View Full Version : School room ideas

03-17-2012, 12:52 AM
I'm not sure this is the correct forum, but ...

We very recently moved our photography art business into it's own studio and that freed up our master bedroom and garage. So, my spouse & I are moving back into the master (I'm so excited!!) and the extra room will be a sewing/craft/school room. I am wondering what the 'must-have' is. I have a 4-year old and we've been doing some eclectic-type of schooling, but I'm hoping to be a tiny bit more structured, if not by the curriculum, then at least by the space.

Any awesome ideas out there? The room is 10x12 so it's not huge, but it should be adequate. I'd love to see pictures of your spaces. :)

03-17-2012, 11:25 AM
Ours is a mess, but the essentials are bookshelves, table (we use the white, folding table with adjustable-height legs from Sam's Club) and white board on an easel. We have a world map on the wall and a place to hang work. I also have an old dresser which is partly used for supplies.

03-17-2012, 12:18 PM
We have a computer desk, an art desk, lots of bookshelves, a work table and lots of bulletin boards because Zack is a very visual learner. We're also redoing an old Hoosier cabinet I found as a science work area. Are you on Pinterest at all? There are lots of great ideas there. Let me know if you need an invite.

Accidental Homeschooler
03-17-2012, 01:34 PM
We don't have a dedicated space but I think there was a thread a while back about this, with pictures too I believe.

03-17-2012, 03:08 PM
Thanks! I'll look for that thread....and, yes, I am on Pinterest. I've found some good ideas and even googled it and found some. I'm so excited to get started. I just need to get over this pneumonia that's kept me down for the past week and a half!

03-17-2012, 03:16 PM
If someone can find the thread, can you post the link up? I can't find it...
I'm interested in this too since we are about to build a house in a few months.

03-17-2012, 04:08 PM
I looked, and found some about spaces, but not really with pictures.

03-18-2012, 12:51 AM
There is this thread and somewhere in this one, an even older one is linked. http://www.secularhomeschool.com/threads/2282-Pictures-of-your-Homeschool-Space?highlight=spaces

I am excited - this week we start converting the gameroom into a school room. I'm knocking down a wall and installing laminate. We'll see where the money is then and I might go whole hog and outfit the whole thing at once. Ikea is going to get a WHOLE LOT of my money.

The one thing I know is storage, storage, storage. That seems like the running theme. I plan to have a very low table where my preschooler can work standing. Later when my kids are older I'll get a big table like Pioneer Woman has. Then I want another small table for whatever misc. thing is out at the moment. I'm thinking fossils, microscopes, frog spawn, whatever. Then desks, and lots of cabinets and bookshelves. I'm going to put some kind of awesome chair in. Whether a hanging chair or one of the egg-shaped ones...we already have a giant windowseat that is like 6'x4' (it is in a dormer window). I'm going to put a more normal sized window seat in the other window. I'm keeping the (most comfortable in the whole wide world) hideous reclining couch and will eventually mount a TV across from it.

03-19-2012, 05:30 AM
So jealous of y'all! Next year, next year is my mantra. We are moving to a bigger house. Right now I school on the kitchen table and have half of the hutch cabinet for storage. Soooo, not a lot of room. But my dream is a desk just his height, with a big ball as a chair (ADHD), an extra table for us to work together and bookshelves and storage and lots of wall space for posters posters posters. I went to the teacher store this weekend and drooled over educational posters. One of these days....

03-19-2012, 10:03 AM
I highly recommend having a day-bed in the classroom, for cuddly reading. We use ours a lot.

04-25-2012, 04:34 PM
I'm planning to start hs this fall and looking for ideas to organize the space (no dedicated room but I am hoping to designate a wall for specific storage). I am trying to follow the link above but I end up at a blank forum page. please help :(

04-25-2012, 05:55 PM
I can tell you some must-haves, some nice-to-haves, and even some lessons-learned from ours:
Must have
- bookshelves - as many as you can fit. If I could, I'd line the walls with them, but ours is our dining room and there are two huge windows and not a lot of wall space. But we got the tallest widest ones we could fit and one low one, all from Ikea, and they are essential! I use one for supplies, games, etc... and the others for books. Can't have too many, you'll build up a library of books over time.

- computer area with HEADPHONES! If you homeschool multiple kids and have to have them share, headphones are a must. This enables you to do work with one while the other does something on the computer without making noise. I suggest a swivel chair too b/c many home schooled kids like to move when they learn/study. Ikea makes some really inexpensive but good ones, computer desks too.

- lower table and chairs where everyone can sit (you too). This can be for crafts, group lessons, etc....If you can get one that is adjustable over time (some classroom tables and chairs are), even better!

- Comfy story time area. I love the day bed idea, but we have bean bag cushions and a window seat bench I built for this purpose. The kids gather round and I sit on the bench. Often I see them lying on the bench reading in the window too. Very cozy.

