You absolutely don’t have to have an official “classroom” to educate your children at home, but we’ve loved having a place to store books, curriculum, computers and coloring supplies. It’s where we come to learn, read, create and share with each other and we love how it turned out! Read on for details.
It’s back to school time and 2020’s educational landscape is just looking so strange! We’re homeschooling most of our kids, as usual, but Liam was planning on going to a local charter school for 10th grade. Surprise, surprise: they’re doing everything online so far this semester so it’s turning out to be an interesting transition for him!
When we moved into our house two years ago (!), I knew immediately that I wanted this small-ish family room to become our school room. I absolutely believe in being able to educate our kids however and wherever we want to (the couch, the kitchen table, Mom’s bedroom…) but I also know that our family functions better when school supplies are organized and there’s a dedicated space for book learning.
There’s also nothing that makes me more frustrated than an eternally messy dining table that you can never use for meal time!
Lo and behold, our school room, revealed. I just love how it turned out and am so glad we chose to use this space for corralling books and educational resources rather than just for watching TV.
First off, I have to give a shout out to Becky from Leu Interiors for helping us design this space! Not only did she take a blank slate and turn it into a cozy room for learning, she gave me the full specs for both the bookshelf wall and desk/cabinet wall for me to submit to our cabinet guy. I think it turned out just perfectly.
The wall of books was my first must-have for this space. I’ve ALWAYS coveted a roomful of books and I knew this was our chance to make it happen! Notice, I don’t organize my books my color or size or any other “pretty” metric.
We have classics and school-related books up high (to keep them safe from little hands), followed by teen/adult books below that, then easy chapter books, picture books and board/baby books at the bottom. This way, the littlest of readers have a chance to grab some reading material all on their own.
I also knew I wanted the background of my bookcase to be a pretty color, but instead of painting it, Becky suggested we ask the cabinet guys to lacquer it, just like they do the cabinets & shelves themselves. It was a brilliant move because now the back of the shelves is as sturdy and durable as the rest of it!
Next, I knew I wanted some cabinets to store games, school supplies, paint, etc. and I most definitely needed at least one LOCKED cabinet. We had 4 total cabinets built in as well as plenty of open cubbies.
The larger open shelves are used for curriculum, extra notebooks, coloring books and manipulatives. The smaller cubbies (with the Dollar Store baskets) are for each child to keep their school work in. This way, when it’s time for school, each kid knows exactly where his binder/pencils/workbooks/reading books are.
The cubbies have been revolutionary!
We currently also have the kids’ sewing maching in this room so kids can be creative in an organized space, and we put our printer and larger bins in the open shelves underneath the desk.
The table in the center of the room could, quite possibly, be my favorite addition to this room. Having a central space to play board games, write in journals, color, paint, do perler beads and any other messy activity that is NOT the kitchen table is LIFE-CHANGING!
Seriously. I love it so much.
Finally, that little window seat area was another of my little dreams-come-true. I LOVE the idea of having a library with cozy chairs and window seats everywhere but barring that ideal scenario, I figured a wall of books and one window seat could suffice!
This one is built over cubbies that house all our toys. We went from having about 4 times as many toys as this when we moved into this house but I just couldn’t take the neverending mess of toys everywhere. We got rid of most of them, put the rest in these 6 bins and have never looked back. We do still own Legos, dress-ups and stuffed animals that just don’t live in this room.
There are still a couple of things we still need to do to make this room perfect including buying some more chairs for the table and finding blinds for the window but, considering how long it took me to buy a cushion for that window seat and make a cover for it, I’m not holding my breath.
I also really wish we could’ve fit a couch in here for read-aloud time (currently happening on our massive sectional in this room). But alas, it just didn’t quite fit.
Good thing it’s plenty functional the way it is!
Do you have a dedicated learning space at your house? If not, what would your perfect room look like?