Monday, August 13, 2012

Where We Do School

This week the “Not” Back-to-School blog Hop is featuring a School Room Hop. I haven’t really posted on our school room since we moved the basement (ahem, almost a year and a half ago) so I thought I would take this opportunity to share some pictures.IMG_3709

Our basement is not finished, but we have made some cheap (as possible) improvements to create a space that would work for us – we threw up some paneling which we painted a turquoise color, and some cheap carpet so that we wouldn’t be standing on cement.

Right about the time we were finishing the basement we were offered some giant white wood shelves 5 of them actually!! We gladly accepted them and had them filled up by the end of the week!!

I did my best to create “stations” around the room, in order to keep things better organized.


I don’t have a great picture of this, but it’s the first thing you see is our timeline above the train table.


Directly to the right of our timeline is what I refer to as the tot-station, because it’s where I keep all of the toddler/preschool activities and games that they are allowed to play with without question. Having a station like this helps keep the little ones entertained while working with the older ones. IMG_3710

I have a shelf full of books, puzzles, mr. potato head, a leapfrog letter game and alphabet stacking blocks stored here. Next to that are the bins that contain our tot school education sets – such as our peg board and pegs, foam blocks, our magnetic tanagram set, large wooden lacing beads and more.

Spelling Board

Next to the tot-station is our AAS/AAR magnet board and magnets that we use with our curriculum. In front of this area is a small table and chairs that the kids and I sit at for these subjects. IMG_3711We like to move around during school, so this gives us a great opportunity to at least change the scenery in school.


Continuing around the room you will come to my reading chair and rain-gutter shelves where we store our books for the week – the top shelf usually includes our artist study books, which are usually around longer than a week (more like 4-6 weeks), the middle shelf typically holds the books that we use more long term so far this year this includes:

  • The Story of the World (Volume 1)
  • Our ESV Family Illustrated Bible
  • Usborne Illustrated Encyclopedia of Nature
  • Everyday Graces
  • Window to the World
  • The Children’s “What The Bible is All About” Bible Handbook

The lower shelf contains our weekly readings – including the book we are rowing, and our read-alouds for history and science. IMG_3713

Of course these shelves are not ALWAYS in order, but that’s the gist of how they are supposed to be set up ;)

When it’s time to do our reading, we will either read here or upstairs (depending on our day), if we read here the kids like to grab their comfy chairs and couches from the connected “play area” to lounge in while I read.

Art Closet & Supplies

Next is our art closet and supplies, followed by our

Daily Calendar and Board

The kids have desks sitting in front of this area, and I’ll be honest, this is the ONLY time of the day they use their desks (thankfully we got them free on the side of the road :)). IMG_3717This is usually the first thing we do in the morning, and sometimes I will even slide my reading chair over and we will complete our read-alouds here as well (like I said, we like different scenery sometimes).

Television, DVD and Wii

Once we finished off our basement, I really really wanted to get the TV out of the Living Room, for my own good. I was finding myself in the bad habit of turning on the TV after I would lay the kids down, just because it was there. Since moving it down stairs, this hasn’t been as big of a problem. We do use the TV for two of our subjects (Latin and Art) but other than that, the TV is ALWAYS off during the school day.

Book Shelves

I have the book shelves first organized by subjects and then further into specific topics. The shelf closest to our reading chair are our Bible books, History & Geography books and our Art books. IMG_3714

The shelves along the outer wall contain all other subjects literature & fiction take up almost all of one shelf  while the other shelf holds our science, miscellaneous curriculum, math, language arts and nature books. IMG_3718


I bought these workboxes off of Amazon and I LOVE them!! Both of the older kids have one set of drawers each, while I use the other sets for different things I want to have close by. Eventually Audrey and Baby Boy T will have their own drawers as well.       IMG_3721

Alexa’s drawers are on the left side of the white shelf, Treyton’s are on the right. They each get the top of their drawers for any additional resources they might need or that didn’t fit easily in their drawers. IMG_3724


We do the majority of our school work together at the table. I sit in the middle with the two big kids on either side, I work with each of them (practically simultaneously) as they are getting through their work. Obviously, I rotate their toughest subjects as much as I can so that I’m not literally explaining two subjects at once, but honestly, that still happens more than I would like. Gratefully, this has worked out okay and both kids have been able to work well even when I have to alternate between the two of them. If there is a time when one child needs more quiet on a particular subject, the other child is excused to do his or her own thing for a while (quietly of course, or upstairs) while the other one concentrates more fully. IMG_3719

Audrey is typically sitting on the other end of the table with whatever activity she chooses to pull out.

My Desk

This is where the bulk of the planning happens – the shelf behind my chair holds the Tapestry unit and resources we are currently working on, our Five in a Row handbooks, our lesson plan box (which is broken down by weeks), extra curriculum (that we will be moving into later on in the year), Bibles, paper, teacher resources (a lot of Charlotte Mason books and Books recommending books). Immediately next to my desk are also the drawer system that holds all of our extra school supplies. IMG_3725

We love our school space and are truly blessed to have such an open area in which to do school. My man worked hard to give us this space, and I truly appreciate it!!

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Jenny said...

Our old school room was the same color. I love turquoise!

Nicole said...

What an AWESOME space! I always enjoy seeing what you are learning at your place.

I have the same TV problem. I work from home and try to do it early in the mornings or durning nap time. When I sit at my desk I get a ton done but if I turn on the TV for just a minute, all the sudden nap time is over and I didn't get much done!

Homeschooling Momtographer said...

Your school area looks great! I can't even tell that it's a basement. :)


Katie said...

I love it! What a fabulous space to teach and learn in! I really like your blog! I am expecting #4 in February so it will be fun to watch you go from 3 to 4!

Marlene said...

I stumbled on your blog while looking for information about Tapestry of Grace. We are starting it next month with our first grader. I LOVE YOUR BLOG! Thanks for sharing your life with us! I was wondering if you could give me more info on your timeline. I am interested in implementing one this fall.

Kristina said...

I love your school room wall color! It's very fun : )

I like how you made stations/ areas of learning, too-- if we move *fingers crossed*, I would like to try to do that!

Thanks for sharing!!