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Our 2019-2020 Kitchen Classroom

It's been three years since I've talked about our kitchen homeschool classroom, so I thought this was a good time to bring it up again.  Especially since I feel like we're beginning a new chapter this year with our US History curriculum, leaving behind the unit studies for a while (although I'm sure I'll have more themed printables to share).  We also switched out our world map for a really big (50 inches!) laminated U.S. map with clear borders, visible small towns, and highways.

The main feature of my homeschool classroom is still the Elite 32" Cabinet we bought a few years ago.  If anything, I love it more now than I did when we first got it.  I've been very impressed how well it has handled my tough children.  The laminate surface wipes clean easily and gives me a large surface for hanging posters or other organizers.

This picture shows how much I can fit into the relatively small footprint of the Elite 32" Cabinet.  Starting at the top, the left hand side is our supply toolboxes and the right side has our reference binders, curriculum books, and a few random things.  The two middle shelves have Sterilite 3-Drawer Units to hold our daily school work.  The shoe bins have extra supplies, learning games, and other similar types of things.  On the bottom shelf, we have a bunch of extra books, themed materials, and miscellaneous stuff.  The set up is basically the same as it was three years ago, because it has worked so well for us.

Our tackle boxes turned into supply and manipulative boxes is probably one of the best parts of of our homeschool classroom.  I used several sizes of Clear Tackle Box Organizers and placed within them all the little things we need throughout our year.  There's a box for writing tools (chalk, whiteboard markers, pencils, highlighters, erasers, pens, etc) and one for other office supplies (paper clips, magnets, binder clips, staples, etc).

The phonics boxes include one for phonics tiles in a similar style as All About Reading uses, magnetic letters for spelling activities, phonics objects in the Montessori-style, and a box of letter stamps for paper or play dough.  Click on any of the colored text to learn more.

Our math supplies include a very well stocked place value box, which includes Cuisenaire Rods for Base-10 work, number sense, fractions, and more.  The box also includes my printable flip book for another way to look at place value.  Our other math box has weights and measures, rulers, 3D shapes, dice, and a few other things.  I love that the kids can easily find and grab what they need when they need it for school time.

I've written twice this week about our fine motor busy bins and how we're using them as part of our homeschool day.  I have created cards for 10 or so activities that we already own and will use velro to attach them to the Sterilite 3-Drawer Unit fronts, so the kids can easily pick an busy bin for school time.  Comment below if you want the pictures available on the blog for your own classroom.

In our family, all of the kids have assigned colors.  We buy colored duct tape in each of their shades to mark objects, which come in a variety of colors (like the colored pencils) or things that only come one way (like regular pencils).  These pencil boxes have labels on them with each of the kids' names, but they also include their assigned colors.  It works pretty well in our family, and would also be great for a family with many more kids.

I have a few kitchen cupboards dedicated to homeschooling as well.  My favorite one is our full-service printer station.  We have our HP Instant Ink compatible printer (love that program- learn more here) on the bottom shelf (ignore the ugly cardboard- it's just a riser).

Behind the printer is a metal shelf to allow us to fully use the 2-ft deep space.  We have a bunch of random office supplies and other things we use infrequently behind the printer.  On top of the shelf, we have paper bins with cardstock, regular paper, and laminating sheets.  We also keep scissors (these ones are great), packaging tape, the paper cutter, a hole punch,  the binding machine, ink cartridges, the laminator, and several other things in the cupboard.

If I think of anything else to add to this blog post, I'll tack it on here.  Do you have any questions or wonder how we organize any other part of our lives?  Comment below!

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