Striving to create a home strong in the foundations of love, respect, and God's truths ...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Our School Space - Back to (Home) School 2013

Back to Home School 2013

I love seeing where everyone else 'does' school.  After spending so much time learning how to arrange classrooms and furniture in college, I'm fascinated with how people arrange their houses for learning!  So, I thought you might like to see what we do.  

Our house was built with a carport, and then the owners turned the carport into a room and added on another.  This first, original now-enclosed carport is our main school space, so it's long and narrow.

For us, this was the kids' playroom at first, and so it still has many of their toys in it.  This room is always evolving to meet their growing needs, but for now, this is what works for us.

At one end a table surrounded by lots of shelves.  Most of our writing is done here at the table.  This is also where I'll bring the laptop if we're watching a YouTube video together - like when we virtually toured Ireland or watched a kid make chocolate in the Amazon Rain Forest.

We do our paper-based math work here and most art projects, as well.

The shelves on either side contain most of the books that the kids could be interested in right now.  They often will pack a bag of books and carry them around the house or on short car trips.  We have a bit of everything - poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, science books, math books, and reference materials.  They read them all.

My husband built the shelves behind the table for us  These are long, low shelves full of tubs.  The lower shelves mostly contain toys, while the very top one is smaller baskets with writing supplies - pencils, markers, crayons, etc.  Most of it can be reached from our chairs at the table, at least by one of us.

Because we don't use (many) traditional school books, the books I mentioned above are primarily what we read.  The kids do lots of writing, though,and they each have notebooks and whiteboards for their own personal use.  I sewed us each a simple backpack for on our chairs to keep all of our supplies organized.

I made these curtains when we first moved into the house.  They're made out of canvas and are great for darkening the room (my husband's big screen is at the other end of the room) and, now, for hanging important information.  The kids hang up their artwork and other favorite creations here.  I have also been known to hang up vocabulary words, sight words, or other thematic words that might be difficult to spell.  We keep clothespins on the edges of the curtains to make attaching papers quick and easy.

We don't always work at the table.  We spend a lot of time reading - both together and apart - and so having this cozy space nearby is important.  Someone is usually snuggled into the pillows on the couch, wrapped up in the soft blue blanket, reading away.  

Below the couch you can see a map-rug.  This is our biggest open space in this room, and if we're working with manipulatives, like Unifix cubes or Base 10 blocks, this is where we end up.  My Big Helper likes to bring simple math work down here, as well, so as to have more space for her big white board.

The kids also love simply to sit and read the rug ....

So this is our school room.  Of course, we also cook in the kitchen and sew in the living room and read and build in bedrooms and paint and play outside and .... well, you get the idea.  ;-)

So what does your school space look like?

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