In the last house that we lived in, we were blessed with a HUMUNGOUS “spare room” that served as a playroom, daycare room, and homeschool classroom during different seasons of our lives. It was bigger than any master bedroom that we have ever had. To top if off we also had a good sized dining room with a beautiful china cabinet that served to store many of our homeschooling resources.
When we moved, we downsized, a LOT! We chose a home that had double the land size and almost 1/2 the house size. So, we said goodbye to our large dining room, our classroom and the china cabinet we once had room for.
When we moved into our new house I had only 1 child currently schooling, with another up and coming. Initially I thought that we would use our dining room table (which is located in the kitchen and is the only table we have) to teach the two boys. This worked for a while, but we found that we were always taking things out and then leaving them out as there is no storage in our kitchen for our school things.
Our older son moved out earlier this year and at that time his bedroom morphed into a spare bedroom as we hosted several family members. But, with the slow decline in the number of people visiting and staying after the arrival of Little Lou (having a toddler and a baby seems to scare people off….). Then one day it dawned on me and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t considered it before.
Once I have an idea in my head, I have to act on it, I couldn’t stop brainstorming all the possibilities for the space! I did a google search of other homeschool classrooms and looked at what I liked, what was practical, what used items we already had, and what worked for a small space.
I would still love to paint the classroom, maybe after Christmas, but I LOVE it even now. It feels roomy and spacious. It’s a safe space for both the little boys and my bigger learner. We have “stations” for different kinds of learning and playing. I worked hard to organize and simplify the room which resulted in it being VERY easy to clean.
I can’t really get a great shot of the room as a whole just because of the angles and shape of the room so we’ll go around it wall by wall, and area by area.
The first corner of the room hosts our monthly calendar board with the seasons wheel, weather and days of the week activities. I made these awesome resources from Confessions of a Homeschooler. It was a lot of printing, cutting and laminating but it was definitely worth the effort!
The small cork board contains checklists and a file folder of things that need to be done for the homeschool class Izzy attends once a week.
The rocking chair is a really special addition. It’s the rocking chair that my mom picked up at an antique auction when I was born. She rocked my brother and myself in it and I have also rocked my children in it. The quilt is also sentimental, made by a dear lady at our old church for Mickey Blue when he was born.
And the basket on the floor holds Little Lou’s toys.
The wonderful brag board was made for us a few years ago by friends. Mickey blue and I use it for number and letter recognition play. I love the magnetic leap frog toys for this activity. We also have the Melissa and Doug magnetic letters which comes with upper and lower case letters. Kitchen play toys have been a staple with all of our boys. At our last place we made a beautiful play kitchen out of an old entertainment unit.
To the right, Mickey blue is having fun playing with our Christmas window clings on our patio doors. He’s currently standing on one of the two desks in the room. This one is an old rubber wood table that was passed onto us by some friends. My husband chopped the legs down to make it kid friendly. The two little chairs were a Costco find last year.
This table is great for puzzles, playing games, or working side by side on projects. The room has the original wood flooring in it, and because our homeschool classroom is around several corners from our wood stove, it can be a bit chilly so we placed our old area rug on the floor for a warmer play surface.
This is one of the Ikea Expedit shelving unit. (It has now been renamed Kallax and is slightly different in dimensions.) We bought these units back in our old house and they have been staples since then! We have used them for many different purposes. Right now the Spielgaben kit and printed resources (in the binders) are on top of the shelving unit. There’s also a mishmash of random supplies that I need to weed through.
The top row of books are Izzy’s schooling resources for the year. My handy hubby made me dividers of matching MDF to separate the different school subjects. The black bins, also an ikea purchase, hold resources with small pieces. The row below that are Mickey’s puzzles and books that he can help himself to during school time – despite having Izzy’s name on them. The bottom shelf are some of our favourite Usborne books (I’m a consultant so we always have an abundance of books for our homeschool classroom).
This is the only area in the classroom that I actually had to buy a few supplies for. I bought the “towel bars” from home hardware $7.99 each along with a couple packs of S hooks that cost about $2 each. The top row of jars are empty Thrive pantry cans we had around the house. They each hold different school supplies; pencil crayons, felts, pens & pencils, and dry erase markers. The smaller cans house the crayons and pip squeak markers.
The white board came out of our kitchen classroom area and we often use it for weekly bible verses. The desk belonged to my older son, T, who isn’t using it anymore. The top was in rough shape so we removed all the accessories and recovered the surface with chalk board contact paper!
Below the desk are our resource books (similar to Encyclopedias) and our unit study resources for North America. And who could forget the cute little stainless steel garbage can tucked into the back corner!
I filled these shelves with puzzles, brain games, his math curriculum, dominoes, and other learning manipulatives. Above the unit are the timeline and map resources for our Bible program.
It now stores all our supplies. The top shelf is extra books, curriculum, and resources that we don’t need right now. The second shelf holds our board games. And the bottom shelf are resources that we are using this year. More on all our cool resources in another post!
And one of my favourite spots in our new homeschool classroom! A space just for curling up with the boys – our book nook! We have 2 ikea spice racks that we painted and hung to hold our current reading books. The other side of the wall has an ikea star light that we got cheap off of usedcowichan.ca and the other wall map for our bible program.
The base of the book nook is an old camping foamy surrounded by as many spare pillows (large and small) as I could find around the house. It’s super cozy and the boys love playing in here as well as cozying up for a story or two.
My major purchase was the gorilla gym. It hangs in the doorway permanently and gives my busy boys a fabulous way to build strength and burn off energy while we are busy working inside. (Review to come because I LOVE this piece of equipment)
So far our homeschool classroom is working really well for us. What about you? Do you have a specific classroom? No extra room? What tips do you have for making your space work?
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