Start the New Year Fresh by Taking the Homeschool Space Challenge!

There's a reason January is when you'll find all the storage containers on sale -- it's the perfect time to re-evaluate and re-organize, and that goes for your homeschool space, too!

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All of the Molly of Denali graphics are actually photos of the show on my tv. 

I'm over at Pam Barnhill's site again today, with my Take the Homeschool Space Challenge post that shares how Pam's Homeschool Organization book is just the tool you're looking for to get back on track in the new year.

Click on over to read more about the book, but scroll down to see what implementing it all will look like for our space.

Gv and I have actually been enjoying a pretty streamlined system with our learning time and materials this year. I've shared in my Buckets & Loops Save the Day post how the rhythm of our learning generally looks, but we are also a bit offbeat with our organization, as well.

While sometimes I feel it would be nice to have a dedicated space to store all of our learning materials, I also realize that this thought doesn't really align with the way we do things, so taking the time to reflect and re-frame my expectations has been really helpful for curbing my "ideal" fantasies.

Instead of having a dedicated school room...or even corner...or bookcase, we have different "learning stations" throughout our home.

It's a bit similar to the "centers" I used to have in my classroom, although instead of creating them to ensure maximum classroom management benefits (& quiet and control!), our stations reflect the natural locations for our different activities.

We begin our day in the family room, eating our breakfast while doing our language arts work with the pictures displayed on the tv screen.

Not much to be organized for this station, other than making sure my computer files are all set up to work easily, which I luckily did when I downloaded all the materials in the first place.

After that, we move to the dining room table. We've found that it's helpful for Gv's brain to sit at the table properly to do math, so we relocate there to get that done. While we're there, we also take care of a few other things, depending on the "loopiness" of our day. Spelling, writing, junior ranger activities and 4-H project work are all typical of things we might do here.

We keep our materials in a milk crate on the floor and while it's not the most exciting/beautiful/innovative storage choice, it's extremely easy and works really well, which, after all, is what counts.

Once we're done at the table, we head to Gv's room. The two of us (& usually April!) get all comfy and cozy on her bed and spend a bit (which can easily turn into several hours!) of time reading together.

We start by reading our Bible stories, then read whatever library books we have that apply to what we're studying that day, then we'll read whatever other things we have that go with the "loopy" day.

More often than not, we'll also read some of the bazillion books that just live in Gv's room. It takes a long time to cycle through all these fabulous books each year, but it's one of the favorite parts of our day.

Usually I'll also read whatever novel we're in the middle of at this time, although sometimes our growling tummies just won't wait any longer. We'll also sometimes take some books outside and read in a hammock in the backyard, but that all depends on how hot or mosquito-y it is out there that day.

By this point in the day, it's usually time for lunch. We'll head back to the family room to eat and listen to an audiobook or watch a video (like Magic School Bus), or we'll investigate a website (I usually have a list of those that go along with whatever we're learning) or this was always the time that Gv used to do or Teach Your Monster to Read, before she completed them.

After we've eaten, the rest of the day could look like anything. We might do something together from our "bucket" lists (like art or cooking or puzzles or games), or we might go off and just do our own thing, with Gv playing while I try to get some project done (like writing a blog post!)

Depending on what we're doing, other stations could be the floor of Gv's room, the living room couches or piano, outside or on the porch, the family room floor or Gv's table in the kitchen, or back to the dining room table to work on a project.

Our daily travels around our home for our learning time helps keep stagnation away and provide plenty of variety to our flow. It may look a little weird and seem an unorganized mess since our stuff's all over the place, but it's what works for our syncopated-selves.

I'm sure that it will make our homeschool space challenge more interesting, but that's okay. It'll be like the progressive-dinner version of task-tackling!

Do you have a single space for your homeschooling, or do you travel around the house like we do? I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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