Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homeschool Organization - The Before and After


Actually, it's the After first as I have a hard time even stomaching the Before. You'll remember the dark 70's paneling where our math manipulatives duked it out with Plutarch for space on the shelves - that will be the final photo.

Charlotte Mason considered order and neatness among the branches of education that "should be about the child like the air he breathes," (Vol. 1, p. 125). Well, it was down-right stifling in our study when we began this DIY make-over but the air has finally cleared and I wanted to share the results. Included in our efforts was the salvaging of a vintage department store display we found in our garage when we moved in. We re-purposed the 16-unit mouse condominium into the project table shown above.


When the behemoth Expedit was moved in I doubted the sanity of putting a 6'x6' shelving unit into a 13'x13' space. Rather than crying, I put in a quick call to my friend Laurie, hostess of Rocks in the Dryer - her design blog with a bite. With cool candor, she took me through some do's and don'ts of Expedit arrangement and I got busy moving in the books and sundry.


"Neatness is akin to order, but is not quite the same thing: it implies not only 'a place for everything, and everything in its place,' but everything in a suitable place, so as to produce a good effect; in fact, taste comes into play." (CM. Vol. 1, p. 130).

To keep all those bits and pieces in a pleasing and suitable arrangement, we rely on a number of storage solutions. A flip-top archival photo storage box houses our floppy spiral-bound math curriculum, paper storage boxes hold math and language manipulatives, and an old silk-covered box keeps loose letters in one place. Ikea's Prant box with lid is perfect for keeping one subject's resources together, especially if they include thin paperbacks. A bonus to Ikea products is that your kids can assemble them and you've had your handicraft for the week!

This is probably our most pleasing vignette, and having the Brock Magiscope on display with our field guides has increased their usage.

Before. Don't let the flash-induced honey color on the walls fool you.

11 comments:

Amy said...

Richele this looks amazing!!! I am inspired. Hope you and your boys are enjoying your new room
amy cook

Renelle said...

It looks fantabulous! I hope one day I will have more space to dedicate to all things homeschool. We use our small open plane dining/living room for all things. The mess can be overwhelming sometimes, would be nice not to have to completely pack everything away for meals. Enjoy your place for everything and everything in it's place.

joyfulmum said...

ditto to Renelle:) I'm sure you're enjoying the new organised study and that it was well worth the effort!

Jeanne said...

Oh my, this looks wonderful!! (As only I knew it would...)

Laurie said...

Oh my gracious sakes alive!!!!!
It looks FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT - I wanna come learn there - be there - soak it all in. I hope you and your army of men-folk are pleased!

amy in peru said...

awesome! what did you do with the window... don't tell me you covered it up with that painting? I can't seem to get my bearings...

I love the former mouse condo... you do know some amazing tricks! ;)

amy in peru

amy in peru said...

oh and I forgot to say that you have officially been named one of the top 50 homeschooling blogs here:
http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/tips-and-tools/best-homeschool-blogs

:)

Heather said...

It looks great. I picked out an Expedit to hold our stuff too. But mine is the next size down, the 4x4. I love it. Love the repurposed display counter.
Thank you for posting about this, I wondered how your make-over looked. :)

Pam said...

Love the shelves and all your artistic decor. I am joining your blog. It looks really fun.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness! Your after is beautiful! I love it, and hope we can eventually get a place for everything and everything in it's place!

Christie (missceegee) said...

Richele, this is lovely and very inspiring! I decided to tackle my schoolroom this week, too. While I like all of the "bones" of my room - wall color, dark bookshelves/cabinets & other furniture, there was just too much stuff! I am removing 85% of it to my homeschool closet and making the remaining space neat, orderly & lovely. Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!