Bookshelves and School Bin Organizing!

If you need to catch up, or want to look back quickly- here are my prior posts right at your fingertips! Intro, Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 🙂

Before I begin to just share from the heart- I thought I would link three of the items I use and find so very helpful. I am always eager to hear from homeschool moms with tips and ideas.

Item 1: Billy Bookshelves by Ikea. Ikea makes these in all different sizes and they can be mixed and matched. Here is an example: narrow Billy Shelf

Item 2: Sterilite 34 quart clear bins with locking lids. This is for a set of six… you get the idea. 🙂

Item 3: the shelves in my kitchen are metal shelves we purchased at Lowe’s and they have been repurposed. They are simple and nice for a kitchen and can hold potatoes and rice, water jugs, and Teacher’s Guides. Grin. Keepin’ It Real here. They look something like this. We also have a very tall one.

So, now to chat a bit: I am just perfectly at this stage in homeschool planning myself…right now.  My curriculum is sitting in boxes before my bookshelves, waiting to be unloaded and organized. It is time to go through my kids’ school bins and purge, prune, and re- stack. There are two areas of my home involved in this step. Our music room/library and the kitchen. The music room contains our main bookshelves and houses the children’s plastic storage school totes. The kitchen has some metal shelving that is the landing place of Teacher’s Manuals and Answer Keys; file folders of accumulating work;  as well as joint school work we do daily that is currently in use (like the week’s read alouds, etc.)

I am an intuitive person and so I organize my shelves in the way that makes the most sense for me and gives me a feeling of ease.

This is a massive job. Especially because the very first step (after ordering the school books) involves taking down all of last year’s books and either packing them up for another year, re-shelving them for the next student, deciding to resell them, or choosing to shelve them into the “regular books” we have on shelves. Decisions. They can be so very draining!

It is typical for my entire floor to become covered in stacks of books as I sort and organize.

It can feel overwhelming. But take heart! I have learned to exercise my faith as I face the mountain before me.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

So- I take it student by student. I tend to start at the top and work my way down. 🙂

This year, my oldest, rising tenth grader will have the top shelf. My ninth grader, the next shelf down and so on. My dear little baby… my two year old… will have the very bottom shelf stacked with well-loved board books and sweet literature on her level.

Each student gets a shelf and a large, clear plastic bin with a lid. If students are combined in a level and share literature books, they share a book shelf.  I also keep curriculum that we use daily on shelving in our kitchen. This shelving also holds all my answer keys and teacher’s manuals. There they are at my fingertips! Easy for me to access whenever I need them.

Generally, I begin with the bookshelves and then move to the bins.

The bookshelves will hold all literature, Bible (not consumable), and history books.  They are organized by level and student. I will also have a separate place for our art curriculum(we use Atelier).

The bins will hold all consumable workbooks and worksheets. They also hold the students’ current readers and other books that are in use daily. They keep their pencils and erasers in them as well.

The children are free to access the shelves as needed and I often send them to their particular shelf to get something for me. They must become very familiar with their shelf! Of course, this does not hold for the little ones. I think third grade and up is about what I would expect for this…

Soon, I will be pulling down books off my own shelves, making decisions, and reloading them for the next year.

I hope this little series has been a blessing! It has helped me as well.

I also have to plan our Morning Meeting time… which includes Devotions, Poetry, Gratitude, Compliments, Scripture, Health topics, Hymn singing, and Shakespeare. We are planning this for Friday mornings this coming school year. 🙂