One of the most exciting things this time of year for me is setting up our classroom. Getting to choose curriculum, little desks, decorations and school supplies is awesome. Then getting to organize it all in new boxes, bins and shelves will make just about any homeschool mom giddy! It’s a process that can become overwhelming. We want to get the right curriculum, organized in a Pinterest worthy room. We will agonize and obsess over every detail, and once we’ve chosen we’ll question ourselves again and again.
This year we moved into a new home so setting up a new school room was obviously on my to do list and it was pretty high up there on the list of priorities. We have a small space right as you enter our home that was designated by the builder as “Flex Space.” It could be a dining room, office or a playroom for any family. Obviously for the Herrells it became our classroom. It’s not terribly big, just 11×12 feet but it’s got 2 great windows with lots of natural light and it’s open concept so it’s easy access from anywhere else downstairs.
It’s not perfect or necessarily even Pinterest worthy but I’d love to share a few pics with you.
Here is the big picture of the room as a whole. All of the furniture with the exception of my chair is from Ikea. I love that place! We got the boys’ desks for under $20 each! If I were to guess I’d say we have about $350 -$400 in here. I’ll list all the items we purchased at the bottom although our large shelf is no longer available at Ikea.
I love this room, it’s colorful but casual. I put up a couple of posters that are specific to my kids and what they need help remembering. Those will change through out the year depending on what we are working on at the time. I don’t have the wall space to have lots of visual aids up at once, and I feel it gets too busy very fast.
I love my Expedit shelf! It’s always a little disorganized because there are 3 children (and a husband who doesn’t ever put anything away) who live here but it serves it’s purpose beautifully. Lots of space for manipulatives, puzzles and games on that bottom shelf, all my teachers edition books, the boys books and inboxes, some board games, even our school pet, Finley. As I’m typing I see that my sweet husband put his lunchbox on the shelf instead of taking it all the way around the corner to the kitchen… well, at lease you can see that the possibilities are endless for this piece.
This is my desk, which is made up of 2 LINNMON table tops, the Alex drawer unit and an Alex storage unit (for my computer tower) This works well because it gives me a place for all my school supplies and room for the computer, printer and plenty of space to write notes and lessons. I pieced this together myself and I’m loving the results.
The vinyl wall decal was a fun piece I got through Etsy. I wanted a US map but I find the traditional ones boring. This piece serves as both decor and map and I love the bright colors! It was very easy to apply too!
This area serves as our bulletin board. I found last year that since we didn’t use a calendar wall or do calendar math my kiddos would forget what day it was. That’s easily remedied with this. Every morning we go over the date, the weather and any important events that are creeping up on the calendar. It’s a fun way to start the day and the kids always know where we are in our week.
This is the kiddo area of our room. Their desks are made up of 2 smaller LINNMON table tops and 8 legs, the kids chose red. Their chairs are the Ikea SNILLE and they do swivel and roll. If I had to do it again I’d chose something stationary but these work other than the occasional distraction.
The hanging file folders hold the boys daily folders. I tear out any workbook pages that they have for the week and get their folders ready on Sunday afternoons. This gives me a chance to see what we are going to be learning for the week and it also keeps me organized and on track. They have a small pencil box (Target $1 bins) in the middle for crayons, pencils, markers and scissors. So far that’s kept their supplies neat and tidy. The deskmates on top of their desks have a ruler, multiplication chart, place value, fraction references and the cursive alphabet. It’s a great little reminder for them when they get stuck.
I love that they can look out the windows when they are working, at first I was worried that they’d be terribly distracted but it’s not been a problem so far… I may have to keep those blinds closed during school if that becomes a problem.
I had to move this little gem into our loft upstairs simply for space. We are still using it though! I’ve filled it with their favorite candies and at the end of each school day, when they’ve completed all of their work neatly and correctly and finished all of their chores they get a painted quarter to get a few pieces of candy. At the end of the week when I take out the quarters if I find one that’s not painted I know I have a rat and I close the bank for a week. So far it’s a great motivator and having it in the loft means they aren’t begging for candy all day.
So that’s it, that’s our classroom. It’s not perfect but we love it. My kiddos are taught, loved and sheltered here. One day when they are grown we’ll likely turn this into an office or a formal dining room but for now I’ll embrace the bright, sometimes messy classroom downstairs. It’s my favorite room in the house.
Here are all the links for where to buy any of these goodies 🙂