Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Have a Classroom--And I Am OK With That

I know a lot of homeschoolers are very....

...anti anything that looks like formal education.

And when I read posts or articles by those kinds of homeschoolers, I start to doubt myself just a bit. And then I read that their children are (usually) in preschool and I relax.

I completely agree that you need to do nothing that looks like school when your kids are that little. Unless you want to! That's the beauty of homeschooling.
Sigh. I miss preschool. 
So I'm not writing this to make anyone doubt themselves. Or to make anyone feel badly. But I would just like to write a little bit in favor of those who do a little "school at home."

You have to understand, I taught public school for 11 years. I grew up in public school. So when we started homeschooling....I did this:
L to R:  Sweetheart's desk, my chair, and Little Bit's preschool desk. 
I'm sorry, OK? We didn't have a table! And I had no idea what I was doing! Well, that set-up lasted 2 weeks and then we ended up at the dining room table the rest of the year.
Apple Unit. Three year old Little Bit and 8 year old Sweetheart. (2nd grade)
Which was fine. But we had this perfectly good room at the front of our house where we COULD do school AND store all our school stuff. That was really the part that got to me about using the dining room table--I wanted everything in one place! I NEEDED everything in one place.

So I prayed for a table. And the Lord provided! Twenty dollars later, we were in business and our first school room was born.

And when we used that room those few years, Little Bit would play/do school-y stuff in the hallway by the front door. She didn't want to be in the living room "all by herself." And in Kindergarten when she did join us for school more formally, I found out our little school room was CROWDED!

Kindergarten. Took about an hour every day. 
So we moved. I switched the toy room and homeschool room. We are still in there and it works great for us right now. It has everything I have wanted in a homeschool room:

1. Room!
2. A table.
3. A place to keep all our school stuff.
4. Walls to hang up school stuff where we don't have to look at it in the main part of our house.
5. The ability to close the door and leave school behind on our weeks off--and weekends.

I have found that the older my children get, the more we really look like we are doing school work. There are more subjects. There is more work. They have more responsibility.

That's not to say we don't have fun. That's not to say we don't leave the "classroom". I'll be writing more about this.

But now you know how we came to have a classroom, which I'll be showing you around soon too. The "new and improved" version that is!
Where do you do the main part of school? Don't you think so much depends on the floor plan of your house?


  1. While some other might not appreciate the schooliness of this, my mind NEEDs to have all associated things in one spot. There for, logically, schooly sorts of things? All in one room for easy access? Where the kids can work/play/ do their schooly thing? Perfect! Makes sense to me :) i think to some degree, it should be work. The idea that school should be fun and easy all the time is plain ridiculous. And unrealistic. Real life is not that way. Sure, we can take joy in hard work completed well, but I don't beleive we were put here to have the easy road to Heaven :) Hard work is good for the whole of us. It stretches and grows us, challenges us. Thanks for your posty:)

  2. I really enjoyed your post about school rooms and where to do our class things. I wish I had a school room. Somewhere everyone can sit and have enough room to do their thing. Unfortunately, I found there will always be a snag here or there. I don't like to use the dining room table because it makes a mess. I think if the floor plan of our house were different, then it would work to have a school room. We live overseas right now, so we get what we get. When it is time to look for a home in the US, it will definitely be near top of the list to have a place for school.

  3. I am proud of you, Brenda. You have done and are doing such a good job. Wow, looking at those pictures I just can't believe how small Little Bit was when you started this journey. Too bad we live so far apart - I wish you could come help me get ready for the new school year. :)

  4. GOOD FOR YOU!!!

    We don't 'school', we simply disciple our children. We try to not be slaves to the institutionalized methods, we don't have a 'classroom', we study Jan - Nov on an odd schedule, etc.

    HOWEVER . . .

    While I try to encourage those who don't have a room to dedicate that it is completely possible to disciple one's own children at home without it, if you have a room and that's what works for your family, ROCK ON!


  5. I am OK with your classroom ;) I have one too. School at home was all I knew when I started and we still sort of set up that way. :)

  6. Q--I totally agree. Not necessary at all. It's a hobby of mine; anytime I walk into a home I'm all figuring out, "If we lived here...where would we do school?" I think I could get by just about anywhere.

  7. We have a "school room" and I LOVE IT. The best part is that it has a door. I love that we can shut the door and return to our messy project tomorrow. :0) Good for you!

  8. We moved around until we took over the playroom. I am so happy to have school all in one spot!

  9. I agree that I found it almost HARD to not make it look like "school" in a way-- but hey we are doing school! I dont home school my children at school becasue I disaprove of maps on the wall, or a student desk or a literature area at the back of the room! I home school my children at home to give them the education my husband and I believe we are called to give them and we do inadverdantly incorporate some "school like" things. it doesnt mean that we sit in our desks without moving for 8 hours OR raise our hand to talk or Get a hall pass for the bathroom and it doesnt mean we always sit on the floor, or lounge on our bed in our nightclothes or learn math in a field of sun flowers! It looks like we are schooling because {{{gasp}}} we are.

    good post!

  10. I would love to have a school room, but there just isn't space in our house for that. We "do school" at the kitchen table. I did recently get a cabinet to put all of our "school stuff" in and can I say, I'm just giddy about it! After 10 years of looking at shelves of stacks of stuff, I have doors that I can close! Sigh...

  11. Love this post! This is our first year having a dedicated "school room." In our old house we did school around the dining room table. It didn't work for me! There was no storage, you had to move everything to eat, everyone saw our mess when they came to the front door.

    As a former teacher myself, I love having a school room now. I love being able to put up posters about things we are studying without having them cluttering up the walls in the living room. I love having a place to store all the school related materials. I love my calendar board that I set up for my kindergartner and toddler (and they do too!). Yes, it does look like a classroom, but so what? My kids are doing their schoolwork in there...(yes, I do let them migrate to other places to work too).

    We have bedrooms for sleeping, bathrooms for bathing, kitchens for preparing food, living rooms for relaxing, some people even have offices for working, so why not have a room for doing school as well?

  12. I love having a school room! I like having a place to keep all of our supplies and craft items and such. After homeschooling for 10 years, I have collected a lot of stuff! And I don't want to get rid of anything yet, since my youngest is just 5.

    But, we do our Bible lesson at the kitchen table, and we do all of our Sonlight reading in our comfy den! I have a rocker/recliner in my schoolroom, and I have spent many hours nursing and rocking babies in that chair while supervising schoolwork.

    Everyone is different! I am glad that you have found what works for you. Your school room looks fabulous!

  13. I totally agree with all your reasons why you wanted a school room. Why not? Like Roan said, we have a room specifically for everything else, so a room for school shouldn't be any different. I once had one and we were much more productive. This year, I've even considered renting a small building. We haven't decided yet. Thanks for sharing!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)