Rewording my crazy Homeschool posting and pic..

anrsazJune 3, 2008

Boy was my brain a mess. LOL! Here's the scoop.

I have two rooms. FR and a back bedroom.

1)Do I put my computer desk in the FR as well as my Dh's (his must stay in the armoire for obvious reasons) and make my back room the homeschool room, or

2)Do I take the armoire and put it in the back room w/my computer and make the FR the homeschool room?

If #2: FR as the homeschool room, I would add a table where the armoire is, a chalk board to that same corner and some maps down the hallway. The rest of the stuff can go under the bookshelves in the cabinets. Books are readily available.

The reason the FR would be good for HSing is because of the size and the fact that we're not STUCK in the back of the house for school. We'd be closer to sink for projects and such. The bad thing, is the look.

Re: #1: The issue with two computers to the FR is what do I do with mine? I have a metal desk. I thought to maybe build a table to the rear of the armoire?? and use the armoire back and add bulletin board material to it?? Rather like a back to back table. (except I don't have one) and since this is organizational...I don't want to buy anything. No clue. Two rooms I have that I am clueless with.

And yes....I know I need to organize my bookshelves. LOL!

FR from kitchen

FR from hallway

FR from front door

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That is some big dog!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 2:29PM
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Just from an aesthetic point of view, I think the FR would look (and function) well if you move the armoire to the bedroom and turn that room into the office. Once the table is in the FR, you'll probably be surprised at how much you use it for other, food, projects. Like you, I wouldn't want to be stuck at the back of the house! Could you also use the bedroom space for ''supplies'' that are not used all the time? It seems like it would be nice to have some space between the ''schoolroom'' and the place you make lesson plans, just for a little breathing room.

Would the table be a round one? (That seems more ''friendly'' and functional to me for keeping your FR from feeling like a schoolroom, yet still a vital part of your home.) Don't forget to add some lighting overhead! I probably wouldn't bump up too much furniture to each other, since keeping the room more open would be more ideal (to me) for working in.

Obviously, I don't know what your needs are, but rearranging the space is a low-cost way to find out. Maybe you could get the kids involved in helping with the space planning. There has to be some great lessons in that!

What exactly ISN'T working for you in the present that makes you want to make a change?

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 2:30PM
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...I think there are plenty of ways to make your FR function well with the right furniture/storage pieces, without it looking like a hodge-podge of educational materials. Anything you bring into or add to the room that would have a dual-purpose would be helpful. Building in the right task lighting, adding doors to storage units, etc. are all good ways to keep visual clutter to a minimum. Simple, transitional functionality would be my main goal.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 2:43PM
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"What exactly ISN'T working for you in the present that makes you want to make a change? "

I call this room, the black hole! It's ugly and just a way to get to other areas of the house. It has a bizarre layout. My hs room is very crowded. I'd like to keep subjects together; books/manipulatives, etc and those can be housed under the bookshelves according to subject. My dh doesn't use his computer often and the main question is if both of our computers should be together w/printers in the back room or in this room. My problem is that my desk is metal (creamy yellowish) and if I put it in the FR it may be too ugly. ('d put the smaller bookshelf in the homeschool room). On the otherhand it would be nice to be in the open with billing closer to the kitchen area where the mail is.

I don't like to be stuck in the back for homeschooling, but then again, I don't like everyone to see some things either. Totes and stuff, but it's closer to books.

Removing my desk from the back room would give me enough space in the back bedroom for homeschooling and crafts. By the same token, having my homeschool stuff in the family room would be more open and I'd have more space, although I worry about all the stuff.

I just can't figure which mess I want where. I love my desk though, because I can put magnets everywhere!

And...I haven't a friend who cares about Home decor! Go figure.

Metal Desk

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:08PM
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Well, if having a friend who cares about Home Decor is important to you, I'd suggest asking this same question at the Home Decorating forum. There are tons of opinions there!

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Decorating forum

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 3:37PM
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I'm having big "awwww" moments for every dog I see lately. Yours looks like he'd be a rewarding partner in a bout of ear rubbing.

since this is organizational...I don't want to buy anything

why is this? If it were "decorational," wld you spend the money?

I think "organizational" is just as important as "decorational," and somtimes more. And, also, sometimes it is "decorational" *as well*

Just want to challenge your biases a little bit, if they exist, that's all.

Why would the homeschooling stuff have to be unsightly? You've got walls & a wall unit; can you reorganize what's in there to make room for all the manipulatives, books, etc.? Can some of the stuff that's there just go out, or go to the back room?

Are there things you can get out and put away (like a table for the middle of the room), and the act of getting them out and putting them away can be part of the *mental* transition from one use of the room (and one mood) to another? Even if you had to buy a table?

And, can you spend money to make it more attractive to store the home-schooling stuff in the LR? (buy paper-covered boxes to store things on the shelves, perhaps; replace the wall unit w/ something w/ a great capacity but a nicer look)

Here's one way to think about--not sure if you'll agree, but consider it.

