When we first started schooling, we were living in a teeny tiny home. There wasn’t much space for us and our things, let alone a dedicated space for schooling. It was rather tight but we made do.
When we finally did move to a much bigger place, I was set on creating a dedicated schoolroom space for us. I felt it was important and did tons of research on how to set it up for my girl!
Then came along our little rugrats (the twins!) and I realized that they really should not have access to a lot of the supplies and books. Our little ones are most lovingly called ‘twinadoes’ when they were mobile! They ripped apart books, got into nooks and crannies we were sure we had made impossible to get to! We decided that we had to majorly child-proof the main room and just keep it a playroom for a few years before converting it into a shared school/craft/play area.
So where did this leave my then 7 year old? Well, in my office of course! I loved having her nearby to my computer. I loved being able to easily print sheets for her from my computer, have her work beside me, with me, and it worked really really well –for a time!
My beautiful and intelligent girl is also a very creative soul and I began to see how her creativity would magically implode and take over the entire teeny tiny room that I called my office space. I found that I had no room to sew, no room to be creative as well, as I was being taken over by feathers, beads, glue and bits of paper from her creative artwork. Her books were also spilling over and I started to pack away my fabrics to make more room for her stuff.
It was not fun for me. But I didn’t want to take away what space she had!
My wonderful husband came up with a great idea! See, we have a living room we hardly ever use. We tend to all gravitate to the family room which is right off the main play area and spend our time together as a family there. He proposed we convert this unused space into a school area for her. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t on board because I had great plans for that room…. but nothing that couldn’t be put on hold for a few years till the twinadoes were old enough for her to move back down to the main room I wanted to convert for schooling/crafting/playing. So, we decided to go for it!
We kept the couch there, but removed the coffee table and end tables. We threw some pillow pets on the couch to make it more kid-friendly and fun! We got a long folding table for her work space, set up some cubbies with tubs for her arts and crafts supplies. Set up a nice tall bookshelf we got as a hand me down to store all her books -both for school and pleasure reading. And then I found that I had WALL SPACE! Empty wall space in that room! They were just calling out to be filled with time lines, posters and fun stuff!!
So I ordered that evolutionary timeline I’ve been eyeing for some time and enrolled my husband’s help to print, laminate and cut my ancient history timeline that I’ve been dying to set up. It turned out rather nice!!! I was SO happy with how it all came together! And I loved how it became a very much loved and used space in our home. My husband just had to get her a solar system that lights up and spins and added that to the ceiling. It was an awesome touch!
Having a dedicated space to school gives us that extra bit of excitement when it comes time to start our day. It’s a warm and inviting place and a comfortable one, too! We can plop on the couch a midst the pillow pets and snuggle up and ready ancient history together or science! I have even found her snuggled up there reading a good book of hers. She loves to spread out her toys there and play, get creative and create paper villages for her dolls and just plain have fun without worry that the twins would get into something they shouldn’t! Her having her own space has lent her the ability to feel that she can be creative and has given me back my itty bitty office space so I can be creative again, too! It’s a win-win!
I know some families sit around the kitchen table to school, or the dining room or living room. We’ve done all of that and still do at times. Some days I’ll set up all three kids around the kitchen table. The twins coloring ABC pages and the oldest working on some algebra on her laptop. The flexibility and not feeling confined to a set location is good for us! As the weather starts to warm up, we may even move our schooling outside.
You just gotta do what works for you :) and this is what works for us!