Classroom - Ideas for set-up, desks, walls, boards, books

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
4Truth
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:19 pm

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:13 am

Annette, do you have one of the TMs yet? If so (or when you get it), you'll see in one of the pages at the beginning that Marie tells you what supplies to gather ahead of time, and a general idea of how to set up the notebooks. So that's one helpful thing.

When we were doing school in the dining room, each girl had their own supply box with #2 pencils, colored pencils, a special pen for marking maps, scissors, etc. However, that got to be crazy because children wouldn't return their supplies to the box, and next thing you know the box is practically empty and they can't find a pencil. Of course part of that's my fault because I didn't enforce putting things away properly. But now we're doing school in a bedroom-turned-schoolroom, and I just keep one main supply box for those things. *Everything* goes back in that box so there's no "who took my scissors" going on.

Oldest dd has a desk of her own, as she has more seatwork to do than the others and doesn't like to be bothered. The younger two sit across from me at my large office desk. But if I had my preference, we'd have one large table for everyone (but not in the dining room) so that I didn't have to pack everything away every day, so that we can really spread out, and so that we can more easily share books and art supplies and such things. Like a "project" table. I'm sure oldest dd would still like to have her own desk for seatwork, though.

I have one smaller bookshelf on which the two oldest girls have their own shelves for individual math and LA stuff. 5yo's stuff is still separate for now. (A lot of it is hands-on stuff and is in a clear storage container inside the closet.) She'll get her own shelf as she starts doing more seatwork.

Then I have a larger bookshelf for shared resources like Usborne books, EFTRU, etc.

Some of the history spines that look nice, such as Augustus Caesar's World and SOTW, our current read-alouds, encyclopedias that we refer to often, and similar type of "frequently visited" books are on a nicer bookshelf out in the LR. This is my "display" bookshelf, and it's also close to the couch where we do our history and lit readings.

Our Book Basket books from the library have their own shelf behind closed doors on that same bookshelf in the LR.

So our school room ends up being the "project" room, and where the girls do their seatwork.
Donna

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:23 pm

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:08 pm

Also in the archives:

Classroom - Ideas for organizing without one
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?t=1299

Mercy
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:34 pm

Unread post by Mercy » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:53 pm

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008

Like Rachel, I've tried to keep school in a backpack before because I love to go out whenever we can (in the backyard, park, or on the run for an appointment). But, the books don't seem to be taken care of as well when they are shoved in a bag around here. Maybe going back to a school basket would work better for on the run?

I also started out with our own "pencil boxes" to store stuff, but found they didn't take care with them. So, we switched to a family supply area.

When you live in an itty bitty home, you just do what you can to keep it together. We school at the dining room table, have a small closet for craft supplies and use bookshelves for the rest. If I have one "tool" I love it's those plastic drawers...we store crayons, pencils, scissors, etc. You can even use them to store papers! They work out great!!

~Mercy~

mgardenh
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Unread post by mgardenh » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:54 pm

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:02 am

I have two Desk Apprentice things, one for my business and one for home. Would love to have one for school stuff too. They are great.

I saw a Tuesday Moning sale advertisement for a craft holder carrier thing that looks cool. I am going to check it out.

Suzq
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:04 pm

Unread post by Suzq » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:57 pm

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 2:58 pm

We do school in our family room. We have a two-shelf bookcase with the books for the year. My kids each have a crate with their books/notebooks/workbooks and we have a crate by our couch that has the books we are reading this week.

Also my mom gave me a silverware, napkin holder on a lazy susan that we have filled with colored pencils, markers, pencils,pens,glue,tape, and in the middle(where the napkins go) we put our dictionary and letter charts. We can carry this to wherever we are doing school. It works nicely. Of course the kids like to spin it a little too much. LOL.

Lisa M
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:53 pm

Unread post by Lisa M » Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:10 pm

Last year, I used a dish-pan type box for each child - but there was an amazing amount of wrinkled and lost papers, pencils, and junk that accumulated in the bottom. Here's what I came up with for this year.

I decided to give everybody (4 kids) a hanging file case with lid. It doesn't fit absolutely everything in it for the oldest, but the other three fit into it well. They pull their box off the shelf when we have school, and rather than digging through a stack of books, they can pull from the hanging files. They keep a ziplock baggie of pencils, eraser, and map coloring pencils in one of the files.

I picked them up at Wal-Mart. They are clear plastic with a colored lid, about 12 x 8" wide, and 12" tall.