*which of the 3 activities (you on the computer, DH at his computer, kids at home schooling) involves the most hours? the most people? which has the highest importance? (i.e., I'd place primary education above dinking around on the Internet; DH's work before school perhaps)

Frankly, the front room looks pretty nuts-and-bolts as it is--if these pics are pretty representative of most (or even many) days: the armoire is mostly open, and the stuff is sort of stuck on the shelves, so I can't see that properly stored home-schooling stuff would make THAT much of a difference.(I don't mean to imply anything negative; the room looks welcoming and lived in; it's not like you're trading away pristine, formal decor.)

Plus, what's through the arch? (you know, the room the dog's not allowed in?) That looks like a room you could socialize in. If it is, there's no question, to me. Put the school in the more pleasant room instead of the back bedroom.

(one other thought--which room will make your kids concentrate better in? If the seclusion of the back bedroom, and the fact that they are otherwise never in there, will help them stay on task, go with that)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Like Claire said, I too would go for "simple transitional functionality". For me, that is far more attractive "decor" wise, than trying to make something look good, and then trying to fit the function in later.

Like your desk... it's not one bit "ugly" to me. Sure it looks functional, but that's what it's meant to be (I just happen to like that look anyway LOL). And you love it, so forget about what it'll look like where you put it. Simply put it where it'll work best for you, and you'll find it will look good there.
If it was me, I'd not worry too much about "everyone" and what they'll see. "Totes and stuff" can look really good, if they're set up to work how they're meant to.
Set your rooms up how it works best for your family, and you'll find there aren't any "black holes". If it's a schoolroom, it doesn't matter one iota if it no longer looks like a family room. Nothing wrong with it looking like a school room? If it works better being used as an office, let it look like an office.

I think I'd enjoy going into someone's home and seeing the school room, and all the activity evidence and stuff, if it was being enjoyed and used. I kind of prefer *honest* rooms to display rooms, as far as decor goes.
When we built our current home, I had no confidence at all in my "decorating" ability. But we decided we'd build the home around how we function, and to suit us, rather than what is traditional or "normal". Sure, it's different, but we really love it very much and amazingly I can say with all confidence that it looks amazing. When we get compliments on it, people say, "where did you get your ideas and design from?" And it's kind of funny, because all I can say is we worked out what we do, where we do it and how, and just built that.
Ok, I love organizing and keeping things clutter free and neat, but that is so much easier to do, when you set your rooms up to work for your needs.

Hope I've made some sense.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:26PM
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Yikes Claire, I just realised I sounded like I was contradicting you in my post...about the FR looking like a school room etc. I don't know how to edit to re-word it, but please just know I'm in total agreement with all you said, It's just the way my thoughts were expressing themselves as they tumbled out.. THanks for understanding. :) Lily

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:49PM
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Claire de luna: Thanks, I did post over there as well.

Talley Sue you are always so very cluefull LOL!!!!
Spending money on decor: I spend a lot of money on re-organizing.(eye roll) Then I change my mind. I like to rearrange, but w/dh I only rearrange things that don't affect him much. (men...) I had bought a round table a while back that folds down on each side and I hated it. It didn't work as I intended, because of the folding cracks in the surface (duh), so it's out in dd's playhouse. I have so much stuff! However I'd like to see a workable round table in my FR. But I like the idea of being able to put it away, however putting it away could be a place to put away.

Great points on the ideas to consider. This room is constantly a disaster. But I think it would liven it up to make it a homeschooling room, make it look homey, add some pizazz to the shelving. It would actually look like it has a purpose!!!!!! And I have to say my room would look better just not having that armoire open. LOL! But you're right. Not much of a difference to have hs stuff in there. Too funny; no negativity taken.

Through the arch is our LR; big screen tv where dh and I watch tv or watch as a family. The gate is to keep dogs separated...they fight. Darn females. The FR is strictly for dd to play and watch tv (kinda like she can break her own tv).

Seclusion isn't really needed for hs. We live in the boonies. It's relatively quiet, dh works in the garage and I only have one child. I figure if dd (7) needs to have quiet, that's what her room is for, right?

Lilydilly, great thought about trying to fit in function later. I too like "honest" rooms as opposed to one that's just for show and afraid to touch.

Thanks ladies. You are so, very helpful.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Like your desk... it's not one bit "ugly" to me. Sure it looks functional, but that's what it's meant to be (I just happen to like that look anyway LOL).

you and Martha Stewart. Once, several years ago, I sw in her office that she had a huge "paper pusher's desk" from the 1950s. Steel office furniture. And she still have a big metal "1950s office furniture"-looking table in her office for meetings.

However I'd like to see a workable round table in my FR. But I like the idea of being able to put it away, however putting it away could be a place to put away.

What about an office-type table? Where all the legs fold in, and you can roll the table behind the big wall unit (pull it out from the wall a bit to make room?

There are some lightweight ones in the world, and you and DD can make getting it out and putting it away part of the classroom routine. If public-school teachers can have a "salute the flag, sharpen the pencils, take attendance, carry stuff to the office" type routine at the beginning of their day, why can't you have a similar business-like routine?

