Our Home School Room 2012-2013

Hi everyone! This week is School Room Week with the iHomeschool Network Not-Back-ToSchool Blog Hop!



We’ve stuck with a similar room setup this year, with a few fun additions! The above picture is an overview of our room, and now we’ll get into the nitty gritty of our setup!

Along the big wall in our room is an Expedit 17”x15”x72” shelving unit and an Expedit 31”x15”x58” shelving Unit. I keep specific phonics and math manipulatives on the top two shelves. These are things we use often and I didn’t want them to get lost in the rest of our things. The shelving unit on the right houses all of my teacher’s manuals. They’re separated by student, so top left is Strawberry Shortcake, right is Turbo, next row is Tinkerbell and Teeny Tot. The bottom shelves are teacher’s manuals for subjects we do as a group.



Next to the above shelves is our new reading bench. This was a new addition this year that we love!  I purchased an Ikea Besta shelving unit with adjustable shelves plus Besta round legs. ($50) We made the cute pad specifically for the bench. Stop back by tomorrow and I’ll share a tutorial on this super easy and cute bench cushion tomorrow!



The next shelving unit is the Expedit 25 cubbie shelving unit. The top row are all of my LOTW binders and our school work binders. I keep all of their finished worksheets in their annual binders, then at the end of the year, they go down to the basement for storage.

The next row of blue bins are books, lapbooks, then some other miscellaneous games and activities. Mostly for the Teeny Tot. The Blue Organizer Bins are from Lakeshore Learning.

The next row are one of my favorites. They are Small (10×11) Clear Document Cases from The Container Store. They house all of our manipulatives, math links, alphabet tiles, color cubes, lacing buttons, wooden shape blocks, etc, etc.



The bottom two shelves are miscellaneous games, etc. Then the bottom is full of DRÖNA Boxes ($4.99) that house puzzles, wooden blocks, coloring books, etc. If you’re curious, each cube is 15” deep x 13” high and 13” wide, so there is a LOT of space in these!



Here is the whole wall for you to see, or as much as I could fit into one photograph!



Here is the wall to the right of the shelves. It has our Alphabet Palm Tree, calendar time bulletin board, and All About Spelling board. Along with a few ducks my husband hunted.



Another new addition is the Micke Desk in white ($69.00). I needed something for the kids to do typing and piano on, plus a workspace for me as well. This one was a great addition because it’s not super deep, but its long.



On the desk is a Bosch pencil sharpener, one of my favorite things! It sharpens like nothing else and at record speeds!



We also have the Mala Tabletop Paper Holder ($6.99) which is awesome! Drawing Paper Roll refills are are $4.99.



We kept our Ikea Desk setup. It survived the whole last year and still looks great! Whatever it’s made of is really easy to clean and has held up well. There are some dents on the sides of our swivel chairs just from banging into the table tops, but otherwise it’s held up really well and I’m very pleased with it!  I will have a detailed post on how this is put together tomorrow!



Here is a close up of my Vika Alex Drawer Units $79.00. There are only 5 drawers in these, so right now we’re putting two subjects in a couple of the bottom drawers.


Each of my kiddos has an Expanding Acrylic Drawer Organizer in them with all of the supplies they’ll need. This keeps them from getting up a thousand times during class to get something!



In the center of our desk is this super cool Making Memories Caddy was one of my old scrapbooking items. I dumped out the supplies and filled it with markers. Yep, you know you’re a homeschooler when you start sacrificing your scrapbooking supplies in the name of school.



Where’d I Get that?

This week is School Room Week with the iHomeschool Network Back-ToSchool Blog Hop! Make sure to stop by and see what other homeschoolers are doing with their rooms!



  1. Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful room! I’m drooling over all that pretty white furniture….
    I’ve been thinking about getting that tabletop paper holder. Is it easy to use (for kids?)

  3. Thanks for sharing! Our room is set up very similar. I’m glad to see we’re not the only ones who have a lot of those cubbie bookshelves from IKEA. I feel like I need to buy stock in IKEA at this point. 🙂

  4. Wish we had an IKEA near us. I like your reading bench and might have to have my hubby make me one – it would allow us to get rid of bulky beanbag chairs. The wall cabinets you use are so practical, we have some in our toyroom. By the way, I clicked on one of your links, for the four-tall unit and I think you might want to check this. Seems as if they are both the same link. Thanks for the links, makes my shopping easier! Blessings!

  5. I love the newest additions! You are so creative. I agree, the Bostitch sharpener is awesome!

  6. Camille Kelsch says:

    Love your schoolroom!!! How do you get your kids not to continually talk to each other at the table while they’re suppose to be working? We have a table in the middle of our schoolroom also that we were using until recently, because I had to split the 4 of them up so they would get their work done without all the talking. Any advice would be great!