I give each a shelf space cubby where this goes, along with a file card box and their 3r binders.

For my teaching manuals, I am using two magazine holder that I lay down on the spine. I had never thought about this until I read it somewhere, but I was always frustrated with magazine racks because you had to pull it off the shelf to get to a book. By laying it down, I can pull out a book and easily return it, or I can pull the rack out and bring the whole thing to the table, again avoiding that "stack of books" thing that I was dealing with all last year!

I corral MFW history into an open dish-pan type bin (it's actually a bit larger) so that I can just pull that out when it's time for history. Anything that we won't be using until later, I keep in a lidded sweater box. We do school in the room with the wood stove - our house is so excessively dusty that I can't keep it clean if its out.

I love paint markers! The kids decorate their plastic boxes with them.
Lainie wrote:Laying the magazine rack spine down-genius I tell you!

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Hanging things on the wall?

Unread post by my3boys » Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:04 pm

jamesandjennie wrote:I have to admit I have been slacking. Anytime I want to "post" something (CTG timeline, MFWK calendar, etc) I skip it. Here's why- I have a house full of little ones and NOTHING stays up.

If I use tacks, they pull them down and become a hazard. If I use putty, the humidity around here makes them fall. Forget about tape. I have just been at such a loss at how to do it.

So- how does every one else keep things posted up and not torn down when there are more little hands than big ones?
I find things stay up better on bulletin boards then on walls or magnet boards. I have quite a few bulletin boards now. Sometimes things come down - I just put them back up again. You can cover papers you are posting with clear contact paper or paste them poster board to make them more durable (good for things you want to keep up for a while). I staple some things up and others I tack.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

HSmommi2mine
Posts: 159
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Unread post by HSmommi2mine » Tue Oct 14, 2008 9:16 am

I put it up very high.
~Christina

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids

Fenni
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:18 pm

Unread post by Fenni » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:01 pm

I have a 2nd grader, K'er, 3 yo and 1 yo. Each time I hang something up I explain to all the kids how important it is to us and how we want to keep it nice, what to do and what not to do, etc. It obviously doesn't work with the 1 yo but it has done wonders with the 3 yo. With the 1 yo, I try to catch her doing it so I can tell her no, no. She's understanding more everyday.

GCGreen
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:35 pm

Unread post by GCGreen » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:15 pm

I'm a little late on this topic, but I thought I'd share what we have done anyway :) My walls are lath and plaster which makes hanging anything a major headache. One solution I have found is to purchase some clear vinyl (by the yard from JoAnn's) and put it over the table with what I want displayed underneath. I plan on doing this with my coffee table as well. Otherwise, we just put things in the school cabinet and get them out when needed.
Glennda (Oregon)
dd (2001) Adv.
dd (2005)
ds (2007)

TurnOurHearts

Wall decorations

Unread post by TurnOurHearts » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:57 pm

This past year in ECC, we used flag decorations & world globes for our memory work. Here's a picture:

Image
mamaofredheads wrote:BTW, I love the globes with the verses on them. Where did you find that paper?
Glenna ~ you can find them at trendenterprises dot com. The item number is T10047 (just type it in the search bar). They are inexpensive, high quality, and come 36 to a pack. Even with mistakes, I had plenty for the entire year's verses, plus some left over.

They have lots of other styles, too. I even found one that is in the shape of a scroll ~ perfect for CTG, I'm thinking! ;)

If you have a local school/education store, you might check with them & see if they will order these for you. The packs only cost about $4, but shipping is usually about the same, unfortunately.

joy2BAMom
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:44 pm

Unread post by joy2BAMom » Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:58 pm

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:06 pm

Let's see...if I had my own school room. I would paint it a neutral color (not white) so I could change decorations out easily. I would have a table with chairs around it to do most of our school work around and i would have one small desk for a child who needs to concentrate w/out distractions. I would have one corner to be a comfy reading/bookbasket corner w/ big pillows and bean bag chairs. I would tape off a section of a wall at child's height and paint it with chalkboard paint. Kids could practice math facts or play games on it. I would have a dry erase board for the same reasons. I would have maps and charts on the walls. I would have chore charts and schedules posted so they could easily be seen.
705emily wrote:One thing we are splurging on this year: One of those cool kids book display shelves (5 shelves!!!) --that shows the front of the books. I found a wall mount version that will fit perfectly in our school room! I'm planning to use it as my book basket--and switch the books out weekly. I'm feeling like our books don't get pulled out enough because the kids don't take the time to go through all the shelves and look what's there. Hopefully this will help!
I saw plans for how to make your own shelves like these. You use lengths of guttering (yes, like what goes on the outside of your house!) It comes in plastic or metal. So you get say 3 5' lengths of gutter and 6 end caps for each shelf. You would need someone fairly handy to drill holes every 1-1 1/2 feet so that you could anchor them into the wall. It might be cheaper than buying them pre-made. The pic I saw looked very neat.

