This weekend we put the "final" touches on our schoolroom. I put quotes around final because with me things are never quite finished; once I get one thing done another idea or improvement seems to pop in to my head. I have a couple more things I'd like to do, but until we can budget more money and time I'm happy with our space.
Last year we did our homeschool work in the dining room but I quickly realized we needed a change. We don't have an eat-in kitchen and cleaning off the table for every meal got a little crazy. We debated for awhile on where exactly to put our schoolroom. We have a partially finished basement and a guest room upstairs that were options but ultimately we decided to use the extra room on the main floor. It is a good size and gets lots of natural light. I also like that the location is central so if the younger children are playing downstairs or having a snack at the table and I can still hear them. It does have one downside in that it opens up to both our living room and dining room and thus is constantly visible.
A lot of the furniture/items in our school room where things we owned before that we just repurposed. We did, however, acquire a few new things. The rug ($100) was purchased from overstock.com and is an indoor/outdoor rug. So far it has proven to be very easy to clean. It vacuums well and a baby-wipe takes care of any paint or play-dough spills. The table was a craiglist find ($50) that husbandie shortened and painted white for us. The table is roughly 33" tall. We wanted it a little smaller than a traditional table but we also wanted an adult to be able to sit at it comfortably. We are using storage ottomans from Target ($14) as chairs. They also clean up easily and I like the hidden storage that they provide.
We made the art carousel using a wood lazy susan ($8) from Ikea and old food cans. The cans are held in place with velcro circles so the children can remove them if they desire.
Below is our circle-time wall. The alphabet cards are an Eric Carle set that was given to us when Big Buddy was born. The hanging wire ($13) and clips ($3) are from Ikea. On the wire hangs are our theme map, vocabulary, scripture memorization, extraordinary person study, and any nursery rhymes/poems we are learning. The frame ($25) for the calendar is also from Ikea. We painted the back of the frame white and then used paint chips to make a calendar grid. On the right side is also an area for the children to circle the day's weather.
We found the daybed on the side of a curb. The mattress is covered with a fitted sheet and an old lace table cloth. The throw pillows are a combination of old, new (ikea & target clearance), and handmade gifts. The boys favorites are the small blue ones which were made by one of their cousins.
In one corner of the room hangs a chalkboard Husbandie made for the children. He simply painted an old board with chalkboard paint and added a drawer handle at the bottom to the hold the chalk. It's proven to be a great distraction for Little Lady, she particular enjoys cleaning it with water and a paint brush.
In another corner of the room is an easel. It's an adult size easel that we've had for awhile. It's on it's lowest setting so the boys can use it with ease. Little Lady sometimes uses a stool.
The book cases are all from Ikea. None are new but are actually ones that we've collected over the years mostly from Craiglist or Ikea's "as-is" section.
My ideal would be to set up our school room like I did my childcare rooms with clearly defined learning areas. This is also our home though (the room is accessible all day) and I have a 20 month old who loves to explore, so having everything out and available is not really practical for us. I have, however, tried to group "like" items and made it a point to set up a science area where we have a few plants and other items related to our theme.
Our science table - we put a drawer knob into the side of the bookcase and attached a few magnifying glasses to it so they don't disappear.
A special section just for Little Lady's things.