Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Sign in to follow this  
parent

How do you Store Books and Make Accessible?

Recommended Posts

We are doing our work at the kitchen table.  I store our books on shelves in our hall coat closet, in a hallway directly behind kitchen.  Currently, I have to walk to the hallway often to get the next subject.  Often, one or both children flee when I turn the corner.  I also have a huge pile of books to carry back at the end of the day (even though every time I get something, I also put something away). The school books are on a higher shelf so they can get the encyclopedias and other reading on lower shelf. The shelves are long so I have problems when I take out a large sections of books then others fall over.  I don't really want to move school books lower and have them remove books because then we would have a book avalanche.  I've thought about putting file bins, one for each child, on the floor of the closet.  Then I can put their books and day's work in that bin and they can get it out themselves.  I also have a small cabinet with a shelf that I use for cookbooks.  It is at end of kitchen right across from table.  I could move my cookbooks to the closet and then move the every day school books to the cabinet.  I don't want a lot of extra traffic causing damage to my new kitchen cabinets though either.

If you also do kitchen table school, where do you store the books?

Sort of irritating, but in the hallway where the coat closet is, the opposite (long wall) was lined with bookcases.  We did a big remodel and removed them to widen the hallway.  I love the wide hallway, but extra books storage would be nice with our growing homeschool library.  Of course, there is still the issue of leaving the room to get the books, but there would have been many more accessible shelves for the kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a basement classroom but it's too cold at the moment.  I have a skinny (about 20-24in wide) bookcase in the living/dining room that I have put baskets and magazine holders on.  Each week I go through them and remove/replace for the new week.  The baskets mostly hold binders, the magazine holders the actual books for each subject, and alone-time readers are in a basket on the floor.  There are two other baskets for math (giant mass of c-rods and math books on top) and school supplies (Dollar Tree holders for pencils, glue, scissors)

It's not perfect, but it'll do until we warm up a little more here.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Schoolbooks are shelved on bookcases in the living room.  Each morning before lessons I pull the books needed for the morning's seatwork and pile them on the end of the table.  The children put them away at the end of morning lessons. After lunch I do the same with materials needed for afternoon lessons.  These are put away at the end of schoolday.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it's possible to get the books under control.😁 Nearly one side of our home is all bookshelves chock full of books, but there are piles of books in the kitchen, dining room, and all over the floor of the living room. Books continually come in, especially from the library, but also used book sales, and of course, the internets. But, in all likelihood, it's probably just me and my issue of not being able to pass them up.

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, for us here, each DS here had a heavy-duty plastic crate with ALL their current school books, reading books, workbooks, spiral notebooks, and a pencil box and a small plastic box/bin of art or science supplies. Books and notebooks were all stacked sideways, spine up, to easily see what was what, and the plastic boxes of supplies rested on top. At the start of the day, each DS got his crate and we worked in the living room on the couches and at the coffee table, taking out what was needed and each DS made a stack on the end of the coffee table of books/materials when finished. (You could have DC replace items in their crate immediately after use so there would be no mixing up of materials. And it trains them to be orderly.) At the end of the day, together we all repacked the crates, and then stacked the crates on top of each other in the laundry room.

As soon as we finished a book or workbook or material, I removed it from the crate and replaced with the next books / materials that would be in daily use for awhile, and stored the finished books/materials in my less accessible storage area (since we were done and wouldn't need those any time soon). I did a more final/permanent sorting and dealing with finished books/materials over the summer when we were not doing school.

If crates are out of the question with your current storage options, then I would have DC walk in front of me to the book closet, and have THEM stand with arms out to receive a load of THEIR materials from me, and have each DC carry THEIR load of books back to the kitchen table, and we all start working (no fleeing). And at the end of the day, have THEM help sort materials back into THEIR own pile of work, and each child walks in front of you and carries THEIR OWN materials back to the book closet, where you direct putting of materials back on the shelves. Even if you have pre-K ages, they can still carry a pencil box, or several workbooks or a read aloud book. So that way there is no fleeing, and it's not all on you for everything -- you are teaching them to start taking ownership (or at least partnership) in their education. Good luck!

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use plastic crates as well.  I have them placed on sturdy plant holders with wheels.  Not sure how to explain them but it allows the crates to easy be pushed (rolled) under the table when not in use.  Each of us has our own crate so when we need something we just pull (roll) it out from underneath the table.  My teacher books and supplies are in mine.  I agree though, book storage is always an issue! 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't do school in the dining room, but could you put one of those 3 shelves carts in the closet with everything you are currently using?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use magazine files to hold my instructional materials (free reading books and encyclopedias are on a separate shelf)

I start the morning with a list of what I'm planning to teach, and ideally already have my photocopies done (I don't let him write in the workbooks.)

