So long summer vacation and hello new school year! The summer seems like it just flew by so quickly this year! For some homeschooling families, having a dedicated school room is not a necessity and may not be used even if they had a school room. For my family, we need the dedicated school space. Plus, we are not fly by the seat of our pants roaming homeschoolers by nature. When we veer off schedule well quite frankly, school doesn’t get done, unless we are on a field trip. We all, myself included, get distracted or pulled into other directions. Having a dedicated school space is like having an office. When you walk into a professional office you know that you are there to do a job. For us, our school room has the same philosophy, but the school room is far more inviting and fun than a stuffy office setting.
I would like to disclose to everyone, because I feel that this is often not said in homeschool room tour posts, 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’s homeschooling journey 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 our now 11 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 in 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 that converts easily into storage spaces.
Then, 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 last school year to actually do what I would call a schoolroom makeover. 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 it has so been worth the wait!
Moving in the late spring to our new home means we are now lucky little duckies to have a school room that was literally built from the ground up just for that, homeschooling. This room has so much beautiful natural light and two open doorways, which we may put french doors in one day, allow both the kids and our dogs to roam in and out of the room with ease and for the first time ever in our homeschooling journey we do not feel crammed into a room. We have space, but not too much, and with the natural light in the room it makes it feel even larger than what it is.
So, without further ado, I present to you where our learning with be happening this school year:
- Having a trusty pocket chart is a must. I LOVE my pocket chart because it is so multi-functional.
- Decorating a window in a Dr. Seuss theme was more challenging than you would think. Then I stumbled across this adorable, and soft by the way, Dr. Seuss valance that was a perfect fit for our room. Since we live rural I don’t need to cover the entire window, but I did want to dress it up a little.
- I had planned to create my own cursive alphabet wall cards, but between moving and then my illness taking me out of commission for the past few months it just simply was not in the cards for me at this time. So, I found these super cute cursive alphabet posters on Teacher’s Pay Teachers and laminated and hung them.
- Want to encourage your budding artists by displaying their artwork? See how we made our diy art display. Then pick up your own vinyl quote sticker today to complete this look.
- I think that Dr. Seuss is cool no matter what age you are. So when I set out last year to decorate our school room I knew that it would be the perfect theme to make our learning space warm and inviting. All over our room you will see the bulletin board set, truffula tree set, and the giant Cat in the Hat waiting for the learning fun to begin. Plus you will see that I have Dr. Seuss labels all around the room.
- Just because my kids are 11 and 9 years old doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do some daily calendar work. After all, we all forget the date or day of the week even as adults. Keeping this short learning tidbit in our daily lessons with my school wall calendar and weather chart is a must in our household. Plus I added this months of the year and days of the weeks card set to our calendar wall.
- I feel in love with my sweet children of the world classroom clock the moment I saw it. It just makes you smile. It is perfect for not only learning time with, but also with just knowing what time it is as well.
- Love Shakespeare but struggle to find a hip and happening way to draw your pre-teen or teenager into the Shakespearian world? That’s why I created my Comic Strip Shakespeare Unit for my son. This worked like a charm last school year and we will be continuing for several more years as we move through the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series.
- I know you all can relate. You start a lesson or get into the meat and bones of the test and then you hear “I R-E-A-L-L-Y have to go to the bathroom Mom!” even though they went right before the lesson during one of the regular breaks. In life, we don’t always have the freedom to stop a test, an interview, a client meeting, just because we get bored or frustrated. When my children were younger it was totally understandable and acceptable. At 11 and 9 years old I can smell the potty break demands coming a mile away. My way of working around this is to set up these bathroom break passes. If the pass is up on the wall then we are doing lessons and activities that are more independent rather than group work and they can excuse themselves to use the facilities. If we are in the middle of a group lesson I pull the bathroom passes down and the kids know that they have to wait until the group lesson is over. As my daughter’s favorite character Maddie from the Disney Channel show Live & Maddie would say, BAM…What! Score one for mom 🙂
- Have some flashcards that you need to display in your classroom? Head to your local dollar store and pick up a pool noodle. Then, make your own DIY Pool Noodle Flashcard Holder.
