I am super excited to share with you today about our homeschool room setup! I have had several people ask me about how and why we have it set up the way we do. Most likely this is just people giving me a hard time about being a little OCD in wanting everything to have its place and be just perfect. Either way, I am happy to share what I am learning about different styles and methods. Since we just started school here at home I am sure we will have some changes to make as the boys grow and get used to everything. But here below is what we have now and so far we LOVE it! We are so blessed in this new house to have a large room in the basement that is finished and just the perfect space for home schooling!
The design and set up of our room takes inspiration from a combination of the Workbox system and Montessori methods. I am in love with workboxes. They keep me accountable. They keep the boys on track. They let everyone see how much work has been accomplished at any point during the day and they also let everyone see how much is left to be done. The boys can easily know each morning how many assignments they have and what those assignments are. Probably because I am a typical first-born child…….I love this knowledge.
In an effort to not make this post 8 days long I will go through our workboxes in another post this week. If you are not familiar with the workbox system you can check it out at www.workboxsystem.com or stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about our workbox system!
I wanted to create an environment that would be fun and comfortable for the boys, but would not over stimulate them as I want their primary concentration to be on their work. All of the shelving and bins used in our rooms comes from Ikea. I have a love/hate addiction to that place. If you have not been to an actual store you need to plan a day trip to one near you. They are so much fun to walk through. But beware, I give you fair warning……set a budget before walking through those doors! In my opinion all of Ikea’s furniture is sturdy and well-built. It is not huge, beefy furniture that is indestructible, but it is great quality…..especially for kiddos! I have not made one purchase there that I am not in love with. The shelves we used are from the Trofast series. ( Trofast Series ) You can customize them for your needs and space. And what’s awesome is they can be separated and used in different ways if you move or your needs change. Okay, enough about my love for Ikea!
Because we have 3 boys I knew I wanted to use the workbox system for all 3. That is where the 3 tall shelves with 10 green bins come in. This is the focal point of our room since this is what will hold our daily lessons. On either side of the workboxes, in the orange bins, is where we keep curriculum “games” and other educational materials. I need to put picture/word labels on these……eventually I will get there…..maybe.
We also have 3 totally amazing old school desks that my parents refinished for the boys for Christmas last year and they are simply perfect for the boys! They love sitting in them and they are a huge space saver as well. Plus I just think it is downright fun that they are sitting in desks like I used to sit in school. As a random side note, did anyone else get the best back crack ever in those desks? Man it felt good……and no I can’t fit in the desks anymore to do it…….i tried……don’t laugh you know you would have too.
We do have a TV in our school room. I had to give a lot of thought to that as my boys would totally stare at a TV screen for 12 hours a day if given the chance. But I knew I would want us to use some great educational tools from Netflix as well as history and Bible movies. The shelves under the TV hold more curriculum and educational items. All of these items, as well as the items in the orange bins, are items that the boys can access and play with at anytime. If they enjoy a learning game I sure am not going to stop them from playing with it!
In front of the TV is a small rug we use for our circle time in the mornings. I used this rug because we already had it, but I will probably replace it eventually with something that is a solid color. I don’t like the distraction of the Thomas tracks for this room. Behind the rug are the 3 comfy chairs for the boys. They are kid size and the boys love them. This way they have a comfortable place to sit when we do watch a movie or show.
On the walls we have a couple of maps that will be used in our geography lessons. We also have a dry erase weekly calendar that we try to fill out each week. Obviously we use this for learning the days of the week, but also we have little cling stickers for the different weather we may be having and/or special occasions. I got this calendar on clearance at our local teacher store but you could probably make one pretty easily.
Books, books, and more books! We have a lot of books. We love books. I try to keep them organized with the younger age books on the bottom and the ones geared for our oldest and up towards the top. On the very top I have the books that are really old or collectibles that they can only read with mommy.
And of course, being a military family, we have a flag. Each morning we start our day with prayer time and then say the pledge of allegiance.
I have turned a small closet under the stairs into my storage room as well as a little re-purposed entertainment center. I have a bin for each boy that holds their curriculum workbooks and things I don’t want them to be able to get at will. I have a small set of the Ikea shelves in the closet as well for any games or activities that I want them to only use on occasion.
Have I said before that I love shoe holders? They are super cheap and they can hold a ton of stuff. We use ours mostly for art/craft supplies and it works like a dream. I put a child proof adhesive lock at the top of this closet door so the boys can’t get in there…..at least not easily.
I have done the same with the entertainment center. That is where I have all our construction paper, play-dough, stickers, and my teacher supplies.
I have tried to incorporate some of the things I love about Montessori methods in our little room. Some of those include the child size furniture; everything has a place and the children can easily get to the materials they want to work with; and a simple non-distracting environment. I love essential oils and have really enjoyed using them with the boys from everything from boo-boos to RSV, and now in homeschooling. I have been diffusing them while we are in the school room and it is pretty amazing how it helps them focus and improves their mood! If you want to know more about essential oils I can hook you up with a great discount! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on that! FYI PLEASE don’t go spend the money for essential oils at your grocery store or pharmacy, or even a health store. Make sure you are getting a good quality 100% pure and natural oil by checking out Young Living oils.
Have you enjoyed the tour of our little school room? Please feel free to leave a comment with any questions you might have about any of this. And stay tuned for the workbox post later this week!