I really wanted a new table and more comfortable, functional chairs for our school room this year. The dining table legs were annoyingly in the way, and the dining chairs were just not intended for the amount of usage they get from a homeschooling family!
I started shopping around for a new table, but then my mom remembered a table one of her previous tenants in her rental house had left behind. It was under a bunch of junk, and was unfinished and beaten up — which meant I thought it was perfect. Ken brought it home and I finished it. Now that beat up old table is lovely, in a pleasantly weathered sort of way. The best part: we were only out the $12 it cost me for stain and paint brushes!
Since we ended up getting the table for free, I decided to look for new chairs. After much online and in-real-life shopping, we bought two hot pink desk chairs that swivel and have pneumatic height-adjustment. The new school table sits a bit higher than the old one, so the new chairs allow Kathryn to be at a comfortable height. That stool is so that Kathryn doesn’t have to leave her feet dangling.
(Make your own version of the handy-dandy supply caddy on our school table! My instructions are here: “Cute and Cheap Art Supply Organizer“)
While I was at it, I bought myself a new chair for my computer desk, because I had been using a stool retired from a medical office. Yay for comfy chairs! And this year I finally got that lovely U.S. wall map laminated!
My computer desk is still just across the room from the school table, so if Kathryn is working on something independently, I can be doing some work of my own and still be nearby to help. You can see how central our schoolroom is to our home; that’s the school table in the foreground, with the living room at left (where the fireplace is), and our front door at the right of the photo. Our kitchen is off to the right.
I spent a couple of weeks reorganizing our shelves and craft/school supplies, and rearranging last year’s books to accommodate this year’s books. (Psst! IKEA shelves rock!)
Most things that Kathryn uses on a daily basis are on a separate small bookcase right behind her chair within easy reach. (Especially with those new swivel chairs!)
I keep print-outs for nature study notebooks, lapbook projects, our timeline book, and state geography notebook in hanging files in a plastic crate. It’s easily transportable, and it’s even my favorite color! My homeschool planning notebook happily nestles right in this same crate.
It’s ridiculous how happy organization makes me. I have to have my things not only neat, but pretty, too. I thought I was just weird like that, but I was recently reading about learning styles, and for a visual learner like me, clutter truly does affect my thinking negatively, and pretty/organized things affect my thinking positively — like I’ve been saying for years!
So, that’s our little schoolroom. Keep in mind, though, that not all our learning happens in this space! Our living room sofa gets at least as much time because that’s as we read our good books! And some learning is outside, or on the computer, or in the kitchen…
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