Back to School and Up the Stairs: Tour a Homeschool Room

I am one of those people known as a homeschooler.

I am beginning my 19th year of this wonderful/maddening/crazy journey with my family.

I have four children, two grown and two still homeschooling.  They will be starting grades 11 and 8 very shortly.

Yes, I have the Dress Your Digs business, and that works very well with homeschooling, since the majority of our DYD business is in the evenings, and  day appointments that we have are easy to accomodate since we can be flexible in our school schedule.

So, speaking in general terms, I will tell you a bit about homeschoolers and their spaces: (Can’t speak for them all – but I sure know a lot of them, and a lot are like this!)

Homeschoolers may or may not have a room set aside for “doing school.” The majority of families use the dining table.  Many have a space set aside (where bunches and gobs of books are stored) but the actual day-to-day work is carried out at the table.

Speaking of bunches and gobs of books, homeschoolers have way more stuff than they will ever use.  We are suckers for the latest, perfect curriculum choice.

Homeschoolers spend time in the summer going through their piles of books, closing out one school year, preparing for the next.  They sort of clean up their school space.  This is the reason that I have a one-day window in the entire year that I would even consider snapping pictures of the space to show all of you (And at that, I had to move piles around to avoid the lense)

Homeschoolers rarely, rarely, RARELY purchase a brand new piece of furniture to use for school.  In general, we take hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, and unused pieces from other rooms and make a mish-mash of file cabinets, little end tables converted into storage, tables with odd chairs, and lots of time we line them all of this stuff up, unmatching, and they look sort of funny – but hey, we are looking for function.

And now, on to my real life examples.

This is the view as you come up our stairs.

016-001.JPG Down to two kids in school here, one on each side.  Can you guess which side belongs to an enthusiastic 13 year old who loves personalizing his/her space? The shelves flanking the windows were curb finds over 20 years ago.  The church pew makes for a good reading spot.  Under the pew are the drawers from my grandma’s old sewing cabinet.  I parted with the cabinet – but kept the drawers.  Nice filing boxes!  And happy memories. 

Here’s a close-up of the undisclosed child of mine who cares what his/her workspace looks like:

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And the other workspace, and this undisclosed person doesn’t care a bit what his/her workspace looks like:

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 Continuing our tour around the room, the large storage cabinet below was purchased at a public school auction.  For many years it was our toy cupboard (most homeschoolers need a place for toys – right in the thick of the action). But we now just need a few toys for visitors, so most of it is used for storage.  The horse picture was made by my mother in the mid 1960′s and it holds happy memories for me.  Yes, the groovy orange chair is reserved for our black pug, Alice.  One smart dog.   Alice goes to school every day.

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Next, we have The Library, which is actually just the other end of the same room.  It is an L-shaped loft, and here is one side of the “L”:

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And here is the other side of the “L” (the $2 garage sale ottomon is a popular reading spot)

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And these windows bridge the two sections.  FYI, the cheap Shopko bookcases are very popular with homeschoolers.  So popular that I even turned two of them on their sides to make them horizontal to fit under these double windows.  Homeschoolers have no shame.

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Unused buffet? Sure!  We’ll use it in the schoolroom – for storage. (below)

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Neighbor from over a decade ago getting rid of a desk?  Perfect sewing table. (below)

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 And,  (below) the ever-popular white board – purchased, of course, from a school auction.

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Last, but far from least, is my secret 

 Mom Cave

which is really a closet converted into a Mom Cave.  This is in a far corner of the schoolroom, WITH A DOOR. 

My Mom Cave follows all of the homeschool room rules to a “T”: Old junk nobody wants, all lined up together.  But, it works for me and I love it.  Bright blue file cabinets from an old neighbor, garage sale storage cubes (guess what? the seller was a homeschooler), hand-me-down desk from my mother-in-law, and my personal favorite: my grandma’s old sewing chair (with a fabric/paint update!)

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And there you have it – our homeschool room!

In the last year at Dress Your Digs we have worked on living rooms, family rooms, dining areas, kitchens, master bedrooms, guest rooms, kids’ rooms, craft rooms, exercise spaces, basements – all of these spaces getting fresh, new looks – using the things the client already has.  We would LOVE to come and work with you!

Contact us today!  

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