Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homeschool Room

When we moved, we decided it would be a good chance to start homeschooling. I had felt drawn to it since the kids were babies and with Garr's schedule, it seemed like it would be a better fit for our family.

In our house, there is a room -- the realtor called it a family room -- it is connected in an L shape to the room that leads to the bedrooms and near to the mudroom. It could have been closed in to make another bedroom, I suppose, although it would close off one of the two routes to the bedrooms. When I saw it, I knew it would make a great homeschool room.

The first year we were here, we were so busy trying to make the house livable that we didn't have much time for decorating. We painted the ceiling and walls, washed everything down, tore out the nasty green carpet, and installed a vinyl floor that looks like hardwood. We bought a folding table and painted a chalkboard on the wall and that was it. Oh and we installed a wood stove for heat :)

Here's the school room before we did anything - Sorry - can't get it to work - will keep trying
(I had some after photos from the same perspective as the before photo. However, after fighting with this for over an hour I can't get them to load...SO you can just look at the following after photos instead)

This past year though, when I was sure we would continue homeschooling, and I had a better idea of what did/didn't work for us, I decided to do some decorating. When you spend many hours of a day in one room, you want it to be cheerful and welcoming!

One thing I knew was that sharing a table was not working. No one seemed to have enough space "of their own!" There was arguing over cleaning up the table ... "that's not mine!" Anyone with kids knows what I mean, I'm sure! lol Also I was having to get their books/notebooks off the bookshelf between each subject. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but often if I wasn't available to get it (working with a sibling,) that child couldn't find their books themselves and so would sit and wait, wasting time. It seemed to me that I was doing a whole lot of hand-holding when my kids didn't really need it. We searched around and found a local school that was downsizing. We were able to get 3 student desks from them! I was thrilled and so were the kids! (I should have grabbed 4 b/c Daniel is going to be schooling with us before we know it!) The desks have worked out wonderfully. Each child can keep track of their own notebooks and supplies. Each child is responsible to keep their own desk clean. Ahhhh. Sweet, sweet, sweet! :) During the week, we keep the desks out in the center of the room. On the weekends, the desks get cleaned off and we push them up against the wall under the chalkboard. That way the room can get used for other things also.

I love our chalkboard. We used chalkboard paint and painted it on the wall. Then this past summer, Garr trimmed it out and added a chalk tray too.

I liked these letters. They are by Eeboo. I strung twine between two nails and used some mini clips to hang them from the twine. They are really beautiful little paintings. The pictures just don't do them justice.

The girls are always moving their desks around :)

You can see our computer table in the far corner. I keep our household filing cabinet and calendar there.

This hall leads into our homeschool room. On this side is our timeline and map.

This side holds our books and games.

Here you can see where the timeline/library hall is off the school room.

In the opposite corner, you can see where I keep our school filing boxes. I will try to do a post about that sometime - how I organize our schooling.

These are the curtains I made for the room. I thought the fabric was fun. We chose the blue for the walls from the blue in the fabric. This was my first time sewing lined curtains and I was really pleased with how they turned out!

Just a little addition to tie them off with :)


Anonymous said...

What an amazing room Jess! I want to go to school there! You and Garr did an awesome job. You've turned into a remarkable young lady and mother my friend!

Anonymous said...

It looks great! I have those same letters for Cami's them! And everything is so proud of you! Good job!

Difference2This1 said...

You are doing such a great job pulling everything together. Not having seen it from the "very beginning" I didn't know how far you had come with getting it all fixed up.

I wish I had more of those desks also (we have 1 in the basement). I need one for Tessa in their room and have been watching for them, but if I found a where someone was selling several cheap, I'd buy 4-5 for the basement and/or playroom. If you ever run across someone selling them in bulk cheap and you only want the one for Daniel, let me know and I'll get the others. :) Blessings, Jennifer

Mindy said...

Wow Jess! That looks amazing! I love the chalkboard idea! You are so organized, I am a bit jealous. Would you like to come do my house:)