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View Full Version : The dreaded Gloom Room



umma
05-06-2015, 09:49 AM
To keep me more focused this year I created a schoolroom. By this I mean, I don't like sleeping in a bed and decided to gift my new mattress set to my niece. I shoved my dresser in my closet, and bought desks, white boards, I even bought a sofa for our reading space, basically whole shebang. We kept on a very strict schedule, but my kids kept groaning every morning. I thought the groans were because we are more relaxed homeschoolers and they didn't like the new schedule. I also figured the room was a little dark so, I ran to target and spent too much money on a fabulous lamp. When I told my son the lamp was for our school room he said very loudly in the store "Oh no! I hate the gloomy room!". Embarrassing much? I kept the lamp, because we really do need it, but my kids insist that they rather complete their work in the living room, laying on the floor with no desk, and a table instead. I have to give it to them, our living room is bright and sunny, but learning out there isn't exactly homeschooling. We've tried working in the living room, it hasn't work, its strictly, cleaning, baking cookies, reading and science class which includes watch all the Bill Nye and Kratt Brothers science videos my kids can fit into one day.

We are all admittedly happier with the sun streaming in and learning through tummy time so, I am tempted to switch the Gloom Room to our living room/game room. Should I really feed into this? I will have to sell all of our school desk, buy chairs for them and then deal with the frustration of leaning whiteboards against the walls, again. Unfortunately we are renting, that means no painting, no hanging items on the walls because this cheap 'o flat paint they used rips off, even when I only used scotch tape.

azdad
05-06-2015, 10:15 AM
Have you tried hanging stuff with painter's masking tape? That works for us and never rips the paint.

ikslo
05-06-2015, 10:26 AM
...my kids insist that they rather complete their work in the living room, laying on the floor with no desk, and a table instead. I have to give it to them, our living room is bright and sunny, but learning out there isn't exactly homeschooling.

This has me questioning your definition of homeschooling. :)

If I were stuck at a desk in a gloomy room - well, let's just say I'm with your kiddos on this one. You created a room to fit your version of a "homeschool", not to fit your kids.

inmom
05-06-2015, 10:27 AM
Honestly, I've always let my kids do their work wherever they were the most productive. My ds prefers quiet and no distractions while dd prefers music, light, and commotion around her. They've worked in the basement (dark), kitchen table, floor, living room, bedrooms. Our only stipulation is that any computer work is done in the family areas, not their bedrooms.

IMHO, I'd let them work wherever the work gets done!! :)

Accidental Homeschooler
05-06-2015, 10:52 AM
My dd prefers the kitchen. It is our brightest and cheeriest room. Why do you feel that you need a dedicated school room? I can see that it would be nice as far as keeping the school clutter out of everywhere else but otherwise what is the benefit?

ejsmom
05-06-2015, 11:53 AM
We are fortunate to have space for a dedicated "school" room, and it's south facing with double windows so very bright and sunny. Mainly it's a place to keep all the "stuff", the computer, printer, bulletin boards, art work, supplies, calendars, books, etc. We do work in there sometimes. Sometimes we work on the kitchen island, in the main living space by the fireplace, the dining table, the den, or out on the deck. We use our whole house, really. But it's nice to have space for the stuff and a door to close it all off. Even in the grey days of winter when it doesn't much matter which room we are in, it's nice to at least have a planning/staging/storage area. I totally understand about the sunlight. We use a SAD light to make it through winter. In my mind, I already have a learning space planned for our next house - a sunroom (overlooking nature), with cozy sofa, table and chairs, desk, bookshelves/cubbies.

I'd work where the kids are happiest. That is one of the benefits of homeschooling after all. Portable white boards, or even a folding/standing easel white board/chalk board would work? Maybe rearrange the rooms to suit your purposes? Homeschooling has the flexibility of transforming into the best way for your kids/family to learn - however that looks for you at any given time. It may evolve as your kids grow and if you move.

ikslo
05-06-2015, 12:14 PM
ejsmom - I like you easel idea for the whiteboard!

