Our New Schoolroom!

I have been debating for some time over the thought of rearranging our house to create a space for school.  After seeing (and drooling over) Carisa’s schoolroom, I began contemplating my strategy.  My husband took a week’s vacation a couple of weeks ago and we bit the bullet!  It is not complete yet, but I wanted to share with you what we’ve got thus far.

But first, here are the reasons I felt a schoolroom was needed for us:

  1. It keeps our supplies in one area…not scattered all over the house; which was absolutely driving this reading mama CRAZY!!!
  2. It gives the boys a place to work without the distraction of TV or extra toys.
  3. It helps with the mindset of “here is where we do schoolwork”.

Here are some pictures:

This is a wall that my husband built when we first moved into this house.  On the other side is our office area, where I used to tutor students.  The red board above the dry erase board is a 14×14 magnetic dry erase board where I safely keep the dry erase markers (a.k.a. out of reach).

MBug’s book shelf and toys (rotated each week-or when I remember!)

More books, including library books, and a few school supplies in the canvas baskets.  The red basket is “ALuv’s Can Read” basket, where I keep all the books he can read independently.  Above this shelf, are some cork strip to display work.

NJoy’s table (from Ikea for $20…we stained it to match the wood in our house).  I think they still sell the same model.  NJoy uses this to do his work, which consists of teaching “mats” (I adapted the teaching tray idea to teaching mat because we use our carpet sqaures), coloring, puzzles, etc.  It’s getting tough because MBug can pull up to standing at this table and she attempts to put EVERYTHING in her mouth these days, so we have to get creative.

Above NJoy’s table

I plan on having some little window treatments made (my talented mom can sew them).  What’s so cool is that as I was organizing the attic, I found the fabric I had used to cover my bulletin boards with in my public school classroom.  There’s plenty of it and it matches beautifully, so we’re going to use it to make some window treatments! 🙂

I wanted a “whole group” area because we have a homeschool group that meets at our house and I needed a space where all the kids could sit.  I have a pocket chart and an Ikea art easel (only $14.99!!).  The great thing about the easel is the other side has a shelf and big books can sit right on that ledge!

The three boxed red shelves have items on my “do not touch” list and some of my teacher books are on the white shelf.  The lime green dry erase square is where I keep ALuv’s new word wall/sight words for the week.  Once the week is over, we put them on the Word Wall.

Above the whole group area is our Word Wall.  I was able to dig through the attic and find the letters I’d used in the classroom; which where already laminated and color coded: blue for consonants and red for vowels; which is a Montessori thing. 

I used the door going out to our garage as our calendar area.  Right now, we keep calendar time very simple, but I plan on adding some stuff to it once September rolls around.  We do calendar first thing every morning, followed by the pledge of allegiance.  I like calendar time because it is an authentic way to work on number concepts.

ALuv’s desk-which he LOVES

Above his desk, my husband created some shelving where I store his bins for work.  Each one is labeled: Writing, Word Study, Reading, Math, Science/SS, Art, & Bible.  I used Jolanthe’s workbox picture cards to help him identify each bin easier.  I haven’t perfected my system (probably never will), but he has 7 bins with 2 activities in almost each bin for the week…so roughly 14 activities total.  We also do other things during the week that aren’t in the bins (such as Mama’s read alouds), but this keeps me organized.  Out of everything I’ve tried, this system has worked the best for us.  Once the fall rolls around, I will add a few more activities to the total.

When he’s finished the work in a bin, we stack them inside one another so he can see what work he has left to do.

A view from the foyer door…ALuv’s desk on the left side with the office around the corner

This tall shelf is beside ALuv’s desk and is my storage shelves for math and literacy manipulatives.  The kids are allowed to touch stuff on the bottom two shelves only.  Beside that, are the drawers where I keep the stuff for my teaching mats.

Around the corner, I’ve also taken over some of the office…hehe.   I needed more secure storage for potential choking hazards, so my husband attached a screen door to the front of this bookshelf.  It can only be opened with a screwdriver.

We also have a playgroup that meets at our house and when they come, I pull my Ikea easel over to this area and place my stop sign on there.  This keeps kids from going into the area where I keep all the manipulatives.

We are thoroughly enjoying our schoolroom.  It’s the first place NJoy goes in the morning…even before getting his beloved cup of milk out of the frig.  I am so thankful to have the space and a supportive husband who not only allowed me to do this, but blessed me by doing so much of the work.  Babe, you are truly amazing!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. christine
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 08:40:39

    Looks great! It is a challenge to keep the environment safe when you have a little one, but you have done a wonderful job and it is well organized. I love the screen over the bookshelf!


    • This Reading Mama
      Jun 13, 2011 @ 20:43:08

      Thank you! Yes, the little one who likes to put things in her mouth keeps me on my toes! One of my long term goals is to velcro some fabric over the screen so the things on the bookshelf aren’t so visible. NJoy goes to the screen almost every day and asks for things to come out; usually when the timing isn’t right. 🙂


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