Thursday, September 13, 2012

Homeschool Storage

I haven't written anything lately, so after finding this pretty photo in my camera, I thought, yeah, this will do for a post.  It helps when homeschoolers share their ideas with each other, bad and good.  Storage is one of those things that is unique to every home, but if you can find a little tidbit of information to make your homeschoool journey easier, then yay for you!  I am not particularly thrilled with our homeschool storage system, but it does have some advantages, so I am going to share the good, bad, and ugly with you today.
If you notice I have sort of an organizational system going on with the shelving.  On top there are things I do not want the children to get into at all such as paints, their sample work folders, and a box that holds scissors.  On the next shelf down there are office supplies, crayons, fine motor activity supplies, markers, etc., all of which would make a large mess if gotten into, but do not provide any real danger.  On the third shelf down, there is construction paper, a file folder, and activity books, all of which probably hold no interest to the children at this age and stage in their lives, with the exception of the construction paper.  But what good is construction paper without paint, scissors, markers, or crayons?  The next to the last shelf is manipulatives which prove very messy if all dumped at once.  But they are available for free play any time.  The very  bottom shelf is randomness like papers to be filed or photograph for sample work and dry erase boards.
My shelving system has pros and cons.  Pros.  There is lots of space and a place to store most everything.  I have other homeschool items, but since we are not using them at the moment they get stored in other places.  Videos go with the TV.  Books on the bookshelf, and toys in the toy bins.  You get the picture. 
 Another plus about the metal shelf is I can see everything and I know what is available and what is not.  If you will notice in the photograph above, I have a piece of artwork that has been clipped to the shelf using a clothespin.  This is a super-advantageous aspect of the shelf.  I can display work, let paintings dry, etc.  One final pro is that there are sections that the children can and cannot reach, which leads me to the cons.
There are several cons about this particular storage system.  It is very tall, which makes it a little bit dangerous if somebody chose to climb it to retrieve something they wanted from a higher shelf.  In our last house we had it placed in a spot where if it tipped over, the contents would fall out but the shelf itself would be wedged against another wall.  I don't really have an appropriate place like that in this house with the exception of the kitchen, and I need no more busy mess in there.
Another con is that the kids can get to everything.  This can create a mess if they wanted to get into a lot of things at once.  Thankfully that doesn't happen very often.  The shelf does tend to get messy fast, especially when we have art and things are getting stuck back quickly to go on to another activity.  I periodically go through it and throw away and reorganize. 
The final minus for this particular homeschool storage system is that it has no lock.  It has no doors.  Maybe that is too minuses.  Anyhoo, it can be gotten into easily, and messed up easily, which makes it not fun to look at, unless it looks like the photo above which was taken after a throwing away, re-organizational party.
I hope that this post has given you some ideas to think about when you are selecting storage for your homeschool supplies.  To check out some more homeschool storage ideas, check out Growing Your Homeschool, keyword storage.  What is your favorite type of homeschool storage?

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