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If your dining room IS your "school room".... - Page 2

post #21 of 39

We took our family room/Tv/Game room and turned it into a classroom.  I'm teaching six of my children this year but decided to have the class room after the first year (I'm on my 6th year) because the dining room environment just was not cutting it, it was driving me nuts.  I like having a classroom because it's a defined space that keeps our focus real.  When we are in the classroom, it's school time which really helps the children stay focused on their work.  It's got plenty of light and space. They all have activities to do, even the little ones so they aren't in someone else's business. The children have their desks and all our school books are in one place.  It makes a HUGE difference on MY mind set as well.  It's funny because we aren't that structured when it comes to school...we kind of do our own thing when it comes to curriculum and I would rather have my children do "hands on" activities than be stuck in a textbook ( an example would be that science is always outside, almost always nature oriented) but I still have to have that space where we get together and do "school".  

      


Edited by momo7 - 8/22/11 at 8:43pm
post #22 of 39

We do school and art at our dining room table.  We have a large china hutch that I painted apple red to store all of our supplies in.  We used to have a chalkboard that I made out of a fancy frame and chalkboard painted MDF, but found that I was never using it for school.  I don't want my dining room to look like a classroom.  I need a multi-purpose room that I can entertain in, craft in, and homeschool in.  Don't have a picture right now b/c we are in the middle of moving and will be using this system again at the new house.

post #23 of 39

We use our dining room table. We don't have a lot of room, but in the corner we have a chalkboard/whiteboard...

http://www.amazon.com/Kidkraft-Deluxe-Wood-Easel--Espresso/dp/B001V6ZN9U/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1314097879&sr=8-23   

The wood color matches my dining room table so we just it there all the time. I've actually had compliments on how nice it is, so I don't feel the need to move it for company. I have all of our everyday work and supplies in a desk. It also matches in color, which is what I was going for, so it doesn't look out of place. Next to that, I have a roll file cart that has all of the pages (for the whole year) as well as the games and Bible cards (that sit on the bottom.) It's an eye sore, so when people come over, I just roll it into my bedroom. Super easy. The rest of our school stuff (the stuff we don't use everyday) are on shelves in my closet. This year, I always got the kids a work 'box' per my daughters request. It holds their seatwork pages, crayons, pencils, etc. It closes shut and I have them all 3 in a tub beside the desk in the dining room. They can just come get it when it's time for school and put it back when their done. The tub has handles so it's easy to move into my room if we have company. Our dining room looks like a school room, but it very easily and quickly changeable to a dining room if we are having people over. I have been very pleased with our set up.

 

I'd like to eventually get this file cabinet to replace my metal one on rollers. It will match the rest of the room...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Canopy-Cornerstone-Collection-File-Cabinet-Mahogany-Finish/16532602

I don't have pictures of it right now but if anyone is interested, I can get some and post them.

post #24 of 39

Without reading the rest of the replies here's what we did/do.  We home schooled the girls K through 7th grade.  Dylan is being home schooled 6th grade through ?.  With the girls, we just used the house.  The books and arts and crafts supplies were on selves with the rest of the family's books (we are bookaholics) and school was held at the dining room table the couch in the living room on the floor, outside, everywhere.  We had a history timeline going up the stairs to the 2nd floor.

 

With Dylan, he has a repurposed computer desk in my sewing room (I work at home as a professional dressmaker) with shelves over it.  We also use the computer in the living room, the laptop in the sewing room (when wifi will work in there and he doesn't need the printer), the workbench in the garage, the dining room table, the back yard, and everywhere.  He doesn't use a large visible timeline.  He puts his timelines in his history notebook.

post #25 of 39

 

 

I hope this works - I've never posted pictures on here before! Just wanted to share our "school" room - also our kitchen and dining area (not even really a separate dining room). Most of our seat work happens in this space, as well as science projects, art, etc. Everything gets cleared off for lunch and then for dinner.

 

dining room/kitchen/school room

 

 We keep all our current supplies in half of the pantry. I had to put a lot of  my kitchen stuff in the garage to make space, but its worth it to have everything in one place. 

