School Room Tour: 2013-2014

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I am going to start this post with the same wry words I began last year’s school room tour: “Take a picture, it will last longer.” Every year, I have the same goal: less stuff, more space. I swear, during our final year of homeschooling there is going to be one lone pencil in this room. The biggest change in here is the addition of color – and not just any color, but the absolute perfect, soft butter yellow. Not too bright. Not too lemony. Not going anywhere near orange or green. Just a warm glow greeting you when you walk in the room. Tom gets all the credit, as he is the entire custodial staff. He did a great job, and honestly any old coat of paint slapped up there would have been an improvement over pock-marked walls that came to resemble dirty pencil shavings by June.

Our house is modest – under 1500 sq. ft. – and I could list complaints a mile long: no storage space, floors that are about 4 inches out of level, ceilings that are not even 7 feet high, 2 electrical outlets per room, 2 non-working fireplaces, a “master” bedroom the size of a small nursery . . . but honestly? I love my house, every square wonky inch of it, and the schoolroom has become my favorite place of all. This was actually the room that never worked. It doesn’t flow with the house and always seemed like it was out of the way. I’m not sure how this is possible, considering there are only 5 rooms total. However, using this room as the schoolroom made everything that was wrong, right. Coming in here still feels separate somehow, and now this is a good thing. The other rooms seem far away, and we can all settle in and get down to business.  Ready for the tour?

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This is my space. I scored a new desk ($30) and a new chair ($8.50). All I did was add knobs to the drawers and recover the seat. I moved this bookcase from the upstairs hall and lined it with pretty shelf paper. It holds my planning stuff and all the books and resources for our current blocks. Because my desk is tiny (this was intentional – remember this post?) I put a basket on the floor to hold all the paper that seems to multiply when I’m not looking. I also have monthly folders, my big paper, and a notebook with goals, notes and ideas in the basket as well.

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This is the teaching area. I found that little rolling art cart this summer ($10) and it holds all of the art supplies we use with our daily lessons. We use the chalkboard every day and I put those little baskets on the side to hold my erasing towels and chalk – two things that always seem to disappear during lesson time. I want to make a banner to hang between those big scissors, but for now, Jude’s button garlands look really cute. A friend of mine kindly offered to frame the boys’ artwork when I casually mentioned this is something I am incapable of doing. The paintings are stunning in simple white frames. I love looking at them everyday and I know the boys do too.

I made peace with the hulking (but oh-so-useful) armoire by reorganizing the interior and labeling everything. (Love that Martha Stewart line from Staples. LOVE!!) I have grand plans of decoupaging part of the door panels to brighten it up a bit, but that will probably have to wait until December break. For now, everything seems to have a place. The desks are easy enough to push against the wall for when we do movement exercises and beanbag games. (I don’t know why I never thought of this before!) I expect a lot of goodness to happen in this space this year, stay tuned.