Good luck!
Sherrie

Lainie
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Location: Tualatin, OR
Contact:

Unread post by Lainie » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:01 pm

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:14 pm

There is also a clear magnetic paint that goes over any wall color and turn the painted surface into a magnetic surface. Most hardware/paint stores have it.

Posted Thu Aug 21, 2008 9:47 am by Lainie


For peace of brain reasons, I like to have everything somewhat put away at least once a week (usually the weekend). By Monday we've got stuff everywhere. Last year we didn't have good plan and winged a lot of this part. There was a lot of looking for missing math books and missing PLL or ILL. I'm hoping to minimize that this year...

For an simple, easy way to contain everyone's binder, books, spirals I went with an extra large clear magazine holder. You can see it over here http://mishmashmaggie.blogspot.com/2008 ... ckers.html

For the art supplies, extra school supplies, etc... I opted with plastic, stackable drawer bins. Those are here http://mishmashmaggie.blogspot.com/2008 ... plies.html

I'm almost done with prep stuff and it will be time to put the organizational "beast" away. I only let him out a few times a year. To quote one of my favorite bible teachers, Jon Courson, who says, "Organization is a wonderful servant but is a very hard task-master." My hope and prayer is that all the organizing ahead of time will make relaxing, learning, teaching and loving my kids easier. I definitely want to "bless" and not "obsess".

mamaofredheads
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am

Unread post by mamaofredheads » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:04 pm

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 4:26 pm

We use our dining room for a school room. We have the top of the wall (above the chair rail) covered in cork board. I love it!! You can buy it in rolls (those little squares get really expensive).

I forgot to add that we have our MFW map on the cork board wall and I recently took the postcards from missionaries we/our church support plus our Compassion children's photos and put them around the map. I'm planning to put string to where they are with map pins attached. I use to keep the missionary letters on the buletin board but it takes up tons of room. I'm planning to put them in a notebook along with the Scripture verses we memorized in previous MFW years so we can review 1 or 2 verses each day as well as pray for one of the missionary families. Loving everyone's ideas!

Glenna

liz217
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:26 am

Unread post by liz217 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:09 pm

Mine is not as great as some others, but here is a picture.

Image

and if you want little notes to tell you what everything is:
Click here

On that picture though I could not mark where our missionary board was. It is just a small cork board with cards from some of the missionaries our church supports. I'd like to get a bigger one soon.

chris629
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:09 pm

Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by chris629 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:47 am

maritime momma wrote:As I embark on the homeschooling journey, I am trying to picture how I want/can get organised.
What does your school work area look like? What room in the house do you use? How do you have your materials organised? What tricks do you use to keep things organised and manageable? What basic office supplies do you find helpful?
Any and all comments are much appreciated! You guys are great!
We use the dining room table. WE don't have many options. On our easy days we may do it at the coffee table or the couch, just to change it up for them a bit.

WE have a couple of walls in the DR that we hang our daily things, calendar, abc's, timeline, etc. I have this huge shelf that runs the length of the one wall in the DR and I never know what to do with it, I had an idea to put the curriculum and then their paperwork up on it but the height between the 2 shelves are not big enough so there goes that idea. I really really needed that space too. I was going to buy those pretty decorative file boxes so it wouldn't look like I just threw some papers up there. Still trying to figure that one out. We have NO storage space in our house so every little space we need to use. Right now I have their curriculum in those little file totes. The papers they get done with go into a 3 ring binder that is labeled with their name and the school year.

I have the basic office supplies, but have been wanting to get a laminating machine because I do like to laminate a lot of things to keep them from getting wrinkled or torn.
Christina 34
Sean 7
Josh 5
Alex 1

jhagberg
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:15 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by jhagberg » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:09 am

I keep everything on a bookshelf near the dining room table. After breakfast, I pull out the TM and look at what books we need for the day. Then I pull and stack those books on the dining table. When we complete an activity, I return that book to the shelf, thus our pile on the table gets smaller and smaller until it's all gone--and we're done for the day!

