Friday, August 9, 2013

Classroom Makeover

Last week my classroom still looked like the picture on the right. In fact, it pretty much looked like that until two days ago. Then I realized it was time to get serious about getting this place in order if I wanted to start schooling Monday.

For a few years now I have been thinking about changing things significantly in our classroom. The boys have been sitting at standard school desks ever since we started homeschooling over five years ago. They have grown a bit since then. JT didn't really fit at his desk last year. He would do most of his work on the couch or at our game table in the library. That wasn't really a problem except when I wanted them to be able to take notes while we were all working together in the classroom.

new and improved
Ta-da! Nothing spectacular, but much more appropriate for my long-legged boys. I have a feeling there will be plenty of fighting as they get used to sharing a table. You would think 5ft would be enough room for both of them, but I am sure territorial behaviors will begin right away on Monday. I think the table will work especially well for our art projects. The desks were never quite big enough. I bought the table from IKEA's website. (Linnmon table top)

sturdy chairs
I bought the chairs at a yard sale. They were already used by many homeschooling children, so they should hold up well. I also picked up a little set of storage drawers on wheels. Since the boys no longer have their desks to store things, we needed a way to keep those items close and organized. Each boy will have a small and a large drawer. I also picked up the little metal buckets on the table for their pencils and markers. I think one of our first art projects might be to decorate their pencil holders.

bookcase and cat window seat
This is my favorite part of the change we made to the classroom. For years we've been using the inexpensive crates Wal-Mart sells to make a MacGyver style bookcase. As the boys got older and the books got heavier, things got pretty saggy. Now I have my beautiful new bookcase from Target. JT and EM each have a section for their own books, mostly reading, grammar, and math. The other two sections are history topics and science.

storage/science lab
What used to be my office is now mostly a storage room. And really, it had never been a true office, more of a storage room with a desk. I moved the desk out into the classroom to replace the larger desk we are selling. I bought the small writing desk on clearance at Target to use for our microscope and other lab work. I took quite a few things off of the old shelving in the classroom and stored it in the rickety crates. I also weeded out some of the curriculum I no longer use and sold it to other homeschoolers.

getting better
This side of the room still needs work. My desk area feels cramped. We store art supplies in the cabinet on the left. I don't know how much longer that will be staying. We had to put the printer on top of it since the printer stand goes with the desk I am selling. I will probably keep looking for something that might be a better fit. It will have to do for now.

I am not a big fan of change. I know the first few months might require some adjustment. The flow of the room will feel wrong for a while. The boys will more than likely push each other around on their new table. Things will just feel wrong. But as we work in the room day to day, we will find the best ways to use our new furniture.

Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to teach these kids next week!

1 comment:

Annie said...

Looking good! Good wishes for a smooth transition. BTW, you can always create a wall with a piece of cardboard to divide the table into two sides. Might ease the sharing issue. :)