The friend who was finishing the basement couldn't believe I'd stay home to homeschool. He must have felt sorry for me because when I requested a (simple) school room to be built in the basement, he made THE CUTEST school room that ever was. (He even built tray-ceilings in it.)
It was adorable! I had a reading corner, had 'real' school desks (sold to me by an old Catholic grade school) and a computer center. There were bright-laminated posters on the walls of colors, shapes, numbers, and maps as well as an old-fashioned pencil sharpener. It was perfect except for the notion that I had convinced myself of: in order for my homeschool to "work", I had to make it look like a brick and mortar classroom.
I truly believe the old teacher in me coupled with my lack of confidence in these early stages of homeschooling had me convinced of that.
Then we moved to Texas in 2007.
Texas homes do not have basements.
To find the space to set up homeschooling shop, I was forced to think outside the box. Many Texas homes have an upstairs game room (second living room).
Our game room would become our schooling area as well.
I was schooling Sally and Ester (first and third grade) by this time, and decided to go with a community table/desk idea. We found this table and chairs at IKEA.
We went from a school room to a schooling area.
We designated a couple of shelves in the walk-in toy closet for school supplies.
(For the past two years, only Miss Mabel's books have been stored there.)
I also threw a plastic shoe storage holder over the back of the closet door to house other school supplies.
I HIGHLY recommend them!! They keep the never-ending mess cleared cleared away and out of sight!
This entire set up was only a temporary fix. Mabel was doing her pre-school/ kindergarten work on the couch, floor, or kitchen table and Sally found it difficult to concentrate as her subject material grew harder.
The following year, we purchased a desk from Target and a chair from IKEA for Miss Sally's bedroom.
(She's currently away at a week long camp and hasn't organized her desk yet in preparation for the school year.)
NOTE: I wish I would have been thinking further ahead when we purchased a desk. She has pretty much outgrown this one and ends up sitting on her bed to school.
She also has a bookcase in her room that houses all of her High School textbooks and lesson plans.
Our family continued to evolve. Stan the man started his formal lessons which meant there was more shifting needed.
We purchased a desk unit and chair from IKEA for Miss Ester and put it by her bed. (Ester and Mabel share a bedroom.)
This gave the much needed quiet space for Ester to learn and grow. Stan the man then moved to the shared table with Mabel.
Then along came Miss Clementine. When we moved her upstairs from out of our bedroom into her own, we moved Stan's bedroom set down into David's office. I know having to share Dad's office for a bedroom is not the best, but would you want to share an upstairs with 4 sisters when you are the only boy? Ha ha ha.
So Stan now schools at David's office desk. (Purchased at IKEA.)
I have another smaller closet in the upstairs living room. Way up high on the top shelf I store books and binders that are currently not in use. (Here's a glimpse.)
In addition to textbooks, I have 3-4 binders per grade for organizing the paperwork: Attendance, quarter report forms, & tests binder, answer key binder, and 1-2 lesson plan binder (s).
We have come a LONG way from that adorable school room in Illinois. We are on the opposite end of the spectrum now with everyone having their own space, their own quiet learning area. I NE-VER would have thought my homeschool would be "successful" without a real classroom setting. Thank goodness that with growing confidence I realized that a real classroom setting is whatever is most conducive to your child's learning.
~ Patty ~