My bookshelf is deep enough that I can keep a few misc. items right there with the books. I use a magazine file box (for loose leaf paper, construction paper, student sheets, etc.) and it sits amongst the books and binders on the shelf. All told, it works well for us. By the time ds15 gets home from school, we're done, the table is clear, and he can sit there to do his homework. By supper time, he's done, the table is clear, and we can sit down for supper. It's probably the best used space in our house!
Joyce

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by Wendy B. » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:58 am

We currently are using a spare room as a school/playroom. I have a table for work. A desk for the laptop. Bookshelves and baskets on the floor next to a futon. The kids have the futon open with lots of pillows and that is the prefered place for reading. I have a small table for our file folders and printer. I have a closet filled to the brim with books.

We used the dining room table for years and years but I'm really liking have a dedicated room. Now it is possible to leave an unfinished project on the table and walk away! It is also less distracting for me to have a room to do school since it is harder for me to walk away andto do a household chore.

My most used office supplies are a good hole punch and our printer/copier. I use clear contact paper to laminate which is a super cheap alternative to a laminator.

HTH
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:09 am

We school in the formal dining room and formal living room.

I have one bookshelf, a 4 drawer cart, and a filing cabinet in the formal dining room, with the dining room table and desks. The bookshelf contains all the books not currently in use, but either used this year or will be used this year, plus some of the kids 3 ring binders, my homeschooling magazines, etc. Each of the kids have a desk (they're mostly used to lay stuff on) and a 3 drawer wheeled cart that they're suppose to use to store stuff in, but it usually has a bunch of junk.

I keep all the books I need to do with the oldest in a basket. We read almost all of those on the couch. We even do math on the couch. About the only subject we do at her desk is spelling. (Sometimes, if she is motivated, she'll take her math book to her desk. She does most of her seatwork at her desk, but I will sometimes find her on the stairs, on the floor, in her room, etc.) For my younger two, I put their notebooks, Bible readers, and workbooks in those plastic magazine holders on top of the piano (for easy access), with their math notebooks in between. I've have recently added a file folder box where I keep their worksheets, notebook pages, etc in folders for each day for each kid.

I use one of those folding wheeled carts for our book basket - a handy way to cart stuff back and forth from the library.

In our living room the timeline stretches across one wall. (My boys' first grade timelines are on those tri-fold project boards - they each wanted one of those.) I also have a "kids table" in there that I teach my boys one-on-one at. It's just their height. Our living room and dining room are only separated by a railing, so that makes it so I can keep an eye on everyone and make sure they're staying on task. (I do love that about our house. And it was a blessing when our twins were younger, because I could gate off the living room and keep an eye on them while I homeschooled the oldest in the dining room.)

We do hope to eventually finish our basement, and move our "school room" down there, but until then, it is obvious to anyone who walks into our house that we homeschool.

My advice, use your space (what little or big you have) as best suits your needs and your kids. Watch for filing cabinets and such on craigslist or furniture recycling places (we got a good deal on ours at one). Make sure you attach bookshelves to the wall.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by DS4home » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:19 am

My best organizing trick: Bookshelves, bookshelves, bookshelves!! HAHA I have wall to wall shelves in our school room with every space used! I have four shelf spaces I refer to as "cubbies". Each cubbie space is about 24" long on a shelf. To start off the year they get to pick out their cubbie and that's where they keep their binders, notebooks, Bible, math books, markers box, etc. When they are done with something they put it right back on their shelf and get the next thing out.

The best supplies I've bought would be a 3-hole punch (which I've about wore out and need a new one), an electric pencil sharpener, and a small portable CD player that we use in the school room.

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:41 am

I started off thinking I needed to add shelving and have a special room and jumped in with two feet... Now 1 1/2 years later I will give you our very simple current organization based on what ended up working.

We home school at the dining room table. I try to have LA, math, handwriting type work done by lunch. So we clean up for lunch and then our other type of school work doesn't need the table, so it ends up working out fine. I do have one school desk in the living room that my oldest likes to use. It is near the dining room table.

I have one cupboard in the kitchen that I designated for home schooling. Everything, except for science experiment supplies and books, is in that cupboard. Laurie toys, play-doh, books, TM, pencils, etc., etc., etc. It is handy for the table, easy access, and easy to pull books out of to start our day. I have the piles organized by how we do school. The 3 R's are together, a separate pile for Bible & History, a third pile for K & pre-school, and then file folders with time-line cut-outs, worksheets, etc.

