Living and Schooling in Small Spaces, Part I

I am SO excited to bring you a series this week written by my sweet friend DanaDana and her family live in a small house on walnut acreage her husband farms.  They homeschool their four children with grace, joy, and a terrific use of space.  I hope you enjoy what Dana shares!

p.s.  She pronounces her name "Danna" :)

Our home isn’t a matchbox, but for this family of two adults and four growing children it takes some creative organizing to make school and life fit. Years ago, a homeschooling mom of four told me that her goal was to have a home that didn’t show any signs of schooling. Ha! Ha ha! Totally unrealistic for me.

Here are the big ways we use our little spaces. Our kitchen/dining/school area/bedroom (just kidding on the bedroom part):

We have two tables in this area. Both are used for school but this one holds the daily stuff. The other one we keep clutter-free for dining.

The picture above was taken during a busy school day. What is out on the table can be easily put away in a just a few minutes. (The second computer is awaiting its permanent home in the mudroom.) For inquiring minds, that black thing on the right is a treadmill. Think: very active boys on rainy days.

The book shelf above holds only what we are currently using and reference material. I attempt to make it as uncluttered and coordinated as possible. I don’t have an office, so a little corner of the bookshelf holds binders that contain info that I need weekly.

Underneath the shelf, we keep baskets of books by subject. This makes it easy for me to retrieve what I need quickly and keeps things from being scattered in every direction.

Each child has a cubbie, a box and book slots to keep them organized.

Good stuff, isn't it?  Part two to come on Wednesday.  Please feel free to comment or ask questions about Dana's organizational systems (and that cute apple-- what's in it, Dana?)