- Map, calendar, white board (magnetic, you'll find a million uses for it--get a big one, as big as you can fit), try to mount on wall if you can, if not, get one of those cheap portable metal easels they use in conference room

- art storage/paper - I keep a large flat tupperware box on top of our low table for their works in progress. As long as they are dry, at the end of the day, anything they want to save, but aren't ready to hang up or share, or just that they aren't sure what to do with, goes in there. Keeps the paper clutter down. Then they have their own portable file boxes (with handles) I got at Container Store for longer term storage of this stuff and their other paper-based work (those have file folders with labels too)

Nice to have
- rug for spreading out on the floor for puzzles, projects or blocks, you need space for this though
- if you have really little kids, baskets of board books at their level, on or near the floor
- storage (locked) for your supplies like paints and glue and scissors and stuff you don't want them using without supervision, or too much (I find I have to restrict paper use or my little ones waste it by the ream)

Lessons learned
- Wall art that is permanent or meant to stay up all the time can be limiting. I now wish I had my white board on the wall instead of posters and such. One map is good, but I put up a bunch of things like multiplication tables and the like, and they kids never look at them and I wish I just had blank space for words of the week or my white board. I plan to change that :)

- A large folding painting easel is nice if you have enough space to leave it out at all time, but if not, you'll end up folding it up and never using it. :( I wish I had bought a couple of those tabletop ones instead of the big one, and may sell mine and do just that :)

- try to make a space in your home for curriculum materials and other stuff (books, toys) that you're ready to donate or sell. Go through once a month and see what you can add to that so you always have some room to see what you have and make good use of it. I didn't do this and recently it took me a couple of DAYS to go through it all and make decisions. Never again! LOL

Good luck!!

04-25-2012, 09:55 PM
Thanks! I really like the idea of the magnetic white board. I love multi-purpose things. I have been trying to keep myself from getting all sorts of posters. They look so nice! :) luckily, I just don't have room, so I've been able to refrain. I've been looking at those big cube type shelving units from IKEA. I've never gotten any of their stuff but looks like I really need to check it out in person.

my only problem with donating/selling stuff is that i'm just starting with my oldest at preK, then my little one will need it all in 2 yrs and I imagine we'll have more kids eventually so I'll keep needing this stuff (not to mention all the toys and clothes! ack!)

I love all your info. I hope someday we'll have room to implement it but in the meantime I'm going to save those ideas. Thanks!

04-25-2012, 10:01 PM
Yeah, I have three myself, and I do try to reuse things, but what I've found is that they don't all respond to the same things the same way, or I try things that I end up not liking as a teacher. Plus we outgrow books and games over time, or just want to make room for new ones b/c we've played the others umpteen zillion times ;) It happens. It's a way's off for you still, but I just thought I'd mention it :)

Also, when you're checking out Ikea, check the Billy bookcases--such a bargain!!! I have the cubes in our playroom, and they are nice for some things but not great for book storage as they are inflexible. The Billy shelves can be adjusted to hold different height books.

05-27-2012, 09:32 PM
Ours is in our guest room and we do have my mom come twice a year for 2 weeks each time so the bed is needed. So we have a twin bed and a dresser in the room. And then I have 3 book cases a small table and 2 old school chairs, big floor billows that I recovered that make a comfy place for reading. I hope in our next house to have more space and to be living not on an island where stores either wont ship or they charge you an insane amount to ship anything heavy LOL. If that happens then I am getting a real desk for DD with a swivel chair, more book cases, and hope to have a completely separate room with no bed in it for the school room.

06-01-2012, 10:11 AM
We have computer desks and computers (and headphones! I agree that headphones are a MUST, lol), quite a few books shelves, an art/craft table, magnetic dry erase board, a couple of huge wall maps and a few posters of things the boys are interested in (the sign language alphabet for my youngest and some measurement/conversion posters for my oldest who likes to cook).

06-12-2012, 11:15 AM
I started out with a decked-out "classroom" upstairs, with globe, chalkboard, flag, desk, and alphabet border, the whole schmear, and it never got any use beyond comforting me psychologically that we were ready to homeschool.
But what I did do, was see that my kids (who are all still little, except my oldest who is 7, which is sorta-little, sorta-not) want to be where I am, mostly. They don't like being segregated upstairs, much. So our learning and living, happens mostly downstairs. So they have a toy cabinet downstairs, with pull-out bins, and we built a lockable 6 foot tall 3 ft wide arts-and-crafts cabinet, with clear bins inside, labeled, one for crayons and markers, one for craft papers and punches or special-edging scissors, one for scissors/tape/glue, one for embellishments like glitter and stick-on-gems and papers stamps, one for beads and beading and jewellry making, one for playdough and playdough tools, one for sewing scraps and cloth, one for knitting and crocheting supplies, and so on.

That became necessary because my DD LOVES doing creative work and arts and crafts and painting and building, but we needed a way for it to be organized in easy-to-take-out-and-put-back bins, with a lock to keep the littler ones from tearing it all apart all over the floor every day and using scissors and glue on the drapes.

It's in the room off the kitchen and living room, with a "dining" table where she does her arts and crafts, or where we can sit and play parcheesi or card games, yahtzee or othello when we want, or have a special tea time just for fun.

So our dining room is the creative room, and the computer is in the corner between the dining room and stairs. The piano, guitars, and a few other instruments are in the living room, and so is the TV and a few toy bins.

