We haven’t always had a homeschool room. And, please, don’t think that school rooms are a mandate for a successful homeschool. It really is dependent on what works best for your family dynamics; even those fluctuate based on various needs and seasons.
My dream has always been to create a living homeschool room; an engaging room within our home in which our learning can naturally flourish.
Our Homeschool Room Metamorphosis
The Early Years
During our first few years of homeschooling Jadin had a large table that was only about 2-ft off the ground. He’d sit on his little knees while snipping and gluing to his heart’s content. This low table (a trash find) was in the corner of our small apartment dining room. This area was alive and active. He had buckets of supplies, and an imagination that still hasn’t quit to this day. His preschool assignments were to create, and he thrived at his little table!
The Dead Schoolroom
After we bought our farmette in the country we found ourselves with only 3-children and 5-bedrooms. We felt like we had miles of open area. One of our upstairs bedrooms had a newly polished hardwood floor, with floor to ceiling windows. I wanted this room to be our schoolroom. My husband found fabulous shelving in the trash, along with several traditional school desks. We painted the walls in chalk board paint and added a large fish tank. I had big dreams for this room.
I knew that I didn’t want a traditional classroom; I also wanted to work creatively with what the Lord provided.
But, things didn’t go by my perfect plan. (Grins.) Our family life developed downstairs in the heart of our home, and outside by our shady trees and pond. It became a chore to haul 3 children away from life to a room upstairs and ‘do school.’ Within a short time it become apparent that we weren’t going to use this space the way I’d hoped.
Here’s a glimpse of the several years that followed.
The school room was dead upstairs.
Homeschool was alive everywhere else.
Creating Our Living Homeschool Room
Then, we added two more sweet little boys in two years. Our big old farm-house began to shrink. I felt guilty about the dead school room upstairs that housed our books and supplies, yet we never utilized the space beyond
lazy convenient storage. Armed with my Momma Lion hormones we tackled the daunting task of switching our upstairs homeschool room with our downstairs master bedroom.
I didn’t want to lose our sweet combination of kitchen-table-learning and one-room-schoolhouse atmosphere that permeated downstairs. My goal was to simply overflow our daily discoveries into this new living homeschool room that was located directly off the kitchen. This was the ideal location to harmoniously extend learning and maximize our family living space.
Here’s the finished project.
We’ve now had our living homeschool room functioning for a little over a year. I’m happy to report that we daily use this room; it’s a joyous addition to our home – as if we built on an addition. Even when it’s not table-work time, our children congregate at the large table for games, science projects, and creative outbursts. Just this week there was a revival of cardboard creations and origami challenges. None of it planned by me, all delight-directed learning, and all in this beloved usable space. Beyond this special room our learning continues to spill throughout the house with our read aloud time, frugal learning ideas, and general lifestyle of learning flow.
We consider our living homeschool room along the same lines as an artist studio or writer’s cabin; it is instinctively an inviting place to let God’s gifts flourish.
Recent days with learning coming alive!
What’s your homeschool room story? Did you struggle to find a place that would work well for your family? Do you couch school, or do lessons wherever the mood strikes? Share your inspiring learning story in the comments below!