Wednesday, September 7, 2011

32 Reader Space: Hello Homeschool!

I know today's reader spaces are not for everyone.  However, it is such a hot fun topic that I couldn't resist.  I have received a couple of amazingly cute homeschool room's from readers and I have been so crazy giddy to share them because they just left me in awe.  And it's back to school season, so what better timing?

I am sure it takes a ton of discipline and work to homeschool, and to create an environment that is suitable for the occasion can't be easy either!  So today I am sharing a few spaces to spark some ideas and provide some inspiration for those of you stuck in the organizing a homeschool rut.

First up is Diane.  She wrote:

We have been homeschooling for 9 years and our youngest is starting kindergarten this year, making that a total of five children that we homeschool.  Our classroom is in a section of our basement playroom.  We've set aside an area for desks, a small table for art, a book center, and a multifunction storage cabinet that doubles as a showcase for artwork when it's opened up.  The desks are former architect tables that we picked up at an antique warehouse while on vacation one year!  We paired them with really inexpensive chairs from our favorite Swedish store {where we got the bookcases and art table as well}.  The scalloped cabinet was a garage sale treasure, repainted with glossy white paint that was left over from a home project.  Since the desks don't have storage inside, the children use baskets to hold all their books.  I'd like to say they are neat, but I have three sons, at least it's all contained in one place!

What's best about the space is that it is so multifunctional!  The desks can be moved to the wall when they want to hold a sporting event there, and my littlest can sit at the art table and color when her siblings are doing their lessons.  Everything gets cleaned up quickly too since it all just sits inside a basket!

Well, that's how we do school.  Can't wait to see how other moms do it, and great some more great ideas!  Thank you!

 


I totally dig those desks and personal baskets!  Love that!!  And that she was so thrifty about putting the room together!

But that's not all.  I get to feature two readers today!  How cool is that?

Carrie wrote:

We moved into the house on July 1. This room was entirely paneling--kind of like a cave. I wish I had gotten a pic with the heavy traverse drapes up too.



Right wall: The wall bookcase is made from four, 9-unit Closetmaid Cubeicals units, available from Lowes or Target. The top two rows are "my" stuff such as homeschool support books, curriculum, history/culture books, etc. I used my label maker to label the necessary cubes. The cubes across the bottom hold some learning games, floor puzzles, our multicolored masking tape dispenser {DiscountSchoolSupply.com}, our snap case of scissors, glue, and paper punches, and our clear paint buckets holding crayons, pencils, and markers. The two large pink stacking baskets are from Target. The bottom one holds puzzles--each in a zippy quart-sized bag. The top basket holds all of the baby doll stuff. 


Window wall: The toy cabinet and toy kitchen are from DiscountSchoolSupply.com. The shoebox-sized Sterlite bins fit the cabinet perfectly. I have each labeled with a clipart picture and a label, attached with packing tape. The toy kitchen holds our flat puzzles in the bottom. The wall alphabet was just collected from random finds, toys, etc. Our two hamsters, Lucy and Susan, live on top.


Left wall: The desk base is made from more Closetmaid Cubeicals units. Two 9-unit cabinets are under the middle part of the desk. Those currently contain 18 fabric drawers that hold all of our craft supplies with room to spare. There is a 2-wide by 3-high unit at each end.  My husband put this together based on the picture in my head.  The tabletop is from slabs of melamine from Lowe's. It comes in a 4x8 foot slab and we had two of them cut down appropriately. The bar stools came with the house; we just re-purposed them from the kitchen/dining room. 


Desk wall: The work-box carts are from Sams and are about $30 each. I made the cards in Microsoft Word and laminated them and applied velcro dots. The white board is magnetic and is for general use and also for our spelling curriculum. The desk was already built in. I wish that the upper cubbies had doors to cut down on visual clutter, but it works. The two top milk crates are for school records like you posted online. The pink milk crate has one folder per week and is where I hold the papers for future weeks of school. The closet holds out-of-rotation toys, school supplies, craft supplies, etc.


I'm happy to answer any questions or snap some more photos if you need them!  Thank you!