    • Hi Camille,
      They do talk some, but it’s usually not to the detriment of their work, so I guess it hasn’t been a huge problem for us. I used to make them go to another room to read, but now they sit on the new bench. The issue I had was if they went to work in another room they would be messing around instead of working!

  7. Tatia Wooten says:

    Love, love, love the room…can’t wait until one day mine will be as organized as yours!

  8. Love the new reading bench.

  9. totally jealous and with 4 school age kids this would be amazing for my family. I am hyper organized so this would be awesome

  10. Your kids do piano at that desk? That threw up red flags to this piano teacher. By the time you place a keyboard on the desk, those keys are very high off the floor and you need a VERY high stool for them to sit on (or maybe have them stand). Their forearms should be perfectly parallel to the floor when they play, otherwise the mere act of striking a key is a challenge (read: more work, less fun), the risk of wrist injury is great, and frankly you’re establishing a horrible hand position and technique that will take years of time with a really good teacher to correct. Please consult with your children’s teacher, invite them to see your setup, and ask for pointers to establish the most conducive practice area. And if any of your children really seem to enjoy piano, please, PLEASE consider purchasing a touch-sensitive digital or acoustic piano.

    Off my soapbox now. Your homeschool room IS beautiful, fresh and inviting. Congratulations on putting together a wonderful space for learning in your home!

    • Totally agree.

    • Hi Betsy,
      Thank you for the information, I did realize it was too high after putting our keyboard on there so I purchased a stand. Now it’s sitting next to the desk area. Unfortunately most of the stands are also for adults so it’s still almost as high. For now I’ve opted for a taller chair, so their feet are not on the ground, but honestly I don’t know what to do for it to be kid height? Any suggestions?

      • Great start, Erica! Ideally, you would add books or cushions for the children to sit on to bring them up to the correct height (forearms parallel to the floor). Then provide a foot stool that will enable them to have their body weight forward and supported by their feet. In my studio I use the 12″ foam fatigue mat squares that are readily available in either children’s safety supply catalogs in a variety of colors or gray is available for garage/utility area floors. These cushions allow for a custom fit to both the bench and the foot stool and aren’t too slippery to sit on. You’ll find wiggly feet will shift them off a foot stool, though!

      • Great start, Erica! Ideally you’d add books or cushions to bring the student’s seated height up to have those forearms parallel to the floor. Then provide a foot stool allows them to balance their weight on their feet evenly with their seat. In my studio I use the 12″ square foam anti-fatigue cushions that can be purchased in a variety of colors from children’s safety supply catalogs or in less exciting colors in garage/shop sections of stores. For my littlest students I also use them on the foot stool as well. They are comfortable and not slippery, although wiggly feet will knock them off the foot stool fairly regularly!

  11. love it!! it’s all so neat and tidy!! i love ikea and all their organizational things. looks like you’re making great use of it all 🙂

  12. What a great organized room. I was curious, what are the dimensions of your school room?

  13. Thanks for including all of your links again…much appreciated. Last year, I used some of your links to make purchases for our school room and I was soooo hoping you’d do the same this year.

    Blessings on the coming start of your new year!


  14. Jennifer W says:

    Of all the school rooms I have seen on the blogs, your is by far the best! Not only is it super organized to reduce clutter, it looks totally inviting. I love al the matching furniture.

  15. Wow! Your room is amazing, I’d never want to leave lol, don’t know about the kiddos! Love the white and open feel, I’ll be posting my school room sometime today!

  16. Looks great! Love your set up!
    🙂 Colleen

  17. Love the additions. I am using the Micke for my desk as well, love it.

  18. You room is incredible! Love the furniture and organization. One question: HOW in the world did you ever get your wall to exactly fit the reading nook and book shelves to the smallest millimeter with no gaps? They look like custom built in’s.

    I just looked up your last three classroom set up’s and it is great to see your school room evolve over each year! This years is my favorite.

    BTW- the link to the Ikea Expedit 31”x15”x58” actually goes to the taller 72″ shelving unit, and thought you might want to switch it?

    • Luck LOL! I actually had planned it to go in a different arrangement, it just worked out that it all fit along that one wall!

  19. I will not covet. I Will Not Covet! I WILL NOT COVET!!! (OK, at least I’m *trying* not to!!!) 😉

    Erica, I think your school room looked amazing last year! I didn’t think it could look any better, but there it is…EVEN BETTER! Way to go! And, seriously…thanks for sharing! Maybe it will just inspire me to work more on mine! 🙂

    God Bless,

  20. “Yep, you know you’re a homeschooler when you start sacrificing your scrapbooking supplies in the name of school.”

    I find myself doing this a lot. There are so many great things to create with from my scrapbook room.

