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Creating Storage and Archive Areas for Your Homeschool

From the textbooks you include in your curricula to supporting resources such as videotapes and DVDs to completed projects and homeschool documentation, you will need to handle lots of "stuff" related to your homeschool. When designing your homeschool area, you need to include lots of storage room.

There are two basic kinds of storage you'll need to homeschool. One type is for the materials that you are using in the current school year; I call this "active storage" because you are actively using it. The other type I call "archival storage" because you use it to archive the materials that you aren't currently using.

Creating and Maintaining "Active Storage"

Your active storage areas should include the following:

  • Bookshelves for textbooks, workbooks, and other printed materials
  • Filing cabinets for storing current and completed assignments and tests
  • Drawers for storing pencils, scissors, rulers, and other tools
  • Shelves for storing supplemental materials such as DVDs and CDs
  • Shelves or drawers for storing projects
  • Shelves and drawers to store your teaching materials
If you have more than one student and don't live in a huge home, the battle for enough storage space is one that you will likely fight throughout your homeschool career. The key to winning this battle is to keep your homeschool well organized.

If you find yourself running low on active storage space before you get to the end of a school year, you will need to move completed work from your active storage to archival storage.

Creating and Maintaining "Archival" Storage

Maintaining your homeschool documentation is very important for a number of reasons. In fact, you'll basically want to keep everything your children do during their homeschool career. And, you will often reuse curricula items over the span of different years so you will also keep many of the teaching materials that you acquire.

Unless you have a very large schoolroom, you probably won't want to use up active space with documentation and teaching materials that you aren't using. To store these items, you should identify an archival storage area in which you can store and organize completed school materials along with teaching materials that you won't be using during the coming school year.

Basements and attics are often good locations for this kind of storage. You typically will place items you want to archive in boxes and them place those in your archival storage area.

Like all other storage, keeping these materials well organized is important so that you can easily find them when you need them. If you store materials in boxes, label the boxes clearly.

One important factor to consider when choosing an archival storage area is the environmental conditions. For example, if you have a basement that tends to get wet or become humid, you probably don't want to store papers and books there because they can get ruined in those kinds of conditions. Similarly, be careful about what you store in an attic, where the temperature is likely to be almost as extreme as the outside. You probably don't want to store items that can be damaged by heat in your attic because in the summer time, most attics get very warm.

If you do choose an archival storage area that is subjected to some amount of moisture, consider using sealable plastic storage boxes to store your materials. While considerably more expensive than cardboard boxes, they do offer much better protection from the elements, especially from water and damp conditions.

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Reproduced from Absolute Beginner's Guide to Homeschooling, by Brad Miser, by permission of Pearson Education. Copyright © 2005 by Que Publishing. Please visit http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0789732777 to order your own copy.


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