartreaderspace@gmail.com, and I would heart to feature them right here on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge “before” pictures because that just wouldn’t be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!
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