    I love your set up. Have a great year of learning!

  21. Did ya do away with the workboxes? We are new to homeschooling this year and I wa thinking of ordering the workboxes like yours…

    • No, we’re just using our Ikea desk drawers this year. I actually prefer the JoAnns rolling carts, but my kids wanted to use their new desks so we are. Unfortunately I have to put 2 subjects in each drawer to fit it all in. They are deep enough to do that, but I prefer the other ones.

  22. Ahhh, do i MISS homeschooling. Last year was the first year all four of mine were in a B+M school and it looked like a couple of them would be back home this year, but alas it does not seem to be in His plan.

    Thank you SO much for the link to the reading “bench” – my 10 yo has ALWAYS wanted a window seat and we don’t have one, so I saw closet turned reading nook and told her we’d do it! Your product is just what I had in mind and now I have seen it in action and have to source to get it!

    May your challenges bring you all some of your best lessons and may your joyous blessings be many during the upcoming homeschool year!

  23. You room is incredible! Love the furniture and organization. One question: HOW in the world did you ever get your wall to exactly fit the reading nook and book shelves to the smallest millimeter with no gaps? They look like custom built in’s.

    I just looked up your last three classroom set up’s and it is great to see your school room evolve over each year! This years is my favorite.

    BTW- the link to the Ikea Expedit 31”x15”x58” actually goes to the taller 72″ shelving unit, and thought you might want to switch it?

  24. You room is incredible! Love the furniture and organization. One question: HOW in the world did you ever get your wall to exactly fit the reading nook and book shelves to the smallest millimeter with no gaps? They look like custom built in’s.

    I just looked up your last three classroom set up’s and it is great to see your school room evolve over each year! This years is my favorite.

    BTW- the link to the Ikea Expedit 31”x15”x58” actually goes to the taller 72″ shelving unit, and thought you might want to switch it?

  25. Love the reading bench

  26. Oooo! All of those organised folders 🙂 *swoon*

  27. OH My WORD…. seriously Erica! 🙂 hahahaha I could so just live in your school room! 🙂 HAHAHAH Its fabulous! I love all the books, the organization! 🙂

  28. stephanie says:

    I have got to admit when I see this I think ” I could never be a good homeschooler”. And it is our plan to homeschool our child. He is four and I have been working with him with work books, library visits and going with teachable moments in our life. I guess for someone on such limited finances I see what and awesome room and organization you have created, I can’t help wonder if it can be done for us, without all the awesome tools you have been able to provide???

    • Stephanie,

      Most of us don’t have such elaborate rooms and so many supplies to use. We converted our living room into our learning room and it was created using things we already had in the house as we are also on a much more limited budget. I don’t have photos up yet on my own site, but hope to later this week.

      But, honestly, if you are doing workbooks, reading stories, spending time at the library and making the most of teachable moments, you are already a great homeschool mom!

    • I agree with Sallie! I am thankful that we have an office space that we can use as our room. I know lots of people who do school in their kitchens, living rooms, and all over!

      We do as well for a change. Sometimes we’ll do it by the fireplace in winter, in the kitchen, or fill a bag with all of our work for the day and head to the library :o)

      Homescholing isn’t about the room, it’s about the heart ;o)

  29. Love it! You are great! I am still a newbie at HS. So I’m having issues with my kids (5,3 yr olds) continuing to get into their school supplies (i.e. crayons, scissors) in non school time area to surprise me with art or etc. However, they are not always making it back to the supply spot….thus, I am constantly requesting pickup, etc. Any suggestions? I like their creativity, but not the constant loose supplies?

    • Hi Jenny,
      That’s a struggle here too! I just do my best to reinforce that they put the supplies back. I guess you could give them a consequence the next day of not being allowed to use the supplies they didn’t return. I’m always picking them up too though!

  30. Hey,
    Silly question, but I wanted to make sure before I purcased. The expandable organizer I am assuming fits your 4 sets of drawers in the big square table/desk. They say they are 13″ and my drawers are a titch smaller.

    • HI K’Lyn,
      the organizers are 11.5″ when shut completely, so they’ll probably still fit provided your drawers are at least that wide.

  31. I have set-up the Ikea table/desk like yours and even bought a piece of plywood to put under it to stabilize it. But, now the table tops slide very easily. Did you do something else to prevent this? Thanks for all your wonderful ideas.

    • Melissa,
      I used brackets to secure both table tops to one another so they don’t slide all over. They do slip a little, and I plan to have my husband screw the tops to the drawer units some day…

    • Also try the rubber liner one would put under a rug to keep it from slipping.

