Friday, August 16, 2013

Our New School Room!

Last year (as with every prior year) we had no school room.  The 8 of us lived in a pretty small house, by American standards -- around 1500 square feet.  The majority of our living was done in an area around 600 square feet -- kitchen/dining/living room -- and most of our school stuff was kept in that space as well.  It felt rather cramped.  You can see what it looked like at various stages if you look around my blog.  You could start here to see pics of our old dining room, or look at last year's school room post linked above.  I spent the last few years there really struggling to control the chaos of having too much stuff in that space. 

I am excited to say that we moved in May of this year to a larger house, and we now have a school room!  I  love it!  It means:  fewer books scattered on the living room floor (I think having none there would mean no one lived here anymore, or at least no one from our family), a mantel that can hold pictures again or other décor instead of books, a living room that feels more like a living room, a place to separate school projects from the dining room and not have to set everything aside at meal time, and far more.  It's a large, bright room with four large windows, and has pretty good views of the outdoors, including our pond.

I was lamenting the fact that my camera is broken so I couldn't take any fresh pictures to share, when my daughter kindly reminded me that she has a camera I could use.  I feel a bit silly for forgetting that, but was very glad to borrow it.  Now I wish I'd borrowed it earlier! :) There were several things I would have liked to photograph in the previous couple weeks!

Sorry this one's a bit crooked -- I was trying to get more of the room in by standing on a chair and apparently I'm not so great at that.
I went kind of wild with the labels, and then of course my editor won't let me make the photos the right size to read them in the post.  Click on them and you should be able to see what they say.


I didn't label the following, which is a picture of the storage cubbies over in the play corner.  It was supposed to give you an idea of things that could go in it as activity options for the little ones, except someone had been taking away even the few things I had there...
 Two someones, actually.  Just look at those faces!  And the evidence on the table!

Now for a few peaceful, school-room-in-use-by-apparently-model-children photos.
B writing a letter to a friend w/MS Word on the computer, T and L sweetly playing... :)

P sort of wandering... but calmly.  And he looks like he was working on a project.

 Z at her desk working, B still working at computer, T playing sweetly... :)
No, it's not always like this.  But sometimes it is.  And I love those times.

Last but not least, I will show you a few more labeled photos, showing the rest of the room and my office.  
Yes, I have my own office!  Woohoo!  There's one catch right now about it, though, and that is that I have to walk through a bathroom to get to it right now (it's supposed to be a closet, but I thought it would make a good office).  We're hoping to switch that around some and have a door into the school room from the office before too long, right where that green poster is.
Okay, and now the office.  Be warned... it's not quite as presentable as the school room yet.  My excuse that I just moved is still applicable... later I'll have to find another one, or just admit that I'm a Messy.
You'll have to click to read the labels again if you want.  See the "AO" shelves?  That's for Ambleside Online, which has been such an invaluable source for me as a guide for finding great books and for Charlotte Mason-style education.  I wouldn't say I'm a strict Charlotte Mason educator at all, but I do like a lot of her thoughts.  

Most of the rest of my small office.  These shelves will have to move for the door, but I will put them elsewhere in the office, because how awesome is it having a shelf per year?  All the books aren't there and they aren't arranged that neatly at the moment, but it gives you the idea.  I'm not exactly sure whether I'll keep it that way long-term or not b/c I could see myself possibly not liking everyone marching into my office to get school books at some point.  We'll see.  It started out as an attempt to just sort things out as I was unpacking.  But overall I like it so far, and it frees other bookshelf space in the rest of the house, too.  Several books are used for more than one year, and in that case I put them on the shelf for the first year they are used.  I've thought of adding labels to the spines w/the years they are used on them, but I don't know if that would be worth it.  Btw, you're supposed to ignore pretty much everything on either side of the shelves for now.  That's what I do, and it works most of the time. :)
Maybe later I'll have a really great "before and after" post for my office.  Don't hold your breath.  Hurry back to the school room pictures at the top and dwell on them instead.  Ahh, that's better!
Thanks for joining me in this little tour.  I'm pretty excited about this new space and feel so blessed.  It's already serving our family well. 

Even though we have a wonderful school room, we don't confine our school solely to it.  The world is still our classroom.  Although we can spend a lot of time in here comfortably, we use other rooms in the house for learning purposes as well.  We still sit and read in the living room, or in the bedrooms, still cook in the kitchen, etc.  We also now have more land, with a pond to enjoy.  And we do things away from the house too.
You might enjoy seeing some of the materials we're planning to use this year, if you missed my previous post. 
And if you'd like to see others' school rooms, head over to the iHomeschool Network Not Back-to-School Blog Hop.
Do you have a school room, or is the world your classroom... or both?


  1. What a great post! I love your schoolroom--you have it looking so nice! I especially enjoyed the pictures of the schoolroom-in-use-by-apparently-model-children shots (I'm guessing A was down for a nap?! chuckle). I would recommend that you ban children from the room and keep the puerta locked at all times if you want it to maintain this look. ;)

    I also really like your office and especially appreciate the shelves divided into AO years. It's sooooo cool!!

    1. Thanks! I don't remember but I'm also guessing he must have been asleep, or he probably would have been right in the middle of everything, "helping." And you can probably guess what the school room looks like right now... toys all over the floor, table piled ridiculously (the latter is largely my fault, sad to say). :)

  2. Love your room, it is so bright and cheerful. I absolutely adore the little blue desk!


    1. Thanks, Nicolle. That desk was mine when I was little. My mom repainted it that color for me. My little brother used it, too, and then it was passed down to my own children. I like it too. :)