Every year our schoolroom looks a little different. I’m always rearranging things to suit our needs, or on a whim for a fresh look! I rarely buy new things, but constantly move furniture around the house and re-purpose storage pieces. We have a dedicated schoolroom (formerly a dining room), but learning and life are blended so books and educational items are spread throughout the house.
Here’s our schoolroom, spiffed up and ready for September:
This smallish room forms one corner of our main living area. Before homeschooling I had converted it into an office and craft space for me (heavenly) and painted it a deep red, my favorite color. When it became the schoolroom I considered repainting, but kept it red. The red is warm and keeps this overstuffed room filled with maps, desks, lockers and scientific models still feeling like part of a home. In the 2012 and 2013 schoolroom posts you can see a lot of the same things, though usually in different places.
This year our desks are separated, which has given everyone a better sense of their own space. (And cuts down on complaints that some else has papers hanging over onto your desk.)
I moved our small table back in for working together, and also as a space for projects that need to dry, papers waiting to be filed, or the next day’s books awaiting exploration. That helped cut down on clutter in the living areas of our home.
The “command central” wall was rearranged but is still a hub of our storage and activity:
- The most important change was to move the computer into the schoolroom, which tends to be a quieter room for math or writing work.
- My beloved lockers still house a writing center that holds everything the kids need for narrations and notebooking or other writing projects: paper of all sorts, sheet protectors, folders, envelopes, paperclips, index cards, etc.
- The art wall (directions for making it also in my 2012 schoolroom post) is a highlight of the room. It’s an easy way to display and change out their art projects, not to mention a place for wet paintings to dry safe from cat prints.
- Another new addition along that wall is a science cabinet: microscopes on top and all the supplies we collect inside: magnifying glasses, goggles, test tubes and beakers, scales…anything to help us feel like real scientists.
Books are EVERYWHERE!
I would love to have those big wall-to-wall bookshelves you see in lots of schoolrooms, but we do pretty well with what we have. Perhaps the fact that wherever my children turn there are books is a good thing! I do have several bookshelves:
- The main schoolroom shelves holds our curriculum, a cubby space for each child, plus science and history books.
- A low bookshelf holds all our picture books. I use the top shelf for a frequently changing display: temporary pets (creatures my son collects and wants to watch for a few days) or items related to something we’re studying.
- In an upstairs hall is a shelf full of chapter books plus previous year binders. This is getting very full and looking less organized as I start piling. I’ve either got to purge or get more shelf space.
I round out our shelf storage with boxes and baskets of books, tucked into the spaces I think they’ll get the most use or attract the most attention. These smaller pieces are perfect for themed collections like poetry or drawing books, books for specific uses like beginning readers or library books, or books we use at a certain time, like when we’re learning together, during Tea Time, or for reading aloud.
Learning spaces throughout the house…
I’ve re-purposed a small children’s table as a nature table, and the low height and location in a walkway works well for catching attention. And look–more boxes and baskets of books! The box contains all our nature-related science books, the smaller basket beside it holds field guides. I add relevant books to the tabletop with the nature items on display.
Much of our day (or at least our favorite part of the day) still consists of reading aloud. This nook is a new arrangement of furniture we already had. I like it because it’s a cozy comfortable space and the close proximity of the chairs means I can use a quieter voice. There is room on the floor for our dog (or my son rolling around to get the wiggles out). We read everywhere–the deck, a park, the living room, in the camper, at the dining table…but this is probably my favorite spot.
Both my children take music lessons and are lucky to have beautiful instruments to play. It’s a big priority in our homeschool budget. Their instruments have a prominent place in our home and schedule.
Some things stayed the same…
The magnetic board I made three years ago still works wonderfully, now for my son who is using All About Spelling’s magnetic letter tiles. (See my 2012 schoolroom post for directions on the inexpensive DIY magnetic board.) An easel nearby is great for spelling practice, silly notes to each other, vocabulary words for narrations, surprise announcements, or schedule details. Of course I still love my big $5 roll-down wall maps from a school closing sale.
This black hutch, with fabric behind the glass doors to hide the clutter, still stands in as wonderful storage for craft supplies.
Not everything is organized…
And here’s a real-life photo. We re-purposed the old train table into a Lego Robotics table. We bought a large tackle box to store the thousands of pieces…but that sits empty. My son’s brain works entirely differently from mine, and can work within the chaos. I close my eyes when I walk by!
That’s a current look at our homeschool learning spaces. It’s a pretty good bet that if I took pictures again in a few months things would be moved around again!
Head over to iHomeschool Network to peek into other schoolrooms.