I'm a weird mix. I'm super creative and want to fly by the seat of my pants. It's hard to pin me down on details and I much prefer to change my mind every day on what I'm doing and where I'm focusing.
However, I'm also extremely organized and hate clutter. It messes with my mind and makes me anxious. So homeschooling has been a challenge for sure! I want my kids to learn at their own pace, be curious and explore new topics, but I also want clean surfaces and organized shelves. I would prefer to use A Beka and plan out the whole year, but I know that next week I'll change my mind so we don't lesson plan at all (that's for another blog). Plus, to be able to run a business AND homeschool, organization is absolutely essential!
Many of you have asked me HOW I organize our homeschooling space, so I took some pictures and thought I could show you best on a blog post.
This is an actual picture of our homeschool room.
Yes, it looks like our kitchen table. Because it is! We have found over the years that the kitchen is the heart of our homeschool and it works best for all of us to center around this table. Granted, I took this picture before any of the kids woke up, but it's still the main place we hang out.
Because I LOVE books but I also like to HIDE them, we have this big piece of furniture (from Hom Furniture) just across from our kitchen. Behind the doors are all the books I'm encouraging my kids to check out this year. We have lots of games for easy access, because a lot of learning happens while we play games and hang out together!
Notice the OLD encyclopedia's on the shelf. I got them cheap off of Facebook marketplace. Grab a set because it's like having a printed set of Google in your living room for your kids to flip through. (My youngest spontaneously started writing a paper from her research--a rare sighting, but it does happen, my friends! Just give them the tools.)
The big blue yoga ball is #reallife because the 11 year old likes to hang upside down and bounce while reading or learning or hanging out. Here's what is inside all the cupboards. Yes, we have Friends DVDs. That's for parental sanity.
Please notice the giant "SIMPLIFY" sign on the top of the bookshelves. I'm always reminding myself to slow down and simplify my life.
Also notice the globe. Essential for geography and seeing the big picture of the world while we read or explore movies! I have learned so much myself, just from keeping a globe in our family room!
In our home office (which was the dining room, but we added doors and two desks for me and the hubby) we have a wonderful red armoire, which was gifted to me for free from one of my piano students! I LOVE this piece of furniture because I can hide all of our schoolbooks out of sight. When the kids were younger, my house looked like a preschool or elementary classroom with fun posters on the wall, but now that they are older, I prefer to hide everything, unless we are using it.
Here's the other side of the office, so you can see my desk and my husband hard at work. This office is super close to my kitchen table, so everything is easily accessible. We have a printer and a copier (so needed for homeschooling) and a paper shredder in the corner. Below, you can see the barn door closed and how close the office is to the kitchen table.
I love teaching my kids how to use computers, create websites, design graphics, and Lydia (pictured here) loves the website www.alwaysicecream.com for some of her school! I sneak in some of my own work while helping them, and then I have separate times for working when I'm in the office doing coaching calls or time at my music school when I'm meeting with my staff.
Homeschooling has allowed us so much freedom to learn and work from home. I love that my kids can learn at their own pace and pursue what interests them! And I LOVE that I can grow my company beside them!
I'd love to hear about YOUR homeschool. What works for you? And how has it all evolved over the years?
(If you notice the paper chain in the last picture, we are counting down the days until my oldest moves away to college. On the one hand, I'm so proud that he is flying on his own, on the other hand, I can't believe I'll only have three at home this fall! Homeschooling is sneaky. Just when you figure things out, they graduate!)
I'd love to know how old your kids are. Comment below!
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!