Saturday, August 6, 2016

Homeschool Room Tour


The long lazy days of summer will be winding down soon. And, as much as I'd love to just lay back and mindlessly soak in the sunshine, thoughts of the school year to come are beginning to drift into my mind.

September is just around the corner!


This is the time of year that many of us homeschooling parents begin to think about how we arrange our homeschooling space. So, in the spirit of a new academic year, I bring you this tour of our homeschool room!

I will try to add a lot of links to the various things I have around the room, so that you can easily find them online.
Also, because I love "before and afters", I'll include some photos of how the space originally looked when we bought our house (about two years ago).

Now, climb the stairs and join us! Welcome!

Stairs, before
Stairs, now




On your way up the staircase, you will see a few bulletin boards as well as vintage maps and scientific diagrams. Whenever possible I try to use natural materials and subtle colors. I feel like it keeps the space warm, welcoming and soothing.

The "posters" are actually intended to be wrapping paper, but they work great as decor on the walls! I love their classic look and soft colors. I found ours at a museum gift shop, but it looks like Amazon carries a lot of them too (here are just a couple of examples):

 

As soon as you round the corner at the top of the stairs and enter the space, you'll see where we do the bulk of our work. 
We spend the majority of our time at the sturdy vintage table. It was a lucky flea-market find that's held up to 3 kids really well! 

waldorf homeschool room

I am fortunate to have a large space that I can dedicate just to homeschooling. I know that not everyone does. When I first started homeschooling all I had was a desk in our entryway! So if you don't have a whole room, please know that I understand what that's like too (and be sure to check out the folding furniture I will discuss below).
Part of what sold me on the house we're in now was the potential of the upstairs space. This big room now doubles as both a place of learning, and a family room.

waldorf homeschool room

As you can see in the photo above, about half of the room functions as a comfy area to relax. We enjoy sitting on the couch to do our reading.

family room

And, the kids like to watch movies here (a TV is intentionally hidden in the armoire pictured below).

family room

I've tried to make the space welcoming, yet versatile too. I particularly like the chairs and table in this little conversation area because they fold, and are easily collapsed and moved out of the way. This is very helpful when (for example) you get a really good game of "ring around the rosie" going!


Having folding furniture is great if you are short on space too! I get everything from Amazon these days! Her are the exact chairs and tables I have:

 

I also really like this wall mounted murphy desk, because it can also be folded up to make room for extra floor space.

waldorf homeschool room





And, speaking of things that can be hidden away...  I disguise many unsightly things in the big white cabinet.
When the doors are open, it's actually a computer desk! I love that I can close the doors and hide things like the printer and the laminator (both things I love to have, but that I don't love to look at).
I found this particular one on Overstock.com. 

waldorf homeschool room

I love curriculum, books and educational materials. As a result I have stock piled WAY too much of it. Between my days in college earning my teaching credential, my years as a reading intervention teacher and now as a I enter my 4th year as a homeschooler, I have managed to acquire quite a collection!


Someday I fully intend to sort through my stash, and hopefully get rid of  lot of it. But, for now it all stays with us, suspended in state of "organized" chaos.  
Books and curriculum that are not in regular use are stored in the closet.  Meanwhile, the resources that are in regular rotation stay in a simple cube shelf next to my desk.

waldorf homeschool room
I love having over-the-door shoe rack inside the closet door (pictured above). It is a great way to store small things like art supplies, pencils (and so on). I love that it is made of natural material (and not cheap plastic). But, my only regret is that I didn't get one with clear pockets, like this:



The cube shelf is something that you can find at just about any big box store, or online. You can also get canvas bins made to fit in the cubes which are nice to have. Mine is similar to this...


I like that the back isn't solid because I can have access to the electrical outlet behind it.

And, speaking of storage, I still have two "littles" in the mix, who don't have very long attention spans! So, I keep a stash of puzzles and busy bags on hand for them to use while I work with my oldest. They are all easily accessible, while simultaneously stored out of sight in a wooden (Ikea) shelf. 



The puzzle rack on the top right has been a life saver. I like that it's easy for my kids to clean up the puzzles themselves, and that it's made of natural wood. This is the one I have: 

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No children's' space would be complete with a little bit of whimsy. I've added this throughout the room with simple additions like lighting, wool felt garlands, and more.

  

I LOVE lighting. It can really make or break a space. One way that I brightened up a dark corner of this room, was by draping string lights over a shelf bracket mounted on the wall. The trick to this is, to use lights with a white cord (not a standard green one).






For an easy on/off situation with my collection of lights, I have everything plugged into switches. 


But, any power strip (with a master switch) will do. You'll be more likely to use all the lighting if it's easy to turn it all on at once!

The element of subtle whimsy continues as you move through the room...

 




 

I am very inspired by Waldorf education, and incorporate elements of this theory into my homeschooling (like with the "math gnomes" pictured on the bulletin board below). 




I was an Art major in college, so I still have a lot of my old supplies. Plus we enjoy crafting and creating. So, here are some photos of how I keep all the gear, supplies (and, let's face it... "the mess") corralled.

 
Luckily the back section of the room even has a linoleum floor for easy clean up!



You may notice (in the picture above) my solution to having a place for works of art to dry. When I looked for drying racks, all that I could find were giant racks made for entire classes' worth of work. So, instead I use a wooden shoe rack, and it works great! 


Also, Ikea's easel is just as good as the more expensive versions!

And, in closing I'll leave you with a few more "Before and Afters" just for fun.

Before

After


Before


After



Before


After

I hope that you feel inspired after scrolling through this post! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions you have. Also, if you do a post on your homeschool space please leave a link. I love peering into the spaces that others have created!


That's all! Thanks for stopping by!


Linking up to these fun parties and round ups:

http://www.flourmewithlove.com/2016/08/mix-it-up-monday.html

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3 comments:

  1. I think it is your "whimsy" that makes the room complete and lovely! And that awesome yellow vintage table. Have you told that story here? Ha! <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't homeschooled in years, but always at this time of year, I get nostalgic thinking about how at this time I would be planning for the upcoming year.

    Touring your homeschool room brought back so many nice memories.

    I LOVE the murphy desk!! I had NO idea Amazon carried such a thing! I could use something like that now!!

    So glad I stopped by!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fellow homeschooler love! I hope you have a great school year!
    Thanks for sharing with us on the Homesteader Hop!

    ReplyDelete

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