How I Organize My Homeschool Books
In my house, the books we use for homeschooling pile up quickly. There are textbooks for various subjects, reference books, picture books, phonics books, and general reading books. I also have piles of books we’re not using this year, but we will use next year or the year after.
What do we do with all of these books?
Use Crates to organize homeschool books
As you may know, I store all my children’s individual school supplies in crates. These crates contain pencil boxes, rulers, papers, notebooks, and planners. They’re awesome. Each child can grab their crate and have everything they need to get started for the day.
These crates also contain all the books any individual child is using. This includes math and science textbooks, literature books, phonics books, and sometimes general reading books. I’m also notorious for finding lost library books and tossing the books into a child’s crate rather than running up to their room.
While we didn’t use many general reference books when my children were young, we do now. There are dictionaries, encyclopedias, teacher’s manuals, and books being used by two or more kids. All of these books need a handy spot that’s easily accessible for all the kids, but not in the way of general living.
In my house, I’m currently storing them in our butler’s pantry. A fancy word for a small house isn’t it! Our butler’s pantry is a small room between the kitchen and the dining room which includes a built-in china cabinet. Silverware, napkins, and plates can be stored there.
Since the kids enjoy doing their schoolwork at both the dining room table and the kitchen table, I store the general reference books in the butler’s pantry. They’re now easy to grab from both rooms.
My Reference Books
There are quite a few of our homeschool books that the kids don’t need easy access to but I do. These books are stored on a set of shelves near my desk so I can grab them at a moment’s notice.
These include our science textbooks, math textbooks, and our Tapestry of Grace binders. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed one of the Tapestry of Grace binders to remind myself of what exactly we will be studying next year, or what books the kids will be reading.
I suppose I could check my computer, but the physical binders are easier for one reason or another.
For the hundreds of books that we need on a specific year of our four-year rotation, I keep them in the basement. There are large plastic tubs I use to divide the books by year. Each year I go down, grab the books we need, and place them on the shelves next to my desk.
This gives me easy access to the books throughout the year. It also allows me to keep my upstairs relatively uncluttered. I can also easily find the books I need for any given year. It does require some digging at times.
In general, I’ve found there are four types of storage my family needs for our homeschool books. We need storage for the books each individual child is currently using, storage for the general reference books such as dictionaries and encyclopedias we need available.
I also need access to the books needed over the course of a school year. Finally, we need storage for books we need on a long-term basis but not specifically this year. My simple system of organization allows me to find any needed book quickly and efficiently.
How do you organize your homeschool books?
I actually got rid of some books for the first time ever at a homeschool used curriculum sale this morning! Typically, we have a huge book shelf in our family room for general reading books and living books that we are not currently using. Then I store the more textbook, workbook, reference book type things on a book shelf in our school room and the kids each have a shelf to put their things on. Then I have an ever growing shelf in the kitchen next to the table where we keep all the stuff we use during morning time. It works for me, but my husband often reminds me to keep the ever-expanding line of books in check 😉 I’m pretty sure that books multiply on their own!
I love homeschool recycle sales, as they’re called around here! I’m able to sell books we don’t need and pick up a few we do need. The books still keep multiplying though. 😉
I can’t seem to sell my used books as they go out of date 🙁 still working on organiz…tion
I reduce my old used books to a fraction of the cost and take them to our local homeschool recycle sale. A few items sell each year. Organization is an on-going issue. I think I’ll be working on it my entire life!
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