Category Archives: School Room

Where Our Stuff Is

If you noticed in our school room there is no “stuff” out. No centers, no fish tanks, no nature shelves, no books, no stuff. We do have it all, but I just moved it out this year. It seems natural to surround ourselves with all of these things in plain sight. However, while we are blessed to have space in our home dedicated just to our school days, it isn’t super big and I needed to tone down the overstimulation that I had going on in there. Over the last three years, there has been a mass exodus of extra things moving out of the classroom and this year, it is official, anything potentially cluttery has moved to other places. I have tried to have everything in one room and it just doesn’t work.

Now we just go get what we need to bring in the classroom. OR go in the closet to review the seven continents. It works.

Just around the corner from our school room, we have a pretty good size under the stairs closet. It became mini romper room. It’s fantastic. I frequently take my 2nd grader in there for hands on things and a little quiet learning time with just here and I. It’s just fun. Who doesn’t like a fort? At 4 or 40, it still rocks to be in a fort and it is also very difficult to get decent pictures in tight spaces, just so you know.

We have learning posters, magnet boards, magnet maps of the US, and more detailed map posters as we are focusing on states and geography this year.

We also have sciencey boards and the continuation of our animal study with our Expedition Earth curriculum as shown in these pathetically horrible pictures.

The closet makes a turn and in the very back and we have our Hoo Are You Board? The title is courtesy of my 7th grader. So cute. This year as part of our 2nd grade Bible curriculum, we are focusing on a different character trait every week. Each week we will put our character trait on an owl and add it to the board. We kinda heart owls around here.

My daughter loves it.

Changes of pace, getting moving, big bright colors, big visuals, and secret spaces. They help bring learning to life for my girl.


Right on top of the closet, just half way up the stairs on our landing, I put a bookshelf. All of our kids books in the house are on this shelf, all in one place. The kids just run up there to grab their books and my toddler hangs out on the step to read.

Back downstairs and next to my romper room cave, there are some built in cupboards right outside of the bathroom. They really were kind of  useless to me and being in a rental, I can’t rip them out. However, last year homeschool teaching helps and art supplies took up residence here.

It’s all in one place now and I can just hang out to find what I need, but I don’t have to look at it all the live long day. Perfect! On the shelf lives our tadpole, or whatever other creature we are observing, resourcey type books, and pencils. I also found a way to sneak a bit more chicken wire back onto a wall. I’m obsessed.

I absolutely love the way things are laid out this year. It’s more spacious for everybody. It is definitely worth the effort it took. The kids actually have commented on liking it as well.


I bought and planted some flowers in the boxes right outside our school room windows. They are too pretty and probably will die by the week’s end as my thumbs are any shade but green. However, for the week, I will enjoy.

Gearing up for the second week of school. The weekend came and went all too quickly as usual!

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Our Classroom 2012-2013

Welcome to our class.

We have turned the area that was designed to be a formal sitting room and a formal dining room in our home into our classroom and my office. We have school here about 90% of the time. Occasionally we take our studies elsewhere {to the park, etc} BUT we honestly prefer our classroom. Its calm and relaxing in here, our stuff is here, and this space is designated learning space. We use it and we love it. I feel very blessed to have the extra space in our home to have it.

I have changed the layout a bit this year, expanded the table, and separated some of the areas away from each other. Last year, we had everything for the kids crammed into this one room and it was just too much. It was fine when there were no humans in here, but once they came in, it was too crowded. Slamming lockers, typing keyboards, and opening drawers and such while students were in their seats created chaos. You get the idea.

So this year our $40 Craigs list table expanded, received a fresh coat of paint, and we purchased some new sturdy chairs. It sits in here all by its lonesome. When you add myself and my four kids this space is maxed out.

I found some condiment caddy’s on clearance at Target that make getting supplies easy. I filled them with some Trader Joes salsa jars and all of our stuff is easy to see and grab. Do the kids constantly spin them during school? Why, yes they do.

