We incredibly blessed to have a dedicated schoolroom in our house. This doesn’t mean we never migrate somewhere else inside or out, but it is great for me to have everything I need for learning in one location. It’s really just the formal dining room and since we are not formal diners it has become a beautiful haven for learning.
Our schoolroom is a work in progress and it probably always will be. As the girls grow and our learning needs change, so will this room. Most of the room is still the same. The basic layout of the room hasn’t changed, but I have added some things, taken some things out, and changed some organization, so now it is serving us better.
My red tables are now regular table height and we purchased 4 chairs from Craigslist for $10. They are extremely sturdy, cushioned, and vinyl. The seat height is 16 inches, which works great for Rose, but is slightly short for Beth and much too short for Grace. Grace’s booster seat is in her chair and we found a seat cushion at Goodwill for $1 which puts Beth at the perfect height.
Just to the right of the chalkboard you will see our calendar area and the girls’ assignment board. The blue stacked boxes used to contain my girls’ daily work. Now I use them for manipulatives which used to reside on the blue bookshelf. The girls’ supplies now are under each of their chairs. Hopefully I will find a tote for each of them instead of the crates I’m using now. It is functional, but difficult to slide in and out. Speckle, our school mascot, still keeps guard over their work. I also keep our pencils, hole punch, CD player, pencil sharpener, and laminator in this area.
This is also our History/Geography corner. I fell in love with the map of the United States with a vintage feel. The best part was I used my Staples rewards from turning in ink cartridges to purchase it. I purchased the world map which looks just like it with my last set of staple’s rewards! We also keep all manipulatives related to these topics in this area. I have a few more things I want to add, but so far my favorite is our world map puzzle with the pieces shaped like the countries.
Here is my new world map which features a new island off the coast of Alaska. Is this new to you? It was to me too, not to mention a little frustrating s it was added by a five-year-old who was curious what crayon would look like on this pretty paper while I had it spread out on the table! I’ve inherited the Goldenbook Encyclopedia set from my dad for the girls which was his when he was a child.
You’ll also notice our classroom pets which my girls insisted we needed after watching the Magic School Bus. We settled on glofish, which are completely fascinating! Their names keep changing, but we have Oceananna (green and named after a baby actually born on the Mayflower crossing), Boo Boo (orange), America (blue and named by our neighbor), Babe (blue, and named after Paul Bunyan’s Ox), Rosetta (pink) and Vidia (purple). The last two are both named after two of Tinker Bells’ friends.
To the left of the chalkboard is the rest of our school storage. The dart board rarely gets used, but when we want it we just take down the tables and move the chairs. The blue bookshelf has been loved for many years first in my bedroom as a child and now in our schoolroom! Each of the baskets holds more subject oriented manipulatives: pink ~ logic, purple ~ literacy, blue ~ mathematics. They originally held my girls school books, but they weren’t quite sturdy enough. Mr. Bones there on the door will eventually have labels to teach parts of the skeletal system but for now he’s just going to be hanging around.
The large blue cube which matches the girls’ school work cube holds the materials I use frequently. This includes my current Heart of Dakota guides, All About Spelling books, and teachers guides for grammar and math from Rod and Staff. I also have several small folders which contain lesson plans and our state-required attendance forms. We live in NC and our state is extremely easy to homeschool in, but I still keep meticulous records in case we are ever questioned. The rest of the blue bookshelf holds various materials we use frequently, but don’t use as often.
The tall bookshelf was given to us by friends in our church when they purchased new ones. This has served many purposes and currently holds more curriculum on the top two shelves which we don’t use as often. The third shelf and cupboard on the bottom hold our art supplies. I took a lot time to decide to make the art supplies more accessible. I kept imagining disasters from having these so easy to get to! However, since my youngest is now 3 1/2 I’m realizing I can let them have a little more freedom with boundaries. My girls couldn’t believe I had given them so much access! The top of this shelf holds our play-doh and a variety of empty boxes for storage I’m sure I’ll find uses for eventually.
I’ve added some things to our science corner, much to the joy of our girls! I really wanted to encourage my girls to explore with science as much as possible beyond what our regular curriculum does. The computer table and chair were given to us by friends who were moving and under it is a light box for my girls to play with. That is why it’s covered with dark fabric. When we do experiments I move the girls’ laptop and we do as much as we can in this corner. I also keep all of our science books over here so the girls can explore as they want to.
Here are my additions up close! We purchased a good quality microscope and telescope which we are learning the benefits of as well as receiving some fun models for review. I’d eventually love to have some more human body models for learning. Two of the dinosaur models came from our neighbor’s son who was so excited to add to our collection.
One thing I knew I wanted in our corner were field guide posters. We also have smaller, individual matching field guide posters in a notebook for each of the girls. These were very inexpensive too! I searched and searched for posters, but everything I found was $15 or more. These are a set of 16 posters from Smokey the Bear which cost $10.50 for 15 large posters and 4 sets of small posters. This is not a misprint! The catch is the posters come in bulk. I got together with several of my homeschool friends and we chipped in to purchase these. If you’re looking for poster sets like this take time to see the 8 1/2 x 11 size as well as the 20 x 30 size. Six of us went together to get these and it is one of my favorite purchases so far!
I will add to this as we continue school, but the one big thing on my wish list is a microscope. I’d also love a telescope, but I’m not quite sure how to fit it in the room yet! For now we’re learning the order of the planets through a great set of posters I found through Pinterest.