homeschool "room", need ideas!.. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-22-2011, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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i need ideas for what to do for a homeschool room.. 


My 5 year old wants a homeschool 'classroom' ..  we have a 'playroom' in the basement that we don't use much at the moment for various reasons..  right now the room has a couch, play house, book shelf, small TV (that is neeeeever on), a kid size table/chairs, and a few toys ..  so, we have the space, it just needs .. something..


what can i do to make this a 'classroom' to a child who has no idea what a regular school is. .. preferably while still having it usable (under supervision) for a toddler & preschooler.. 



- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13), Robin (11/15)... and SURPRISE! (3/18)
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#2 of 14 Old 03-22-2011, 04:21 PM
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I'm actually right in the middle of finally organizing/putting together our room.  Still totally in progress and will be rather abstract until I can get photos of the (mostly) finished product within 3-4 weeks I'd guess, but still.

We have a big/decent sized totally flat table for us to use down there, with folding chairs since that's all I've got right now.  Two CD/DVD shelves from Ikea that we're turning sideways to hold paperback books, I'm making several $10 bookshelves from the Ana White site, I have dry erase and cork boards to put up, ordered a better sized US map (the 3'x4' ones are just too big for our walls/space), lower cubby type dealies for bigger books and other random things that the giant printer goes on top of, another prettier cubby from Costco (google O'Nin room divider or something like that), then to top it all off I'm having hubby track down a giant piece of sheet metal (with rounded corners) to just screw into the wall so I can put on a big ole palm tree (on amazon, search "trend palm tree") and print out the letters via another hs'ers site so we can go all Chicka Chicka Boom Boom on the wall.  :D  It sounds a little busy and schitzo (I have four kids, so it's going to be interesting half the time anyway), but it's what I've got to work with and hopefully it'll all come together. 

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#3 of 14 Old 03-22-2011, 09:52 PM
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In our school room we have three different book cases of various sizes to hold all our books, curriculum, art supplies etc. We have one of those mid-century chrome dinning tables with a red top that the boys use as their work surface. I have some green and yellow plastic and chrome chairs that are surprisingly comfy I found at a yard sale for cheap cheap that we use around the table. I have a small cheap white Ikea dinning table that I use for a desk where I keep my printer, any lesson plans and papers I am working on. I put a long shag rug in one corner of the room with some poofs on it and a bookshelf with activities DS 4 to do if he chooses. We also sit down there to read stories and play games.

I have a world map up and lots of other posters that we rotate out. Some of them have pictures of wildlife, some of them inspirational quotes I like, some are Dr. Seuss themed with numbers, color and the alphabet.


Right now we also have a folding chalkboard/whiteboard from Ikea that we use if there is something I need to illustrate for them. I eventually want to get a whiteboard to mount on the wall. One thing that I think would be fun to do is paint chalkboard paint on a wall to create a place for the boys to free draw. I also would like to hang up a wire/cord with clothes pins to display papers/projects/art that they are particularly proud of. 


Oh, we also have bright fun curtains on the windows. I don't know if any of this is helpful. My main goal with our schoolroom is to make it a place that is bright and fun and that we enjoy being in. Best of luck!

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#4 of 14 Old 03-23-2011, 08:14 AM
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Get an alphabet chart and a map for the wall.  


Get a white board and/or chalk board.  Our's is an easel, but you could get a wall mounted one.  


You said that you have book shelves, perhaps a wall-file where he could keep his folder of work.  He could reach it, but little siblings couldn't.



Mom to three very active girls Anna (15), Kayla (12), Maya (9).
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#5 of 14 Old 03-24-2011, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks! i think i'm starting to form a vision.. 



- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13), Robin (11/15)... and SURPRISE! (3/18)
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#6 of 14 Old 03-24-2011, 07:56 AM
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We added several sets of shelves to my son's old play room.  It's basically a wide windowless hallway.  Between the kitchen and living room.  We store our books, a shelf for library books, arts and science supplies in there.  There is also a shelf for his projects and some maps on the walls.  We hardly ever use it, except for storage.  He prefers to do any achool related work in the living room where the lap top is or in the kitchen if I'm cooking or doing the dishes.  It's convient to have everything in one place.  I do have a bag that I can throw his school work in when we go to the library or B&N.

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#7 of 14 Old 03-28-2011, 03:46 AM
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we have a 6yo, 3.5 yo, and our room is part play room and part school room and will be until the kids no longer need a play room.  we store all of our "in use" toys here (others are rotated to the attic).  we store all of our school stuff here too.  the only exceptions are:  the art supplies and my school supplies (extra notebooks, binders, etc...) are in a cabinet in the dining room and we have books on shelves in other rooms of the house.  that said....

we have a computer in a cabinet that can be closed away when not in use. 

we have chalkboard paint on the back of a door to a storage closet under the stairs.

we have two mattresses - full atop king with four big pillows - this is for jumping, wrestling, resting and reading,'s the one thing in our house the kids would NEVER part with and i highly recommend a jumping mattress if you have the ability to get one in the room!

we have two 2-shelf bookcases with those cloth cubes on them for storing:  math stuff, reading stuff, and the rest are for various small toys

there's an antique mail sorter cubby on the wall to display nature findings/lego creations/you name it

we have two book ledges i made from scrap crown molding on the wall beside the mattresses

we have old gameboards on the wall - decor plus we use them!

we just got a new US map that will go in the frame and up on the wall today - plus a cork board and white board

two lengths of twine where the boys art goes up with clothespins

and right now, a chalkboard topped train table in the middle of the room...but b/c we use our dining room table so much for school or play (right now we have a model train setup there) - we are thinking about getting a kitchen table for in here and maybe shortening the legs a bit and have a better surface for work/play than the train table that's too low.


most of our toys are either just sitting in colorful bins on the floor (legos/matchbox) or are in the cubes or are in the storage closet under the stairs. 


this is a much smaller room than you'd think...but it works.



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#8 of 14 Old 03-28-2011, 07:57 AM
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a comfy carpeted area~great for sprawling out on while working on various projects

a sturdy project table (this used to be a toddler table from ikea and is now more like a drafting table as ds has grown)

forward facing bookshelves/raingutter shelves~best way to display books, shows the covers of the books and makes reading materials more availabe both visually and physically to children

comfy sofa with lots of blankets~perfect place to cuddle up and read

i also want to say that a lot of our learning takes place outdoors or outside of the home let alone in a 'room'. i wouldnt honestly get too caught up in having a perfect 'room'. we have a small home with no specific hs space so our main living area is filled with all of these things. i wonder if all of our learning resouces were tucked away in a room if spontaneous learning activities would happen as much?


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#9 of 14 Old 03-29-2011, 08:36 PM
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Here is a boatload of blogs with homeschool room pictures!!!! drool away....I did! 

Melissa, L&D RN now...aspiring midwife-2-B,
20yo DS, 7yo DD, almost 2 yo DD, 1yo GDD
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#10 of 14 Old 04-01-2011, 05:48 AM
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I also have heard of really fun ideas like using chalkboard paint for the walls or the work surface table.  Magnetic paint is also a neat idea if you want to paint an accent wall that you can easily stick all the proud completed projects on.  After all... there's a lot more room on a wall than on a refrigerator!  Let me know if you want the DIY links I have.

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#11 of 14 Old 04-11-2011, 09:43 PM
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I have a 6.5 year old, a 3 year old and a 9 month old. As I recently (last summer) redid our play space into a multipurpose 'play & homeschool' space- it was important to me to appeal to all our children. I wanted to be able to sit at a table with my older son and watch my toddler play happily near us. I wanted a table that was big enough for all of us to do projects. I really lovedWaldorf classrooms that kept the flow natural and had small spaces broken up by furniture pieces. So that is how I designed my room.


