Toddler and Baby Friendly Homeschool Room

This is my second year homeschooling.  My two older boys are in 1st grade and Kindergarten.  Easy peasy.  However, the 2 1/2 year old and crawling 8 month old are a force to be reckoned with.  The spring was a challenge with a newborn and a toddler, but now that the baby MOVES, I have to be as efficient as possible.  This means a tidy, organized, inviting, and baby proofed school room.

Here’s what I came up with.  Tips are in the captions below.  This morning was our first official day and it went pretty smoothly!

Toddler and Baby Friendly Homeschool Room

post1

Keep DVDs, TV, and DVD player up high. Those dangling cords proved to be a problem for me today. I need to find a taller trashcan to distract my 8 month old. He pulled the plug RIGHT in the middle of our Math U See lesson.

the post 4

We use Sonlight and last year I kept my notebooks on a desk and so many pages got ripped out by my then 18 month old. Keep mommy friendly things out of sight to prevent disorganization.

Keep books up high to prevent little ones from ripping pages.  A couch or comfy chair is a MUST if you're nursing a little one!

Keep books up high to prevent little ones from ripping pages. A couch or comfy chair is a MUST if you’re nursing a little one!

thepost3

Even though you’d like to keep the littles out so that you can concentrate…DON’T! Include them. Hands-on, non choking manipulatives are great (mine throw them and sometimes it gets nuts, but we’re working on that ;))

Post a clear, easy to understand schedule so that ALL your kiddos, young or old know what's coming.  (And so mommy doesn't forget!  I forgot handwriting for like a month last year!)

Post a clear, easy to understand schedule so that ALL your kiddos, young or old know what’s coming. (And so mommy doesn’t forget! I forgot handwriting for almost a month last year!)

Framed chicken wire hung up high is the perfect place to hang art work with clothespins.  Hanging things too low down will allow your little ones to rip them off the wall....and then eat them.  Hey, it's a rough homeschooling world out there!

Framed chicken wire hung up high is the perfect place to hang art work with clothespins. Hanging things too low down will allow your little ones to rip them off the wall….and then eat them. Hey, it’s a rough homeschooling world out there!

Keep markers, pencils, and big boy crayons up high.  I buy jumbo crayons for my little ones to use and keep them in a place they can access them.

Keep markers, pencils, and big boy crayons up high. I buy jumbo crayons for my little ones to use and keep them in a place they can access them.

If you’re a homeschool blogger and you have a post sharing your school room for this year, please join in and link up.

Click the graphic through to visit iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop: School Room Week!

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013

Liz (5 Posts)

Liz was a cheerleader swept off her feet by the football player back in high school. They’ve been married nearly ten years and are the proud parents to four young boys. She’d always envisioned working and sending her kiddos off to school so she could live the ‘normal’ American dream. However, life and the Lord surprised her and she’s learning to ‘redefine having it all’ while being a debt free homeschooling housewife. She enjoys finding strength from God’s word, the Today show, talking on the phone with friends, and being real about finances and parenting.


A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***

Organizing Your Homeschool Books

How to set up your library so that your reading flourishes:

I got the idea of how to organize my home library from the book Little Guide To Your Well-Read LifeHe first suggests dividing books into unread (Library of Candidates) and read (Living Library).

All our books are spread out throughout the house on shelves in different rooms. My unread books remain in my bedroom while most read and reference books are in my office, with a few exceptions.

  • Dining/Family Room: Homeschool books we are actively using, reference books, and baskets of readers (labeled Bible history, science, reading. See photo below)
  • My Bedroom: Books I plan to read or will read again (Library of Candidates). Shelves are labeled:  Hebrew Roots,  Christian Encouragement, Devotionals, Relation vs Religion, Christian Fiction, Theology, Reference, Health.
  • Living Room: Theology, hubby’s political books, horses (best hardbacks look nice in the living room).
  • My Office Shelves (photo right):  Theology, Bible study tools, reference (for whatever book I am working on), and two huge shelves of books read waiting to give away or list on PaperbackSwap (currently on vacation hold because I am too busy to mail books).
  • Upstairs Shelves: Homeschool books we are not actively studying (I rotate to dining/family room area as needed). Also includes tons of boxed books that need shelves.
  • Kitchen: Cookbooks
  • Boys’ Rooms: Book baskets we rotate to dining/family room area as needed.

