Thursday, June 18, 2009

Where We Homeschool

The new TOS Homeschool Crew is getting ready for new year and having a blast getting to know each other before we set sail. One of the new Crew members, Tristan from Our Busy Homeschool, asked the question, "What's your homeschool room like?"

I am very fortunate to actually have a room we call "the school room", a bonus room above the garage that formerly served as a full playroom. It was actually the feature that sold the house seven years ago. My husband took one look at that extra bedroom with a door at the end of a long hallway and said "This is the house for us!" In our previous house, we had given up a family room to the kids' "stuff" and it was constantly visible.

When we finally said goodbye to the humongous Little Tykes toys and got down to mostly games and Legos, I started to convert this area for school and had shelves and a long table built for one area.

My favorite feature is the cubby storage above the desks. I am going to be starting a modified workbox system with my son, so the magazine files on the left will serve as his boxes. For my daughter, I will be using the magazine files on the right to hold her books by subject and will be giving her a paper schedule. I can add and remove supplemental products from her files as we go through them. In the center you see my son's books, schedules and binders by subject and teacher manuals.

In this next picture, you see the main part of the room. For perspective, the left side of the photo shows the corner of the desk area where my daughter was sitting in the previous picture. The green unit holds CDs and to the right of that is a storage area that holds toys. I just purchased the shelving units on either side of the window from IKEA. The one on the left contains mostly Sonlight materials. I just can't give up those books! The one on the right has educational DVDs and magazines at the moment. The white table is an old train table that I've converted to a game storage/coffee table/teaching blackboard. The black handle thing you see in front of the window is a trampoline. It is a great tool for working out wiggles or frustration. The futon also serves as our handy kid sleepover bed.

My son is a Lego fanatic. Yes, every one of those bins contains Legos. When he was about four, I found an 18-gallon container full of Legos for $20 at a garage sale. I think it was my best deal ever! Usually, the Legos aren't in the bins, but all over the room and house - even in the washer and dryer. I've made a new rule that his creations cannot spill over the blue area rug in front of the storage. We'll see how long that actually lasts.
The door to the right of the white shelves in the photo above leads to the hallway. Across from Lego City is a large storage closet that houses more games and books than physically seems possible. I have to admit, these photos are very deceptively organized since I just purchased more shelving and rearranged. Normally my shelves are vomiting books and you can't even see the desks. When my kids saw the camera coming out, they thought I was taking pictures of the room clean to show them what it should look like once it got messy again!

Despite this great area, I'm constantly finding my son sitting at the top of the stairs, at the kitchen table, in my bedroom, etc. with his books because his sister is being too noisy. She likes to hum and sing when studying and he needs dead silence. What a combination. I've tried ear plugs, music in headphones, quieting big sis....sigh. We have trouble managing a classroom of two, I can only imagine how well thirty would go over. Even if the students aren't all in one place, at least the materials are!


nikkit3 said...

Wow! Great space! I love the wall colors, the cubby spaces, and the futon!

Jessica S. said...

Love it!!! :)

Tristan said...

Wowo! I'm drooling over all the shelving and cubbies!

Jamie said...

WOW! That is a GREAT space!!! I'm very jealous over the desks and shelves!

Steve and April said...

I will be content. I will be content. I will be content.

I think I'll go write that 500 times or something.

You are blessed with that great space, and all the organizing shelves. I know you know that. ;)

Thanks for sharing, Heidi!

April E.

Kristenph said...

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's schoolroom, nor their shelving, nor their cool desks, nor their slanted walls.

Awesome room!

Sheri said...

I love what Kristen said, and I will try not to be droolish over here either! LOL, very nice...every house should come with a bonus room like that!

Tricia said...

I will not covet thy neighbors school room...I will not covet thy neighbors school room...I will not covet thy neighbors school room...


SuzySchool said...

Hi Heidi,
I am inspired to get my stuff organized! I'm so glad you shared! It looks great!

Heidi said...

Thanks, gals!

This has been about a 7-year project, with about one new feature every year. Last year was the futon to replace the ancient love seat. This year was the new shelves by the window.

I'm going to do a follow-up picture once school gets rolling so you can see how unorganized it usually is!

Jennifer S said...

WOW!!! What an amazing space. Clean and tidy and nice and bright! I would want to learn in that space!!!
Thanks you for sharing!!!

Kayluray said...

What a great room! I know what you mean about the two not being able to occupy the same room while doing lessons. I have one that completely flips if the other is breathing too loudly. (sigh!)

Annie Kate said...

Lovely room, Heidi!

Those cubbies are wonderful and would really meet a need in our home. Things just don't tip over in cubbies like they do in bookshelves. Could you tell us where you got those?


Annie Kate

Michelle said...

I really love your school room! You've done a wonderful job with it!

Heidi said...

Thanks, all!

Annie - because the space is odd shaped, we had the desks, cubbies and the attached shelves custom built. However, the design was actually inspired by pieces I found at Ikea. We have one local, but they also ship. I wonder, too, if you could take a block shelf/tower unit and turn it sideways to make the cubbies?

CookieMonster said...

Very, very nice!

Just imagine trying to do all that in your kitchen ;)

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

Amazing space and organization! I need to file this away in my head for future reference, in case we ever get to the point where we have a room set aside for schooling. I love it! :)

Kelly said...

I love how organized you are! My inspiration!

Sravani said...

This is an awesome room!!! Excellently done!!. And I love Ikea. I am not sure what I would without it for bookshelves and cubbies, lol. And about the sis being 'noisy'...that is the story in our home too. Sometimes both would start to hum to drown the voice of the other...driving me crazy:)
Enjoy your summer!!!

RaisingOlives said...

I love your school room. The built ins are wonderful and I dream of having something similar someday.

Our school room is also our family, laundry, art, sewing room and is open to the kitchen and the main part of our house. So I like for the school stuff to be mostly out of view, so I'm thinking built-ins with doors!

I've already blogged a bit about fitting our school into our home (a magnetic wall to display art as well as our chalkboard wall), but have a lot more to cover. I just tend to be pretty slow.

Thanks for sharing your great room!


Pool Family Mommy said...

I love 'Lego City'...we have 'Lego Land' at my house. :)
Blessings, Kristi

Diane Allen said...

this is a great space -- I want to check into IKEA for some desks.