What's not to love?  Quite the transformation and endless examples of the great ways she utilized and maximized the space!  I just adore the alphabet art above the window.  She really is an organized mama, and that built in desk is just incredible!

Thank you so both Diane and Carrie for sharing their awesome spaces and what works so well for you! 


And in the spirit of the topic, I did some quick Pinterest searches to end with more ideas and inspiration.  Enjoy!!

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Any other links to great homeschool websites, rooms, resources, etc... you want to share for all of the homeschooling parents that read this blog?  What homeschooling organizing tips do you have that are working well for you?

32 comments:

  1. There is something to be said about personalizing a work/school space. These rooms really capture the magic that happens inside. I think that if my school experience was in a room so inviting and warm I may have put forth a little more effort. Thanks for posting this, I know lots of moms who struggle to make school rooms serene yet encourage learning.

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  2. The second photo from Pinterest isn't taking me to the right photo (wood floors with green walls). Am I doing something wrong?

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  3. Here is the before and after of our schoolroom journey. http://www.samsnoggin.com/2010/12/place-for-everything.html

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  4. LOVE them! We just finished ours last month and love it! Thanks for sharing, I love looking at all the neat ideas.

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  5. I love these spaces. Even if our kiddos go to school outside the home, I think we all do a certain amount of "home" schooling. Having a beautiful and organized space dedicated for this purpose is awesome. Homework haven! Reading paradise!

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  6. what awesome spaces for kids to create, learn and grow!!

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  7. Great spaces!


    For Carrie: what about some kind of curtain for the top of her built in desk? She mentioned she wished it had doors... Just a thought!

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  8. I love these! Thanks for posting something completely different! I'm a teacher and one of my favourite parts of the school year is setting up my classroom for the little people who will learn in it all year. I think these moms did such a great job!

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  9. @Jennifer: I've been considering that or some kind of ceiling-mounted roller shade....or some sort of uniform-ish bins. One of my children is VERY distractable, so I try to limit the cluttered look.

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  10. That's so cool, I like how these moms create so inspiring and very personal work spaces for their kids. I like the idea of homeschooling, but it's illegal in Germany. As a teacher, I try to make the classroom at school more personal and friendly for my students, but the rooms are so very small and we have about 30 students in each room - also the tolerance of what you are allowed to change in the classrooms is very limited.
    For my daughter I created a study space at home - she'll be entering school tomorrow!
    Jule

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  11. As a homeschooling momma, I love getting to peek into other peoples sapces and get ideas. I re-did our room last year and now that our house is on the market and I will be getting a "new" room sometime in the future I am always looking for ideas. Here is a link to our space.

    http://littleredhen4.blogspot.com/2010/01/welcome-to-our-school-room-i-started.html

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  12. @Bekki I love your pencil art, measuring tape ties, etc. Too cute!

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  13. Such creative spaces for children. Pretty soon I am going to organize/spice up my daughters playroom... and I am going to use these pics. as inspiration!

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  14. Good for you to show the 'Homeschool' side of life! I admire any who do this. I did for several years and have very well adjusted, college graduate children who are wonderful and successful adults. Some don't think that is possible, but it is! I believe ORGANIZATION is a very important part of the success. Thanks for your inspiration and open mindedness. You always have a great blog!

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  15. Love the creative spaces! We homeschool but don't have space for a designated area. What a blessing a basement would be! Love seeing how other folks do it!

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  16. This is such a fun post! Being new homeschoolers this year, I really enjoyed hunting for inspiration to put our school space together. http://hydrangeasandharmony.blogspot.com/2011/08/our-new-school-room.html
    I love seeing how other folks fit 'school' into 'home'!

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  17. Thank you so much for this post :) We just started homeschool preschool with our son and this is so inspiring. I haven't done too much with our space yet since we are supposed to be moving again soon (military) but here's what we have going on http://thesedelightfulhands.blogspot.com/2011/08/homeschool-days.html

    Again, thanks! LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog ♥

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  18. LOVE these rooms!! I'm a fellow homeschool mom. I recently did a "refresh" for our room here http://www.hopesewell.com/school-room-shape-up/ Would love for you to check it out. Some GREAT tips on book organizing with color coded electrical tape.
    Love your blog!!

