Anyway in anticipation of our upcoming school year, the school room was next on our list to complete and I am really happy with how it has come out! I guess I should preface this with my thoughts on having a school room first because I know I will get some comments or questions about it.... Do I think a designated school room is necessary to homeschool? Absolutely not!! In fact, I never imagined that we would have space or that I would have a school room at all. In my mind, I always pictured me and the boys surrounding the kitchen table or the coffee table in the living room to hunker down and do our work. And that's what we have done over the last couple years with our reading lessons and pre-k work. However, when we started rearranging rooms and some space was freed up and I remembered a certain pet peeve of mine, I knew that we could make use of a separate space for schooling. What's the pet peeve? .... Well, I kind of have this thing about clutter on the counters and on the kitchen table. The kitchen is my happy place! I can't cook without first wiping down the counters and having the dishwasher emptied. I can't stand even having 1 piece of mail on the counter. It drives me nuts when the boys leave toys lying around under the kitchen table. The kitchen is Momma's domain, and the thought of having to clear the counters and the table of ALL of our schoolwork 3 times a day for us to eat just hurts. Maybe that makes me weird... I'm not sure. We're doing what works for us, and others can do what works for them.
So without further ado, here's what we've got for our school room so far. This will be our first "official" year, (yay kindergarten!) so there is a big chance that some things will be added and changed along the way.
You may recognize the wall color from baby Joel's nursery reveal. (Valspar "urban sunrise") We just happened to have the perfect amount of paint leftover to put on the walls in here. Hallelujah! I was literally scraping the bottom of the paint can at the last wall. We haven't painted trim or doors yet in here, that will come with time, but for now it's a working room. And at the end of the day, a organized and working room is what the goal was knowing I'm throwing myself into our first school year with a newborn.
Last year I was offered two individual school desks by a family member and was intending to use those in our room up until we found out we were expecting again. Then I got to thinking and switched gears a little bit knowing that in the upcoming grammar years how important it will be for me to sit WITH the boys as we school. So we went with two "linnmon table tops" from Ikea with matching legs and pushed the two table tops together to make a larger table. (Big enough for at least 4) They can be separated later on to act as desks if we like when the boys get older. The chairs at the table are ones that we already had-- gifted to us with our kitchen table. We only keep 4 chairs at the kitchen table except when we have company and add in the leaf to the table, so these 4 chairs have been stashed in closets when they aren't in use. (So anytime other than holidays.)
This piece of furniture above is a TV stand that came with our living room furniture years ago. It has never been used as a TV stand because our TV is hanging on the wall but has been used the last few years as toy storage in our living room. But now that I'm no longer keeping extra kids and our boys are bigger and play independently and clean up after themselves, the toys can now all stay in their rooms for them to get out and put away on their own. The sliding doors have curricula and books stored in them and the white bins have school supplies, math manipulatives, and our timeline cards. (Oh! And tin whistles stashed for now out of view of little children who want to make racket with them.)
On the far wall, dry erase boards, and this really cool "Ikea Dignitet" which apparently is a wire curtain hanger, but we are using to hang our timeline cards. Or it can be used to hang art work and school assignments. We purchased the clips and hooks that are made to go with it, but clothespins could also be used.
Another large map on the right wall. We've got the world map on the left wall and the US on the right wall. The large laminated maps came from Costco last year, though I did see that they had some recently as well. Very good quality maps and they are massive! The boys are loving them and asking billions of questions.... and I have to admit that I am loving them too. Who can resist a map!?
Maybe I went a little map crazy, but when I saw this duck fabric at Hobby Lobby, I couldn't resist, so we've got more maps and some airplanes for our curtains.
And then on the final (back wall) we've got a large bookshelf that we already owned that is currently full of board games and puzzles. And then we also purchased the "Ikea Mala" easel which is chalkboard on one side and dry erase board on the other. I'm hoping the easel will encourage some handwriting and letter writing practice amongst the boys.
.... And that's it! So far is pretty simplistic--just the necessities and a little bit of organization. More decor may come with time, but for now it is one more thing scratched off of my list and I can feel a little bit more confident going into our school year with a newborn that we are organized and ready. We are ready and excited and I have prayed so much over this room and the learning and growth that will take place in it.