Come, take a tour of our apartment homeschool room!
I LOVE seeing pictures of beautiful dedicated school rooms. I’ve even seen some really cool sheds converted into actual homeschool buildings! But for this season of our lives, it is small-space-schooling for us. And it works really, really well.
There are BIG benefits to small-space-schooling
Like so many others, we use our dining room or as I like to call it – the school room we eat dinner in. I enjoy having our school space so centralized in our home. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- It lets me keep an eye on my kids while they work independently. This set-up makes it super easy to give a reminder to stay focused or quash a crayon rolling contest. And because I can easily keep an eye of them from just about anywhere . . .
- I get more done! I can fold clothes on the sofa, clean the kitchen, and work in my home office (i.e. the desk in the living room) – all without wondering if the glue sticks are being used in a manner inconstant with their intended purpose.
- It forces me to clean up school work daily so we can eat dinner there . . . OK, OK. Almost daily. Sometimes it is pizza in the living room OR me sweeping everything into a giant pile for the night. But it really makes you accountable when the mess is in your face.
- No hanging onto stuff you really don’t need. With small spaces that do double-duty there is just no room to hang onto clutter or things that “might come in handy someday.” I have to be very intentional about what I buy and keep.
Here’s our space . . .
Our dining table is from IKEA and the best part about it are the kiddo chairs. We got one for each girl and it raises them to the proper height for writing. This is so important if you’re schooling at a regular table instead of a school desk so they will be nice and comfy and able to see everything properly.
OK. So many things about this wall. But my FAVORITE thing – actually, my favorite homeschooling item, period, is the magnetic white board my husband framed. It is our chalk board, our art display board, our *don’t forget to do this today* board, and our “Happy Birthday!” board. And it even looks great all plain, clean white.
BTW – I totally used to be a member of the our-kids-are-not-having-their-own-electronics-until-they’re-much-older club. But I am a complete convert now. These have been incredibly educational for both girls. My oldest loves reading on hers and does her Bible study on it. And my youngest has become a grand champion puzzle master. And these particular tablets are so incredible for their parental controls. I can put time limits on everything, totally control content, and even assign a certain amount of reading before they can access anything else!
We have our smaller magnetic whiteboard where we keep the tiles for my second grader’s spelling curriculum. All the posters are for her as well – specific to things she is studying this year.
Then I have a station set up for my preschooler with her chalkboard front and center. I put whatever letter, number, shape, or color we’re focusing on that week up there for her to see each day. And I keep all her crayons and markers close at hand for her to color while I’m working with her sister. She loves to sit here and do her morning binder every day or work on letter matching.
Then the two bookshelves. The books are obviously self-explanatory. But I will give a BIG TIP: I reserve a full shelf for library books. We each (both my daughters and myself) have a library card where we can put 15 books *each* on hold at a time. And we usually max them out every week! (Something I should work on some moderation with . . . perhaps) My biggest fantasy right now is that our library will start offering home delivery. But to keep them all from getting misplaced, they get a dedicated spot. I highly recommend this. No scrambling to collect them when it’s time to return.
Also on the shelves are some other things that we use so frequently I don’t like to put them away: our globe, my hole punch, a crate with some of our math manipulatives, and a couple “pencil boxes” that have all the little things we need each day – pencils, dry erase markers, glue sticks, etc.
One cabinet is almost entirely arts and crafts supplies. As you can see, I also saved the boxes from the Horizons curriculum. These are perfect for storing their art work. One for each girl – I just slap the date on, stick it in the box, and done.
The other cabinet is mostly preschool items: puzzles, lacing beads, simple music instruments, pattern tiles, magnetic letters and numbers, and my favorite phonics toy – Leap Frog’s Letter Factory. I keep these handy, instead of with their toys, so I can grab one to entertain my preschooler when she gets board and needs something else to do. My big girl also has some stuff in here too: some more math manipulatives – like the must-have place value blocks – and some science and nature items.
And that’s it in a nutshell . . . or an apartment. LOL
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