Our room is ready. Want a little tour? This is a combination playroom and schoolroom. We have lived in four different places since we started homeschooling and this is probably our most comfortable set-up. Since I have a preschooler a combination playroom and schoolroom is necessary.
On the right I have an old cabinet that holds all our books for this school year. On top of that are presents ready to be opened on the first day of school. Beyond that is the “desk” area with two old Ikea tables shoved together. Each boy has a spot with a holder for pencils and a place for any workbooks or reading books. I have a photocopier at the end of the table. On the wall there is a map of the USA. On the far wall is an aquarium containing one lonely goldfish. My son needs to get some more. On the top of the wall near the ceiling we have our Road Rally Raceway as a way to learn our math facts. I have various things on the walls there including the multiplication tables, artwork, the Arabic alphabet, and reward charts. On the left is my desk area. It is a higher table so I never sit there. I am usually on the couch or at the boys’ tables anyway. On my “desk” I have our lesson plans, a supply of pens and pencils, and dry erase markers. Most of my books are stashed in the cabinet. At the bottom of my “desk” my little girl has her dollhouse set up with an old cradle full of books nearby.
Here is a close-up of the corner in the previous picture. This is an important corner because in it is the dry-erase board where I write down our daily plans. Our plans are different each day. We like variety, but my boys also like structure so I lay out our different days to give them the structure they need. I have our first day of school listed. It isn’t a typical day. Essentially we will open presents (some new school books or art supplies), take first day of school pictures, have a water balloon fight outside if weather permits, record their height and weight, and then they will pick what they want to do from their weekly schedule. On the left is a little chalkboard that I have screwed to the wall. My little girl loves to draw and scribble on there. Painting it with water has been a hit too. On the door I have the books of the Bible listed. They will be reviewing them. They memorized them a couple years ago and need a refresher. I also have spelling words listed for each of them. These spelling words are from a self-designed program using The ABC’s and All Their Tricks: The Complete Reference Book of Phonics and Spelling.
We spend a lot of time on the couch. I still do plenty of read alouds even when my children can read the books on their own. It gives us a chance to discuss questions as we read. On the wall I have a large poster of the world with little funny pictures of inventors and discoverers. At the far end of the room is my daughter’s toy kitchen. Many “meals” are made there while school is in session. I have the Greek alphabet posted along the ceiling.
Standing at the edge of my boys’ tables and looking across to the other side of the room you will see my daughter’s table area. Right now she has a meal set up on the table for me. Her toy box of toy food and related kitchen toys is nearby. There are a bunch of books within easy reach on the left. Along the ceiling I have our flags posted. We make a flag for each country we study. So far we have flags of Canada, the USA, Greenland, Scotland, Italy, Ukraine, China, and India. On the mirrored doors I have sentences in Mandarin that my boys are learning to read. Above my daughter’s table I have a chore chart, some Mandarin artwork, and a calendar that my daughter can color and put stickers in.
Here is the boys’ computer area with the printer. We use the computer quite a bit for several different subjects. On the wall I have little posters of chess pieces and what each piece does. They are learning how to play this school year.
This is my secret weapon that allows us to have long school days. I have my daughter’s toys organized. She can only take one out at a time. When she returns one she can get another one. Sometimes she does this on her own and sometimes she needs help.
I have shelves in the laundry room right next to our school room loaded with options for her. This variety of choices helps keep her interest.
I also have large bins of toys. This also fits with the one toy out at a time rule. The bins are filled with themed toys like tools, or dress-up clothes, kitchen toys, cars, stuffed animals, and more. Over time the bins get mixed up. I find I need to reorganize at least twice a year. I started doing this when my boys were small and I was working from home full-time+. It worked for them to keep them interested and it works for my daughter as well. When toys are disorganized my daughter gets bored.
That is a tour of our little school area. We also use the dining room table some, the couch and TV area upstairs as well as outside.