School Room Makeover

If I was a decorator blogger I would have taken before pictures, but I am not a decorator blogger so you’ll just have to take my word for it: our playroom/schoolroom needed a makeover.  It was the playroom/schoolroom equivalent to our neighbor who wears pouffy bangs and t-shirt clips and pumps with socks (oh yes, she does, even to mow the lawn).

We had “builder beige” walls, bookshelves that were always sort of a mess, and the alphabet and Bible verse posters on the wall that we’ve been referencing for the past three years of homeschooling were, as Hannah was heard to remark, “looking sort of scraggly.”

On a whim, the day we got home after a 16 hour drive from South Carolina, I decided the playroom needed to be painted.  Josh helped, which is amazing after he drove 16 hours with Veggie Tales blaring in his ear and the children kicking the back of his seat the whole way, but that is how I know he loves me.  Anyway, we painted the playroom, upstairs hall, AND the two story wall along the staircase the same neutral slightly warm Fennel Splash color we painted the living room and dining room last year.  Then I painted my desk.  I didn’t mean for it to look shabby-chic, but it was late at night and I missed a bunch of spots.  We rearranged furniture.  I did away with the books in bins idea and sorted shelves by school books, read aloud books, my books, and general read alouds.  I put all the computer equipment in a cabinet.  We hung up maps and made new posters.  To pull everything together, I spread out one of the rugs I bought on a business trip to the Middle East long ago and it looks pretty marvelous. And now, without further ado, the grand tour:

The upstairs hall coming up the stairs to the left of the wall in the middle.  This grouping of pictures makes me happy.  It’s not school related, but I thought I’d share it anyway.

The desk Hannah uses when she needs to do some work without the other kids getting all up in her personal space.  Above are our college pennants, for inspiration.  😉

The new alphabet posters are for Sarah, who has not yet fully mastered the letters and sounds they make, and for Jack to remember his penmanship.  The kids work at the little table for schoolwork or crafts.  Above the table is a dry erase map of the United States, because we’re learning states and capitals in geography this year.  The bookcase holds school books by subject and school equipment.

The rest of the room, my desk, Josh’s desk.  Our School Rules poster is behind the chair now.  More on that in another post, perhaps.

For the first time in like 5 years, no baby gate to protect the toys!  The kids have done very well keeping the toys in the right bins and keeping the regular read aloud books put away when they aren’t being looked at or played with.

This is the math wall.  I arranged the numbers 0-9 to help with place value.  Underneath is a big number to help us remember thousands, hundreds, tens, and units.  It was very hard for me not to cross that seven.  No one here crosses sevens.  But the math book doesn’t cross sevens so I’m trying not to confuse the kids.

School starts for us this week and we’re looking forward to it!  The kids got a fun dinner at Steak n’ Shake to celebrate the new year, and I’m hoping that we can take the next two weeks to ease into our routine before our homeschool group starts.  We’re doing Classical Conversations this year and I think it’s going to be fantastic.  In a future post, I’ll talk more about what we’re doing for school this year, but for now, happy first day of school!


15 thoughts on “School Room Makeover

  1. What a beautiful space! I love the carpet, and I totally feel your pain on crossing the 7s. I even do the German 1s that look like upside-down Vs. Of course, living here half the times the numbers are in Arabic anyway, so Stephen and Nathaniel are likely to just be slightly confused for a while on numbers.

    1. I struggle not to cross 7s and Zs as well! And the more I think about it, the harder it is to make it “look” right without crossing it.

  2. Very nice! I need to organize and purge so badly but I am canning and helping my Mom downsize to a condo. Where did you get the dry erase board with the USA map? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those.

    1. Hi Laurie, I got the map through a teacher’s supply store, but then I saw them for much cheaper at Costco a few weeks ago so you might try there. I also heard that Staples carries them from time to time, and sometimes C-Span gives away free maps that you can have laminated with heavy laminate at Kinkos and use as a dry erase.

  3. What a great space for school! It’s so bright and cheerful, not to mention neat and tidy. I am surprised you’ll be doing CC! Let me know your thoughts; the moms here love it and I am seriously looking at enrolling Mikaylah next year. Our local group here has grown by leaps and bounds in the 3 years since it moved here.

    1. Vicky, I knew you would be surprised after I emailed you about it last year, but I changed my mind for a variety of reasons. I think what helped me was seeing a friend’s materials and really hearing what Classical Conversations is all about, versus the website materials. I kind of wish I could re-write their promotional materials for them, but I’m sure most people pick it up more quickly than I did! Anyway, I’m also tutoring a Classical Conversations class this year so I’m going to be very busy. 🙂

  4. Nicely done! I also think I might steal your idea for the numbers–I’m trying to teach K the patterns and I like the way these are arranged. We have a big alphabet posted but I need to find a spot for numbers.
    J. recently posted..Blue Sunday

    1. J, if you’re interested, we had a good time with Math-U-See Primer level as a preschool math DVD, play with manipulatives, learn place value type tool. You could look at ours if you come over sometime. I know you’re not homeschooling per se, but all parents teach something sometimes, right? 🙂

  5. Looks nice. My only comment is, plan on adding a bookshelf a year for school and life for the next few years. How this happens, I don’t know and I’d never believe it if someone had warned me. But I hate packed out bookshelves, and so far, it seems we are moving at about this pace. It’s got to stop soon. Maybe. Maybe not.

    1. I’ll second that! We moved into a large house 3 years ago with a wonderful office and lots of nice bookshelves. Plus we brought all the ones that we had previously. However we’ve just set up two more!

      Just last week I started putting library books in bins like you did! I’m not sure it will work either, but dear me, it’s hard to keep everything organized and not falling off the shelf! (BTW, I’d be curious about some of you others who homeschool – how much do you get from the library and how much do you buy for supplemental reading materials? How do you decide what’s worth owning? We don’t have the easiest library to work with (nothing like the Indy library system when we were there) but I’m not sure I want so much even more to organize and store all the time).

      I do hope you’ll share your thoughts and experiences with CC. We’ve been interested in joining for a while – if they ever come close enough to us, which they might. But I have a number of reservations. There is quite a bit of overlap with what we are already doing for school and their materials and methods(our oldest is 8 so if I were going to try I certainly hope we do very soon) but it appears there’s enough difference that I’m not sure I’d like it.

  6. I think your space looks great! We need to create a homework space for Morgan…I was hoping that a new house would inspire me, but we don’t have that yet so I am forced to come up with something. Perhaps it will inspire me to keep my house a little less cluttered! Good luck with the coming year.

  7. Looks great! I revamped ours this year as well – feel so fresh and inspiring. I did not know you are doing CC – we love it! This is our second year. Anyway, enjoy the start of your school year!

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