Monday, August 12, 2013

Our (almost) Secret Homeschool Room

Many of you have amazing homeschool rooms that I pin and adore. I have had designated rooms for school in the past, but we have turned out to be one of those families that just always seems to wind up in our main living areas. So, we have just adjusted to that! Ah! the beauties of homeschooling.

So while I don’t have a separate room in my house all duddied up with posters and bulletin boards, I have transformed our open-concept great room into a somewhat “secret” homeschool room. Why a “secret” room you ask, well I’m just a little OCD and I really don’t like clutter. Ask my friends, organizing is a sickness for me that I just enjoy WAAAAY too much! I hope this will offer some inspiration to those of you who also just don’t have that extra whole room to dedicate to schooling!

First off is my 2nd grader’s more obvious schooling corner. I found an old school desk at the Salvation Army for $20. Ugly, but fixable.


So below is the desk in it’s cozy little corner at the back of our great room. (click the photo below to see more clearly) The white paper on the front is a cutout of ants since that’s what we’re studying in science this week. The awesome, huge pocket chart was a $3 garage sale find – can I get a whoop whoop!!! I use these Word Bits for our phonics studies. The little blue pocket chart is from the dollar store, the book shelf for our monthly author study is from Ikea ($3 spice rack), the wooden crates behind the desk were purchased with 1/2 off coupons from Michaels and they hold geography books and games (bottom) and our Math-U-See blocks in the teal toolbox and hot dots (top). The picture frame holds our weekly schedule so I know just what’s coming up next.


We use All About Spelling, and these little buckets hold the blue consonant and red vowel magnets we use every day. I found these were easier to use for single letters than the tiles. Pulling down one at a time, and then putting them all back -in the right spots- each day got tedious. This is working much better for us! We still use the tiles for the blends and digraphs.

Across from his desk is a whiteboard I use for teaching. I have magnetic clips to hold posters and graphic organizers which are stored behind the bookshelves you see here. (another hiding spot, hehe! Also peek under the end of the sectional – there’s a pocket chart hidden under there too)


Our home library consists of many, many books from library bag sales. Others are just those we needed. The bottom shelves are organized historically by color tab in 50 year increments. This means that I won’t be covering a history topic from the 1850’s and have to try to find all the books I own that represent that era! So helpful! The top left holds all the classic chapter books from The Penderwicks, which we just finished and highly recommend, to Little Women and Tom Sawyer. The others are arranged by topic (even science books are color coded to coordinate with the cover colors of our apologia science books – see I really do have a problem!)


So Mr. Man’s little area is to the right of the fireplace. On the left is Mom’s favorite spot!!! This is where I read our group Bible lessons or read alouds. Even the kitty likes to cozy up with us when it’s cold and we get the fire going! My 5th grader uses this spot for her silent reading spot as well. Can’t say I blame her! My other two take either end of our sectional to do their reading.


Now for that sectional. And my secret weapon… the coffee table. LOL! Underneath, you can see the Wii board (not school related, just a good spot to hide it) My Proclick (you so have to check out my earlier post about this little doodad) and my paper cutter.


Now for the secret part.


Surprise! More goodies! I LOVE review games more than quizzes! We have some we’ve adapted, downloaded and some we’ve just made up, but that’s a whole ‘nother post! We are using See The Light’s DVD-based art curriculum this year. It only requires simple supplies that are stored for each of my kiddos in here, right in front of the TV all ready to go. Our science lab supplies are kept in the last bucket and can be used on the coffee table or run right over to the kitchen if it’s gonna get messy.
Now let’s swing around to the TV wall. The shelf on the right holds our art DVD’s, Magic School Bus science DVD’s and our Liberty’s Kids series. On the left, the middle shelf houses my history books, while the bottom shelf is our home for library books. (Sometimes this has to overflow to the other bookshelf as well. What can I say, I love books!)

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Tada! Another hiding spot! I also have a glass-door cabinet where I house all my currently-not-being-used curriculum, a cherry armoire in our dining area for my computer and home office that closes completely to hide everything, and a buffet cabinet in my foyer that holds all of our extra school supplies. So now you’re in on my little secret. Shhhh! Don’t tell our guests that coming over for dinner is really coming into school!


  1. I have adjusted to at school house and not a room, too. Love what you have done. I am featuring you in a link on my post tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love your room! Thank you for sharing got a lot of grat ideas!

  3. I love all the hidden goodies. I'm very OCD about organization and tidiness, but our school area is in an open loft room, so we don't feel terribly contained. I'll have to remember some of these ideas for later if we start migrating out of our main school area.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. We have that coffee table. Where did you get the baskets that fit perfectly on that coffee table shelf? Desperately needed here!! Love all your hiding spots.

    1. Oh, dear! I got those baskets forever ago at Meijer of all places. They came in a set of three with two small ones inside these bigger ones. I would bet if you have a Michaels store near you, they might have something to fit? You can get a 15% teacher discount there too on top of their sale prices so wait till they're at least 40% off ;) Good luck!

  5. Your post made me smile. :) I love all the hidden nooks and that desk looks beautiful! :) Really nice ideas. Thanks for sharing. Cass @

  6. I just stumbled over here from The Ultimate Homeschool Blogroll and I love your blog! Your "school room" looks lovely. Thank you for sharing your school life.

  7. I just came to check out your blog and your science lesson plan. The more I read your blog, the more I kept on reading. You are an amazing woman, Carrie! When I grow up (that is, become a seasoned homeschool mom), I want to be just like you! May God continue to bless you and your family.