 

DSC02310.JPG

 

I use clip boxes from Target to contain most of the pieces - on the top are markers, crayons, math manipulatives. On the bottom are larger clip boxes that hold "centers" for my smaller kids (here my 16 month old was checking out the lacing cards - he just figured out how to unlatch there, which is why the writing implements are now on the top!). The books here are all of ours for the year, not including some supplements from the library. The plastic bins hold each kids work for the day. The baskets up top hold art supplies and learning puzzles/games/other randomness.  On the door I have our calendar and the beginnings of an art gallery. :) I've been wanting to also hang a narrow writing surface for me to write our memory work for the week - right now I use a medium size blackboard that I set on the mantle during the day. I like everything closing away and instantly feeling uncluttered. 

 

We don't have space for a school room at the moment, but I like this anyway. Having small children (mine are 6.5, 4.5, 3, and 16 months) I like staying central so I can keep and eye on everyone, and even work on stuff in the kitchen while kids work on schoolwork or projects at the table. I would eventually like to find some good stools to have extra working space for kids at the kitchen island, but at the moment even our small dining table is enough space for them all to work at the same time.  We also read a lot, and do that on the couch in our living room. I think the key to this is having specific places for everything to live when not in use.

post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abarat View Post

 

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 the magnetic cards idea!  That sounds like something my son would totally be into.  

post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by minuway View Post

 

 

I hope this works - I've never posted pictures on here before! Just wanted to share our "school" room - also our kitchen and dining area (not even really a separate dining room). Most of our seat work happens in this space, as well as science projects, art, etc. Everything gets cleared off for lunch and then for dinner.


 

I am sooo in love with your kitchen/dining area!  That cupboard set up is awesome, and exactly what I need to make happen!  So far, I've only got one to worry about as far as "school" goes, but my 3.5yo will want his space too, I'm sure.... and then I've got a 2yo who needs to be busy.  I love the big tubs on the bottom shelf for the younger kids.  

post #28 of 39
Thread Starter 

daisy-  I love that easel!  I hate that I have to multipurpose every room in my home...lol.  I'd love to have my dining area still look "presentable", and have things that mesh well together, but I don't think it's going to happen during this school year.  We just moved into this house in May, so we're trying to decorate little by little.  For now, I'm enjoying my craigslist scores.... biggrinbounce.gif

post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 

Okay, finally took pictures.  Here is DS's desk/workspace.

 

 

summer2011 001.jpg

 

To the right is our tiny dining room table (that I don't love).

 

summer2011 002.jpg

 

 

There's the little dining room as a whole.  I wish I had somewhere to put a bookshelf, or cupboard type thing, but I'm just out of wall space.

summer2011 003.jpg

 

summer2011 004.jpg

 

 

Oh... and I took a picture of this thing, because I found it on craigslist... for FREE!  I love the little dividers, and was thinking of using it was a workbox, but I can't figure out where to put it (which is why it's sitting outside). 

summer2011 006.jpg

 

Got this table for free as well!  Some preschool was closing, and giving away lots of stuff.  Score!

 

summer2011 101.jpg

 

post #30 of 39

When I started homeschooling in grade 1, we worked at the kitchen table.  Our home had a very open design, so the dining room flowed into the living room which flowed into a library/office that became the homeschool room a few years later.  My grandma found my brothers and I each an old-fashioned desk at garage sales and my mom had her own desk.  We also did a lot of work in the living room; Mom could read to us there or do some group work there.  When we got older, I had a desk in my room (probably jr high/high school) and did a lot of my work there on my own.

 

My daughter has a portable art easel (lap desk version) that has a black board and dry erase board on it, as well as a magnet board with letter magnets.  I've also seen dry erase boards that you can stick on your fridge so that would work too.  I think the key is in being flexible and working with what you have.  My daughter is just starting preschool this year, so I haven't tried doing much with her yet, but we don't have space for her to have a desk or anything.  If she wants to draw or do crafts, I either let her work at my desk or at the kitchen table.  Likely when she starts kindergarten, that will be the same situation.  Someday, it would be nice to have more space, but for now, I'm used to getting things out when she wants to work and then cleaning up when she is done.

post #31 of 39

Maybe put the table more in the middle of the room and put the Craigslist cupboard in the corner between the doors and the window?  Or is it too big there?  My husband and I have always had small places, so we are getting good at fitting things in.  Sometimes, that means stuff goes in odd places (like the blanket chest currently sitting in the corner of our dining room, and our daughters' play kitchen which sits there too) but it works.  I like the posters you have on the walls.  You could fit short bookshelves under the window if you put the table in the middle of the room.  Or a whiteboard under the window (then you could sit on the floor with your son while you're drawing on the whiteboard).

