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dottieanna29
12-09-2011, 12:07 PM
Where do you actually do the sit-down work part of school?

I was doing school on two height-adjustable folding tables (about 2 x 3 feet each). This was working pretty well except it was kind of annoying having to clean up the living room (very small) and set-up the tables every day. The good part was since they were height adjustable I could set them low enough to be the perfect height for the kids to sit in little chairs and they could both do "school" at the same time. Now, one of the tables has been confiscated to temporarily replace a computer desk the kids broke and it's messed up our set-up.

I'm thinking of doing school at our dining room table after the new year. It's a very small table (2 1/2 feet by 4 feet) in a very small nook that is part of the kitchen, but it's big enough that I could have the kids sit on opposite ends, put up their mini-office dividers and sit on one of the long sides and see what both of them are doing at the same time, like I do with our folding tables.

Advantages are that the table is always set-up (unless I pile crap on it), we recently put up extra shelves in our kitchen/dining area so I could probably clean a few shelves in a pantry closet to hold our school supplies and it would be easier to do messy stuff since the floor is tile unlike the carpeting in the living room. Plus it's near the kitchen sink so clean up of paints and such would be easier. I think it might also keep the kids more focused on school work for that part of the day that we do sit-down work since the bedroom full of toys is right off the living room.

Biggest disadvantage is that there aren't any chairs at the table - it's a breakfast nook with a corner bench against the wall and a backless bench on the outside. I have a folding chair that could be used instead of the outside bench but either way they're likely to be kneeling to be at a decent height at the table and I'm wondering how bad that will be for doing school work. The other disadvantage would be finding someplace to hang any posters that we want to use. The walls on both sides behind the nook are windows. I could probably prop posters on the window sill or clip them to the curtains but it's a little odd. (Now we hang them from our fireplace mantel or on every doorway in the living room which I guess isn't exactly normal).

I don't know if this will matter but we don't actually eat any meals at our dining table. It's small and cramped and it's position makes it impossible for anyone to move around when anyone is sitting at it (it blocks the opening into the foyer which leads into the living room). We eat at the folding tables in the living room although if we move school to the dining area I may start feeding them lunch there.

Any thoughts? Anyone school little guys at a dining room table?

zcat
12-09-2011, 12:38 PM
We usually work at our dining table or at the sofa with a lap desk or at the coffee table. Any posters we have are on the walls going upstairs or by the computer upstairs. I have hung things temporarily on window blinds. It really isn't a big deal.

I would just give it a try in the new location and see how it works out.
Could you get rid of the benches and just put chairs or stools around the table there? Could you take out the dining table and use that for the computer desk and put the adjustable height tables in the dining nook instead?

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
12-09-2011, 01:00 PM
We're dining room table schoolers. I keep most of the supplies in the adjacent pantry and the art supplies and games in the china cabinet. We don't have a kitchen table, so we do have to clean up before and after meals, but it's not that bad.

dottieanna29
12-09-2011, 01:07 PM
I would just give it a try in the new location and see how it works out.
Could you get rid of the benches and just put chairs or stools around the table there? Could you take out the dining table and use that for the computer desk and put the adjustable height tables in the dining nook instead?

We could replace the outside bench with chairs (which I do want to do) but the back benches have much needed storage and fit the space better than chairs would. Even normal chairs wouldn't allow the kids to sit "properly" which is probably my main concern.


We're dining room table schoolers. I keep most of the supplies in the adjacent pantry and the art supplies and games in the china cabinet. We don't have a kitchen table, so we do have to clean up before and after meals, but it's not that bad.

Do you find your kids are able to write comfortably at the table? Writing is a bit of a struggle for ds and I don't know if this would make it worse or better.

