or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › If your dining room IS your "school room"....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

If your dining room IS your "school room"....

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

What is your setup like?  Still have a dining room table?  Does your HS child/ren have a desk, or just use the table?  Do you keep all of your supplies there as well?

 

 

My dining room is pretty small.  It has double doors (to outside) that take up one wall, and a large window that takes up quite a bit of another wall.  (I'm thinking I should take a pic and post it....)   Anyway, I *almost* threw the dining room table outside last night, because we bought DS a nice little desk on craigslist, and I want that to be his work space.  However, it occurred to me that my other kids need somewhere to sit and be entertained (crafts, playdough, etc) when I'm working with their big brother.  And...I suppose they need a place to eat meals and whatnot.  duh.gif  I really wanted space for a whiteboard, but I just can't seem to cram it all in.  All of our supplies are in a linen type closet in the hallway, which isn't too far away... but I would like to possibly add a worbox bin type thing for DS.

 

I guess the answer is clear.  I just need a bigger house. biggrinbounce.gif  

I think I'll go take a couple pics and post them... maybe one of you mamas will be able to give me some ideas, since you'll be looking at it with fresh eyes.  Feel free to post pics of you own dining room/school space!  I've been looking at sooo many pics on the "Not Back to School Blog Hop"... I think it's becoming an addiction.  

post #2 of 39
I don't see how old your homeschool child is? My advice varies a bit by age.

Anyway, my kitchen doubled as our homeschool room for a long time. I got my oldest a booster seat so that she could sit at our regular table and be tall enough to write comfortably. The younger kids did use the table to do play dough and such sometimes too during school, and when the oldest was younger she did those too. I was not lucky enough to have a closet for our supplies and so I had a big metal kitchen shelf that held our supplies- including having things like legos and lincon logs on the top shelf. We also had a table that was the right size for dd either in our living room, the corner of the kitchen or inher room- it moved around as she grew. The small table worked as somewhere she could work on her own. As she got older, she seemed to really like having it in her bedroom, so she could work on something in peace and quiet away from her siblings. I did use a child's easle as a white board for a while, it could be put away or scooted into a corner when we had dinner.

Don't throw out the rest of your life to make homeschooling work . wink1.gif
post #3 of 39

We've done things differently over the years.

When dd was 5 years old all the homeschooling stuff was on a shelf in the living room. We didn't have as much space or as big of a table.

A few years ago we tried having an actual  homeschool room with a desk and a chalkboard/whiteboard but drifted to the living room and dining room table anyway. So having more room and a desk doesn't mean it will get used the way you think it will.

Currently I have our books on a shelf unit by the dining room.I have dishpans that I put the day's assigned work in. We carry the dish pan to the dining table or living room and then carry it back to the shelf when we are done. Dd never works at a desk.

We eat at our dining table every day.

 

post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat View Post

I have dishpans that I put the day's assigned work in. We carry the dish pan to the dining table or living room and then carry it back to the shelf when we are done. Dd never works at a desk.

We eat at our dining table every day.

 



This. Is. Brilliant. 

 

Finally something that will actually WORK for my daughter, AND it's cheap AND it's simple!  

post #5 of 39

Have you considered using the window and double doors to write on instead of trying to fit in a whiteboard?   A lot of dry-erase stuff will work on glass too (although I find my dry-erase crayons come off better with a wet rag) and you can get special window crayons and markers.

post #6 of 39

Four kids here, and we've used the kitchen table (or the living room couch) for schoolwork for many many years. Our house is very small. It was built by and for a single guy, and though we added three bedrooms, the main living areas remain rather, er, intimate. 

 

The kids have no desks. They wouldn't fit. We share space and it's all multi-purpose. The peninsula counter in the kitchen is the commonest place for crafts and hands-on stuff. It gets put away immediately once the kids are done, though, because it's a major food-prep area. The kitchen table is where all the kids tend to do their written work. Textbooks and workbooks go back on a nearby shelf as soon as they're not being used, since we use that table for many things, including meals. The living room couch is the preferred spot for reading. Again, stuff goes back on the shelf when it's not being used. 

 

We do own a whiteboard, which has proved very useful for my perfectionistic dysgraphic kid, and for working through certain types of math using colour-coding of place value, and for simplifying equations by erasing common digits with a finger. But it's just a lap-sized one, marketed as a memo board for the fridge, and we use fine-point markers. It fits easily on a shelf when not in use. The point of large wall-mounted whiteboards, IMO, is that they're visible by multiple people from a greater distance, as you might have in a classroom. I see no particular utility for a large whiteboard in a homeschooling situation, where it only needs to be visible to two people who can easily get close to it. 

 

Miranda

post #7 of 39

I don't know, I think desks are overrated!  In our house, no one wants to be off working by themselves so the kitchen table works perfectly.  We don't have a huge kitchen, but we do have what I think is called a 'buffet' (long skinny piece of furniture, table high) that has drawers where the schoolwork is kept.

