Tuesday, August 13, 2013

our homeschool room

Welcome to our homeschool room . . . where we do very little school! Honestly, this is where I corral all of our stuff. We school anywhere and everywhere--the sofa, the floor, the kitchen table, the back porch, the park, the library--we've even schooled at the donut shop!

I love to decorate--especially when the decor is kid related. I don't, however, have an endless budget. So, there are several DIY items in this room. I purchased a couple of things that were going to be too labor intensive for me to complete--the alphabet rub-ons I purchased from Stampin' Up years ago. The large pencil (with our last name inscribed in the middle) was my splurge from Pottery Barn Kids.

This apple tree was a fairly easy project. I lightly sketched the tree onto the wall with a pencil. I purchased three cans of sample paint ($3 each) from Lowes and it was plenty of paint. I had some light brown craft paint on hand and added inch marks from the baseboard all the way up the tree. The wood apples I purchased already painted (and cute!) from Michaels. They add a little fun dimension!

I wanted the tree to serve a purpose (beyond just being cute). On each birthday, my kids love to race into the schoolroom to get measured! I'll take their picture and in my photo editing program I type how old they are directly onto the picture. I adhere each picture to a wooden circle that I painted with leftover green paint from the tree. I adhere them with handy tack.

Years ago, Pottery Barn Kids had these Schoolhouse Utility Boards. At $169 EACH, I could not justify their purchase. But they were just so cute! I happen to have a very handy dad, so I asked him if he could make them. We ordered the bulletin boards from somewhere online and he put the rest together. I was thrilled with the way they turned out!
The game cabinet is from IKEA and the red oval bins I purchased from Target a couple of years ago. The red bins hold our flashcards and learning games.

We discovered workboxes two years ago. Love them. Can't say enough about them. But because there are a ton of bloggers out there that have blogged all about workboxes, I'm not going to go into the why and how of using them. Just know I think they are swell. When my kids finish their work from a workbox, they put it in the colored box on top until I have time to file it away in their binder.

The door behind my workboxes is a second door to the guest bathroom. We keep it closed and locked and it serves as a wall. My magnetic calendar and maps on the wall are there for us to use as we need them.

This little gem I picked up for free from someone who was getting rid of it. It was pretty dinged up, so I grabbed a couple bottles of spray paint and it was good as new! Inside the little square was a painted moon and stars. Since it didn't go with my theme, I used some of my scrapbook paper and letters and adhered my abc decor to the inside. This bookcase sits near my workboxes. I keep all of the things the kids regularly use in these cubbies. I also keep supplemental worksheets/workbooks in here--sometimes we need a break from our regular math program to do a few random and colorful math worksheets!

In our school room there is a small walk-in closet. My dad ripped out all of the closet bars/shelving. He built multiple cubbies where I could easily store all of our books. (Since building these book shelves I have outgrown this space. Now I have IKEA bookshelves in my bedroom to house all the extra books!) I keep our most used books in this closet. I have a space for Bibles, dictionaries, encyclopedias and a shelf for all of the lapbooks the kids create. I love keeping our lapbooks handy so that the kids can pull them out easily whenever they want to show them to someone . . . but that's another story. More closet pictures . . . 

On these shelves I store each child's binder, extra geography books, our science books for the year and homeschooling books that I read. My dad also left a space for the two plastic drawer towers that I purchased from Costco years and years ago. All of our craft gear goes here.

This pegboard is the backside of another bookcase which I will show you next. I bought a four-piece spice rack and put things that are hard to store in here--manipulatives in baggies, etc.

This is the bottom half of the pegboard wall. (I couldn't back up very far to take the picture, so I had to take two shots!) I had an extra kitchen storage holder that I put up to hold "busy bags" for my little guy. I also hung a paper cutter and my book loan list with a pencil attached. I loan my books a lot to friends, so it is helpful to remember who I loaned them to! Need a book loan list you can print out again and again? Here ya go.

My closet has two sliding doors. When my girls started reading books on their own, I needed storage for all of their readers. My dad added this to one side of the closet. I can still close the door over it, but there is now only one side to enter into the walk-in closet. I also store all of my audio and some educational DVD's here. It is anchored at the top and bottom--if we ever move, it will be easy to pop out and take with me!

One of my favorite things in the room is this apple clock that my dad made. It's another Pottery Barn inspired piece. Instead of the $90 price tag, it cost us about $20 to make. My dad cut the apple out of wood. I painted it and added some white number stickers. The clock hands I found at Joann. This clock makes me happy every time I look at it!

And just to keep things real here in Blogville, this is a picture of the disaster that awaits organization in my bedroom. These are all of the books I need to find homes for and put away. Another day perhaps . . . 


Melissa N. said...

Love your learning space. What a fab idea with the wall tree!

Megan said...

This room is great. I love all the organization and how neat everything looks. Isn't it great having someone "handy" to make all these fun things?

Brenda Johnston said...

Thank you! And yes, my parents are both handy--my mom helps me sew drapes and my dad works with wood!

Jenny said...

I love your room! What a great space!

Angela said...

This space is amazing! Love everything about it!! Pinned!

Stefanie said...

Simply stunning!!!!

Popping in from the blog hop.

Unknown said...

What a great learning space!!! I love your tree...and apple clock!!!!

Christal and Craig said...

I'm looking for a clock. I found a super cute one today with Pirates, but it's really our style...and it was $10! Even better. I finally have a school room! Now on to decorating it. The only thing it really needs is light...and more bookshelves. Always more bookshelves. :) Always inspiring to see your organization. What kinds of things do you keep in your busy bags? Zac is going to drive me up the wall. Today while we did school, he destroyed his room because he wasn't getting attention, despite the fact that I got a book out and did something with him...guess today wasn't the day for learning letters... :)

alibcarchi said...

Hello! I discovered your blog through the Story of the World lapbooks, which are absolutely amazing! I enjoyed this post about your homeschool room. It looks like such a bright, well-organized learning environment.
This is our second year of homeschool and I'm teaching my second grader and preschooler. I feel like I just have so much STUFF in my house sometimes, especially since I have a lot of materials from when I taught preschool. It helps to see what others have on hand and how you organize it.
I hope your school year is going well! Thanks for the encouragement!