I often drool over blog posts featuring beautiful and spacious school rooms. But I am blessed to be able to home school so I am grateful for the learning nook that I have carved out in the dining room of our small apartment. Thanks to Ikea, our learning area is both stylish and organized. Homeschooling in an apartment means that homeschooling and all that it entails literally becomes a part of the decor.
Book Storage AreaThe corner shelf holds curriculum currently in use. The bookshelves with glass doors hold my personal book collection.
The Dining room/ClassroomThe dining room table is where KingMan completes his lesson. This table gets a workout and will be a candidate for re-staining pretty soon.
The Rotating Display Area/Storage Area (for future themes)
This is the "theme" area where I rotate various themes throughout the school year. Right now it's Geometry and Montessori Geometric solids are on display. Inside the wicker baskets from Ikea I keep materials for future themes. The black and white polka dot container, courtesy of Target, stores all of our pens, pencils, erasers, scissors and glue.
Montessori-inspired Art Area
This is the art area. In the spirit of Montessori, this shelf allows free access to my youngest whenever he wants to do an art project.
This area is now used as the Montessori Math shelves.
Work Boxes - my organizational savior! Pre-Teen Years
These are KingMan's workboxes. I love them because they allow me to organize his lessons visually, as opposed to piling books high on the dining room table. It also makes for a quick and easy cleanup when it's time for meals. We simply transfer unfinished work back to the workboxes. On the windowsill we keep flash cards and manipulatives. To the left of the work boxes is a storage container for science experiment supplies organized into 3 categories/drawers: physical science, earth science and life science. To the right of the work boxes are homeschool lesson plans filed according to subject. Each child has a separate container.
Updated Teen Workboxes
Update! Now that KingMan is a teenager, we use these containers as our workboxes. I love the colors, but more importantly I love that I am able to organize his curriculum according to subject area.
Drawers Have Ample Space to Hold Text Books
The drawers allow me to place books flat without having to bend and wrinkle. (I'm type A about keeping curriculum neat). We use a checklist to incorporate the feeling of accomplishment once work is done. That's really important for boys who need to know when the endpoint is near.
Jr. Workboxes (he insisted on being in the photo)
Before! This is my youngest child's work area. He has his own workboxes and his Montessori materials and other manipulatives are stored in the Ikea Trofast tower to the left of his workboxes. He loves knowing where to find all of his things.
LionHeart's Upgraded Work Area
Though not technically in the dining room, these shelves are also a part of our homeschool. I only have the space to dedicate two bookshelves in our home to Montessori materials. Though not a Montessori classroom, the spirit of Montessori is throughout our home and lifestyle.
The Music Studio
Amazingly enough I made space in our apartment for a piano. We had to forgo extra seating, but it was worth the sacrifice. There's nothing more beautiful than hearing your children make music!
Long-term storage (also known as my walk-in closet)
Here is my storage area, also known as my walk-in closet. Any curriculum, games or materials that are not in current use are stored here by category. For example, the language art games are on the language art shelves. You can't see it, but winter coats, hats and a file cabinet are stored on the other side.
The Seat of Power (just kidding)