I know you have been waiting to see the homeschool room reveal. It is FINALLY finished. We may actually be ready to start school soon! It has been a long haul it seems, but I’d really rather do it now, than have things be chaotic in the middle of trying to teach and live life.
I think the kids are really liking it as they have already been spending lots of time in here. Too much so, as almost every morning this week I have had to clear out their toys and things so I can work! That is a good sign, that they like the room and want to be in it!
I like it too! It is comfortable (with the addition of the new couch), roomy (with a smaller desk for mom there is much more floor space), and bright. I tried to make it really fun and kid friendly, and hopefully we will love spending days right here.
I’ll give the tour…clockwise starting at the doors…
Starting with the new green clock above the door… sigh (read my post ‘Remnants of a Life’ if you don’t get the sighing). I do like it a lot, and it matches the room wonderfully. It ticks a little loudly though, so it might just drive me nuts! Notice the lack of large exercise balls? Opens up the space a lot , don’t you think?! A new coat of paint did wonders too, to brighten things up.
The calendar center is behind the door. It still needs some cork boards or hooks above the calendar, but I need to shop to get those. I plan to have Devin do calendar time and learn days of the week and months of the year. I found these fun calendar icons for each month on Teachers Pay Teachers. Each month is a different theme with a different pattern, so we can do numbers and patterns at once! I also found fun Day of the Week cards, Weather Chart and Months of the Year Cards on there too. Add a dusty laminator, and I feel like a real preschool teacher! ; )
Next is my big IKEA hack bookcase we built last year. It is full of school related things. (Except the very top row which is scrapping stuff that still needs to find a home somewhere else.)
For those who care, I’ll go over the organization of the bookshelf in another post. I spent weeks going thru every one of the cubbies and really being harsh on what could stay and what should go. I have a lot of books we won’t use this year which are now out in the garage, labeled so we can find them later. I still could eliminate a few things, but this is it for now. I made the unit, and the baskets and totes are from Target. I have found ice cube bins and CD baskets work well for keeping things organized by subject.
I tried very hard to make the rows and columns make sense to all of us (not just me). That way my kids can find their things, even if they don’t remember exactly where stuff belongs. It is a bit of a bingo board… categories across and down…
Next… My newly Chalk-painted thrift store secretary… love it! I still need to finish painting the doors and install them and drawer handles, but it works until then! The small size of the desktop will FORCE me to keep my desk area clean and organized. (Which I desperately need help with!) The top shelves have pics of my kids, the drawers have additional supplies, folders, cables, etc. My Ikea “Ghost Chair” is a consignment find too! YAY! The IKEA cable hanger above will be great to showcase their art projects and decorate the room.
Devin’s desk & small chair was a fabulous Goodwill find from last year. A coat of green spray paint made it Devin’s! A plastic shoe box with daily use school supplies and a spot for his workbooks & folders fit great in the cubby. A magnet board, alphabet chart & D’s name in Chinese (or was it Japanese?) complete his space.
Skylar’s antique school desk is another refurbished Chalk Paint experiment. It was a consignment find and was shiny black and DIRTY! Now it’s sweet and girly, but not so girly that we will have to re-paint when it becomes Devin’s in a couple years. (I may share my how-to use Chalk paint in a later post… ) Her daily workbooks are in the sorter on her desk, others in her drawers (along with crayons, markers, colored pencils). Her readers for the first few months are on the floor under her desk in the pink basket. Her name in symbols & a place for some other special find hang above. An IKEA magnet board for her reminders and work will TRY to help her stay organized, but she’s a work in progress…
We have 2 chair options for Skylar, the pink target chair and the exercise ball. She loves to bounce, and supposedly this is an appropriate option for kinesthetic learners, to be able to bounce and do their school work. We’ll see if it works without becoming a distraction!
An old easel with a new coat of chalkboard paint will be great for circle time and other quick explanations. I think it will be great for our Rod & Staff work. Skylar loves to play school using this, so hopefully it will work for real school too! A bean bag chair for the kids to sit in & read or play is nice & comfy.
The white shelf unit is full of math manipulatives, puzzles, sorting toys, magnet books and stacking pegs, almost all of which were part of Cayden’s therapy gear. I am glad it will be useful for a while longer for his little brother, who does love to play & learn with these things. On the side of the unit is our $1 Target class schedule, with my printed subject icons, able to be changed as needed.
Another thrifty find is the new couch. This couch became my dream after seeing a picture of a great reading nook in another family’s homeschool room. We had the old glider in here last year, but it was just too small for me to sit in with the kids. I needed a small scale couch or settee to not take up too much space in this small room, but big enough for us all to cuddle on while doing our read-alouds. After a week of hitting up every consignment store in town with no success (read: nothing cheap/nice enough for me in the style I wanted!), we spent a long day in Charlotte trying every used furniture /antique/ consignment store we could find. The last stop we made was the ReStore, and we hit the jackpot with this little couch. Just the right size at just the right price! I do plan to re-upholster it to better match the room at some point, (MaryJo’s here I come!) but for now it is just right.
The polka-dotted walls add just a touch of color to the room, to keep it young and brighten it up. I took the color palette from the curtain that I made a few years ago. I found the quote hangings at Marshalls, in just the right colors too! The lamp is a hold-over from Cayden’s nursery, and the side table has been languishing in the attic for years. A new coat of paint and it will fit right in!
So that’s it! What do you think? Joey & I were talking about how it really is NOT Cayden’s room anymore. But as we looked around we could see quite a few traces of him. His OT manipulatives, his lamp, his bean bag chair, the shelf unit & baskets, the plant we got for his funeral, his calendar, abacus & most of all, his pictures. He is still present here in a subtle but important way. Our angels ARE among us, as we start a new year in a fun and organized new homeschool room!
I hope you enjoyed the tour! Let me know what you think of the new space!