"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So, here it goes.... the sure to be lengthy post about our schoolroom. I could just share some pics, but no... not me. ;) There's so much to the story that has brought us to this point in our lives. I feel you need some of that information to understand it all better. I'll try to shorten it some (a tiny little bit). I like details, so I tend to be overly detailed as if you realyy need the whole story of my life... LOL!

First, I have to brief you about my house some. It was built in approximately 1905 and is said to be the oldest house in our town (not so sure I believe that, but ya just never know). The realtor tricked us into viewing it as we kept saying we didn't want to. We thought it was in a different area of town. She was convinced it was just what we were looking for. And she was so right. It was everything and double more than what we dreamed of. The day we walked in it the first time I remember saying, "I hope God doesn't expect me to fill this thing up. At that time Savannah was an eight month old only child and we were still slightly under the assumption that WE could control the plans for our life! Ha! We have changed so much!! Anyway, we were dreaming of a standard plain Jane 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a great yard and not a mountain of projects to do. Our one extra was that I wanted a little deck in the back yard for outdoor celebrations. And... I must mention that I am c~h~e~a~p, so you have to know that only God could work this thing out. The house was under foreclosure and the bank was wanting to get rid of it. They had kept it as a rent house for several years and were ready to be done with it.
Okay, so this post is about so much more than our school room really. It is about a work God started in our life long before I could ever imagine it this way. It's about a home with lots of space for our family and a room that could never quite seem right no matter the decor. It was just a room to clean and exist with no real purpose. I had furniture, but it always looked boring and stuffy even though it was the place the kids could hang out. And I always felt like it was like dungeon for the kids to be in. I always wanted to make it very kid like with bright colors and giant bean bags or something like that all around the room, BUT it was the living room for this house and right off the front entry area. I felt I had to have it look like a living room, so I finally made it the last room re-do in this house and we painted and changed up the decor. I was done with it, but it still never really felt "right". I now understand why.... God had a different plan. In all it's chaos it feels "right" now. In the last nine months I have made many changes, but I think I have it how I want it now for the most part. There are some things I still want to do and get a bit more organized, but that will come in time. Without further ado I present to you our homeschool room.

I am only starting with this pic by accident, but so be it. This is a recent find. My husband thought it was junk not fit to keep. I saw something much more. Actually, I saw so many different things in it's potential that I had to just choose and go with it this way. It is a simple frame with chicken wire on it. Also, there were two chalkboards (both have and x, y graph and one even has the numbers and is much nicer than the one shown in the pic). I put one on each side of the frame and tied it on with ribbon with bows. Simple clothespins hold all sorts of art on the upper part. The whole thing makes a divider for the room and, if necessary, will be a great divider for my highly distractable older child. I can't believe this was being thrown away... until I came along! :) Yes, I have no shame and pay careful attention in this post because I am going to reveal just how cheap I can be. And I firmly believe in making use of what you have available or waiting until something IS available.

Divider Screen that doubles as two chalboards and art display = $0

This is the smallest wall i n the room because it has doorways at both ends. Just for the record, if you have not spent money on all these posters for learning... don't. That is my advice. They are great, but my kids don't really look at them. They look at their books and the posters are just not necessary for a class with so few kids. Save your money. Anyway, since they are there I am leaving them for now, but I am not sure how long. I just do not like the clutter on the wall. I am still defining what I want to leave in that space, so it is likely to change drastically in the next few weeks.

The book shelf.... Ahhh! I love this book shelf because it is soooo huge and it was $20 from a hair salon sale. I picked up the colored bins at a children's resale shop for 5 for $10 and the black bins were $1 each at the Dollar Tree. This shelf is loaded down with craft supplies, curriculum books, extra workbook supplies. The Little Tikes easel was a secondhand find a long time ago and is great for dragging around to whatever location to work with the kids rather than do workbooks.

The two tables in the middle were part of a find at a Yard Sale. They were not exactly what I was wanting, but for $5 each they became "what I was looking for"... LOL! Told you I was cheap! They are heavy wood and even though I think they are ugly I know that if I ever so desire I can paint the wood a cheery color and even replace the Formica top. For now I am leaving them as they are because we plan on truly using them... and let me just say that when I can I am ripping out the carpet in this room and we will be painting in here with no worries.

Oh yeah, I say I am cheap, but I spend money on important things. If you look closely at the table that Caden and Sierra are sitting at is LOADED DOWN with my THSC Convention purchases. A little visit to the My Father's World booth and I left there with the Pre-K Package and one more item from the Lauri set of toys they sell, plus a wonderful Wee Sing CD with songbook. Whooo-hoo! They are sooooo fun for the kids. That one purchase probably made all the difference in my kid's first day of school this year. At $130 it might be the most expensive thing in the room! LOL!! We also bought the kids a Connect Four game and they are loving that.

Here you see the screen, again. The third table in front of the piano is what we use for the girls' desks. It is the tallest of the three tables and I purchased the two black chairs from Wal-Mart for $20 each. I have a desk beside theirs that I bought from my neighbor a few years back ($20, also) and I sit opposite them in a rocker that I purchased at auction (another $20). Keep in mind that some of these items were purchased with different plans for them, but if they fit the need then I recruit them for the current use. The rocker is necessary for rocking my babies to sleep while I teach. My desk was originally purchased as my fabric cutting table. The piano drives me crazy is a wonderful thing to have available in case my kids ever take an interest in it... other than banging the keys and making my head spin. ;) It was free!! I must not complain, because really who gets that kind of blessing!!??? My husband can play it by ear and Caden seems to really love it and all things musical. Currently, I will be using it to display posters for the current letter of the day, etc.. :) The Bass Fiddle (or whatever you call it) is my husband's. He got it as a teenager from his parents. Believe it or not he used to play a washtub base.... yeah, a washtub with a stick in it and a string to pluck... weird, but very cool... in a very weird, hokey, country bumpkin way! His whole family plays instruments (fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, piano, etc.) I play my voice.. Hehehe!