In one corner, created by pushing two bookshelves towards each other- we have the 'reading nook.' The bookshelves are filled with all our children's books, they face each other but do not touch so there is space to enter. I have a sheepskin rug and big pillows and a blanket, with two huge, green leaves hanging over this area. It feels very cozy and is a great spot for fort-building as well. My kids will often hide in there and read. One of the bookshelves, at its foundation is an attached trunk- inside this is where we keep all our dress-up clothes.


Behind one of the bookshelves, I have created another space putting a small shelf up against the wall, so its side is touching the bookshelf. This small shelf holds all my toddlers activities. I arranged them by woven baskets and felt baskets. Sewing cards, small wooden animals, a tea set, puzzles, musical instruments, a wooden clock and a wooden pirate ship are housed on these shelves.


Using the back of the other bookshelf, that shows it back to the room, I placed a Ikea shelf that has different plastic tubs that hold our blocks, train tracks, animals, cars, babies. They slide in and out for easy access. On top is my toddlers wooden dollhouse.


We have two tables in the room. One is a smaller square table with two chairs my toddler can easily use for her play. The other is a taller table that my older son and I sit at to do our work. They are on opposite sides of the room. Above these tables are two shelves that also have 6 plastic bins. These shelves are drilled into the wall and house all our supplies- paint, clay, stickers, stencils, yarn, falshcards, etc. On top of these wall shelves, I keep the books we use every day and some art supplies.


The fourth wall houses our little wooden kitchen and play food. My toddler spends a lot of time there.


The larger table has a shelf next to it, I use this to have easy access to different types of paper, sticker books, science books and coloring books.


We also have two closets that I use for storage for homeschooling supplies, books, art, board games and toys.


It is wonderful to have a space my kids are able to play freely in or settle down to use for school and projects. By creating different areas to the room, it allows for a renewed interest in what is there and keep its from looking 'blah.' I always keep everything in the same spots so they know where things are.


Have a great time!

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#12 of 14 Old 04-16-2011, 04:20 PM
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  We have some of the same furniture and I'm in the process of switching our room around a bit. Tomorrow I'm going through books! Could you post pics?

    In our room we have a huge desk with computer/printer, two tall bookcases that hold my teaching books on the shelves and supplies for math/science underneath in the cabinet. We have 2 low ikea shelves with the pull out bins, the little shelf mounted on the wall, and a large table/chairs. We have our blocks and quadrilla in huge baskets on the floor. We also have a loveseat to cuddle up on. Right now we only keep a 2 cube shelf for reference books and a couple of baskets with current books we are using. All of our other books are in the living room, but I think thats going to change. We also have a toy closet for games/trains/music/puzzles- and a small closet we use for all of our art supplies. Its pretty organized, and everything has its place so its easy to keep clean.

   On our walls we have 2 maps ( us and world) a 3x5 bulletin board, this poster   (free!)  and kid art.....

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#13 of 14 Old 04-21-2011, 06:51 PM
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#14 of 14 Old 04-21-2011, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all the advice and pictures!!  Its still a work in progress but we've painted and put up rain gutter bookshelves.. i've got a closet/art supply area .. and i've figured out what my DD need s the most is an area to work without little siblings getting into her stuff, so when we're all done we're going to have a table set up in the bedroom off of the main school room where she can have big-kid projects and things that need to be kept away from the baby..i hate to have to stretch this into another room, but we have the room and the furniture (extra old dining room table)   for now, this room being cleaned up/painted is so motivating!  I have a world and US map coming in the mail this week and some more wall decorations.. next week i'm headed to the educational supply store for a nice calendar ..



- Staci, Mommy to Mollie (3/06), Jamie (5/08), Annie (9/10), Bently (2/13), Robin (11/15)... and SURPRISE! (3/18)
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