Sunday, July 27, 2014

If you give a homeschool mom... Homeschool Room Redo

The schoolroom gets a lot of use during the year. We like having a space where a majority of our books and supplies stay corralled and a space where I can shut the door and not have to look at it all the time. I think if we were to homeschool in the dining room and had to clean up books and papers everyday to use the table, I would go nuts. We're not chained to the room but it's definitely our best place to work and spread out. (Here's what it looked like before the current redo.)
However with all that use, it was seriously grungy. I try to do a thorough cleaning at the end of each school year (cobwebs, scrubbing desks, dusting each shelf of books) but it really needed some help. I started the process and realized that the walls needed some touching up. Perhaps, just maybe, because some of the people who use the room (*cough, cough* the younglings) like to put their dirty feet on the wall when they read. Can you see the grunge?
We also had a crack where the paneling had been pushed on. Bass tackled that with some spackle. (This is not a "finished" space. It's in our basement... so concrete floors, open ceilings, cinder block exterior walls. On the other side of this wall, the former owners had built in a big brick wall with closets on one side and a brick, working fireplace on the other end. We use that as our family room. This room was a 'bedroom' or den of sorts with old 70s era paneling on all the walls. We're just working with the existing elements until someday we can afford to reframe the whole space. Which is probably never. You can see before pics here.)
The floor was pretty grungy too. We used concrete paint when we set the room up at the beginning of our homeschool journey but it seemed like it never cured properly. It was weird and kind of spongy and impossible to clean.
So my plan was to give everything a thorough cleaning and touch-up. Well, it needed a lot of touching up and I didn't have enough paint on-hand. So the annual summer cleaning snowballed into a whole project.

Here's our whole "If you give a mouse a cookie..." saga:

If you give a mom a homeschool room that needs to be spruced up, she'll want to repaint.
(The daughter might suggest blue instead of brown.)
I went with a semi-gloss finish this time to hopefully help with next year's cleaning.
If you give a homeschool mom new paint for her room, she'll probably want new flooring.
It's in a basement so we went with a vapor barrier and a foam underlayment. It wasn't terribly expensive so if we do end up with serious water issues, it won't be the worst thing ever. We're hoping that it will last though.
If you give a homeschool mom new flooring, she'll probably want baseboards to hide the gap between the flooring and the wall.
Bass dug through his wood pile and then hit the Re-store to find most of the needed pieces for super cheap.
If you give a homeschool mom new baseboard, she'll probably also want trim to finish off the door that didn't have any.
and if you have the saw and nail gun out, she'll probably want that goofy spot without paneling to get filled in
We had a few pieces of paneling in the woodpile so Bass planned and calculated carefully to be able to fill in a weird hole that was by Soprano's desk and fill in above the main entry door.
If you give a homeschool mom freshly painted walls, new flooring, new trim, and fixed paneling, she'll probably want to replace all of the ugly, 70s dark brown outlets and covers
Bass had most of what we needed in his electrical stash.
If you give a homeschool mom new outlets and covers, she'll be happy for awhile but then she'll want to put the furniture back in.
When she goes to put the furniture back in, she'll probably want more cube shelves.
I was thinking of getting the Ikea Kallax shelves (Kallax just replaced the Expedit) but for less money, I could get 3 sets of their Bitrade 2x4 cube shelves instead. I'd link to Ikea's site but I don't see them listed online anywhere.)
If you give a homeschool mom new cube shelves, she'll probably quickly stuff them with books and curriculum
If you give a homeschool mom a fancy new space with lots of books, she'll probably want to set-up spaces for her kids to learn and work
Tenor's desk. Same set-up as previous years.
Soprano's desk. Same set-up as previous years.
If you give a homeschool mom spaces where her kids can work, she'll probably want to hang things to help her visual learners retain info.
This is new!! And I'm excited about it!! Can ya' tell? I hung their on-the-go storage clipboards and our yard and meter sticks. Then on the door I took some clothespins and used Command strips cut in half to hang them on the door. Each set of clips hold an education placemat that I got at a local Education store. The top shows the systems of the human body, U.S. presidents are in the middle, and the solar system on the bottom. We studied anatomy and astronomy last year so these are up for reference/review until we get to this coming year's topics.
The white board was on the other door. I moved it so the placemats would be more visible (plus that door is always closed.) This is our main entry door to the family room space so the white board could be facing into the family room. We'll use this for IEW brainstorming this year.

 If you give a homeschool mom space to hang things, she'll probably want to add a little music.
Getting our music list to work easily has been a frustrating issue in the schoolroom. Bass finally talked me into this little hamburger speaker that we can use with the iPod. The speaker was fine last year but the cord kept slipping down behind the desk. This year I have the speaker on my teacher desk sorter and the wire secured with a binder clip. It will slide in and out easily so I can plug, play, then put away. Stress-free, right?
 If you give a homeschool mom a fun speaker to pop in the iPod so they can all listen to music together, she'll probably want her own desk space on which to set it.
The desktop computer we had in here went out to the family room. Tenor has been using it more so we wanted it in a more visible location. Now that I have a laptop and am not really using the desk in the family room, the space is free for the desktop machine. Bonus, this table where we do joint work, read together, and I correct their work has a lot more open space.
And if you give a homeschool mom her own work space and a "brand-new" room and new cube shelves and places for her kids to learn and work, she'll probably want a cozy reading nook chair to collapse in.
This is pretty much the same, although a little cozier than before since the new bookshelves take up more wall space. I framed our two posters to make it look a little classier. :)
Soprano has come dancing in several times saying how much she loves the blue paint and the new space. Tenor sans dancing has been in a lot just working on little projects at his desk and rediscovering books on the shelves.
I'm just thrilled that the floor will be easier to clean! :)

How about you? Do you have a dedicated room, or do you spread out on the kitchen table? Do you have any organization tips to share? Or organizing trouble-spots?

Linking up here:
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

iHomeschool Network Not Back to School Blog Hop 


  1. What a awesome space! It really is a great transformation, I love all the bright colors.

  2. I LOVE the space and the room :-)

  3. that's a beautiful job you guys did! Awesome space and looks so inviting!!!

  4. Beautiful space! The colours are wonderful and I especially like the way the kids' desks are set up!

  5. I love the bright colors. It looks so cool.

  6. I LOVE your room! We are adding a basement this year and I would like to know the exact names of your flooring because it's beautiful! Thank you!


Your kind comments make me smile!

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