I guess we could just give it a try a few times without moving anything else and then do a complete rearrange if it appears to be working.

dbmamaz
12-09-2011, 01:29 PM
Your kids are so young, how much writing are they even doing? When we first started at the dining room table, I gave Raven my old nursing foot rest that came w my glider, which helped him sit better for writing. But how do the kids eat? do you have any boosters or anything?

we do things at different places - Raven is actually doing a fair amount of his work sitting on the floor at the coffee table in my bedroom, but he was working on teh dining room table today. He was on his knees or standing for parts of it, but he just doesnt like to sit. I honestly dont worry that much about handwriting because I dont see it as relevant - they arent going to be judged on neatness any time soon, most college work will be on computers, it just has to be legible enough to do essay tests in college . . which is a long way off.

outskirtsofbs
12-09-2011, 01:48 PM
We do our homeschooling at the dining room table. The walls around the area are covered with a world map, US map and various posters. I have two bookcases in the living room (adjacent to the DR). DH is saying that he is going to remodel part of the basement for himself and give us the back computer room for homeschool. He's trying to make it happen by Aug. 2012.....that would be GREAT!

Crabby Lioness
12-09-2011, 02:03 PM
When the kids were small, we did school with lap desks. Last year we moved into a house with a dining room and got a dining room table to use. As the girls are 12 and 10, it works great with them. But for the 3yo, I'm looking for a new lap desk.

We may eventually move into the den, but that's next year's remodeling project.

PetVet
12-09-2011, 02:16 PM
We have two desks in the basement family room, but we end up doing almost everything upstairs at the dining table. Except reading - that's couch snuggle time. :)

naturegirl7
12-09-2011, 02:58 PM
We school just about anywhere - car, outside, living room floor, couch, etc - but our "home base" for school is the kitchen table. I love it. We can minimize distractions, I can cook, do dishes, etc. We get a lot of math done over breakfast. Much quicker that way.

My guy is 6.5 and he is fine on his knees. I do also have a cool kid sized chair we got from Ikea. He used to sit on that for everything....now he prefers the bigger chair cuz it gives him more room to fidgit. :)

I can't find the one we have...but it is similar to this one
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50207036/

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
12-09-2011, 03:08 PM
Do you find your kids are able to write comfortably at the table? Writing is a bit of a struggle for ds and I don't know if this would make it worse or better.

My son is fine (he's tall), but my daughter has a booster seat on her chair.

theWeedyRoad
12-09-2011, 04:10 PM
We use the dining table, which is similar proportioned to the one you have. Our biggest problem was under the table fighting foot fighting ACK. Now I do them one at a time.

It's actually dd's preferred place to do her work, anyway, and ds said he preferred it as well.

Stella M
12-09-2011, 04:24 PM
Kitchen table. My bed. Floor. Sofa.

dottieanna29
12-09-2011, 04:42 PM
I can't find the one we have...but it is similar to this one
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50207036/

I like that chair. Looks perfect but I'll have to try and convince dh. He actually hates IKEA but I've still managed to talk him into a few things.


We use the dining table, which is similar proportioned to the one you have. Our biggest problem was under the table fighting foot fighting ACK. Now I do them one at a time.

It's actually dd's preferred place to do her work, anyway, and ds said he preferred it as well.

That's the one problem I won't have. Our table has solid boards in a x shape as "legs". I actually can't stand it since it doesn't feel like I have room for my legs but it will keep the kids from kicking each other.

Thank you for the feed back everyone. I think I'm going to try it because I found another advantage - I won't have to "take down" all our school to do my exercise or let the kids play Wii for active time. Since I'm hoping for more structure to our schedule after the new year, the less times I have to set-up and take down in a given day, the more likely I am to actually get things accomplished. Structure is NOT my usual state of being.

Faygo
12-09-2011, 05:31 PM
We homeschool in the living room, at the coffee table or on the couch. I am in the market for a good lap desk right now. We have a dining room and an eat-in kitchen and an office/playroom, but we prefer the comfy-ness of the living room. Then again, he's 7, so things will probably (maybe) change as he gets bigger.

lakshmi
12-09-2011, 06:00 PM
Dining room table sometime. Each girl has a desk. One is a table from the garage and the other is an actual school desk, which I LOVE>.. vintage, adn I have a desk and we have a lap desk. Did I leave anything out. The floor, oh yeah, the floor.