In fact, you would teach her something really valuable by teaching her to set up her stuff for whatever she's doing, and break it back down.

Round is nice bcs you can roll it--lifting isn't needed. But since she's 7, you might want one w/ more adjustable legs. I've seen that mostly in rectangular.

But the blow-molded plastic tops make them REALLY lightweight. I have a small one in the church nursery, and it only needs two 2-y-o's to carry it ANYWHERE.

True, it wouldn't look like fine furniture. But it would look sturdy and functional. and if ever you wanted it to look nicer--well, there are tableclothes (nobody looks at the legs)

The FR is strictly for dd to play and watch tv (kinda like she can break her own tv).

Sounds like that's a sensible place for home schooling, then.

Here is a link that might be useful: Molded plastic table w/ folding legs

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:32PM
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one other thought--from the New Yorker in me. Build UP.

Every single time I look at someone's bookshelf, armoire, or wall unit, I think: "It's too short. it needs another foot. or three."

They look squat and out of balance to me, all of them. And they look skimpy (like someone said, "oh, that's too much money, so make it shorter").

Your big wall unit isn't *too* bad, but especially the TV stand and the shelf to the left of the archway are too short.

Get some shelves like the dog.

I know DD will be using the lower shelves, but the stuff that she wouldn't get out w/o you there (like math manipulables), that can go UP.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:35PM
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I like to go "up" too. However, I have to watch out that every single thing in the room isn't high, then I have this couch that's low and your eye flow just falls like a rock. And...I have no surfaces to display anything in this house, so some are short, and absolutely no wall space. I actually bought the shorter tv unit so I could house my Christmas houses on top and actually see them. I don't do that now, I put them on top of the tall units. Go figure. There is so much more available space up....I agree and it's kept out of the reach of little kids.

I like that table. My dd has a kids activity table. For $100 this thing is adjustable and weighs a ton, but yes it's rectangular and getting too small for her! I bought it years ago. Adults could stand on one end and it wouldn't tip. I wouldn't mind keeping a table up. I could dress it up after w/fabric and remove the fabric for school. But I have to worry about tables that have a rough top. All those craft tables at home depot, etc., you can't write on. They're too rough. I'll have to check to see what type of top this has. I really like the table and it's a good price.

Well, since I'm "out" from a back sprain...I'll have to entice my DH to move his armoire to the back room.

Thanks Tally Sue

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 3:55PM
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I cleared off a chest-height shelf on a bookcase to be only display, and set the shelf above it at a slightly greater interval. If you decided *to* get taller shelving, that would be a way to get some display space.

The molded plastic table we have at church has a smooth-ish top; it isn't pebbled, anyway.

I've seen some pebbled, and some smooth.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 4:12PM
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Howdy from another homeschool family.

I'm all for making homeschooling the centerpiece of your family and decorating. If you use the back room, everyone will be dragging things out of it into the family room.

What about getting a large, maybe round coffee table to work at? A comfy lap desk makes working at the couch a good thing. If your dc are young and you are teaching handwriting, they could do some of their work at the coffee table, some at the dining table, or at a small pretty writing table. Or they could sit at your desk for a time.

I like making my decor homeschool friendly. Since I consider this a lifestyle choice, not just an educational choice, I want my decor to reflect our tastes.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:24AM
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It's a good idea to maybe get a coffee table instead of a round table for the corner She can write on that! and it would free up space. We don't do school at the dining table, because we have a eat-in kitchen dining area and I could never, never ever get that cleaned off. It was always a mess. But I like that idea. I wish I could find one that could up and down as needed!!!! LOL. Not asking for much, right?

My biggest issue right now is that I need to figure out what to do with the stuff I have in plastic bins and make it look better.

Good thought on the coffee table.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 12:01PM
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If you are willing to go rectangular, you can find adjustable legs.

I think 7 years old is hard. Sitting properly makes a huge difference, esp. handwriting and squatting at a coffee table isn't that comfortable, nor is sitting in a chair w/ feet dangling.

If it's just one kid, can you get her an adjustable desk of some sort for book and paper work? One that's generous.

also, don't forget a proper-height hair. it's not as easy to find adjustable ones, but they *do* make them, usually w/ casters in that "office chair" format:

Here is a link that might be useful: height-adjustable table from

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 1:05PM
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I find rectangular or square would be better if I do the table thing. Her current table would be good as it's 30x 48, but it's too short. If I could put new legs on it......yeah right. It has a nice laminate top. Her chairs are to short though. I like that cute little square table on that link Talley Sue.

I always tell my husband that I wish all my stuff had lockable wheels on it. Boy would I have fun moving stuff around!!!! Off to check out more of those tables.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 6:40PM
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I always tell my husband that I wish all my stuff had lockable wheels on it. Boy would I have fun moving stuff around!!!!

me, too!

You can *buy* legs. Do a Google search on "table parts," or ask at the hardware store (if they don't normally stock them, they might be able to order them)

Here is a link that might be useful: adjustable table legs from 21 to 29 inches

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 8:07AM
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Thanks Talley-Sue....I didn't know this. I have to check it out!!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 10:16AM
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