post #32 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoalaBear View Post

Maybe put the table more in the middle of the room and put the Craigslist cupboard in the corner between the doors and the window?  Or is it too big there?  My husband and I have always had small places, so we are getting good at fitting things in.  Sometimes, that means stuff goes in odd places (like the blanket chest currently sitting in the corner of our dining room, and our daughters' play kitchen which sits there too) but it works.  I like the posters you have on the walls.  You could fit short bookshelves under the window if you put the table in the middle of the room.  Or a whiteboard under the window (then you could sit on the floor with your son while you're drawing on the whiteboard).



That's actually one of the places I was considering putting that cupboard... I just have to decide if I can stand the table in the middle of the room.  I feel like that's where it "should" be anyway (under the light), but then it feels like it might be in the way of the doors and the entry to the kitchen.  

 

I'm going to try it now, and see what I think.  I have got to find another table...lol.  Something about the roundness just makes me crazy.  

post #33 of 39

I've been doing a lot of reading on the Waldorf principles and thinking about incorporating movement and rhythm into our school schedule (although right now we've just started "babyschooling" my 19mo and we don't have any other learners since DD died, so this is somewhat theoretical).

 

IDK where exactly you live and what the climate is like, but I like the idea of each class meeting in a different place.  We do a collegiate-style course-based homeschool, in which learners design a courseload from a catalog of offerings and each class meets at a different time and several of them have different teachers (DH, me, my parents, neighbors, etc.) based on people's specialties.  So I particularly like minimizing the time our learners spend glued to a chair, writing on a hard surface, in artificial lighting.  I like holding science classes for the younger folks outside as much as I can (or in the kitchen or garage if the weather or project requires being inside).  I like holding reading-based classes on the couch, or in bedrooms.  I like to take the sidewalk chalk and do math in empty parking lots (there's a secluded area of my father's church lot that we used to use with DD).  You might find that if you only use the desk/table for written work, the space doesn't bother you as much.

post #34 of 39


If you are looking for something for pre-school, here is a good FREE link. http://www.letteroftheweek.com/  I got to this link from Oldfashionededucation.com http://oldfashionededucation.com/ which has a lot of good FREE resources, with FREE curricula for  pre-K through 12th grade.  Great resource if your focus is the 3R's.  However all subjects are covered.
 

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.  

 



 

post #35 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post

I've been doing a lot of reading on the Waldorf principles and thinking about incorporating movement and rhythm into our school schedule (although right now we've just started "babyschooling" my 19mo and we don't have any other learners since DD died, so this is somewhat theoretical).

 

IDK where exactly you live and what the climate is like, but I like the idea of each class meeting in a different place.  We do a collegiate-style course-based homeschool, in which learners design a courseload from a catalog of offerings and each class meets at a different time and several of them have different teachers (DH, me, my parents, neighbors, etc.) based on people's specialties.  So I particularly like minimizing the time our learners spend glued to a chair, writing on a hard surface, in artificial lighting.  I like holding science classes for the younger folks outside as much as I can (or in the kitchen or garage if the weather or project requires being inside).  I like holding reading-based classes on the couch, or in bedrooms.  I like to take the sidewalk chalk and do math in empty parking lots (there's a secluded area of my father's church lot that we used to use with DD).  You might find that if you only use the desk/table for written work, the space doesn't bother you as much.


I don't know what happened, but I'm very sorry about your dd.  greensad.gif    hug2.gif

 

 

I am all about getting out and about to do some of our "work"!  Right now, we're trying to be outside as much as possible, since I know what's going to happen to the weather any day now...lol.    We have a large cement area on the side of our house, and all my boys love to get out there with chalk.  

I'm thinking that once the weather turns, I may take DS to the bookstore or Starbucks on weekends... just take some of his workbook pages to work on  That way I can leave DH with the other boys, and have some special time with just DS, to work on whatever he's doing at the time.