I let them pick where they do school from a bag. Like drawing a number but instead they draw a place. The only exception is handwriting in their books and for that they have to sit at a table.

Posters? I don't use them. Or I put them on a wall and then take them down. No posters for us.

farrarwilliams
12-09-2011, 06:04 PM
We're dining room table schoolers. I bought the table just for school. Okay, for school and so that when I host a meal, I don't have to add a folding table on the end and try to disguise it with tablecloths. But really, I picked out our beautiful table thinking of school.

ercswf
12-09-2011, 06:33 PM
We were working on our kitchen table last year. Then this year we rearranged the living room so that we can have a area dedicated to piling the homeschool stuff. Ironically when we set it up my sister brought me her kitchen table. We call it the homeschool table but really it's another kitchen table less than 5 feet from the kitchen table.

lynne
12-09-2011, 07:35 PM
I don't have a dining room table. I have my computer desk in the dining room along with book shelves for school books and a small table and chair set which my 6 yo uses for school. I have my 10 yo do his school work at the kitchen table. I found it's often necessary to keep them separated or they good around too much and get nothing done. It's working okay for now.

laundrycrisis
12-10-2011, 07:29 PM
Kitchen table here.

charlieinkc
12-11-2011, 02:11 PM
For writing and sit down stuff, we tend to use the dining room table. It keeps stuff off the floor and safe from running children and/or animals. It's easier for my 12 year old to sit and write or do math at a table than hunched over himself on the floor (which is how the little ones like to do it). However, we're trying to get away from it. We have an eat in kitchen but don't have a table in there. I want to put in a small, narrow table just so we can use it for school.

Ayem
12-13-2011, 07:50 AM
The front of my house is completely open plan and I have a lovely, big wooden dining table in the centre of the space. For desk work we use it, DD also has a desk, but we may also be on the deck, in a blanket fort, on the sofa or in bed. If we're not at the table we have a couple of lap desks and drawing boards which get used. Where we are depends on the mood and the task - and the state of the house. The dining room table has so much stuff on it at the moment, I dread going near it.

Cafdog
12-13-2011, 05:09 PM
My daughter has a good-sized playroom and a very nice desk in her bedroom...but we are at the dining room table most of the time. It has enough room for us to work side-by-side, and is the brightest and cheeriest place to work. I get tired of clearing papers/globes/eraser and pencil shavings off of it, but it really seems to be the best place for homeschooling in the house. :)

WindSong
12-13-2011, 06:37 PM
We use the dining room table, floor, and the couch. Because we have long, cold winters, we curl up with quilts on the couch by the stove. I think investing in some lap desks would help tremendously.

Greenmother
12-14-2011, 11:17 AM
We do our stuff wherever we want to. The dining room table has become a shit magnet though. But that happens to every flat surface in this house. {the dangers of being an artist/bibliophile/homeschooler/packrat}

When it's really cold, we snuggle in our fuzzy pants in my bed and read and do work with clip boards. :)

Lou
12-14-2011, 11:48 AM
Where do you actually do the sit-down work part of school?

FYI - Jumping in late, not reading all the posts.

We do school at the kitchen table, the coffee table in the living room, the couch in the livingroom, a small kid's table in the toy room, a small kid's table in their bedroom, the picnic table in the play yard, a picnic table at the park. Those are generally the places we do school.

I keep the curriculum we are currently working on separate from my other addiction to curriculum supplies. That way if we want to school on the run (like at the park while eating lunch) we can toss the current curriculum in a basket and go.