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

Have you considered using the window and double doors to write on instead of trying to fit in a whiteboard?   A lot of dry-erase stuff will work on glass too (although I find my dry-erase crayons come off better with a wet rag) and you can get special window crayons and markers.



I was actually wondering about that!  I'm going to go try it right now... if that works, it would be awesome.  

 

 

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 

 

We do own a whiteboard, which has proved very useful for my perfectionistic dysgraphic kid, and for working through certain types of math using colour-coding of place value, and for simplifying equations by erasing common digits with a finger. But it's just a lap-sized one, marketed as a memo board for the fridge, and we use fine-point markers. It fits easily on a shelf when not in use. The point of large wall-mounted whiteboards, IMO, is that they're visible by multiple people from a greater distance, as you might have in a classroom. I see no particular utility for a large whiteboard in a homeschooling situation, where it only needs to be visible to two people who can easily get close to it. 

 

Miranda



Good point.  And, I actually got 2 lap size white boards in the dollar section at Target... so I suppose a full size type is very unnecessary.  

 

I fear that I'm totally going to overdo everything this year, because I have NO clue what I'm doing, or what's going to work for us.  

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mere View Post

I don't know, I think desks are overrated!  In our house, no one wants to be off working by themselves so the kitchen table works perfectly.  We don't have a huge kitchen, but we do have what I think is called a 'buffet' (long skinny piece of furniture, table high) that has drawers where the schoolwork is kept.



lol... I think DS (he's 7, by the way) just wanted the desk because it's "his own" workspace.  Every single time he tries to sit at the kitchen table and do something with the younger boys, my 2yo inevitably climbs up on the table, and colors on his paper, or grabs a handful of his playdough, etc., etc.  Today they were painting rocks (making little rock people), and just as 7yo DS got his googly eyes glued on, my 2yo reached over and swiped his rock with a paint brush.  (Did I mention we have a very small, round table...?)

 

I picked up a cool green clipboard the other day, and I've had DS take that in his bedroom to work on a couple of worksheets, just to test out that method.  I think he liked being able to go in his room and shut the door... not to mention, sit/lay however he wants on his bed.

 

So, I guess what I will do is, leave DS's desk and the dining table where they are.  DS can choose to sit at the desk, at the table, in his room, in the yard... wherever he chooses.  I will quit worrying about all the things I don't have that I "just need sooo bad!", and figure out what works for our family first.  thumb.gif  

(I will still be scoping out craigslist in search of a free dining table that is rectangle, and not circle... I really hate that thing.)

post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 

Still going to take pics of our area, just to see if anyone has any good ideas for me!  I need DH's phone though... my camera batteries are dead, and my phone is ancient.  (I refuse to conform and get a touch screen. orngbiggrin.gif )

post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xzaviers_mama View Post





Good point.  And, I actually got 2 lap size white boards in the dollar section at Target... so I suppose a full size type is very unnecessary.  

 

I fear that I'm totally going to overdo everything this year, because I have NO clue what I'm doing, or what's going to work for us.  

And in the vein of writing on the windows..we have a large chest freezer that sits in the weird interim room between our kitchen, bathroom, dining room and music room (our house is a very strange shape). It is *perfect* for writing/drawing on with whiteboard markers. Also would work well for a program like All About Spelling I imagine.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xzaviers_mama View Post

Every single time he tries to sit at the kitchen table and do something with the younger boys, my 2yo inevitably climbs up on the table, and colors on his paper, or grabs a handful of his playdough, etc., etc.  Today they were painting rocks (making little rock people), and just as 7yo DS got his googly eyes glued on, my 2yo reached over and swiped his rock with a paint brush.  (Did I mention we have a very small, round table...?)


When I was a kid and we wanted privacy at the dining room table we would set up a barrier of breakfast cereal boxes between ourselves and our siblings. So when my ds went through a phase of believing that his younger sister was eyeballing his math work and silently laughing at him for taking so long to work through questions that she knew the answer to easily (she wasn't, but he thought she was), we built a portable study carrel. We used foamcore board to make a tri-fold carrel. We could fold it up flat and tuck it away when not being used. It provided a sense of one's own space, and a visual and physical barrier between curious siblings and one's work. If you google "cardboard study carrel" you'll find plenty of links, but here's a decent example. It fit into our home where a desk wouldn't. We ended up making three of them because other siblings wanted them. They were inexpensive and very portable. They were eventually repurposed as science fair displays and photo collage displays for various projects, but I'm thinking my youngest would love me to make her one now that she's doing 'school work'.

 

Miranda

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmama2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by xzaviers_mama View Post





Good point.  And, I actually got 2 lap size white boards in the dollar section at Target... so I suppose a full size type is very unnecessary.  

