Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Our Classroom {Tour}

We did it.

Something we've been planning on and meaning to do for awhile, but life has been full of moving and changes, plus I didn't feel like my son was ready to start before.

Start what? SCHOOL!

Homeschool to be exact.

Let me tell you, I have a lot to learn about the whole homeschool world, but my background as an educator and my experience teaching Kindergarten has helped immensely! For now I'm kinda making things up, but we do something with numbers and something with letters every day, we read a lot, and most days we get to do something fun and creative and messy!

Ok, this is supposed to be about our classroom. When we were looking for a rental home here, it wasn't even on our list of needs. There's always the kitchen table, right? Well, this house has three bedrooms. Two are upstairs, one is downstairs. Since none of them had an attached bathroom or a bigger closet, there was no obvious way to assign rooms to members of our family.

This house also has a big bonus room in the basement. If you took the tour earlier this week, you saw that it's nicely carpeted and painted and the placement of the windows is the only clue that you're in a basement. Initially we thought that would be a great playroom/classroom, but the more we thought about it, the more it became clear that the bigger bedroom upstairs should be the classroom. It would fit into the pattern of our daily lives better if we were upstairs, it had closets to store books and art supplies, and Gary and I could use the bonus room as a bedroom.

So we did.

This table and chairs is the only furniture we bought. It was $30 off of craigslist. It's not perfect, but that is what makes it perfect for our classroom! I'm not going to get upset if it gets crayons, glue, paint, etc. on it.

The classroom is also our playroom, so our toy bins are here. We've really purged the toys in our recent moves and in preparation for the big move overseas, so there's not a whole lot here. It's a great space during school time for the younger boys to play with something while I work one-on-one with Jonathan. Jared likes to be included with school work too, so a lot of the time, Josiah plays on his own.

I'm really focusing on hanging the boys' artwork here. It's their space. And their art is usually colorful! I think it's a great way to add some interest to the large blank spaces on the walls. Below are three canvasses that each boy painted when they were very small.

My mom sent us this ABC poster. The colors and pictures are perfect for our classroom! I think she got it at her dollar store--the best dollar store ever, seriously!

Above is a larger canvas that I helped Jonathan fingerpaint when he was about 13 months old. It was a Father's Day gift to Gary and hung in his office at work until he quit the whole Corporate America thing.

Below you'll notice the paintstrip art I had hanging in our guest room in Ohio and moved to the hall when Jonathan moved into the guest room. I still love it, and it's fun how the colors match so well! Didn't plan that!

This bookshelf keeps popping up everywhere, doesn't it? Anyone remember where they've seen this shelf that my dad made? It was in Jonathan's nursery in our first house in Iowa, in Jared's nursery in our second house, moved to the closet nook in Josiah's nursery, then was in Jonathan's room in Ohio. Now it's a happy part of our classroom in Nebraska!

We use this train table for trains. And sorting manipulatives, doing puzzles, an extra space for someone to do larger art projects, well, you get the idea.

This second ABC chart was something I picked up at Michael's right after public school started here, so it was really cheap! I couldn't pass up the matching calendar either! This calendar set up is something I always did in my Kindergarten classroom, and it's a great way to learn numbers, days of the week, months of the year, etc.

Seeing that we're renting, I just used poster putty to hang all of the charts. Then I used thumbtacks to hang twine along the bottom of the ABC charts. We use tiny clothespins (found at Walmart) to display the boys' projects.

This last corner of the room is all for Mommy! I finally have a place where my sewing table fits perfectly! I've already used it too! My sewing table is an heirloom, though not worth much monetarily, it's of huge sentimental value. My Grandpa, a cabinet maker, built this table to my Grandma's specifications, taking into consideration her sewing habits, where she wanted her supplies, even her height. Unfortunately, Grandma was several inches taller than me, so sitting here isn't super comfortable, but oh well!

This old map is from a National Geographic collection a friend gave me when I papered the boys' old room in Iowa with maps. It has the US on one side and the world on the other. I had it with the world shown, but it had the USSR, so I thought maybe it would be fun to mark the places in the US that we've traveled to.

The baskets on the right side are for my boys' school work. It's an easy way to keep their things organized. I can go through the baskets later and decide what to keep. The basket on top holds jars of sewing supplies, mostly my Grandma's. The wonky basket on the left is there to try to hide the modem and wireless router for our internet! 

My "every child is an artist" sign hasn't fared too well in the moves. I think it'll be fine once I find and re-glue the clothespins.

How about some before and after shots?

So even though we weren't looking for a house that had a space we could use for a classroom, it turned out perfectly! We use this space every day--even on weekends because it doubles as a playroom.

What about you? Do you homeschool? Do you have a designated space for it? How about a place where your kids do homework or get creative? Or a playroom? We've never had one of those and I really like it!

Thanks for taking the tour!


  1. I love the school/play room, but I have to say my favorite part is your sewing table. What a special piece of furniture to have.

    1. Thanks so much Ashli! I'm thrilled to be able to have it somewhere that I can use it, not stuck in the basement. Have a great day!



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