Homeschool Room Makeover : Everyday Snapshots

This homeschool room makeover was a long time in coming. After a couple of years homeschooling all over the house trying to find just the right spot and finally settling on the formal dining space our makeover is done. How about a tour?

Do you remember the before photos?

I am so excited. I have been working in this space for about a week now while finishing it up, and it is so nice to have everything in one spot and right at my fingertips.

Also great is the ability to spread everything out. The kids are constantly pulling up to the table to work on projects, draw, or play with toys.

This space is a pretty dark space for photography purposes. Thankfully before too many months go by we will be painting these walls a nice, pale cream. But for now we have to suffer the orange.

This is the view of most of the room. We replaced the dining table and china cabinet with our Ikea purchases. Fortunately we already owned the two most expensive pieces and were using them in the original school/family room upstairs.

The rest of the redo was funded by the sale of the furniture. Pinterest and internet searches were a huge help in this redo. There is very little original here, but I am OK with that. It means someone else has already tried it out to be sure it works!

And that monstrous lighting fixture? It’s on the way out. Unfortunately my talents do not extend to electrical work, so I have to wait for some help.

This is the opposite side of the room with the new-to-us piano and front door. That storm door is only a few months old and really helps let in tons of light.

For the table and chairs we got three Ikea Ullrik table legs to go with the one Alex unit we were already using under a table upstairs (replaced that with plain legs). Now we have three legs with shelves and one set of drawers — very handy.

The table tops are two 78″ Linnmon in black/brown. I decided the room needed a little contrast, so went with the darker color over white.

I loved the way it turned out. Yes, the legs and table top slide around a bit. That is on our list of things to address. It is not bad enough to be really aggravating, though.

For chairs we got a Jules for me and the junior version for the kids. I would have loved the natural color, but they don’t offer that in the junior size, so we went with white.

I was pretty apprehensive about putting the kids in chairs that would raise, lower, and wheel about, but it really hasn’t been a problem at all. Mine is very comfy and handy.

The shelving unit is Expedit. We had the large one upstairs already and just added the smaller unit. This houses basically all of our homeschool books and supplies. My goal was for it to fit or go, and for the most part, I met that goal.

After scouring Pinterest for looks that I liked and analyzing what they had in common, I decided that the key to calm homeschool storage is neutrality. The stuff itself is often so bright and colorful. Using neutral storage containers is a way to make it all more visually cohesive.

So with very few exception all of the storage is neutral in color. We had many of the baskets and bins already, though I did hit Michaels when they had their baskets 50% off, and picked up a few more to round out the collection. The baskets house manipulatives, flash cards, games, and art supplies — all within easy reach.

School supplies make great decor, don’t you think? I think these items in the jars will pop even more when we get the walls painted. I robbed my kitchen of most of the jars and purchased another one or two. And it is handy to reach up there and grab what we want to use.

Timeline cards are housed in their own basket while stainless buckets hold markers and dot painters.

This idea was genius (and not mine). Those black magazine files hold paperback picture books. Upstairs I had them all in bins, which was also handy and neat, but by moving them to the magazine files I can get so many more per cube.

We had all of the magazine files already (though now we do have a few homeless magazines). I am going to get four more to add in the last cube down there.

The books in the other cubes are hardback, oversized, or teacher resources. Everything fits on here except for our seasonal books. I found them a home in my living room built-ins right next door.

Another great idea I found pinned. Once again, we had the lazy Susan and the large bucket. I picked up the rest from the Target dollar spot.

The original idea had the buckets glued to the lazy Susan, but they actually don’t slide around, and we like being able to pick them up and look inside. So far I have opted not to glue with the option to change my mind later.

Since the only long stretch of wall is taken up by the shelving, I used hooks and ribbons to suspend our timeline cards across the front of the window. Eye-level for the kids is just about right.

This area is the teacher’s corner. You can see the wireless printer up top there. This table, which sat in the entryway before the piano came, houses my spinning desk apprentice and provides a place for my laptop to charge. Having the laptop put away here each day instead of open on the kitchen counter has really increased my productivity.

All of this is within easy access of my chair right there in the foreground. I like to sit next to each child as I work with them, so I imagine when their turn comes they will simply roll their chair to my end of the table to work.

The desk apprentice hold files of paper we use most often, as well as all the current teacher’s manuels and my supplies.

On the other side of the window is our All About Spelling (love, love, love that program) letter tiles and whiteboard. And our spice rack book shelves. I can tell already these are going to be a big hit with the kids, but I am going to need to keep the books rotated regularly.

There are already a few earth science and medieval titles up there in anticipation of the new school year. I decided that the bottom right rack would hold those favorite picture books that I don’t want Thomas to miss.

Back at the other end of the room is our little handwriting desk and new clipboards of work. The desk was a gift from our sweet Classical Conversations tutor, Jackie, to Olivia last year.

We did CC in each other’s homes. Jackie took note of how much Olivia loved the desk and since her kids had out-grown the desk, she gave it to her. I love it because it is a perfect place for the kids to sit properly to work on their handwriting.

The clipboards are my new system for school work. I plan to load the clipboard each night with the next day’s work — math sheets, copywork, notebooking pages, etc will all go on the boards.

And that is it! I can tell already we are going to love this space. I am hoping it will keep my purchasing under control as well since I do not want to outgrow it!

We shall see over the next few months what parts work and what parts will need to be tweaked. It’s a spot that makes me happy, though, and I think that’s important since I spend so much time here every day doing hard work. And so do the kids.

Education is an atmosphere and this is a part of ours.

Pam Barnhill

Pam Barnhill

Pam is the author of The Your Morning Basket Guide and Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace. She also is the host of three popular  podcasts -- The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and three kids, where she is the go-to lady for great curriculum recommendations or a just a pep talk on a rough day.

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