My kids kind of do stuff all over the house. If we are going to do something planned that is really messy, like paper mache or paint with the younger ones, we do it at the kitchen table.

In the living room, we have a built-in bookcase, and I packed away all those "coffee table" books and cleared the space as a homeschool bookcase for stuff we can use daily, like origami books and papers, japanese kids' picture dictionary and other Japanese-language materials (I teach them some of that here and there because I can), kids' magic tricks and joke books, mazes and optical illusions, a kids' chess book, a fun math hands-on activity book, a boxed chemistry experiments set we are still working our way through when it occurs to us, and so on. For the longest time, we couldn't find all that, buried among those coffee table books on Frank Lloyd Wright and stuff.

Our living space had to be changed to accommodate our real lives, and the things we want to do at home besides cook and clean. The fun and interesting stuff.
It also changes according to the ages and stages of the kids. Baby toys cluttered the living and dining room last year, and in a few more years, the oldest will be doing a lot independently and on the computer, and the youngest will be outgrowing the toddler and primary years toys.

It is hard, but each year I have to take a look again at what is and isn't really working for us, and remove items that are just sitting there, so we have room for what they, and we, actually DO want to do at home. And we can't have an adults-only living room centered around television viewing and fancy coffee table entertaining. It's just not realistic anyway. The house has to offer interesting things to do, and a place to store them, in every room.

I love seeing other people's ideas too! Maybe take a few inspirations.

06-12-2012, 06:35 PM
I just finished setting everything up in my dining room. I found a table for $80 at K-Mart and it's perfect. All school stuff is now in one room and I have my kitchen table back!



06-12-2012, 10:58 PM
I've been interested in setting up my official room for fall lately, too. The other day I found myself on YouTube and found several great video tours of some fab spaces and organizing tips. Good luck!

06-13-2012, 01:09 PM
We have no "schoolroom", and I have no desire for one.

My ideal house would have a library/quiet room with lots of bookshelves and comfy places for reading or schoolwork, and a family room with a big open area with good flooring for all sorts of jumping around and weight training and so forth, with a craft/sewing area in one part. Both of those would facilitate homeschooling without being a schoolroom.

06-16-2012, 12:27 AM
Our room Is about 11x6, which seemed huge coming from a teeny townhouse where we started homeschooling at our kitchen table.

I absolutely recommend the Ikea cubicles! We LOVE them! They hold SO much. Just last weekend I rearranged our school room and it took forever to unload all the stuff on those cubicle shelves. I have books by subject, baskets of art supplies, science equipment, musical stuff, math manipulatives, basically all our curriculum, books, reference materials, and supplies for the entire year. This year I put the cubicle unit onto of a credenza for file folders and home office supplies.

I've upgraded to a larger white board, twice in 3 years. Also love chalkboard wall stickers (we found them on Etsy). I added one to my kitchen & my son asked for one for his room, too, to list his chores.

We have 2 desks, one for the adult, one for our son. Both have just enough room to seat 2, so we can be at computer together or working on paper together. My son's desk, also from Ikea, has a return that can extend, so that gives a second work space. We have a tabletop easel with whiteboard on one side, chalkboard on other, & clips for paper to attach. we store most of our family's books in the guest room, which is really more of a library/reading room.

I found the following helpful to keep on hand so far: old newspapers for messy projects, old magazines for all kinds of projects, construction paper, a wide variety of craft supplies, markers, crayons, colored pencils, paints, glues, glitters, stickers for rewards, large water bottle for each of us, mp3 &/or cd player, magnifying glass, bulletin board, a "schoolroom" plant & pet (hermit crabs & water frogs for us), maps, inflatable globe, laminator, bookmarks & post-it's, meter stick, yarn, string, balance, index cards, a variety of papers: graph, handwriting, sketchbook, watercolor, tracing, craft or wrapping paper, paper towels!

06-19-2012, 08:56 AM
I have always wanted a school room as well, and finally I sacrificed one of my bedrooms for one!

I designed a floor to ceiling bookshelf (LOTS of space) a wood table and bench, corner computer desk and a full size couch in our room.
It fits pretty well, with some room to move around if need be. But We will be reading on the couch, working on the table and having computer time at the desk.

It will be great. I also have TONS of educational posters (Check with your DNR/Forestry office.. I got a ton for free!) and a whiteboard/chalkboard/markable map as well as our school timeline on our wallspace.

That is the beauty of our school room. Basically, I tried to think of everything I wanted to do in there for school and made sure I had a spot for doing it.

I hope yours goes well too!

07-28-2012, 11:35 AM
We rent the home we're living in so the types of things we can do in it are a little limited. HOWEVER, we had an attic that was fairly large and built enough that we could turn it into another room..so we did!! Now granted, the paint job we did was not professional and is definitely not very good. BUT.. compared to what the room looked like previously, I think it looks a ton better. I still need to make the curtains for the room but at least we have a place to house all of the homeschooling stuff.

But, with it being summer and because heat rises, the attic has been pretty warm up there even when we had a window air conditioner up there. So in the meantime, we've been doing our studying in the living room but will move up in the attic when the weather cools off.. Here's a some pictures..