Or, Where Do We "Do School?"
As homeschoolers we're quite fond of the saying, "the whole world is our classroom," but it's still nice to have a designated space in our home for storing and displaying our "school stuff." In our house, the "learning room" is a small-to-medium-size area situated between the kitchen and family room. When we bought our house 11 years ago, it was a 3-season porch: there were seven storm windows, two doors (one to the deck and one to the kitchen) and no insulation whatsoever. (Hence the 3-season availability!)
Within our first couple of years here, we (meaning, Bill) opened it all up - he began with the wall between the kitchen and porch, and then eventually the rear exterior wall came down too, as a family room addition went up. Bill also raised the ceiling, installed "real" windows and insulated the floor. (As you may have guessed, I married a very handy guy!) Eventually - once the family room was done - it became our dining room, but the many windows afforded the room lots of air and light, and its position right off the kitchen made it a great space for homeschooling. Over the years it became less of a dining room and more of a "classroom."
Well, our classroom (or learning room as we usually call it) recently underwent another makeover, and I've been blogging about it a bit recently. Basically, I felt we weren't making the most of this room - which is my favorite in all the house for its windows and "central" location. For one thing, the older boys use the kitchen island for seatwork, and Earlybird and I can (and do) work all over the house. And for another, the dining table only gets used as a dining table on occasion - we take most of our meals around the kitchen island. (That's actually something I'd like to change ... but more on that project later!) Ultimately I felt that the room would be more enjoyable with a bit more elbow room and some comfortable seating. I wanted to make it a place for curling up with my boys and/or a good book, or chatting with company, watching the birds, or just "hanging out" ... learning and living as the days go by.
So I talked with Bill about my ideas, and was very glad when he readily agreed! After some discussion (and a wee bit of debate), we came up with a plan, and once our schedule afforded us some free weekends, we dug in. :)
The first thing we did was to move the large table out to the front room which will now serve as formal dining room - and by formal I mean "official" not fancy. ;) Then we took out everything else! The bookcases, the benches, the bags, the crates - all the kids' "stuff" as well as my "office" paraphernalia.
Then Bill got to work - while he primed the walls, I looked for a new paint color. (We had decided on moss green, and our eventual choice was called "dark sage.") While he repainted, I shopped for a couple of modest-sized seating pieces. It's not a big room so I didn't want anything too bulky - but I was looking for comfort! We ended up purchasing an upholstered chair and loveseat in coordinating red/cream patterns.
With the furniture ordered, Bill next installed the wood flooring. I've always been a "carpet" girl (it's what I grew up with and it feels nice underfoot - especially in winter!) but Bill has been itching (literally) to get rid of our carpeting and replace it all with more natural flooring. It's so much better for everyone's respiratory systems, but especially Bill's and Earlybird's who both suffer from environmental allergies. And since it's not a big room, it didn't take too much time to install, once Bill got the hang of the nail gun. And when he was done I was a convert! I had no idea I'd like wood flooring so much!
Finally it was time to move the furniture back in and arrange things to our liking. Or I guess I should say "my" liking ... this room belongs to everyone of course, but we all seem to be referring to it as "Mama's Room," lol. ;)
So, here's a picture of the room late yesterday afternoon ... but since I've taken up so much of your time with all of this "backstory," I will do another post tomorrow, giving you all a tour of our new learning room and all its nooks and crannies ...
And we'll need to talk about school supplies and schedules and curriculum choices, etc. There's much to do these days, with September pressing upon us!
So I'll be back tomorrow with more on the learning room ... but for now, I will wish you all a pleasant day and offer my thanks for your time and attention.
See you all again soon!