 

post #36 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenson229 View Post


If you are looking for something for pre-school, here is a good FREE link. http://www.letteroftheweek.com/  I got to this link from Oldfashionededucation.com http://oldfashionededucation.com/ which has a lot of good FREE resources, with FREE curricula for  pre-K through 12th grade.  Great resource if your focus is the 3R's.  However all subjects are covered.
 



 


Thanks for the link!  I think I have a friend who is using letteroftheweek for her son as well!

 

post #37 of 39

We "school" all over the house, and we don't have a dining room, but we do all of our seatwork at the kitchen table.  I keep some folders and workbooks on the window sill and a mug of various pencils in the middle of the table.  I also have a geography bulletin board on the wall above the table and lots of educational placemats (national and world maps, units of measurement, star charts, sign language, etc) that I rotate.  Piano is in oldest DD's bedroom. Our timeline is in the family room, our books are on shelves in the living room, along with a basket of frequently used schoolbooks for each kid.  The limited computer work that the kids do is at the coffee table in the living room.  Our reading moves all over the house, and I think our favorite spot is cuddled up on mommy's bed!

post #38 of 39

We keep our supplies and books on a book shelf in the dining room, there's stuff on the walls in there too, but sometimes we do our work in the living room, the play room (when its clean)  or outside (when the weather is nice).

post #39 of 39

I haven't been on here forEVER but I'm glad to read this thread.  I need to stop looking at pictures of perfectly huge and organized school rooms.  It just can't happen here.  I love the idea, and I'm envious in a way of families that have a good system and can work this way, however it is just a lost cause LOL.  My house is pretty big, a little over 3000square feet.  DH works remotely so he has the huge "bonus room."  I was bitter for a while but know he needs it LOL....it's also next to the laundry room on the other side of all the other upstairs rooms so we stay out of each others way easier.  Plus, no matter what/how I organize every room, EVERYTHING ends up around the table and in the family room.  We have a "great room design."  Right now i have a corner that would work perfectly as a lovely little sitting area with another small formal couch and my coffee table that now gets shoved around the main room as necessary for lego battle scenes and to hold barbie's pool etc.  In said corner I have set up each kid a desk, with an IKEA tall trofast unit with bins for our "workboxes."  Which might i add i did not know had an official term and is all over the internet!  I have been doing something like this for a while, though after reading the book realize the entire system is a bit too rigid and we have adapted to our needs.....tangent....

 

Our kitchen is at the end of the house.  The "nook" area of the kitchen is small but is not seen buy a person walking in the front door or from almost anywhere so this is where I plan to make a family art wall.  I have purchased idea paint, and am paneling a large portion of the wall to paint in a white board.  Next to that I am going to cork and or magnetize part, so basically i have an entire wall dedicated to hanging maps, artwork and visual math lessons.  For now I have a large white board that i just prop up on an easel because I do not want to hang it with big holes then take it down soon.  I know it sounds bad, but i don't wnat every inch looking like a school map or alphabet, so I decided to keep this little school nook very tidy with just their material, and just across in the kitchen hold more of the activity things.  DS is very easily distracted (2nd grade) and DD is kinder age so work is a little different. 

 

Upstairs is where i had planned the school room. It is at the top of the stairs beside a large landing where DS has a full sized drum set.  The room itself is not huge, but ok.  We have bunk beds in there set up as fun reading zones and for sleepovers/company.  The plan was to keep a long desk downstairs and allow more toys around as we kind of do now, and school is upstairs.  But this just does not work.  I actually painted the room a lovely benjamin moore soft blue, etc.  The kids just want to be in the main living area.  I am ok with this now after a long time of going back and forth.  It's just my life right now and shame on me for complaining anyways because I still DO have a dining room, they just have the nook to the side of it for school area. I think i keep imagining my house looking lilke the cover of a magazine and need to get over it :lol.  Plus my sewing craft room is down here and that's just one more area with desks they can resort to if quiet is needed, and I try to think it makes more sense for them to learn near me, and play upstairs since they don't need me for that.

 

I'll try to post some pics very soon.  We haven't officially started our first day (day after labor day) so they are keeping more toys and clutter out right now.  Oh and I had a good idea how to define the space a little.  I couldn't find any pics so I just went for it and I actually like it.  I bought 2 swing arm curtain rods and 2 long plain panels from IKEA and hung them on opposite sides of the nook so it looks like it creates a little room. 

 

 

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