I have toys in the family room that is off the kitchen and close to the dining room. This helps occupy little ones during school time.

I also have bookshelves in various places for home school books and other children's books. One of them is in the toy room, and I try to keep current books for current home schooling on those shelves. There is also a basket in the toy room with books.

I started off thinking I needed a lot to organize. It has really come down though to a table, cupboard, book shelf, basket, toys, and a box with science supplies in our computer room.

I hope this helps! :-)

rjsmomma
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:14 am

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by rjsmomma » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:21 am

We have a very small home (under 700sq ft) and don't have a spare room, or even a dining room. When we first moved in (dd was in 2nd grade) I set up a small folding table next to the couch, put all her school things in a large plastic storage box that fit under her table and let her do the seat work from the table while we did the reading and such on the couch or floor. This worked okay until she out-grew the table. We finally got rid of the couch and replaced that with a dining room table (yes, my living room has a recliner, dining room table, largish computer table and bookselves:). It works out best for us anyway:) Now she can sit at the dining table, computer table or in the recliner (or of course, the floor, her bedroom or ours). All her school supplies and books fit in/on our computer table as it has several cabnets and drawers. This has really worked well the last 2 years.

Shannon Meyer
Shannon Meyer
DD - 13 years old - 7th grade
Used MFW for K, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and now 7th:)

sojen
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by sojen » Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:51 am

maritime momma wrote:If I can find a way to neatly tuck all our homeschooling materials away when not in use in the living room, I think I would prefer that. I don't mind (at all) that it would be obvious that that is our homeschooling area, but I just don't want the room to become cluttered.
We do school at the kitchen table, and I don't want my kitchen to look like a classroom, so everything must be easy to clean up.

This year I bought each child a colored crate from Walmart. I had each kid pick their favorite color and all school supplies are that color (notebooks, scissors, rulers, etc.) For example, my oldest picked green, so she has a green crate, green notebooks, green ruler, green scissors, a green case for colored pencils, etc. At the end of the day everything gets put in the crate and the crates have a home in the playroom closet.(This could be a coat closet, too.) If there are loose things around after school, I know who they belong to because of the color. It's worked out great! No more, "Mom, where's my stuff?" :-)
Jen in GA
mom to dd 11, dd 8, and ds 5
traveling through the medieval world with RTR.
Slowly starting kindergarten with my little guy.

spaldingclan
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:50 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Newbie ?: physical space & organisation??

Unread post by spaldingclan » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:15 pm

My goal has been to use items we already have around the house more efficiently. Our budget is tight and I didn't want to clutter the house up with a ton of extra things. So far the only "school" purchase I have made is a desk for dd6.

This year I set us up to do school in our formal dining room and it is working out great. We never used it as a formal dining room anyway and it is attached to our kitchen by a pocket door. If I close the door then we are separated from the rest of the house which helps us get into school mode a little better. Or i can open that door and do dishes, fold laundry, make lunch etc while the girls are working on projects. We usually do story time in our family room which has a gas fireplace and just begs to be sat in front of on these cold winter days:-) I keep our library book basket (a black crate with wheels and a handle that folds down) next to the fireplace in the corner for easy access.

I have been using the dining room table and china hutch for school. I took most of the china out and packed it away and now use the hutch to store our school supplies. My dd6 used the table for school and dd4 uses a small, wood, square children's table for her school (I painted the top with chalkboard paint which has turned out to be very handy). Yesterday we purchased a used school desk off of craigslist for dd6. It's great! It's just her size and the table top lifts for storage inside for all of her school supplies. DD4 loves her little red table and keeps all her supplies on the table neatly. I have taken over the dining room table as my desk and pushed it toward the back of the room so now we have more floor space for activities.

Some of my favorite school supplies:

1. A dry erase/chalkboard easel. We are using this more and more. I also have 2 small white boards up on the wall, but to teach math and give examples for handwriting and spelling, I love the easel. It's easy to move around and folds flat to get out of the way.