RTB
05-06-2015, 12:20 PM
I'd move the school room to the living room - like you mentioned. Bight light makes everything better! I like a dedicated room - when my house has stuff everywhere I can't focus. I don't mind when the kids take a subject to another part of the house, it is the explosion of every subject in different places that does not work for me. Is there a way for you to store the desks, in case they work in another house? Kind of a bummer to have to get rid of them.

Elly
05-06-2015, 01:09 PM
Have you tried hanging stuff with painter's masking tape? That works for us and never rips the paint.

Does this work for larger pictures and maps? I have a world map that's been rolled up in a corner because I don't want to have it mounted and I didn't want to use regular tape on the wall

dragonfly
05-06-2015, 01:54 PM
Poster putty or blue tack for hanging posters won't ruin the paint--but can leave greasy spots on the paper. It can also be used again and again. 3M has a whole line of Command products, some of them might work for you.

umma
05-06-2015, 02:41 PM
I will give the painters tape a try and the putty stuff as well. One DS can careless what's on the wall, the other pays much more attention to hanging items.


I'd move the school room to the living room - like you mentioned. Bight light makes everything better! I like a dedicated room - when my house has stuff everywhere I can't focus.

This is my problem exactly, stuff gets to be everywhere. The school room wasn't created with how I think it should look. When I put it together it was meant to close us off from the rest of the apartment, to help everyone focus on learning. As I said, we already tried learning in the living room previously, but I found having them sitting in desk keeps them focused. They need some type of structure to stay focused, otherwise they are constantly getting up, playing with the cat, twirling in the floor or sneaking toys in while I'm trying to help with lessons. General I would be fine with this, but I see its slowing down our learning or they can't recall what they learned because Emit (from The Lego Movie) and Darth Vader joined our conversation.

IKSLO. I am a relaxed homeschool parent, but I believe homeschool encompasses more than reading, cooking and science. I want to homeschool, but I don't want a free for all. We also need to cover all the other subjects. What is your definition of homeschool? I am pretty sure mine is similar to yours.

umma
05-06-2015, 02:49 PM
My dd prefers the kitchen. It is our brightest and cheeriest room. Why do you feel that you need a dedicated school room? I can see that it would be nice as far as keeping the school clutter out of everywhere else but otherwise what is the benefit?

I felt the need for a homeschool room to promote concentration and focus on their subjects. I also hoped it would help my son to limit his pacing and stuttering. When he talks and starts to pace he works himself up into a frenzy, begins talking loudly to the point of screaming. And, in all honesty, his pacing makes me a little nauseous. He walks out of the room and I've missed half the conversation then he gets upset when he has to repeat it. He was able to relax more in his seat, but his isn't as happy. I could keep the desk, but they won't use them on their own. They like the look of the desk and storing treasure in them. I'll see if they want them in their bedrooms.

ikslo
05-06-2015, 03:07 PM
IKSLO. I am a relaxed homeschool parent, but I believe homeschool encompasses more than reading, cooking and science. I want to homeschool, but I don't want a free for all. We also need to cover all the other subjects. What is your definition of homeschool? I am pretty sure mine is similar to yours.

It was the "learning out there isn't homeschooling" part - homeschooling can be done anywhere, IMO, and doesn't necessary need to be done "in the schoolroom." You're right, I'm sure our definitions are similar and there is much more than reading, cooking, and science. :)

crunchynerd
05-06-2015, 04:13 PM
I can sympathize, both with your want for a "distraction-free zone" and with the responses urging you to consider letting them study where it's cheerful. It's hard.

We have as our only practical "homeschool room", what is really an area between the kitchen and living room, which served once as dining room and passage to basement door and upstairs, and a dining area. Very little wall space because most areas have either a door, doorway, or window, or else wherever we could wedge bookcases, we have them. That, and an arts/crafts cabinet.