When we aren't schooling at the desk, I carry the magazine files and whatever other materials I'll need for the day to the area we will be schooling in. (kitchen/livingroom if it's there, or into a backpack if we're going to the library or something)

 

for the past 6 months or so we've been schooling in the livingroom/kitchen so I've just been storing the magazine files under one of the sofa end tables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's what I do which absolutely is not working:

3 bookcases in living room for fun reads

1 bookcase for currently in use curricula and notebooks

1 bookcase by dining table for workbooks and meal time read alouds

1 bookcase in each kid room for personal books and bedtime reading

Magazine holder by couch for read alouds, narration, memory books

1 bookcase in garage for series not currently being read

Boxes on shelving in garage for specialty books, reference books

 

About every three months I get frustrated with the total chaos of all the living area book cases, especially the ones holding curricula and related books, so I empty them all on the floor and reorganize everything. My closets get the same treatment. But the plus side is our homeschool has a natural rotation as I lose/find stuff.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Sarah0000 said:

Here's what I do which absolutely is not working:

3 bookcases in living room for fun reads

1 bookcase for currently in use curricula and notebooks

1 bookcase by dining table for workbooks and meal time read alouds

1 bookcase in each kid room for personal books and bedtime reading

Magazine holder by couch for read alouds, narration, memory books

1 bookcase in garage for series not currently being read

Boxes on shelving in garage for specialty books, reference books

 

About every three months I get frustrated with the total chaos of all the living area book cases, especially the ones holding curricula and related books, so I empty them all on the floor and reorganize everything. My closets get the same treatment. But the plus side is our homeschool has a natural rotation as I lose/find stuff.

 

Our situation is similar.  We do have bookcases in kids rooms for just free reading that is not related to school.  I have a large library basket in the living room, nicely tucked behind corner of sofa.  It is a woven fabric basket since the last wicker type basket started disintegrating.  I was so happy with the durability of this basket, but someone must have stood on it and broke the upper metal framework.  I tried to bend it back but it is pretty saggy now, which is irritating.  I also have an office storage cabinet in my garage where I have old and upcoming curricula and books that I cycle through.  This cabinet has books 2 rows deep and so I'll need to expand to another cabinet, as soon as we finish reorganizing the garage.

The books that are difficult are those daily books.  I suppose the easiest option is for me to use my cookbook cabinet, but I do not want to.  I don't use the cookbooks a lot, but I just don't like to give up my own space.  And I don't want the kids banging that cabinet.  It's an end cabinet with a fancier door.  We still have a child lock on it to dissuade them from opening. 

6 hours ago, TABmom said:

We don't do school in the dining room, but could you put one of those 3 shelves carts in the closet with everything you are currently using?

I like the rolling cart idea, except have 2 problems with that.  I'm worried it would scratch my floors and I don't think something that tall would fit well in the closet.  It is a long closet and one side has a high bar for longer coats and is full.  The other side has a low bar to hang short coats and above are the 2 bookshelves and then a 3rd shelf with games and some manipulative.  So a cart couldn't fit under the low shelf and probably not under the long coats without something getting knocked down as the cart goes in and out.  It is full of coats.

Crates on the floor are the best for the closet because I have some space under the long coats, but I would have the same concern about scratching the floor.  We could put big pieces of felt on the bottoms I guess, as we have done that with other things.  The other issue is that my 4 year old then has access.

6 hours ago, Petrichor said:

I use magazine files to hold my instructional materials (free reading books and encyclopedias are on a separate shelf)

I start the morning with a list of what I'm planning to teach, and ideally already have my photocopies done (I don't let him write in the workbooks.)

When we aren't schooling at the desk, I carry the magazine files and whatever other materials I'll need for the day to the area we will be schooling in. (kitchen/livingroom if it's there, or into a backpack if we're going to the library or something)

 

for the past 6 months or so we've been schooling in the livingroom/kitchen so I've just been storing the magazine files under one of the sofa end tables.

I really need to start with a total plan for the day but usually just do a couple subjects, then as they complete, we move on to the rest.  I know next year will need more of a plan/schedule every day.

Is a magazine file like this?  https://www.amazon.com/Evelots-Magazine-Holder-Organizer-Full-Wide-Floral-Labels-Set/dp/B00HFWUGVO/ref=asc_df_B00HFWUGVO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167134969624&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12328622987944221065&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033982&hvtargid=pla-305255237214&psc=1  

So this prevents the collapse when I remove a subject?  That is an awesome tip!  Plus little parts wouldn't get lost.  I love this!