Steve’s Suggestions

  1. Create a two-part library. Devote one portion to books you plan to read—what Steve calls your Library of Candidates. Reserve the other for the books you have read—your Living Library. In Steve’s home library, Candidates are on shelves that line one wall of his study. The books in his Living Library are on the facing wall and elsewhere in his home.
  2. Cluster titles of comparable interest. Keep all candidate books on bird watching together, for example. Even here, though, listen to your inner reading voice, with all its quirks. Do you keep all your novels on Venice in a fiction section, or should they live in a travel section? Perhaps you have enough books on Venice to claim their own section. Each method works.
  3. Label your shelves. This time-honored tradition works as well in a home library as it does in public libraries. The label holders that we recreated from a 19th-century library catalog are easily adaptable for any library because they’re so simple to customize.

Ah, but what should those labels say?

They could all be traditional or totally idiosyncratic. Here are some traditional labels: Here are some rather idiosyncratic labels:
  • Biography
  • Business
  • Classics
  • Fiction
  • Gardening
  • History
  • Bling Bling
  • First Novels
  • Grandma Moses
  • Grapes of Roth
  • Haiku
  • Out of Africa

In his home library, Steve intersperses traditional labels with other titles of his own, including:

  • Après Reading: A temporary holding shelf in his Living Library where Steve keeps a new book that he’s just finished reading. He revisits the book two or three times over the course of a few weeks, immediately after reading it, to help him retain more of what he’s read. Then he shelves it in his Living Library.
  • For When I Go There: Candidate books that Steve has ready to leap off the shelf and go in his carry-on…for when he goes there. More than a dozen books set in the Florida Keys await long weekends. For longer treks, he has Robert Hughes’s Fatal Shore: The Epic of Australia’s Founding, Tony Horwitz’s Blue Latitudes, about the South Pacific of Captain Cook’s day, and Paul Theroux’s Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean.
  • Books to Give: Books he stocks up to give away. They range from several for young people who are starting their careers to those for friends who have lost a family member.
  • Maybe Later: Books he’s given up on for now, but may come back to someday. As he reminds readers in his Little Guide, it’s okay to give up on a book—even one that’s supposed to be good.

4. Keep empty space on your bookshelves so that your library can continue to grow as your interests do. Empty shelves are like a beckoning road ahead.

What?? An empty shelf…time to get more books! :-)

5. Optional: Add a large floor pillow…for your dog. Makes a great footrest for when you choose a book from your (labeled) shelf, sit down in your favored chair, and read. Ahhhh. To quote Shakespeare (shelved under Classics): “My library was dukedom enough.”

A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***

Organize your HOME Library

Not sure about you – but our family loves books!  My hubby even made us our own library.

So, when I hit certain book stores – I can’t help myself but look in the clearance section for more.  The problem is because I have so many books – I was buying double.

Organizing Books @loving5kids

Source: loving5kids on Instagram

So I started doing some research on a simplified way to categorize them.

A simple app called:

Book Crawler

Book Crawler

I am able to scan the bar code with my phone then it pulls up the book.

I can then say I own, borrowed, or lent the book. I can also see how much the book is worth.  Then I am able to send all the books I’ve entered into a spreadsheet via Dropbox on my computer.  It is super simple.

Seriously, I have over 200 entered and about 1000 more to go.  It is amazing how many books a homeschool teacher can collect.

The Book Crawler app is available for the iOS and OSx operating systems.

It has a lite (free) version but I quickly upgraded.

The developers have no idea who I am.  I wasn’t paid for this review.  I just thought it would be something that all homeschoolers could use to organize their libraries.

In fact, I’m organizing my entire house in a series called Project Cleanse.

How do you organize your home library?

Blessings to you!  You are loved!

Lana (32 Posts)

Lana's crazy life is all about 5 kids,a husband who constantly is doing DIYs and remodeling, travel, teaching, Texas, photography, social media and chocolate, all while having true JOY. Come see her life on iLoveMy5Kids.


A Word From Our Sponsors

The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
***Bring Master Art Teacher TOS/HEF columnist Pat Knepley into your home! Year’s curriculum. Step-by-step lessons. Biblical integration. www.seethelightshine.com***