Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our Schoolroom

We started our first year of official homeschool last week. Hooray! More on our curriculum and our routine later. First, how about a peek into our schoolroom? I mentioned a while ago that we were turning our study into a schoolroom for the kiddos. Because of the location of the room {you can see into it as you enter the house}, I didn't want it to look to "school-y" with primary colors and giant calendars and displays everywhere. I wanted it to mesh with the rest of our house. I'm pleased with how it turned out, especially considering we bought very little to transform it.

So, here it is!

There's quite a bit crammed in there because we needed to accommodate several non-school things like my husband's medical journals and textbooks, our filing cabinet, and our desktop computer. Thankfully it doesn't feel cramped despite all of those things. I think the wide doorway and big window help.

How about a little tour?
First, we have our computer desk. My husband uses our old PC here for work occasionally and Boo uses it for computer games {Starfall.com}. I'd love to get rid of the desk chair {that I've had since college} in favor of something smaller that can tuck under the desk when not used.
In another corner we mounted corkboard squares and framed them with trim {that I still need to caulk and paint...grr}. It's a great place for the kids to display their craft projects and schoolwork. You know how they want to hang up every single thing they mark with crayons? Well, now our fridge can look tidy and we won't run out of magnets trying to display their creations. Below that is a lime green recycle bin we stash all of our paper scraps in until trash day. It mostly gets filled with junk mail.
The left bookshelf stores most of our school needs. We have a shelf with all of the books included in our curriculum, plus my school schedule binder. Another shelf has magazine files that hold workbooks, paper, teacher's guides, etc. I bought these at the Ikea in Houston and lugged them home in my suitcase a few months ago. I can't wait until our Ikea opens next year. It's a homeschooler's dream. Anyways, the magazine files were less than $0.50 each! I labeled them using chalkboard ornaments I found at JoAnns and white paint pen.

We have a shelf dedicated to all sorts of supplies: glue, paint, stickers, pipe cleaners, etc. I sorted those in labeled Tupperware boxes. The wooden box in the middle {from JoAnns} has our stash of flashcards that we've collected from the Dollar Spot in Target. I love those flashcards and we use them a ton. Read more about that here.
On our filing cabinet in the middle, we keep our fish, Flip, and a small set of drawers that holds scissors, glue, construction paper and markers. Those are things we use the most and are easily accessed by the kids. I painted the front of our old hand-me-down filing cabinet with chalkboard paint. We just keep the chalk in the upper grooves on the cabinet drawers and The Noodle can entertain himself drawing on it if I need to help Boo with schoolwork.
The Noodle isn't one to sit and do one thing for a really long time. {Granted, he's only 23 months old!} With that in mind, I dedicated the bottom two shelves of the right bookshelf to things he could get out and play with on his own. We have a stack of wooden puzzles, a few cardboard puzzles, a basket of letter magnets he can use on the filing cabinet and some foam puzzles and letters all within his reach.

The other wall of the room has an ottoman I found at a garage sale and recovered. There's no real purpose of it being in here right now but it's been a great spot to sit and nurse baby girl while we're doing school. It may get ousted if we start feel cramped in there. Oh, and the door in the middle is to a bathroom. Can't tell you how helpful having a bathroom close by has been with a potty training toddler! It's not much of an interruption to take him potty.

Lastly is the table and chairs. I love this! We ended up cutting down the legs on our old kitchen table. The tabletop is big enough to give the kids plenty of space to work without disturbing each other. The chairs are from garage sales and I'm still finishing painting them all the same color. I love having a table that is kid-sized. It's big enough for me to sit there with them but perfect for them to be comfortable. I didn't want them learning to write while sitting on their knees at a regular table. Oh, and the rug is a cheap one from Walmart that we previously had down in our basement. It's easy to get play-doh off of and I don't fret about them painting or doing other messy projects over it.

So, that's the tour! I'll be posting soon about the curriculum we're using and what we've learned one week in about routine, etc.


Lisa said...

I love it all! And since I'm doing a homeschooling series on my blog now (Wednesdays and some Fridays), can I mention your set-up (it will probably be next week)?


The Alexanders said...

Great job! I love how you cut down your kitchen table. I thought I noticed a new one in a recent post! :)
The chairs are so cute too and I will definitely be making an area for just Bailey's things. I am jealous you are getting an Ikea!!!! I will have to go to Dallas I guess. Anyway love the schoolroom!!

The Notetaker said...

Lisa - of course you can link/mention our schoolroom. :)

Renee Westcott said...

Great job organizing a small space! You really fit a lot in the room and it still looks nice. I never thought about ikea for that type of organization stuff...I shall investigate further!

Monica said...

Great post! I like taking a peek into other people's spaces to get ideas for how to organize. Actually, I've been meaning to post about our playroom (which is our classroom, since my oldest is still 2). This post made me get into gear to do my own!

Amy said...

Just thought I would say hi. I originally came across your blog when I was searching for construction birthday party ideas a few months ago. I pop in every once in awhile. Congrats on the new baby girl!


Becca said...

I like the trimmed-down table, too - the top is small enough but it isn't so childish looking. I found that the cheapo (2.50 or so) vinyl tablecloths are great for play doh - when you are done playing, you can take it outside and shake off the crumbs. :)

smithec said...

This looks so great Em - you did a wonderful job with this room. It looks SO different from the last time I saw it! Love the colors of the walls.

Felipe Bachman said...

Nice post and thank you for your post.It such a wonderful things that make our home beautiful. I like the painted the front of your old filing cabinet with chalkboard paint. It is very nice and looking beautiful you wall. And also like the trimmed-down table, too - the top is small enough but it isn't so childish looking. It is also very nice to see. Great job!.
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