Monday, 8 August 2011

Our Home Learning Space

We will be starting our 6th year of homeschooling very soon and I thought I would share with you photos of our learning space. I have noticed a few posts on other homeschool blogs that showcased their space and I really enjoy seeing these.

We don't have a seperate school room, instead we use mostly our family room. Our house has an open concept design, with the kitchen, eating area, dining room and family room making up one big room. We use all this space plus a little bit of our basement for messy painting and craft projects.

I hope you enjoy your tour. Welcome to our home learning space!

First a wide view, our husky is often laying down in that spot when we are working at our school table. We are using the dining area for our school work table. One of my aunts passed this table down to us and it has been perfect, especially with the glass top. I switch around the things I put under the glass. Last year I had a big calendar and some study aids. This year I put a world map. We love maps.

The kitchen is on the other side of that table. We don't often use for homeschooling, sometimes for science experiments, but I really like the convenience of having it close. I can prepare food or clean up while my kids do their independent work and still keep an eye on them!

Here is a close up of our table. This table is perfect when we are all working together, it has enough room so we can spread our books around.

After the table, the family room starts which is our reading area. We also use the floor space for playing games or looking things up on bigger maps.
We use our couch a lot, like many homeschool families, to read aloud or the kids even do some of their school work there at times.

See that big basket on the left side of the coffee table? That's our library basket. I have used this one for years. It is always filled with books. My kids were taught at a very young age to always bring back the library books they look at or read back to this basket. Now it's second nature for them! I often leave our library book bags in the basket too, if there is a space. We visit regularly two different libraries, not just branches, but actual library systems (the county we live in and the city nearby). It takes a little bit more attention to keep all those books sorted out, but it's worth it for us.

On the coffee table, I try to rotate the books or magazines regularly. I include some for the kids and some for me. We also have other interesting things like the small globe and a bowl full of the sea glass, rocks, and shells we collected. I opened the drawers so you could see how they hold card games and other small games we play like Bananagrams and Yikerz.

We have one armchair. It's the perfect reading spot. The little square stool on the left side of it is Celeste's box. It holds a lot of the toys that she likes to have around all the time, and she can also sit on it. Actually any of us can, but it's not super sturdy!

We have three bookshelves and they are somewhat organized. I try to keep them sorted by subjects.

The one that sits by itself has a lot of my resources: teaching manuals, answer keys, some spine books for the subjects we do together. I keep most of those on the three bottom shelves. The top shelf has my homeschooling "how-to" books. The other two shelves have our art and music books. 

The other two bookshelves are organized somewhat by subjects. History and Geography related books are together on a shelf. Science has a couple of shelves, including one for nature guides. Celeste also has her own shelf! I tried to put on one shelf all the books that she can read herself and also her favourites that I read aloud to her.

Keeping these books organized by subjects help us find them quickly when we do need them.

Last year, I added a small bookshelf to help us keep our curriculum better organized. The large bookshelves didn't hold the kids' workbooks very well, so I wanted something more like cubbyholes. I finally found one that could hold the binders upright and brought it home. It has three shelves which is perfect since we have three kids! Each shelf holds all the workbooks, textbooks and binders needed. Adrienne has the top shelf, Andre middle, and Celeste the bottom one. You can see part of it in the photo above, on the right side and here is a closer picture:

Above that small shelf, we have our wood box. I had found this at the thrift store a couple of years ago. I am not quite sure what the true use for it is, but we use it to hold our pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, and pencil sharpener.

Next to that small black shelf, there is one more side table that we use. It holds more supplies. Our new microscope is there, a few more games/flashcards, more pencil cases are on the top. This particular shelf has 2 baskets which hold markers. On the bottom are stamps and crayons.

We also have our computer in this learning space. We use it often for homeschooling. Two of my children use Teaching Textbooks for Math which is on the computer, and we all use the internet for different subjects.  As a parent, I also prefer to have it set up in a main area like this one. I also use it a lot myself!

There you go..our learning space! It's not always this tidy. We do usually have books, papers, and some toys sitting around everywhere! We just replaced our carpeting so we had to get everything out and then back in again. This was the perfect time to take photos!! Anyway, this was a long post, but I hope you enjoyed your tour. I would love to see your space, so take this post as an invitation to share yours..leave a comment with a link to your homeschool room post and I will make sure to visit.


  1. Nice space!!!
    Love the new blog look. I'm working on mine! :)
    Hope the summer had been good to you.

  2. Wow! So neat and tidy! I love your learning space!! Especially the map table and doggy!!
    have a great week

  3. Alex, one of my favorite things is to see other people's learning spaces, and particularly bookshelves! Thanks for letting us peek at yours. : )

  4. I loved seeing your work space. It looks so organized and efficient. Where did you get your 3 brown bookshelves from? I like them!


  5. so organized! great cheery space. We spend time at our kitchen table or in our family room (which is separated by a doorway (without a door) and the kids sometime retreat to their rooms. What kind of magazines do you get?

  6. Gorgeous space and love your wall colour :-)

  7. What a pretty room! Very nicely organized. Have you added your link to the Not-Back-To_School blog hop yet? (Heart of the Matter Online is hosting.)

    Hello from a fellow Canuck, originally from Ontario and hoping to move back there soon. :)

  8. ma chère Alex, en regardant votre espace de travail j'ai cru reconnaitre une trousse, vous l'avez toujours ! je vous embrasse et vous souhaite bon courage pour cette nouvelle année !

  9. Love it!! :) Having games all in one place makes it so nice {and easy to pull something out to work on}. Love the map under the table top as well!

  10. beautiful space to learn!

  11. Hi Alex,
    I am new to our family's un-schooling adventure, as my oldest of three kids is not yet 5. Whenever I find myself explaining to people why my oldest won't be attending all-day kindergarten next year I always feel a dollop of self-doubt start to creep in. Then I visit blogs like yours and feel such relief to be steering clear of institutionalized learning. Thank you so much for sharing. You have no idea how inspiring and comforting it is to get a tour of your learning space!
    On behalf of my son, a-soon-to-be-not-back-to-schooler,
    Thanks again!

    Denise, Jas, Kalen, Emily and Eva :-)


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