- Not pictured but shown in the video tour is our new book basket that we use for our My Father’s World studies.
- Not pictured but shown in the video is also the Dr. Seuss themed cardinal direction cards. I LOVE these cards so much! Maybe it’s because I am just plain awful with directions. Seriously, give me a landmark or building to go off of and I can get there, but plain old mapping skills I certainly lack in that department so this is just as much for me as it is for my kids.
- Are you looking for a low cost and easy way to add some pizazz into your learning space and also organize your lessons for the school week. Check out my DIY Lesson Organizer!
- I wanted a way last year to make the kids crayons easily accessible so that they did not just end up piled in a plastic container like they have tended to over the years. I have found that this can lead to what seems like a painstakingly long period of time during lessons spent 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!
- Are you studying the US State this year? Make sure to check out my free state study series which includes the region wall cards pictured and shown in the video. I also highly recommend adding the Highlights Magazine Which Way USA series to your learning as well.
- Do you find that you run out of a specific construction paper color so you place an order for more. Then, you do this all year long only to find that you had those colors hidden somewhere in a closet? Why not get organized and make finding those colors easy-peasy and save some money from your homeschooling budget at the same time with this system.
- Are you studying landforms this year? My Landforms Around the World pack and wall cards will come in handy. Check out what the pack has to offer you today!
- Sometimes all it takes to turn your ho hum day around is a simple quote. Download this free Dr. Seuss inspirational print today to add to your classroom!
- Learning the Spanish language this year? Grab these Spanish alphabet wall cards (plus there is a matching word book) from my site today. Also, make sure to visit Crystal & Co. for the awesome Spanish color cards.
- Check out our non-traditional version of a brain break with these free Pause for a Laugh cards.
- Having trouble motivating your kids to read? Whether it is during homeschool lessons, after school, or during the summer vacation, make sure to check out our reading incentive wall with free printables.
- Need a way to display your books to encourage children to read? Check out my low cost and easy to make DIY Book Display Shelves project!
My husband and I seriously searched for a very long time for school desks for our classroom. I always see so many stunning desks, tables, or desk systems in other people’s school room posts; however, we just could not justify spending a lot of money on the school desks. A regular table does not work for our school room simply because it eats up the entire room plus there are no shelves or storage. Luckily we stumbled across our desks at our local Walmart (they can also be found on Amazon). They are the perfect size, have a lot of room, a drawer, two shelves and can nestle into one another for several different kinds of layouts. Plus, when the kids get older if we end up not needing a school room then the kids can put these desks individually right into their bedrooms. Plus, we paid just under $50 per desk for each desk. Perfect right?!
Then in the last few weeks I have been hunting on Craig’s List for a large table that my husband could deconstruct and turn into a custom built layout table for his engineer plans. Well, for $5 locally I found a large gorgeous heavy executive desk. After he built his layout table there was extra pieces and parts of wood so he built a custom ledge off of my teacher’s desk. This way my daughter can bring her chair over to this extra table space when she needs assistance with an assignment, she is less independent in her learning at this point than our son, and I get a ton of extra working space for my own teaching books, projects, and lesson plans. Score!
- I am crazy about the details included in this world map. My kids look at this map and find something new almost daily.
- Will you be trotting the globe this school year? Make sure to check out my Globe Trotting Geography Pack which includes the Continent Wall Cards shown in this picture and in my video.
Other items shared in the video but not pictured:
- Wobble Cushion
- Giant Sand Timer
- Coffee Cup Timer (no longer made but there are some on EBay)
- First World War Flashcards
- Jumbo Clothespins
- President of the week
- Pledge of allegiance puzzle/floor cards
Thank you for taking the time to tour our homeschool room for the 2015-2016 school year. Maybe something in our school room can inspire something in yours. From my family to yours, I wish you all a magical school year!