  32. I LOVE your room. I am just beginning homeschooling with my dd. She is a 1st grader this year and we are having a great time. She is our only child so I don’t have to worry about kids interrupting each other…only keeping her on task. 🙂

    I really like Ikea too and we are using some of their stuff as well. We are set up in our family room because we are remodeling the room we planned to use. Once we are ready to move into the other room I am going to use some of your ideas. They are really amazing!

  33. Love this room, it’s awesome! Did you end up getting rid of your workboxes? I don’t see them!

  34. Hey! i love your room! do you no longer use the workbox system?? i was thinking about doing it (i read one of your older posts) but didnt see them in this one.. curious why you stopped:)
    thank you!

  35. Hi Erica,
    I am still a semi new homeschooler and trying to figure out what system works best for us. I love the workbox idea but with limited space I had to get creative. I had hubby mount a magnetic piece of metal to the wall next to their desks and we use magnetic pouches for our workboxes. I like it and it works well, but now I am trying to find a way to organize their WEEKLY work. Neither my husband or I have ever been a big fan of those plastic bins with drawers (the 10 drawer mulit colored ones that I think you used to use for their work next to their desks), but I feel like that may be my only choice for weekly storage at this time. In these pictures I see you are still using them for something. Can you tell me what? I am looking for something large enough to hold anything other than paper that we might need (for example, flash cards, games, manipulatives, dice, small compostion books, etc.) I am now willing to go out and buy one of those organizers, but upon looking at reviews the biggest complaint is that the drawers arent big enough or that they dont stay on track or wont hold anything other than paper. Can you please give me your input on them? Are you still using them? If so, for what? Would you recommend them? Do you have an idea for anything else that may work for what I am looking for? Something with minimum 5 drawers per child (I have 2 boys). Thanks in advance for your time, advice, and all you do. 🙂 God Bless and Merry Christmas.

  36. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old
    daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.

    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never
    wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic
    but I had to tell someone!

  37. I just love it. I myself am trying to transform an area into our homeschool spot but since I have a climbing 2 year old desks are out of the question. Which we had little tables and chairs but they were not sturdy enough to handle my 2 year old so I am looking into about how much this all costed you in total. I looked on the IKEA website to get an idea but I couldn’t find what you had exactly. So until then the kitchen table and the floor will do. I have my shelving for each child but the kitchen table and chairs are just to big and with a climbing tot….whew! So I am on the search for the proper items for us. Thanks for the wonderful pictures.

  38. Erica,
    Thank you so much for sharing! I am inspired to get our homeschool more organized. We have four kids and I was at my wits end trying to figure out how to get everyone organized! The video for this post was awesome! Love Ikea!!
    I had one quick question for you. What was the shape games that you have? I was curious becuase our oldest is autistic and I am looking for hands on things for him to help him focus. Any help is appreciated. Praying for your sweet family!

  39. danielle-laryn says:

    this is beautiful! my question is, do you find marker/crayon/pen stains a problem on the white table top? i am looking to update our room to white soon and this thought popped in my head.

    thank you for sharing and blessing us readers with your time and efforts.

  40. This is what I want my classroom to look like! You are awesome 🙂

  41. Christine says:

    Hi Erica,
    I have two questions that hopefully you can help answer! Before asking I have to say, I love your organizational skills! You make it seem do-able to me 🙂


    1. My daughter is five and average size. I’m wondering if the chairs you have at the desk (that swivel) will allow her to touch the floor when sitting at the desk. Or is the desk to high for her to do that?

    2. It doesn’t look like Ikea is selling the Vika Amon table tops that I have seen you and other homeschool moms use 🙁 Maybe they changed the name? Am wondering if the Linnmon version would be the most similar to the table tops you are using? It is found here.

    Thank you! No doubt you are super busy and if you don’t answer no problem! Happy 4th of July!

  42. I’m just starting to create a school room in our home and was wondering what you are using to keep your posters and alphabet tree on the wall? I have tried paint-safe tape but eventually they start to peel away from the wall 🙁 Any suggestions?

    P.S. Thank you for all the fabulous ideas and helps…I have used many of them!

  43. Hi,

    We have the Making Memories Caddy, and I am just wondering what you put in the bottom to keep the pens, pencils, markers, etc. from falling down. The compartments are too deep. We stuffed paper towels down in there, but that was not a long term fix.

    Love the room! I am using your idea to make a similar desk with some storage units we already have on hand.


  44. Stephanie says:

    What happened to your workboxes? Do you still use them? Thanks!

  45. I’m wondering how you do presentation-type lessons? We do our math demo’s, charts, graphs, lots of things on a dry-erase board, but I don’t have a great setup where all the kids can see it from their preferred seats. Been struggling to fix this problem for 3 years now!

    • I just use our white board, there is always one child who has to turn around as their back is to the board. But that’s just how it is for now with our space 🙂

  46. This is wonderful my kids love it thank you

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