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  19. Awesome spaces fellow homeschooling families! :) I wish we could dedicate one whole room, but I also do daycare..so that wouldn't work very well. But I can definitely dream vicariously ;) Thanks for the inspiration to make our schoolroom functional AND beautiful :)

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  20. Oh, I love these ideas as I'm always looking for ways to make our homeschool room more appealing and functional!

    Here are a couple of posts I've done about our room. (I just finished hitting "publish" on the first one!)
    http://www.atimeforeverything.net/2011/09/another-homeschool-year-organization.html
    http://www.atimeforeverything.net/2010/09/our-school.html

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  21. Love the alphabet using objects! What a fun project.

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  22. Since we homeschool, I was looking to reorganize our space and that's how I came across your blog(3 months ago)! THANK YOU for posting these... I get sick of feeling like we are living "in a classroom." I don't use desks, just our dining room table, but used your living room as my inspiration for organizing our books and materials. Feeling like we have a "library" is much better than being perpetually stuck in elementary school because I don't have one room devoted to schooling! THANK YOU- and no worries, other readers who have children still do homework ;-)

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  23. Creative inspiration abounds. One of my favorite homeschool rooms is that of the Ann Voskamp family found at www.aholyexperience.com. The book wall her husband built is both beautiful and functional. They have also made the room flow with the rest of their home. For our family, I have been actively creating an atmosphere of learning by making sure there are areas throughout the home where learning can take place. i.e. cozy reading nooks, easy access to literature, tables for crafting, writing, or drawing, art supplies available for use. Thank you for providing creative, yet beautiful, inspiration that can be used in a variety of settings.

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  24. are the 2 blue canvases paintings done by her kids?

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  25. @Anonymous Yes--my kids did those! I got the canvases BOGO at Michael's. The paint was 40% off--just the acrylic craft paint. I base-coated each canvas twice with blue and let them dry overnight. Then we spread out a drop cloth in the backyard. I had 6 little bottles of paint per kid. I poured each into plastic cups and gave them a popsicle stick to sling with. It took about a day and a half to dry under the ceiling fan. Tons of fun! :-) We used a Sharpie to sign the artwork in the corner the next day.

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  26. love that idea!! i'm going to get my kids to do it. thanks!!!

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  27. The first Pinterest photo you posted is from www.thepleatedpoppy.com and you can see the rest of her awesome multipurpose room here:
    http://thepleatedpoppy.com/2011/07/house-tour-playroom-studio/

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  28. LOVE the kids art! I think we will be doing these art pieces and adding them to our homeschool room! Thanks for the directions.

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  29. For Carrie: If you see this, just wondering what did you do to get rid of the wood panelling? I have something similar in my basement.

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    1. Vic,

      Sorry--just now saw this! The paneling is still under there, actually--we painted it. I did some serious experimentation first--I wanted to make sure it would STICK and not scratch off because this room gets heavy use!

      First off, know that we had to experiment with a couple of different primers. We used Sherwin Williams. I basically just sanded a test patch and painted it with primer. I let it dry a couple of days. The first one scratched right off when I used my fingernail. The second one didn't come off even when I hit it with an electric sander. Bingo! This will probably vary depending on what kind of paneling you have. Make sure you test it!

      What ended up working for us is this method: 1. Use an electric sander to lightly sand alllll of the paneling. 2. Wipe it down to get rid of the dust. 3. Prime. Two coats wouldn't hurt. Let it dry for a day or so. 4. Paint. With this being light yellow, it took three coats. And we painted this room the same day that we painted our whole living room. Bad idea! Expect it to take 2 or maybe 3 coats. Let dry.

      We're now a full year past when we did it. Not a single bit has scratched off! If the kids bang a toy into the wall, sometimes it does leave a scuff mark; I've been able to buff them away by using a magic eraser carefully.

      Hope this helps!

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  30. The room with the white Ikea desk and chairs as well as the white Expedit bookshelves is from Confessions of a Homeschooler. The room above has the words "Create," "Excite," and "Journey" on the wall.

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