Okay, back on subject... If you look close there is a small desk under the window to the right of the piano. It has some of my junk on it that I have to go through and has storage tubs under it to hide some things I need to go through. I will do that soon and then, put two little chairs there for a desk for my two little ones. They will be able to color as they look out the window, if I can get them to sit still long enough. HA! In the corner is a stack of chairs that I got on clearance at Wal-Mart last month (not in picture). I just could not find what I really wanted, so I jumped on these at $5 each... Uh, I bought twelve. Yep, crazy, but they work to sit around all the tables and another great thing about these chairs and our three tables is they can also be used for parties and when someone comes over for dinner. Above the stack of chairs I have an American flag hanging and posters for the pledges (U.S. flag, Christian flag, Bible). I actually think these are posters worth having whether you buy them or print them yourself.

Another thing you can't see is my sewing area. Behind my desk is an area that takes up about six feet wide. I have SOME of my sewing stuff there and the rest upstairs in two armoires. I keep my serger and sewing machine downstairs where I can get to it when I want to. It may be moving for the first time in eight years, though. The verdict is not out on that just yet. I have thought about leaving it here, so I can sew while I teach, and rock babies, and multi-task like a crazy woman. Uh... yeah, it might be moving into the next room. I'll let you all know what I decide.

By inviting you into my home to see my homeschool classroom I am really having to get over what you may think of my mess. Just close your eyes... I can't stand chaos and things "out of place", but I am having to just get over my perfectionism issues. Peer through the windows in this room and you will see all the stuff we are getting rid of in what is supposed to be a relaxing little sunroom. We never use that room anyway, so it is out of the way there. Okay, now that is off my chest I can proceed. The Rose Cottage was purchased for Sierra's birthday last year (secondhand, also), but got added to this room for a "reading cottage". The shutters on the window or a great cluttery spot to hang more artwork, although I am going to try to avoid it if I can.

This wall has three large credenza style desks lined in a row and you are gonna want to shoot me when I tell you I acquired these in an online auction and did not even know what condition they were in. I won these for a whopping $3 TOTAL !! The pic does not really do them justice, but they are in great condition with flourescent light attached to each one and a large sliding keyboard/supply tray. There is a wonderful storage shelf on the top and a shelf along the bottom for sitting a computer tower, books, and supplies. I was planning to move the books down their, so the kids could reach them better. That was until this week when I realized that Sahara could reach them better, also. Time to start moving some things UP! Seriously, I did not need these desks, but my kids are going to grow older and we will have them. Until then we are going to use them for "centers" areas. So, the kids might come in one day with a puzzle center or a science activity set up. On one end we have our old computer that now belongs to the kids for school, etc. All the stuff in this room is very versatile and that is what I like about it.

Some questions you might have:

  • Do I think all this is necessary? No, I do not. I just happen to have the space and I kept finding good deals. I do think that the more versatility I have in the classroom the better. I also bought 130+ books for 10 cents each this summer and now I have space to store them on the desk credenza shelves. As for desks/tables I think you just need a good comfortable spot for the kids to sit with good postioning for writing. I do not think that sitting on a couch, etc. is a good place for learning handwriting because I think they need a stable writing surface.
  • Do I NEED all those books? Well, it keeps me from dragging four kids to the library and I worry about losing books amongst our books. I do think that you are just as well off in many ways if you only had twenty books and those twenty books were read consistently over and over. For us the best way to acquire books is to buy one or two special books throughout the year as gifts and the rest are purchased at Goodwill, other resale shops, and yard sales. It is amazing how many books we buy this way that are obviously brand new.
  • Why not just school them in other areas of the home? or outside? We tried that last year and I thought that was the way I wanted to go. I got to thinking that having a classroom was unnecessary and schooling should just become life, but then I changed my mind... that simple... a girl has a right to change her mind. This way all the stuff is in one room. I do not think as homeschoolers that we should try to recreate the classroom setting (even though it might look like it in my pics). On the other hand I can have all the kids in this one room and oversee what is going on and I think it will work for us right now to really be watching and guiding their behavior/character. School will also go on in the kitchen, backyard, and the rest of the home. We might do a spelling test in the car or in the kitchen, so we are not limited to being in this room.
  • Insert YOUR QUESTION here. If you have any questions that come to mind feel free to ask away and I will answer.


  1. Thank you for sharing Shannon. I love your home-school-room! Hope I would be able to make one soon! For my future kids? Hehe. Anyway, thanks again.

  2. ok, I am love love loving your school room! You have done an AMAZING job!!!!! I love all the room in there. I love all the tables!!!! Yes, I second the poster comment! I bought SOOOO many posters, and have just recently taken most of them down during my latest school room renovation! I will still use them, but only for reference when we need them. I will post a picture of my school room tomorrow! MY FATHERS WORLD!!!!!!! YYYYYYAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! I have spent the bulk of my homeschool budget on MFW stuff!!!! We love the Lauri stuff!!!!! I started using MFW this year!!!! I LOVVVVVEEEEEE it!!!!!!!!! Great job!!! Thanks for the long post! I always love hearing about the reasoning behind the design of a room! And if you have changed your room around more than once...GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!! That mens you are doing something right!!!!! The way I homeschooled when we started, even just last year is completely different than the way the Lord has me doing school the start of this year! SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!


I love comments and suggestions! I read them all and I am so thrilled you are taking the time out of your busy life to share your words with me! --Shannon

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