Monday, April 15, 2013

Little Learning Spots


Over the past year, my husband has been able to work from home a couple days each week. I’m so thankful that the company he works for is flexible in this way, particularly since it is a 45 minute drive to work, but this means we are sharing space at home. He is often on long, important phone calls, so this also means that we (three loud boys and a toddler) can not share space easily. Our learning studio doubles as his office space. Consequently, we must spend a great deal of time up at the house during the school week.

I’m grateful we have a fabulous space in which he can work without being disturbed. I’m grateful to have him home more often.

I thought I’d share some little spaces I’ve carved out of our main living space to accommodate our schooling when we don’t have the benefit of a dedicated “school room” since many others are also juggling school and life in their living rooms and kitchen.

We do have a small room off of the living room that holds my desk/computer space as well as bookshelves and drawers for all the books and resources we aren’t using right at the moment (which is an important function—I have no idea where all that stuff would go otherwise!!). We also keep backpacks and things for our Classical Conversations day in that room. I love having the space for storage, organizing, and planning, but the kids do not do any work in the little school room.

All lessons are done in the living room (on the couch) or kitchen (at the table). All books for the boys’ independent reading are stacked and spread on the large ottoman or my new little table in front of the couch. Those alone are a large percentage of our school work. I rotate them often so the books are current and coordinate with our other studies.

The books or curricula that we use together are corralled in a fabulous orange crate I found down in the shop. I have no idea where it came from, but I love it. The books fit perfectly. They are well-contained and somewhat hidden but easily accessible (Bible lessons, memory work, Latin, spelling, writing workbooks, science, history, etc.).


The books that are always available for the boys are kept in this sad little shabby chic tea cart that has seen better days. Bibles, Life of Fred books, and encyclopedias go here.


All table work happens in the dining nook. The laptop hangs out here for math lessons. This is where writing and spelling are done. I recently got the huge white board from a friend and I love it.


We’ve had a rough time with stacks and piles and avalanches of stuff on the kitchen counter. In a moment of exasperation, I purchased a shelf (two shoe organizers, actually) and a bunch of small bins to hold all of the miscellaneous scissors, math DVDs, tape, rulers, writing utensils, 3x5 cards, and such that was driving me crazy. This way it is all super accessible for use at the kitchen table and is more likely (though not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination) to be put away and not dumped on the counter. We also keep our CC Essentials materials in the green bin under the counter so that it is easily transported to class on Mondays and back again.


Our schedule will be a little different next year as Russ changed one of his days at home to the day when we are out busy with classes and activities all day, so we will have three full consecutive weekdays for lessons in the studio. I’ll post pictures of the Live and Learn Studio next…


Rachel said...

Oh, I love, LoVe, LOVE this post!! I am struggling with our "stuff" from school so much! It's overtaking my life and I really do feel like my small house is a one room schoolhouse (because it is I suppose). I will be pouring over your ideas and seeing where I could implement some of them in my home.

I really do love your decorating style. I have so much enjoyed your home tour. Now I just need you to come here to organize and decorate my place!

Rachel said...

Is the dry erase board magnetic? I'd love a magnetic dry erase board but they are pretty pricey.

Heidi said...

The huge dry erase board in the kitchen is not magnetic (I wish it was!!), but I have several smaller ones purchased from Costco that are magnetic.