One of the things I think I struggle with most with our Home Ed journey so far is how best to organise our space. In an ideal world we would have a room dedicated to the children’s things – a space where they could just have their things out and plenty of wall space to display things on.
I really want to extend our kitchen so we can have a kitchen-diner, but given that that doesn’t look likely any time soon we, instead, will make do with what we have, which I’ll admit isn’t too bad, but it does often feel like we are slowly sinking under ‘stuff’. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels like this?!
Our main space that we use at the moment for a lot of the day (well the portion of the day when we are at home) is our dining room. We are lucky that this is a reasonable size so we have a couple of Ikea kallax shelves as well as a couple of cupboards. I love the kallax shelves as we can have the lower ones filled with toys that Mr H can safely access and the higher shelves with the older two’s books and the such. At the moment I have these themed – nature, languages and science, Maths and English (mostly early phonics and letter recognition stuff at the moment). I quite like having this themed approach as it means when we are doing our nature study stuff the children (and I) know where the reference books are. It also makes it a bit easier to stay on top of it all.
I am keen for us to try to keep on top of what we put in the cupboards – it’s been a case of out of sight out of mind for a while and, a couple of months back, I went on a sorting spree and cleared out the bigger of the two. There was a lot of ‘stuff’ in there that we just hadn’t used for so long. It is amazing what you just end up collecting isn’t it?
I managed to donate a whole box of crafting stuff to a local home ed group to use over the summer and friends had a few other things from me that they could make use of. I’ve tried to keep our pens, paper and colouring books in one cupboard and other bits and pieces like our science bits like tumblers and tweezers, print outs and the such in another cupboard. Again, the theory being that it should be easier for the children and I to find it when we want/need it.
The biggest headache I have though is how to save the children’s work, and display it too. They are, rightly, pleased with the things they do and are keen to show their Dad when he comes home what they’ve done in the day. I mentioned in this post last week that we have picked up a couple of folders from Wilko and these seem to be serving us well in terms of the children beng quite keen to pop their drawings and the such inside. It certainly seems to be cutting down on the piles of paper and drawings that seemed to be gathering up on the table and sides.
I am also making more use of our patio doors for putting some displays up onto – things that we are working on at any given time (at the moment some high frequency words etc) and also putting up some of the bits that the children have been working on too. We also have the Ikea curtain wire in the hallway where we can pin up some of the larger pictures the children have done – something I need to make more use of in the coming months.
I think ahead of Mr D’s birthday next month and Christmas some eight weeks later I need to have a big sort and clear out of all the toys and things that we have. It’s a job that I know will take me ages, and isn’t one I am looking forward to.
How do you keep on top of all the things that come with children, especially when you’re also home educating? I don’t want to get rid of things the children want, but equally, there comes a point when we just simply have too many things around. I think we are getting better at keeping on top of it all, but it does often feel like we could be better organised.
Maybe a need to take a look at a Konmari style approach – if I ever find the time that is!
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