Our Homeschool "Room"
Making your home work to fit your lifestyle
Welcome to our school room! I use the term room lightly because this is really just our dining room made to work for our homeschooling lifestyle. I have seen pictures of other homeschoolers who have an entire room devoted just to doing school, and although they are beautiful and desirable, that doesn't work for our home. In fact, I'm not sure I would devote an entire room for school use only. I love to entertain and always like to have the main rooms multi-task when we have large crowds.
When we bought this home almost 3 years ago, we were in desperate need of more space. We already had four children and then had the addition of three more children in one year, one through natural means and two through adoption. We had outgrown our previous four bedroom, two bath home. Our new home is beautiful and situated on 12 acres surrounded by mountains. This home is plentiful in the bedroom & bath area, but lacking in the kitchen/dining and more public areas of the home. We were aware of that when we bought it and have plans to one day add on a huge kitchen of my dreams, but right now that's not a reality. We have to make it work for us.
So here is our creative solution for homeshooling a large family when space is tight (we are schooling 5 right now). We carved out this corner in our dining room for our basic school necessities. We have our map displayed for a quick reference and also have a bulletin board to display whatever I'm currently working on with the little kids. The cabinet in this room hides most of our daily school essentials. On the very top of the cabinet is our art supplies, including crayons, markers, and colored pencils in those fancy-schmancy left-over ice cream pails and the basket hides stickers, stamps, chalk, glitter, etc. way up high where the little ones can't get into it without permission. The top shelf of the bookcase holds the little kids school books that I need on hand but don't always use every day and also the coloring and activity books. The second shelf holds more art supplies that I don't mind them reaching, like beads, glue, and safety scissors and also our play dough. The bottom shelf holds most of my older kids books, and more of the books for the little ones that we use on a daily basis. In the closed doors below are the busy activities like the chalkboards, magnetic letters, and the colored paper.
Next to that is our super cool desk with our desk top computer that we use everyday. And above that is our school chalkboard. I found two old window frames for like $7 and we took the glass out of them and painted them white. Then I marked off a rectangle on the wall and painted it with the chalkboard paint and my husband nailed the two frames directly to the wall. I sometimes use the chalkboard for spelling words and things like that, but mostly I just use it for seasonal decorating. I used to meticulously create different designs for each season, but that was too time consuming, so now I just free hand them. They aren't as perfect, but I love them just the same. Here is my spring chalkboard...
And this is the other side of the room with our dining table. This is where the little ones do their seat work. My teenager prefers to do most of his work in his room where it is quieter. We also move around to different rooms to do some of our school, or sometimes we do it outside. We use lots and lots of real books for our school, and I have them hidden in different bookshelves around the house. I keep the books that we are currently using and our favorites in our sunroom, some in the living room, and I have a large set of bookshelves in the basement storage room where I keep the rest. Also, that is where I put most of the curriculum that we are not currently using this year (after 12 years I accumulated quite a lot!).
I want my home to be beautiful as well as functional. It is perfectly imperfect. Each room works hard multi-tasking to fit it all in, but it's definitely worth it! I love spending time with my kids everyday and the closeness that our homeschooling lifestyle brings. But sometimes, I find myself dreaming of that large kitchen with the big farmhouse table with plenty of room and tons of storage...Anyway, thanks for peeking at our homeschool room. So, whether you might want a hobby area, craft room, school room or whatever, I hope you have found some creative ideas to squeeze it in and make it work in your home!