From the dining table (now the "arts and crafts/study table") you can see both computer screens plus the flat-screen large TV in the living room. There are no noise barriers.
Upstairs is impossible because it's an antique cape and all there is up there are 3 cramped little bedrooms leading directly into each other, so that one is actually a passageway, all under a low sloping roof. No space.

We already tried the porch (glassed in, 3 season porch) but it was TOO wonderful: out there, with a cafe table and comfy chair, chickadees flitting around in the greenery that the windows look out through as if through a private jungle, with a french press of coffee, it was like a vacation spot, and DD could get nothing at all done! I would have moved out there permanently with her if I could! But it was too enjoyable! No one could focus on anything but the loveliness of being there on that private shady porch in the pleasant breeze, watching wild birds and flowers and people going by.

So I am thinking that for the things that really require concentration in our madhouse, I might need to get a study carrel. I am thinking of these cheap cardboard ones (http://classroomproducts.com/). Flimsy, but I could get a few, and I could store them folded, between a desk and a wall, to bring out as needed for the times when anyone is doing anything written that they need to avoid being distracted.

That way, they are there when needed, but I don't have to have something as ugly as a study carrel, there EXCEPT when it's in use! And it's cheap enough to try it without a huge commitment in case it is a great flop.

muddylilly
05-06-2015, 05:55 PM
unfortunately poster putty/blue tack can and will ruin paint....ask me how I know :( But I love the stuff anyway, I'll just repaint when the kids fly the coop.

We have a hallway that connects the original part of our home to the new addition. Huge bookshelf, timelines, and maps on the wall there. Grab your stuff and pick a spot. Usually kitchen table, sometimes bedroom or a second kitchen table I have set up in their "playroom" The hallway is central to everything. Works for us.....that's the theme here. If a dedicated schoolroom is what works for you, go for it. I think calling another room the living room is great. Calling the bathroom the kitchen.....maybe not so much ;)

CrazyMom
05-06-2015, 10:37 PM
Command Hooks work fantastic.

Elle's in the same situation in her university housing....no nails, no blemishes on the walls allowed.

She's had tremendous luck with the 3M command hooks line.

I put some garden lights up on my porch with the little command hooks three years ago....they stayed put through storms, winter and summer....and I just took a couple down and they popped off just as clean and easy as they promise.

We just took Elle's apartment apart for the summer....and all of her command hooks came off the crappy paint beautifully. Not a mark left.

ikslo
05-06-2015, 11:37 PM
The Command velcro is actually what is holding up my whiteboard. And what held it up in the last place - which we were renting. Came down beautifully.

Solong
05-07-2015, 12:34 AM
We gave up the whiteboard. Dd has three-ring project binders; one for each project. The first page is a resource list. A giant zip lock page holds smaller stuff at the back. We also ditched the world map and went with a globe.

I got tired of an entire wall of homeschool projects staring me down over supper. Now, all the binders tuck neatly away in a closed cabinet. She has a sheet metal board in her room, where she can put up her calendar, inspirations, photos, letters,etc. It's three feet by four feet - more than enough room. If she runs out of room, time to move it into the recycle bin or a binder.

CrazyMom
05-07-2015, 02:02 AM
Command Velcro is awesome! We like it too, Ikslo.

umma
05-07-2015, 02:19 AM
unfortunately poster putty/blue tack can and will ruin paint....ask me how I know :(

Thank you for the heads up. Command strips/hooks are a bit iffy here to use on the walls. I've had success using them on the doors and hanging a large cloth map of the world and a small pocket charts on the walls, but nothing heavier than those. I attempted to hang a clock, it stayed put for 3 months then fell off in the middle of the night. Not only did the clock fall off, the Command strip took a chunk of paint with it. Now the wall has actually sheet rock showing through the layers and layers of cheap brown paint.

The a study carrel is a great idea! I can place it around the computer so they aren't distracted during individual lessons. And, I may just use the Command hooks on the fridge for their word wall poster. I'll start the switch to the living room tonight. I rather have them happy and learning a little then miserable and hating getting their day started.