 

I fear that I'm totally going to overdo everything this year, because I have NO clue what I'm doing, or what's going to work for us.  

And in the vein of writing on the windows..we have a large chest freezer that sits in the weird interim room between our kitchen, bathroom, dining room and music room (our house is a very strange shape). It is *perfect* for writing/drawing on with whiteboard markers. Also would work well for a program like All About Spelling I imagine.

Oh, we used our white refrigerator as a white board for YEARS! We could use just regular washable markers or crayons and they came off with a wet rag. It was great for practicing writing or letting the little one color while the older worked on something. Honestly, it worked out better than the whiteboard I have now, but this house came with a black fridge.
post #15 of 39

We use our dining room for homeschool, DS1 is going into 2nd and DD1 is starting K.  We have a 2' x 3' whiteboard that we use for All About Spelling, we usually do spelling in the living room and slide the whiteboard behind the couch when we're done. 

 

On the landing at the top of the stairs we have a tall bookshelf that we use for storing our homeschool materials.  We bring down whatever we need to work on that day and then before dinner DS1 will carry it all back upstairs.

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Sonja View Post

We use our dining room for homeschool, DS1 is going into 2nd and DD1 is starting K.  We have a 2' x 3' whiteboard that we use for All About Spelling, we usually do spelling in the living room and slide the whiteboard behind the couch when we're done. 

 

On the landing at the top of the stairs we have a tall bookshelf that we use for storing our homeschool materials.  We bring down whatever we need to work on that day and then before dinner DS1 will carry it all back upstairs.


Are you doing anything "schoolish" with your 3yo?  I have a 3.5yo, but don't have anything really planned for him, other than what he chooses to do while I'm working with his brother.  

 

I wish I lived a little closer to you!  I'm trying to find some type of HS group, so that my boys have other kids to meet up with once in a while.  

 

post #17 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTMomma View Post



Oh, we used our white refrigerator as a white board for YEARS! We could use just regular washable markers or crayons and they came off with a wet rag. It was great for practicing writing or letting the little one color while the older worked on something. Honestly, it worked out better than the whiteboard I have now, but this house came with a black fridge.


We have a black fridge too... but I think the kids will love using the glass part of the double doors to write on.  Although, I'm sure my 2yo will think that means it's a free for all to write on any wall/door/etc.

post #18 of 39

We do most school in our small dining room--it's 8x12, maybe.

 

We need out dining room table because we eat in there. :D  So it doubles as our desk/work station/computer desk.  I have a small bench on one wall that holds the lamp and the laptop (when not in use) as well as dh's random papers.

 

I have a fairly narrow 3 shelf bookshelf, where all the workbooks and school supplies go, and I have a corner cupboard (space saver!!!) that holds my knicknacks and all my financial stuff and stationary, etc.

 

So that is our primary school area.  We have a desk in the living room where our other laptop is, along with the phone and the PC, so kids doing their computer based learning can be seperate from the book-based learning, and they don't distract each other.  Or, I let ds 3 play on pbskids while the older two do bookwork.

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xzaviers_mama View Post




Are you doing anything "schoolish" with your 3yo?  I have a 3.5yo, but don't have anything really planned for him, other than what he chooses to do while I'm working with his brother.  

 

I wish I lived a little closer to you!  I'm trying to find some type of HS group, so that my boys have other kids to meet up with once in a while.  

 



I'm still trying to find a homeschool group that's a good fit too, I hear ya about wanting other kids for our little ones to meet up with!

 

I'm not doing anything schoolish with my 3 year old.  She loves to color and draw so she'll sit at the table and do that while DD1 does her work, but as soon as DD1 is done they're usually both off playing.

post #20 of 39

Love the white fridge idea, I have one and will be trying that!

 

I just started homeschooling my 5yo for Kindergarten.  Our house isn't very big so we use our dining room.  We have a card table as our "computer table" set up next to a tall filing cabinet in the corner with the printer on top.  We had to little-proof the electronics since we'll be adding a 2yo and 6mo old to the household in a few weeks.

 

I have small cards cut out with magnets on the back and use those as the "schedule" for my son.  His chores, lessons and mealtimes are laid out on the front of the cabinet each night so in the morning he knows exactly what he has to do and when he's done he moves them to  "Done!  Way to go!" section of the filing cabinet.  Makes him feel good about all he does and really helped him with motivation for lessons....gave him some ownership and me some more accountability.  He also has "HELP" cards that he can bring me if he needs help with school and I'm occupied with the little ones or a chore...that really helps him, cut down on a lot of whining.

 

I love that the filing cabinet is tall, can keep the printer away from little hands and can be used as a big magnetic board.

 

A lot of our materials are easily put away so they're used just for school (small chalk board, easel that's folded and slid next to the filing cabinet, etc.) and aren't taken all around the house and are special just for school time.

 

So, we're still learning and adapting, but it's working well so far.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › If your dining room IS your "school room"....