Monday, August 9, 2010

School Room Week

The topic this week for Heart of the Matter's  Not Back to School Blog Hop is School Room Week.  Do you school at the kitchen table, on the family room couch, or do the kids have desks in their rooms?  Where is your favorite place in the house to do your learning?




Not Back to School Blog Hop

Last year I did a very similar post, so this will all look a bit familiar if you are a regular reader. However, I decided to take new pictures, though our room hasn't changed much, simply because I just finished organizing our shelves and I'm so proud!

I've been blessed to have a designated place, a "bonus room" above the garage, for school.  In the early days of our family, this room held a Toys R Us storeful of Little Tykes, Little People, and various other hunks of plastic.  When we first started homeschooling, I simply added a table and a set of shelves amongst the plastic landfill and called it the playroom/schoolroom.  As the kids got older and my curriculum addiction overtook the Little Tykes, we decided to have the room converted to meet our homeschooling needs. 

It is a bit of an odd-shaped room, but it has the perfect place for a long desk, a corner computer area, and cubby compartments on both sides.  This is where we keep the things that we use the most. 

The computer area is where my daughter often sits, either taking online classes or doing work on the computer.  The cubbies on this side hold mostly reference materials and computer programs. I often sit with my son at the long desk. In the cubbies over the long desk, I have magazine holders that hold the materials for one subject each for each child.  This is something I started once I was introduced to workboxes. It has ended up being more an organizational system than a workbox system, but is something that has made our day flow so much better.  I just go through the boxes each evening and make sure I have the needed materials for the next day.  Many times it is the same items, but I'll often place supplemental materials or perhaps a game into the box. If we aren't doing a subject that day, I just turn the box around to the closed side.  We also turn each box around as it is completed.  My "big" addition this year is to add labels to each box.  I don't know why that is so exciting, but it is! It makes me feel more organized.
In the below picture, the green unit next to the desk contains more computer programs and audio materials.  A storage area is to the right of the unit (behind the blue door) hides the remaining toys. The shelf to the left of the window is full of Sonlight materials and to the right is more audio programs and educational DVDs.  The TV is strictly to play DVDs and has no cable. More DVDs are in the cabinet below the TV. The futon is great for sleepovers and reading aloud. The white table is a converted train table turned end table.  Games are stored inside.

More books are housed on a display shelf by the futon. By the entrance door is my son's favorite place to be...with his Legos.
The rule is that he can keep as many creations out as fit on the blue rug. The rest have to be either in the drawers or on top of the unit. Most days Legos are all over the place, but come clean-up time we fall back on the "rug rule".


There are two really great storage areas in the room, which mostly hold items that aren't directly related to school. One is located by our Sonlight shelf and the other, which is much larger, right by the entrance door.  My son has created his own special reading area in the larger one.

I'm really happy with our space for school, though we don't always stay in there.  My son in particular likes to bring his work down to the kitchen table or whatever room I happen to be working in.  And on occasion my class of two gets rambunctious enough that I have to kick one of my students out to work at a desk in his or her room.  Even so, just having a space for all my homeschooling materials makes my day feel so much more organized and productive.

What I also like is that when friends come over, the kids tend to hang out in this room, playing Legos or games that are also stored in this area, along with some Playmobil and other toy items.  Occasionally dress-up items will get pulled out for younger kids or I'll find teenagers piled on the futon with popcorn and a movie.  Much like homeschooling is just a part of life, rather than something separate, this room is just as much for play and fellowship as it is for arithmetic and grammar.

Check out other school rooms at this week's Not Back to School Blog Hop!

23 comments:

Heidi said...

That is the most awesome schoolroom ever! I want that room. I know we're not supposed to covet, but I'm having some serious issues right about now. Envy, jealousy, call it what you will - - - that is one amazing room!

Heather said...

What a great set up! I love how organized and cozy your spaces are. I would love to read in that room--that's got to be good for kids. I really like the idea of setting up more designated space--right now, I am still hiding everything and using our main spaces. But, I love having our oldest still home, going to college. So, if I complain about space, I'm worried I'll get his bedroom, then I'll miss him:)
I also like the idea of no cable in that area...

Mom Guide said...

You are my Lego-hero. I love how you have them organized.

Kari said...

LOVE this room!!!!!!!!!!!!! Talk about making school fun! That's great!

:)

momma24 said...

I, along with Heidi, am jealous of that room! Oh my word, that is amazing!! I wonder if my dh would consider renovations??? lol

Nichole said...

That's a great room! I love the little reading nook.

Michelle Smith said...

I remember your post from last year, and I remember how much I like what you have done. I was NOT bored reading about it again. I am considering how we have done school in the past, how school will change up this year by adding a new student, plus how we will supervise the preschooler differently this year. I am hoping to glean some ideas from you.

Yunia said...

cute hideaway reading area - have a great school year

Sheri said...

OK, so I guess now I MUST get over thar and check that out myself. I will bring my lego building boy too. Very nice dear! I need one of those secret reading rooms...I would add a mini-fridge and shelf to hold some chocolate and chips and I would be set for a loooonnnng time.

Heidi said...

Thanks, all. I wish I had taken a picture of it before we remodeled...it was total chaos!

Sheri - A mini-fridge and cookies! I KNEW it was missing something! Sometimes I miss the complete obvious. :)

Vickie said...

Great room. Love the colors and love love love that big desk to sit many. Hmmm....wonder if I can make that work somewhere....thinking thinking....:)

Have a blessed year.

Melissa said...

What a great room! I love the paint colors and how cheery it makes the space. My favorite part is your son's reading cave. I think I might crawl in there some days ; 0

SisterTipster said...

I like the colors you've chosen, girl! soo nice! Bet you all have some fun in there!

Tonia said...

I love your schoolroom - those colors are perfect. Trying hard not to have 'schoolroom envy'! ;-)

Wendi said...

I remember seeing pics of your room last year...I loved it then, and I still love it!

Denise said...

Love it, Heidi! I love the green. I also like the new look of your blog~ I can't remember what it was before, but I know it's different. I like it.

Kysha said...

I love the color. You have a wonderful area for school.

Jessica said...

What an awesome space!

Pebblekeeper said...

Very cool room! You're already in my reader but stopping to comment today and give ya some Crew Blog Hop Love. :) Squeeeeeeeeze

jlsgrant said...

Love the room! It just looks like a nice,comfortable place to learn. Stopping by on my blogwalk.

Briana said...

Very nice room. I love the colors. I really like your legos on the rug rule. I need to think of things like that!

Steve said...

Hi, Heidi! I will not covet your schoolroom ... I will NOT! Sigh.

I wanted to let you know I gave you the Sunshine Award today ... but I think I just discovered Sheri already gave it to you. I was trying to avoid duplicating like that. Oh well!

http://homeschoolblogger.com/elcloud/784004/

Thank you for sharing about your homeschool on your blog. You posted some great helpful articles on the Blog Cruise last year, and I always look forward to reading them.

April E.

My name is Tiffany said...

This is such a wonderful space!