August 31, 2010

Day Two - Settling in their rooms

We have a school room in our basement.  We have a school table, chalkboard, maps, art supplies, manipulatives, games and plenty of bookshelves.  We rarely school there anymore.  As the kids get older they seem to want to work more and more independently in their own rooms, at their own desks, listening to their own music or audio book of the day.  We have shared lesson times but even much of that seems to have moved to the kitchen table or living room couches.  Should I keep the school room?  I don't feel ready to let it go - they are only in 2nd, 4th and 6th grade. The room offers me one place to keep all of our stuff conveniently and occasionally I really appreciate having the school table in front of the chalkboard.

Still as I watch the school year start and right away everyone want to keep their books in their own rooms so they don't need to go up and downstairs to get them I really start to question if having a school room is the best use of the real estate of our home.  In some ways I think it is part of our identity, you walk into that room and it is clear we homeschool, still we rarely school in there anymore.  I could force us all to sit at the table downstairs but everyone generally ends up irritated with each other and far less productive than if we are upstairs.  I like keeping the books out of their rooms so they can't get lost in the vortex of their rooms, though last year I let my responsible and fairly neat 5th grader move them to her room with much success.

At what point do I need to let it go and allow that room to become something else?


  1. I know that for us, and it's just one student, it is easier to have all of our books in one place. This is especially true because we use lots of library books (ones I don't want to pay for when they get lost.) Plus, when we are feeling distracted and need a "focus" place, we have our school room to go to. Maybe you could reduce yours down for the purposes you really do use it for?

  2. I have had an awesome school room set up for my kids the past couple years. But we usually ended up working in the family room on the couches or at the kitchen table. This year I set up a table in the basement with couches, bookshelves and maps. A bit more casual a comfortable the traditional desks. I hope this works for us this year. Good luck with your plans.

  3. We have/had a schoolhouse. My husband & I built it in the backyard. Inside a nice classroom complete with desks, marker board, air & heat. We loved it for years. About half way through last year we really weren't using it much. So finally over the summer I decided to turn it into a craft/sewing room. I hated to see our "classroom" go, but my children are older & we don't need as much stuff as we used to. It's a really neat place for me to go by myself now & then. I put a small tv and radio out there too so it's like Mom's get-a-way.

  4. Ma that sounds lovely. What a great idea for the transition.

    Amanda and Nicole - Thanks for the advice. I have to figure out what we really will use it for and then make the jump.

  5. Sad. My kids still use the school room. I kind of make them. I don't want books all over the house and I hate trying to find books too. So we still use the school room, upon force from mom. Hehe. It would make me terribly sad to be without one. My oldest is in 6th grade, but imagine using it for awhile. I don't like having supplies and books all over the house. I like to keep it in one main area. Plus my kids are not orderly and would lose stuff. But I think if you don't use it, yes, it quiets people when they ask you where you do school. That would be hard to just not have a school room anymore, but I suppose if you do not use it, then its really a personal decision if you want to keep it or not. I like to have it because all MY supplies are in one place. maybe that is true for you too. Ah,