We’ve been homeschooling for 3 years. At our old house we used the family room to school and usually ended up sprawled all over. The family room was in the main area of the house and it never felt orderly. I despised the location, but was excited to have a space to school.
When we moved up here 6 months ago, I was excited about the large room on the 2nd floor as a school room/playroom. It has sloped ceilings which results in a really fun & funky space. It’s enormous and it’s far removed from the main living area. It also has the added perk of a an attached bathroom. My sweet husband recommended that we live in the space for awhile to see how we use it before we deck it out in new furniture. He’s so wise, because the way I would have initially set everything up is not at all how I would have been happy with & used it today. The downside of waiting is that again we didn’t have a “school” area and we ended up spread all over the house ~ kitchen table, mudroom, bedrooms, living room. While that works for some homeschoolers ~ I really needed a home base, it was time to get setup.
I sat down and really thought through how we school. Everyone gets irritated sharing a table for independent work & that’s usually when the spread out happens. People head off to their rooms and work alone. It’s hard to regroup everyone after that. So independent space was important. BUUUUUUUUT . . . we also do a lot of work where we need a space together. Bible Study, art, science, history reading & picture books . . . So I had a hard time deciding what was more important. Independent vs Group setup was a an important decision.
I figured there had to be a way to make both work. After a lot of research on school rooms (thank you pinterest!) and a lot of thought and planning ~ I decided everyone should have an individual desk and then a table in the middle where we can come together. I searched high and low on craigslist for old school desks to revamp. I found these desk for $8 out of Lodi.
They obviously needed some help, so we cleaned them up, scrubbed em down, removed as much of the rust as could and painted them.
Everyone picked a color they wanted and we went to town, customizing. We eventually want to paint the top with chalkboard paint.
Then we hopped upstairs to rearrange the room, here is what the schoolroom looked like before:
Just a cluttered jumble with no purpose.
We moved around the furniture in order to give them individual room and not step on anyone else’s toes. We divided the desks with bookshelves, so that we have their absolute own space. Then we moved the computer table to the middle of the room for our group work. I couldn’t imagine being bent over their desks working individually ~ they needed that table not only for group work but also to have somewhere to come together with teacher mom.
We are so pleased with how the school room turned out. The space is cleaner ~ looks larger and is very efficient.
One of the things that surprised me most in the completed project is how quickly the kids customized their spaces. They decorated and put up photos. It made me realize that none of them have ever had a space that’s all their own. They’ve always shared rooms with nothing of their own. They LOVE having their own area. Doodle bug even has a sewing area!
There are a few things we still need to do to finish up the project. I’d like a rug to go under the table, swivel chairs for each desk, and curtains. I’d also like to turn the alcove into a reading nook. I’d use a tension rod at the top with long curtains and fill it with bean bags, etc to snuggle up. They also need small lamps on their desks, but I am one Happy Girl. This is better than I dreamed, and I’m very blessed to have a school room.