Let me first confess that fall 2017 wasn’t the best of times for our little homeschool. It’s just been a rough few months – personally, financially, and emotionally. All of this bled into our homeschool world and honestly made me feel like giving up at times. We have always said we would take this journey a year at a time and as soon as we felt it necessary would not feel bad about enrolling in public school.
I’ve considered public school more times the past few months than ever, but when I took a step back I realized several things:
- Our bad days were mostly due to poor planning and emotional strain on my part. It had nothing to do with homeschool itself or my kids. And, public school comes with bad days too!
- I really wanted to finish out the year and give it our best go because I am not ready to give up yet.
- Some teaching styles and curricula I was using just didn’t fit our family in either my teaching style or my children’s way of learning.
With that being said, part of my stress was our space for homeschool. I had made a little school area in our multipurpose room in the back of the house where are laundry and some pantry storage are and it was not working. It was an okay space for storing materials, but not for actually doing school. We would just do school at the kitchen table – this option is totally fine! Please hear me say, you DO NOT NEED a fancy homeschool room to be successful! But, I just felt like I needed a comfortable space where I could leave stuff out mid-lesson if we needed to break for lunch or finish tomorrow. I wanted an inviting place that encouraged learning and discovery.
I immediately realized I could use our home office. I’m kicking myself now for not taking before pictures. The room was totally cluttered in junk and storage boxes. It’s still not 100% complete – I’ll be sure to share as we complete projects along the way.
So now I thought I’d give you a little tour!
Here she is:
I apologize for the grainy outdated iPhone picture. I promise it’s one of the things I’m working on so I can bring you better blog posts. My close ups you’ll see next are better quality, but I wanted to give you an idea of what the whole room looks like!
The kids helped get this room together, and were really excited about it. I’m hoping since they were invested in the process they will enjoy learning in here. You’ll see the weird half brown wall – it has been framed out and needs plastering, that’s number one on my to-do list!
Behind the desks is a built-in shelf and comfy reading chair.
The other side of the room is the computer desk and my bookshelves. Also on the agenda for this room is building a wall sized shelving unit because I am completely out of shelf space.
Here’s a better view of the reading chair and window (curtains are on the agenda as well).
Top shelf: Some artwork done by a friend, and a file box of important documents.
Lower shelf left: Montessori Letter Work, Montessori Map Work, and our Usborne Peek Inside books. I’m a little obsessed with Usborne books, and have slowly added to our collection over the past two years or so. Most of the peek inside ones I have bought through either a party I hosted or others have hosted, but I’ve found a lot of our other ones second hand.
Lower shelf middle: BOB books! We love these things. If you are not familiar with these, they are easy readers and each set focuses on a different concept (rhymes, sight words, compound words etc.) I’ve found all of our sets on Amazon, they usually run about $12 a set, but I’ve snagged them for as low as $5.
Lower shelf right: Tiny Polka Dots, a math game that I got from Timberdoodle. I absolutely love Timberdoodle! They have tons of fun and unique homeschool materials. On top of that is two bundles of sight words flashcards and the card box has math flashcards in it.
Our wall with our learning resources calendar (under $30 on Amazon right now!) and clock, and Eric Carle alphabet print – this exact one was purchased at Target and isn’t available anymore but there are similar ones on Amazon, and a homemade days of the week wheel.
Under the calendar is my cart (from Ikea) with most of our art supplies, mini white boards, our Jesus Storybook Bible, and our All About Reading and All About Spelling materials. We are new to AAR, and I’m really excited to start it. I think it’s going to make a huge difference in our homeschool.
You’ll see two makeshift desks – my plan is to eventually get a narrow table and matching chairs for that area. You’ll also see my little shelf to the right of them. The top two baskets are full of curriculum, and there are containers below that house playdoh, my Handwriting Without Tears wooden pieces, a marble run and our nature collection. Above the desks is a corkboard with our weather frog – we dress him up for whatever weather conditions are happening outside, and a whiteboard that we use for anything and everything!
Jilly girl’s little desk has a basket of see-through blocks and her Montessori style alphabet box (more on that later!).
And that is the bulk of it! I still have materials we use all over the house – puzzles, a majority of our children’s books, maps etc. but for now I am really excited about this little space and the start of our 2018 year!
What are you most excited about in your 2018 homeschool?