 

10 hours ago, Lori D. said:

If crates are out of the question with your current storage options, then I would have DC walk in front of me to the book closet, and have THEM stand with arms out to receive a load of THEIR materials from me, and have each DC carry THEIR load of books back to the kitchen table, and we all start working (no fleeing). And at the end of the day, have THEM help sort materials back into THEIR own pile of work, and each child walks in front of you and carries THEIR OWN materials back to the book closet, where you direct putting of materials back on the shelves. Even if you have pre-K ages, they can still carry a pencil box, or several workbooks or a read aloud book. So that way there is no fleeing, and it's not all on you for everything -- you are teaching them to start taking ownership (or at least partnership) in their education. Good luck!

I really like this!  I'll try it tomorrow since I have no energy left tonight for any rearranging.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, parent said:

...I really like this!  I'll try it tomorrow since I have no energy left tonight for any rearranging.  


And, if you can, try and make it fun or funny in some way in the first days to do an end run-around potential whining or griping. "We will now walk regally, doing the royal wave (cupped hand, rotating at the wrist)," and dub them lords and ladies by tapping them on the shoulder with a ruler as they receive their books. Do the graduation commencement song as your accompaniment: "Doo, doo, doo, doo, dah. Dah, dah dah dahhhh...." Or get down and funky and everyone jive to the cupboard and back to the table. Or... whatever is fun for your family. (:D 

Edited by Lori D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


And, if you can, try and make it fun or funny in some way in the first days to do an end run-around potential whining or griping. "We will now walk regally, doing the royal wave (cupped hand, rotating at the wrist)," and dub them lords and ladies by tapping them on the shoulder with a ruler as they receive their books. Do the graduation commencement song as your accompaniment: "Doo, doo, doo, doo, dah. Dah, dah dah dahhhh...." Or get down and funky and everyone jive to the cupboard and back to the table. Or... whatever is fun for your family. (:D 

Oh my goodness.   You must be the child whisperer.  Thanks!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, parent said:

 

Our situation is similar.  We do have bookcases in kids rooms for just free reading that is not related to school.  I have a large library basket in the living room, nicely tucked behind corner of sofa.  It is a woven fabric basket since the last wicker type basket started disintegrating.  I was so happy with the durability of this basket, but someone must have stood on it and broke the upper metal framework.  I tried to bend it back but it is pretty saggy now, which is irritating.  I also have an office storage cabinet in my garage where I have old and upcoming curricula and books that I cycle through.  This cabinet has books 2 rows deep and so I'll need to expand to another cabinet, as soon as we finish reorganizing the garage.

 

Don't you know that if something -- ANYTHING -- is on the floor, that it must be stepped on? 😁

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, parent said:

 

Our situation is similar.  We do have bookcases in kids rooms for just free reading that is not related to school.  I have a large library basket in the living room, nicely tucked behind corner of sofa.  It is a woven fabric basket since the last wicker type basket started disintegrating.  I was so happy with the durability of this basket, but someone must have stood on it and broke the upper metal framework.  I tried to bend it back but it is pretty saggy now, which is irritating.  I also have an office storage cabinet in my garage where I have old and upcoming curricula and books that I cycle through.  This cabinet has books 2 rows deep and so I'll need to expand to another cabinet, as soon as we finish reorganizing the garage.

The books that are difficult are those daily books.  I suppose the easiest option is for me to use my cookbook cabinet, but I do not want to.  I don't use the cookbooks a lot, but I just don't like to give up my own space.  And I don't want the kids banging that cabinet.  It's an end cabinet with a fancier door.  We still have a child lock on it to dissuade them from opening. 

I like the rolling cart idea, except have 2 problems with that.  I'm worried it would scratch my floors and I don't think something that tall would fit well in the closet.  It is a long closet and one side has a high bar for longer coats and is full.  The other side has a low bar to hang short coats and above are the 2 bookshelves and then a 3rd shelf with games and some manipulative.  So a cart couldn't fit under the low shelf and probably not under the long coats without something getting knocked down as the cart goes in and out.  It is full of coats.

Crates on the floor are the best for the closet because I have some space under the long coats, but I would have the same concern about scratching the floor.  We could put big pieces of felt on the bottoms I guess, as we have done that with other things.  The other issue is that my 4 year old then has access.

I really need to start with a total plan for the day but usually just do a couple subjects, then as they complete, we move on to the rest.  I know next year will need more of a plan/schedule every day.

