web analytics

my classroom!

When our family made the decision to start homeschooling, I knew I wanted to do everything in my power to make my classroom as realistic to a ‘regular classroom’ as I could. There were several reasons for this:

  1. My older sons (now 13 and 15) had already been in public school up through 5th and 7th grade and I wanted to maintain the parts of ‘normal school’ that I thought were worth keeping, in an effort to not cause ‘culture shock’.
  2. I work better in a well-organized space that is specifically suited for the task at hand. I know many homeschool families that do all their work at the dining room table- and are no worse for the wear. I, however, suffer from self-diagnosed OCD and can’t even fathom how anyone concentrates. Not to mention, having to put it all away just to eat! Having a space that is earmarked just for our classroom allows us to spread out and work, learn, experiment, make messes… and clean up when we feel like it!
  3. My college degree is in Early Childhood Education- the Pre-K teacher in me can’t help but put up bulletin boards, hang art projects from the ceiling, etc. My kids love seeing their work displayed and playing with the interactive bulletin boards I put up. But our dining room would look awful funny with tissue paper suncatchers in the window or a Greek gods and goddesses bulletin board plastered on the wall! Having a dedicated space allows me to indulge my inner teacher (and child) and let’s the kids have a space they can really enjoy and take ownership in.
  4. Probably my biggest reason for doing it- I didn’t want my children to go through life homeschooled and then get to college and be completely out of their element- having no idea how a ‘real’ classroom is run.
  5. And lastly, I grew up with a public school education and, good reason or not, a public school classroom is what I was accustomed to.

To that end, I did what I could to make our classroom as user-friendly as possible. Here are some of my ideas!

LOCKERS

The curriculum we use (Abeka) requires us to have a lot of books. And on top of that, I supplement the curriculum with my own ideas and projects. So, my kids need their own personal space to keep all their ‘stuff’. We originally started with small wood lockers, but those didn’t survive our cross-country move. Real lockers are RIDICULOUSLY expensive- so I actually ended up reappropriating the IKEA Lillangen bathroom storage cabinets we had back in NC. They’re tall and thin (like real lockers), have PLENTY of storage space (not like real lockers), and the stationary shelf in the middle creates a perfect deliniation so that 2 kids can share 1 locker!

SCREEN/OVERHEAD PROJECTOR

REFERENCE BOOK STORAGE

I generally tend to detest normal bookcases because the shelves in them are never sturdy enough for all the books my bibliophile family likes to keep on hand. And my husband is already overworked, so expecting the poor man to spend his weekends building bookcases in out of the question. So, what’s a mom/teacher to do? IKEA to the rescue! We store all our reference books, extra planning books (and you know I have plenty!), and our entire storybook library on these Expedit (a.k.a. Kallax) shelves. The openings are a wonderful 14″x14″ so just about any book (except the very tallest) will fit.

I even bought a smaller one specifically for my teacher books- the ones that help me grade! This sits over near my desk and keeps all my heavy books neatly sorted and within arms reach.

The cool thing about these is you can stand them up or lay them down- whatever configuration works best for you. We even use one for the kids {messy} ‘entertainment center’ over in the playroom area.

CLASSROOM MATERIALS STORAGE

Again, another IKEA product; this time the Hopen dresser. I originally bought them because they were cheap; little did I know they would come in so handy! These dressers hold a TON! I have them stuffed with all the things we need for our classroom: paints, notebooks, folders, pencils, pens- you name it! Even our laminator and all the laminating sheets fit! I also use 2 drawers to hold all my smaller classroom materials like flash cards, letter tiles (for my pre-writers)