It’s hard to believe that our summer vacation has already come to an end. It flew by so quickly this year! For some homeschooling families it is not necessary, but for my homeschooling family it is a necessity because I work from home, combined with the general layout of our two story home we need to have a dedicated space for our schooling and schooling materials. It is just far too easy to get sidetracked or lose something if we do not have a dedicated space for it. Over the years I have tried to have lessons in different parts of the house and found that for our family it just is not as productive of a school day as having our dedicated schooling area. Don’t get me wrong, we have lessons outdoors, we do have some lessons in the family room, and on the go; however, the bulk of our learning happens in our homeschool room.
I would like to disclose to everyone, because I feel that this is often not said in homeschool room tour posts, that if you are just starting out on your own homeschooling journey I would highly suggest waiting to create a homeschooling room. Having a homeschool room is not mandatory in any way. Wait to see what your pattern becomes with your children since every family is different. If you are more of a fly by the seat of your pants homeschooling family; or one that thrives to be outdoors all day every day; or is always on the go; or finds that you are always cuddled up on your family room sofa, you probably will never even have a desire to have a homeschool room. But if you find that you family is like mine and thrives on routine and structure when it comes to learning, then perhaps finding a room, corner, or area in your home that you can always have for your lessons would be best.
When my family started homeschooling when our now 10 year son was 3 ½ years old, we were in an apartment with quite literally no space at all and had no intentions of ever homeschooling. We homeschooled at our kitchen table, any and all cabinets were stuffed to the brim with schooling supplies, plastic bins were my lifesaver (still love them), and I made work what I had. Our home was not filled with fancy artwork but rather bulletin boards, school posters, and such and we loved it. Homeschooling the younger years there does tend to be a lot of extra hands on learning materials which can make storage space tight so plan and map out areas that you have on hand and convert easily into storage spaces.
As with anything in life, times changed. We have moved several times since starting to homeschool and our learning area has grown, evolved, and progressed as our children have. It has taken our family up until this school year to actually do what I would call a schoolroom makeover. We do not have a large room by any means (you could fit a king sized bed in it and that would be it not other furniture), so making the most of every inch without making it feel tight and cluttered is a necessity.
Needless to say, this homeschool room was years and years in the making (with tons of saving, Craig’s Listing, and waiting for sales), but so worth the wait! So, without further ado, I present to you where our learning with be happening this school year:
For a paint color we went with a bright light green. This immediately made the room pop, become brighter, and just makes you smile when you walk into the room. I decided to marry my love for fun learning with our love for books with a Cat in the Hat themed homeschool room. Here are the main elements that I used to create this look:
- Eureka Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat Large Characters Bulletin Board Set
- Eureka Dr. Seuss’s Giant Cat In The Hat Bulletin Board Set
- Dr. Seuss Character Labels (this is what I used for labels in the closets and around the room)
Right when you come inside our homeschool room you will be greeted with our book display shelves that we made a few years ago. I painted them this year to blend into the wall. And don’t forget to say “hi“ to our friendly inflatable skeleton that we call Slim who is hiding behind our door.
While both of the kids have their own sets of language art and math curriculum, I try to tie in any group lesson that I can. That being said, when my husband and I went out in search of purchasing a new table or desk we knew our space was limited and needed to get the most bang for our buck. When I found these desks I knew that we could place then together back to back to create a teacher’s desk and 2 student desks. I loved that they were low cost, sturdy, had a drawer, upper flat shelf where we could put lamps and projects, as well as shelves. For a small desk, this one sure has a lot to offer. You can find this same Mainstays Student Computer Desk either at your local Wal-mart store or on Amazon.
I also added these super cool desk helps to the kids desks that 3 Dinosaurs created. Our son is partially color blind to certain colors so this color chart will help him as a guide and reference throughout the year. I cut them out and taped them onto the kids desks. You can get these printables HERE.
I wanted a way this year to make the crayons easily accessible, but not just piled in a plastic container like I have done for years. I have found that this can lead to what seems like a painstakingly long period of time just searching for one color crayon. I purchased some Command Medium Hooks along with Metal Chevron Pails (in red and blue to stay in my Cat in the Hat theme for the room) and hung them up on the wall, creating a crayon station while adding a burst of color into the room at the same time!
On our main wall you will find my trusty white erase board that I have had since we started homeschooling. On it you will find our wall calendar, children around the world clock, telling time bulletin board set, and our jumbo clothespin hanging section. I painted the diy teachers lectern that my husband and kids created for me last year black to tie in with the new desks. I am really excited about utilizing my jumbo clothespins. I use a lot of visuals in our lessons and taping/pinning these visuals that we are using for a week or two during a unit study can leave our walls looking like swiss cheese. I wanted an easy, low cost way of making the most of my space while saving my walls. This way I can clip up a visual aid for a day, week, or month and then swap it out when are done with the unit and moving on to another new unit.
Since our schoolroom is in a bedroom we are lucky enough to have a full sized closet for storage. In order to maximize my storage, I have put in several extra shelves. To keep our construction paper organized (and to keep me from buying duplicate colors all year long) I keep our paper in a hanging plastic file folder. You can learn more about this HERE. Other than that I have everything organized by either grade level or group lesson material (remember we love doing group lessons whenever we can).
This year I am also adding a new element that I am so excited about! My daughter has not used her plastic toy storage bin in a very long time. I came THIS CLOSE to putting it for sale on Craig’s List but before taking a picture of it, an idea hit me. The plastic toy organizer fit perfectly in one side of the closet. Why not turn that into an art storage center? And of course, we are still using and loving our Making a Chalkboard Wall out of Mirrored Closet Doors.
Not one to ever miss out on space to expand our school supplies, I also took over the hallway coat closet, installed shelves like we had in previous years, and voila! This houses our hands on science supplies, our resource books that are organized by using paint stirring sticks, paper bags, glue, paint, cardboard tubes, Styrofoam rings, basically anything else you would need to make a super cool project or have a hands on lesson.
In the hallway right outside of our homeschool room is where we dry our larger paintings and art projects. All I did was simply take a metal file folder holder that you would find on any office desk and turn it on its side. It’s the perfect place to allow masterpieces the time to dry.
In the stairway going down to the first floor of our home you will find our artwork display, which was made from the old planks of our son’s bed that was broken in one of our moves. You can learn more about how to make this artwork display yourself HERE.
Other elements you may have noticed in my homeschool room:
Thank you for taking the time to read about what I will be doing in our homeschool room for the 2014-2015 school year. I hope that you enjoyed the tour of our schoolroom. From my family to yours, I wish you a wonderful school year!