Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our first official school room!

I've always had trouble answering questions like "where do your girls do their schoolwork?" or "what does your school room look like?"  We've never really had an official homeschooling spot - our school room has been the kitchen table, the sofa, the bed, the living room floor, the bench outside, the car, etc. 

This year, though, is a little bit different.  We have a lot to accomplish, and the more I looked at our schedule the more I became convinced that giving the girls their own workspace would help them focus - so I started looking for desks.  The only real option for space in our house was what  was the nursery and is now the "library".  It's not a large room, so I knew I needed to find small-ish desks, but still wanted something very functional.  Frequent online shopping was fruitless - but one day I happened to be in Container Store and found the perfect desk!

Note that the lower writing surface pulls out - so when it's not being used, it can be pushed under and it takes up much less space.  Perfect!

The plan is to get them both laptops (inexpensive ones, mind you).  Having their own computers will make it easier for them to get their schoolwork done - they use a computer-based math program (Teaching Textbooks), they review their co-op memory work online, and there are other tasks that they need a computer to accomplish. Giving them each access to a computer in a non-public area gives me a bit of heartburn, but one of my upcoming reviews for the TOS homeschool crew is for Lanschool.  From what I can tell, Lanschool is software that will allow me to see what they're doing on their computers from my computer (and it looks like that software will allow me to send messages to their screens, take control of their computers remotely, and blank out their screens if I don't like what I see) - which eases my mind a bit about them having computers on their desks.  I'm hoping that software works as advertised.

Now I needed a large writing surface for the wall.  I didn't want a chalkboard (due to the chalk dust), but discovered that large white boards are expensive - and I quickly put that thought on hold.  But God in His wisdom brought me the perfect answer!  This past week I went to a parent orientation for the IEW program that Punkin and I are doing this fall, and during the video Andrew Pudewa mentioned using shower board as a white board.  (Was that providential or what?)  I added Lowe's to my errands list for yesterday to shop for a makeshift white board.  We bought a 4' x 8' piece of white shower board that works perfectly as a white board - for $14!

This afternoon we put everything together.  After My Hero used a little elbow grease, my white board was up and ready:

Putting together the desks came next.  The second one was much easier to put together than the first - guess we were over the learning curve!

My original plan was to put the desks against the wall - but that would block the white board a bit, which defeats the purpose.  Instead, we put them back-to-back and pulled them away from the wall about 2 feet.  They are, in essence, sitting in the middle of the room (well, almost the middle), but I think it's going to work fine.

On the wall opposite the white board is a window, and next to it is the glider rocker where I rocked the girls when they were babies.  Now that glider rocker will be used for me to read our read-alouds to the girls!  I'll toss a couple of bean bags by the rocker for them to snuggle in and we'll be all set and comfy!

Here's part of the room all set up:

I think they like it!  And so does mommy. 

We'll still "do school" in all those different places, but now they have a work space of their very own. 

And maybe now they'll be able to find their math books.

1 comment:

  1. I like those desks!! And I'm really liking that whiteboard (shower board?? who woulda guessed!!), I've had the same small white boards for over 6 years now and I'm thinking I need another BIG one. I find myself writing on all 4 that we have and still need more room. Not to mention that after that long 1 or 2 have become cracked and tortured.
    Haha..."maybe now they'll be able to find their math books"...heehee good luck with that one ;)
    I happened onto your blog via the TOS Crew group (or is it a forum?) and thought I'd stop by :)
    Have a great day!