I used some old wood from the garage for a simple reminder that hangs in plain sight. All. The. Time. It’s so One Thousand Gifts-ish. There are so many blessings overflowing. I never wanna forget.

I finally did it. After three years of drooling, I dropped the cold hard cash at Ikea and bought the map. I haven’t looked back. Oh, we love it and not just for school. It’s just awesome and H U G E and pretty and lovely. I have a thing for maps.

We have no overhead lighting, so we have to do the plug in. This post inspired this lamp. The basket is a trash can from the dollar tree and I had the cord already from Ikea. I simply cut a hole in the bottom of the basket with scissors and threaded the cord through. Voila. Light for a dollar.

Multiple fabrics become a giant cord cover. Maybe, the longest in history.

A wall of  fun and useful things is behind the table. Garage sale finds, things repurposed, and birthday presents make up this collage. Hobby Lobby sells white board inserts. This 18×24 size was just $7.99. It’s pretty fabulous inside this frame that I already owned. The chicken wire extravaganza was a $2 garage sale frame with some wire stapled in. The frames and mirror up top were .50 cent garage sale finds and some scrapbook paper and a pictures of my lovelies. While I was at Hobby Lobby purchasing my white board that scrolly oval frame and the S just jumped in my cart. I was forced. I had no options.

I used an old picture to coat with chalkboard paint and drew my own calendar. Let’s be honest, my handwriting is just awful, but there is something so fabulous about the chalkboard situation. I love them almost as much as I love maps. I am going to have Emma create September.

One of my favorite quotes ever, or questions rather is What is it you plan to do with your ONE WILD and precious life? Thank you to this adorable little shop on Etsy and happy birthday to me.

My office became combined with the computer area for the kids, their lockers, and our inboxes. It’s working beautifully. I tried and tried on furniture lay out to get this all in here and was stumped. My sister had the genius idea to put this computer table up against my desk. It’s just awesome. Thanks sis! It is main priority to keep the computer right out in the open. Mission accomplished.

Kid’s lockers tuck right in the corner.

Each child has an inbox and a whole bunch of papers wait for me there.

The Ikea Expedit collection is my best friend. All of my teacher books, science kits, extra school supplies, scrapbooking stuff, camera gear, and the kitchen sink is safely stored outta sight in this bookshelf. It’s mine. All mine. No Students allowed.

I also don’t share this. It sits on my desk. Its fantastic. It spins too. Yes, I spin it during class.

Both of these spaces are right inside our front door. I love the romper room kid stuff, but I don’t want to look at it all the time. So, we try to maintain a little bit of pretty in here. I will show you soon where I have my secret romper room for school learning stuff. It’s fun if you like that kind of thing.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Schooling!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

The 36th AVENUE

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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There are certain things that you can not make just like school when you are homeschooling. However, there are certain things that are a right of passage and  I whole heartedly believe in my kids getting to experience them. They may be little things, but when you are twelve…they are pretty big.


We have some. They got a make over this year. The kids each get to decorate their own. We spent very little on this project. Two cans of spray paint and a few sheets of scrapbook paper. Duct tape and scrapbook embellishments were already on hand. You are also going to need some magnets. Lakeshore carries a pack of about a gajillion little circle magnets with adhesive on one side. These are the perfect solution for your locker sticking on fun paper needs. $7.99 is all.





Oh yeah, he has one too. Inside are buckets of toys that I will rotate for play during school hours.

This year we also added locks. I mean the experience needs to be complete right?

Locker decorating is serious business people. You wouldn’t believe the products out there. Locker chandelier anyone? There is rugs, wallpaper, flowers, drapes and more.

The kids are loving their own spaces and I think I have finally taught them how to close the doors without slamming them.

Which brings me to the first of our major changes in our classroom this year. Last year I had a student side and a teacher side. Our rooms face each other and make one giant room. I had the computer, the lockers, the big worktable, etc. all on one side. No bueno. Everything got separated out this year. It was too distracting all in one space.

More soon…


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