Is a magazine file like this?  https://www.amazon.com/Evelots-Magazine-Holder-Organizer-Full-Wide-Floral-Labels-Set/dp/B00HFWUGVO/ref=asc_df_B00HFWUGVO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167134969624&hvpos=1o5&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12328622987944221065&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033982&hvtargid=pla-305255237214&psc=1  

So this prevents the collapse when I remove a subject?  That is an awesome tip!  Plus little parts wouldn't get lost.  I love this!

 

I really like this!  I'll try it tomorrow since I have no energy left tonight for any rearranging.  

yes, but ours our metal. We had some thin cheap ikea ones for a while to see if the system would work for us, it was working but it was looking like i'd be buying new magazine files every year and it didn't look so nice, so we got the more sturdy metal ones. I don't have any experience with the thick cardboard like in your link, but if you aren't super rough on them I suspect they'd hold up fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something to be said for emptying all your shelves and living in piles of books for a couple weeks though. It's kind of fun. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small house here. Our kitchen is not eat in, so the small dining is all we have. The dining room is lined with bookcases. Books are organized by shelf. Each kid has a shelf with their current year's books and notebooks. But other than that, all science stuff is on one shelf (references, texts not in use, etc.,) History stuff on another. Lit is on shelves semi broken up into WTM time periods, so ancients all together from elem. to high school because even high schoolers benefit from picture books sometimes. All my reference books on other shelves like all my homeschool books that I refer to often, the dictionaries, thesauruses, foreign language dictionaries, etc. Someday our dining room will not also be a library, but that is not the stage we are in right now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we did kitchen table school, I had a bookcase next to the kitchen table that had all our current books and supplies and a basket on top for books that could change daily. There were books on two big bookcases in the living room, books in the kids' rooms on bookcases and nightstands, books on all the bookcases in the basement, books in my bedroom... even the bathrooms usually had bathroom reading hidden somewhere.

We don't do kitchen table school anymore because we don't have a kitchen or dining room table anymore in our current house but we have a huge set of bookcases in our oversized hallway (it is just over 4 ft wide so the bookcases don't make it feel too narrow), several smaller bookcases throughout the house, and our side tables to the couch which are really just small bookcases. We love our books around here and we just let it all hang out for all to see. I'm certainly not going to win any home decorating awards but one of my favorite quote pretty much sums up my philosophy on books and home decorating...

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” - Anna Quindlen

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Petrichor said:

yes, but ours our metal. We had some thin cheap ikea ones for a while to see if the system would work for us, it was working but it was looking like i'd be buying new magazine files every year and it didn't look so nice, so we got the more sturdy metal ones. I don't have any experience with the thick cardboard like in your link, but if you aren't super rough on them I suspect they'd hold up fine.

 

Thank you for the suggestion!  I stopped at one store and the metal magazine files were $16.  Stopped at Walmart, and then were just under $7.  They only had 4.  I would like more but it already is such an improvement!  I wish they were slightly wider but for the most part, they will work.  And I think we will have fewer pieces with our next year's curricula.  I am really delighted with this.  There is already much less leaning and sliding of books and it looks more organized 😄  And I won't be giving up my cookbook cabinet yet!

I'm thinking about moving some of this to the lower closet shelf, but I do have that shelf full of encyclopedias (Usborne, Kingfisher, DK) that they like to peruse in their free time and other reading that I'd like to keep accessible.  But perhaps I could move some of these to the floor, either in crates or by adding a very low shelf.  I do have toy bins on floor of this closet too, so my 4 year old does access it often.  He is a very curious child.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a china hutch with a couple of cupboards with doors on the front at the bottom. I call them cubbies. DD’s school stuff is in one cubby, and my teacher editions are in the other. 

The china hutch is right behind the kitchen table where we do school. Some reference books are on a bookshelf in the living room a few feet away, which since our house is open plan, is not really a separate room from the kitchen, more a separate visual space.

Before the hutch, I had s couple of plastic crates on s bench behind the kitchen table. Looked sloppier, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't school at the dining room table but we're within feet of it. I've got a 10-drawer rolling cart for the 7yo because his subjects tend to have pieces and parts. My 9yo has a cloth bin - the type that would fit into a cube shelf. Her books, rule and pencil box all fit in it.

p.s. I agree with the comment above about how the books will never being under control.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Current schoolbooks and notebooks are in dish drainers (one per kid) on a counter next to the table. The silverware container holds pencils, pens, rulers, etc. It worked really well until the huge thick textbooks of high school. 