J&C'sMommy
12-28-2011, 12:05 PM
We are currently working from the kitchen table. I actually don't like it much because if both kids work together they distract each other. Our kitchen is small and our HUGE table only fits one way. They end up HAVING to sit side by side. I try to make them work at separate times but dd always wants to work when she sees ds working. My dream is to have a room dedicated to school so that I can set up separate desks. For now I am thinking of getting a desk for ds and having dd work at the kitchen table. I would love a lift lid desk like this (http://www.sensoryedge.com/virco-student-desk-751.html?utm_source=virco-student-desk-751&utm_medium=shopping%2Bengine&utm_campaign=googleproducts), although I think this (http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-Computer-Desk-Black/15734260) may be more practical.

opheliag
12-28-2011, 11:22 PM
We have a room that is sort of dedicated to homeschooling (open floor plan, it's a weird space), but we usually end up at the dining room table or on the couch. My youngest son uses the piano bench for his writing work. He pulls it up to the couch, and it is the perfect height for him.

Tayonoss
12-30-2011, 09:46 PM
i am pretty happy we found our dining room table again :) Since Christmas started it has been a catch all for everything. Clean table means back to school for the kids, i'm excited them not so much.

Sam
12-31-2011, 12:34 AM
Unless help is needed or it's a joint project, anywhere that work is getting done is where sit down work is done lol My niece used to spend most of her time on the staircase. My daughter's usual place is the dining room table, but she floats around too. Now, they are also 9 and 11 so they do a lot more independent work. My preschooler is only 2 1/2 so most of her "work" is done in her high chair. Sometimes standing at the coffee table, sometimes sitting on the floor with a lapdesk. Comfort rules here :)

Lou
01-01-2012, 10:43 AM
@dottieanna29 where are you doing schooling now?

dottieanna29
01-01-2012, 11:15 AM
Well, right now we're not schooling anywhere since we've been on break with the holidays. ;-)

We were using two folding, height adjustable tables (these ones (http://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Personal--20-Inch-Molded-Almond/dp/B0006D50RE/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1325430346&sr=8-9)). I have two of them and at the lowest level they are perfect height for the kids using their little playtable chairs (the play table itself bit the dust). I have office boards for both of them that serve as a divider and I sit on the open edge so I can see both of them.

Problems with that plan: I have to set up and take down the tables to do anything else in the living room. Very small space so I'm putting them up and down at least twice a day, sometimes more. One of the tables has been "borrowed" to hold our desktop computer since the kids managed to break the desk it was on.

Problems with the dining room table: Still a very small space so it feels cramped but we could manage - it's not a separate room, just the end of the kitchen that leads to the rest of the house. With nobody sitting at the table (so all benches pushed all the way in) there's only about 18 inches to walk by. It has bench seats and I'm having a little trouble coming up with an arrangement that will allow me to continue monitoring both kids. I was worried that not having correct posture for writing would be a problem since there is no way for them to do the "feet on the floor, table at waist height" (which is why I posted here and that seems to not be a concern) and it's the dumping ground for everything that needs to find a place but I think I can avoid that with a little effort.

We start up again Tuesday (daddy is home Monday so we're waiting one extra day) and I think I'm going to try the dining room table for a little while and see how it goes. Reading will be done on the living room couch and some art/science projects may still be done in the living room since it's a little easier being able to walk completely around the table sometimes.

Lou
01-01-2012, 01:51 PM
what about lap desks on the sofa? My kid's favorite place (at this point in time as it's always changing) is the little table/chairs set from Ikea ($19.99) they love it, it's little, lightweight to move here and there, etc...

lakshmi
01-01-2012, 10:37 PM
I am a fan of clipboards!!!! We use them a lot and the kids have some interesting ways of using them. LOL... today for handwriting. (Preface this with....I typically tell them that with handwriting it helps to be at a good table) Today my daughter had the clipboard on the coffee table and I thought okay, I can deal with that. And then I turn around and come back and her feet are on the couch and her legs are making a bridge to the coffee table and she is still writing on her clipboard. I laughed and left her to finish.

I second lapdesks, but the one I have they don't use so much like a desk the clipboards work better. All MBTP is in a spiralbound notebook so it doesn't go anywhere anyway. Math is the only thing that we do at the table. Right start uses a lot of cards for manipulatives.