2. A copier/printer. This has been a life saver!
3. A three-hole punch and stapler
4. A good pencil sharpener as well as small personal sized ones for each girl (still working on finding a good electric sharpener)
5. Bookshelf. We have a few throughout the house and books are stashed in window seat cupboards in the girls rooms as well. However, eventually I would like to replace the hutch for a wood cube-style shelving system that runs the length and height of the wall. however, for now, the bookshelf in the formal living room (which is attached to the dining room) works ok. I recently organized it so that each shelf holds a specific category of books.
6. CD player or something that plays music in or near where you do school.

The dining room has a sliding glass door that leads to the back deck. We rarely use that door so it has become another wall for us to use for school.
sojen wrote:This year I bought each child a colored crate from Walmart. I had each kid pick their favorite color and all school supplies are that color (notebooks, scissors, rulers, etc.) For example, my oldest picked green, so she has a green crate, green notebooks, green ruler, green scissors, a green case for colored pencils, etc. At the end of the day everything gets put in the crate and the crates have a home in the playroom closet.(This could be a coat closet, too.) If there are loose things around after school, I know who they belong to because of the color. It's worked out great! No more, "Mom, where's my stuff?" :-)
I like the colored crate idea! I attempted to color code things this year, but didn't do it quite right. Next year, That's my plan as well.
Kim
**Stars of Grace Academy**
happily married to dh since 1995
mom to 3 outgoing daughters:
dd1 age 14: Freshman at PS
dd2 age 6 1/2: currently in MFW1, finished MFWK
dd3 age 5: currently in MFWK
http://thislittlehouseschool.blogspot.com

Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

What does your room look like?

Unread post by Wendy B. » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:36 pm

smithrr wrote:As I am preparing for homeschooling, I need suggestions on how you built your home school room? Basement? Kitchen? Did you setup activity centers? Keep in simple and organized? Paint? Did you paint certain colors? Use a specific type of table or use desks? Okay - so I may need to unschool a bit :o)

Would love to hear all your ideas in creating the home school environment?
I started out hsing in a sunroom with two school desk. I really liked this sunroom! I think this was my favorite space. Lots of natural light. The space was little separate from the main areas of the house so a bit of a mess could stay without being a hindrance.

We moved and we did our work at the kitchen table with a book case nearby. We had this set up for years and years. I used to say that our home was decorated in "Early American Homeschool."

The past two years we had a separate school room. All our books, computers, printers, etc. were all in the same room. This was nice. It was a REALLY big room. I had the big table, a smaller desk for the computer, a futon, and several bookcases. I painted it a lovely shade of green (cucumber to be specific), put the timeline on the wall, mounted certificates of completions, etc. The main issue with this set up was the afternoons. Once we were done with school, we left this room never to return. This meant that our afternoons weren't as productive as they could have been.

This room is in the process of coming a boys bedroom so we are back to the kitchen table....the one where we eat.

I really liked having my dining room look like a dining room. SO I wasn't especially interested in going back to our "Early American Homeschool" decor. This time I converted a nearby coat closet into a school supply room of sorts. I have our workboxes in there, a cart full of science supplies, a couple of crates, etc. Each morning after breakfast I pull out a organizer that has all our pens, pencils, crayons, scissors, etc and place it on out table. I pull out each kid's crate with the books they will use for the day. Once we are done, I replace everything back into the closet.

Now the part I really like.... After lunch, I place something on the table or several somethings on the table for the kids to do. The something might be science supplies and books, art supplies and books, the electricity kit my son got for his birthday but never opened , or whatever. Since it is sitting there on the table, the kids are more likely to check it out and do something with whatever it was that I left on the table. When I start cooking dinner I pick it all up and place it into the closet.

I have several bookbaskets in various rooms. Since all the books are now downstairs next to sofas and the counter where the kids eat their lunch, I'm reading to them more often.

The most important things for me in designing our perfect homeschool environment is...

1. Natural sunlight. My biggest complaint about our separate school room was there just wasn't enough natural sunlight. We were doing our schoolwork by artificial light. Our dining room is the sunniest room in the house in the mornings.

2. If it accessible then I will use it! When we had a separate schoolroom, I would leave stuff out on the table but since the kids didn't go back into the room they rarely did anything with whatever I had placed on the table. Why would they want to go back into the "school" room. LOL. Honestly , I only went back into the room when I needed to clean it. Now that I'm leaving stuff in the main areas of the house, they are more likely to spend the afternoon being productive. Since books are in baskets in various rooms, the kids are more likely to pick one up to read or bring one to me to read to them.

3. For me, I really like the ability to put everything away out of sight for the day.

HTH
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.

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