Curriculum/books not being currently used is either a) on shelving in my closet to be grown into or b) annexed into the bookshelves if done but not ready to get rid of (old BYL/ FIAR/Sonlight/Bookshark books for example)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have had different configurations, but in the situation that you describe, I'd probably go with a tote bag or backpack for each student.  At home, we've had bins or shelves for each kid near their desk space, but we do at least one day of car school each week, sometimes more.  Each kid has a bag of some sort that they can fit one day's worth of materials in.  One kid prefers a large backpack.  while the other prefers one of my old thirty-one totes with lots of pockets that can hold pencils and snacks.  I'd let each kid choose their style of bag, or just use old ones that you have at home.  At one time, we also had basket that they could choose from for certain subjects - I'd stock that every week or 2 and could just get it out each day and let them share it.  At this point, older goes and gets whatever references are needed off of the shelf, so as long as I keep them organized, I don't need to get them out.  Get another bag or basket for the instructor's guides and teacher's manuals if you have them. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, ClemsonDana said:

We have had different configurations, but in the situation that you describe, I'd probably go with a tote bag or backpack for each student.  At home, we've had bins or shelves for each kid near their desk space, but we do at least one day of car school each week, sometimes more.  Each kid has a bag of some sort that they can fit one day's worth of materials in.  One kid prefers a large backpack.  while the other prefers one of my old thirty-one totes with lots of pockets that can hold pencils and snacks.  I'd let each kid choose their style of bag, or just use old ones that you have at home.  At one time, we also had basket that they could choose from for certain subjects - I'd stock that every week or 2 and could just get it out each day and let them share it.  At this point, older goes and gets whatever references are needed off of the shelf, so as long as I keep them organized, I don't need to get them out.  Get another bag or basket for the instructor's guides and teacher's manuals if you have them. 

 

I really like the tote bag idea too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our schoolroom does not have real wood floors. They have gotten scratched up some, but our rolling cards have not scratched them at all. They were cheap and work well to hold the kids current books near their desks. Maybe you could get a cart that would fit lengthwise under the table and not affect legroom during meals. You coukd pull it out fir the school day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Meriwether said:

Our schoolroom does not have real wood floors. They have gotten scratched up some, but our rolling cards have not scratched them at all. They were cheap and work well to hold the kids current books near their desks. Maybe you could get a cart that would fit lengthwise under the table and not affect legroom during meals. You coukd pull it out fir the school day.

I could never leave it out.  Our table is directly across from kitchen.  It's an open floorplan, and there is a walkway between the two spaces.  I am a minimalist and the clutter in constant view would make me very stressed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2019 at 11:57 AM, ClemsonDana said:

We have had different configurations, but in the situation that you describe, I'd probably go with a tote bag or backpack for each student.  At home, we've had bins or shelves for each kid near their desk space, but we do at least one day of car school each week, sometimes more.  Each kid has a bag of some sort that they can fit one day's worth of materials in.  One kid prefers a large backpack.  while the other prefers one of my old thirty-one totes with lots of pockets that can hold pencils and snacks.  I'd let each kid choose their style of bag, or just use old ones that you have at home.  At one time, we also had basket that they could choose from for certain subjects - I'd stock that every week or 2 and could just get it out each day and let them share it.  At this point, older goes and gets whatever references are needed off of the shelf, so as long as I keep them organized, I don't need to get them out.  Get another bag or basket for the instructor's guides and teacher's manuals if you have them. 

 

What type of tote bag do you use?  I have a lot of the cheap formless type for groceries and a couple sturdier Lands end totes.  The Lands end totes are medium size which is ok for me taking a few things but won't fit a lot of books and the totes are so heavy themselves (canvas) that I don't like to use them for books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one that my older uses is closest to the zippered tote on this page https://www.mythirtyone.com/us/en/collection/totes?page=4  - they've changed styles, but if the books are on their sides, this holds a lot.  If you have bulkier stuff, go back to page 2 and maybe the utility totes would be better.  They come in a couple of sizes and are very lightweight and have a shape to them - we use them for hauling stuff to the ball field.  I could probably combine both kids into one of the big ones.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, for things I'm using a lot or books I'll be using soon (like the same week) I will have a book bin or basket  that I keep right next to wherever we are doing our schoolwork at the moment (which varies).   I just put them in a corner or up against a wall in that room, and if we have company or something they are easy to move and stash.  

Then, I have bookshelves for the "not currently using" stuff.   All the historical stuff is in chronological order, and everything else is by sections...except, a few books too tall for the shelves which go on top of the shelf in a wide basket.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...