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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A tour of our schoolroom~

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If you’ve seen my family blog, you might know that we live in a small house – a little more than 1100 square feet, to be exact.  Ok, so that wasn’t exactly an exact number but you get the picture.  :)

For the first four years of our home education experience, we homeschooled in our dining room.  It is a nice sized room and gave us ample space for our school.  During some of that time, we were in the process of looking for a new house and I was wishfully hoping that our new home would have an extra room that would serve as our school room.

DSCN5671  {Preschool Area}

Then, we found out that there would be cutbacks at David’s work and he would be losing his job.  Since he had been with this company for over 11 years, we were sure that a new job would probably mean a loss of income too.  At that time, we decided to stay here in our little home that has a very affordable mortgage.  However, it did mean that we also decided to give up our dining room, our school room, to serve as a bedroom.

DSCN5658 {Preschool Books for the week}

We started the search for a new area for our school.  We tried the kitchen and it was way too small.  That was much too stressful for this mom.  So we set up a little corner in our living room to serve as the new school room.  To see pictures of it and some of the solutions that we came up with for schooling in small spaces, you can click here to read some posts that I have written about homeschooling & living in our small home.

 

DSCN5705 {The Art Cart & Book Basket}

My goal for our homeschool this year has been to streamline & simplify everything as much as possible.  So I set out to figure out a way to reorganize our little house to include a school area or “school nook”.  I wanted the things that we use daily to be within arm’s reach without having to wander too far.  Chaos can ensue when mom has to walk away to search for needed books & supplies.  ;)

labeled school areaIn order to create a school area, you can see that we moved the couch into the middle of the room.  It is in front of the fireplace but it is a faux fireplace.  Even though the fireplace is pretty it takes up some valuable wall space in our little home.  So the couch was moved in front of the it which opened up an area behind the couch. 

DSCN5666{The older boys’ learning area}

  The boys meet at the large school table for their work.  If they need a whiteboard for any reason, there are some close by.  The curtains also hold memory work and schedules held on by clips.

DSCN5667{My older daughter’s work area}

Flower Girl (2nd grade) has her own learning area.  Since she is younger and needs more visual aids, little posters hang from her white board to help her as needed.  I have found that her sitting here by herself this year has really helped her to focus and get her schoolwork done.  It’s hard to see in this picture but we keep boxes of manipulatives on these shelves too.

We also use the living area for school too.  We sit on the couch as we read our read aloud books. Also, the younger children do preschool activities in the living room except for playdough and art projects.  Last week I thought that I’d let them do a little playdough in the living room on the rug.  Well, let’s just say that it was not my best idea.

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So far this school area is working very well for us.  The little ones do not come back into the school area much during school and that helps cut down on distractions.  There is also plenty of room for me to walk around and help as needed or sit and teach a lesson with a child. 

This is what my children think about our new school area:

 

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2 comments:

  1. I want to come back to this post when I have more time.
    I love it.
    I can tell you have been so very busy organizing your home.
    It is hard when you live in a small space.
    Girl, I feel your pain!
    But let me tell you.
    You have done one super fine job because it looks amazing!
    Its organized, cute, and colorful. We have done sort of the same thing with our living/homeschool arrangement and it works so well.
    I really love your calendar wall for preschool age. I am struggling with this now on what to do with my children and the calendar/morning board. I love what you have done!!!!

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  2. WOW!! I am super impressed! You are so organized! I can imagine me sitting in one of the learning areas... you have done a great job keeping it all together, but making it seperate so each child can learn at their best!!
    GREAT JOB!!

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