Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Schoolroom

I woke up this morning to a quiet chill in the air.  Autumn is almost here and a new school year is about to begin.  Our new schoolbooks have arrived and we've cracked open the fresh boxes of crayons.  I've spent the past few weeks rearranging things and making room on the bookshelf.  Things are fitting into place and there is a new season of excitement in our house.

But lately, I've found myself coveting my friends' schoolrooms.  These perfect and sweet little classrooms inside their homes.  There are desks for the children, matching shelves for supplies and precious nooks for curling up with a storybook. 

But I don't have any of that.  We do our lessons at our kitchen table.  I have a crowded bookshelf that holds our supplies and everything is packed up again before each meal.

Today, as I was putting things away, I was thinking about our homeschool.  We are not a school...this is our home.  I want our home to encourage a love of learning.  That doesn't only happen in a beautiful schoolroom, it happens because we are living a life of curiosity.

Yes, these rooms are beautiful and inspiring, and I'm sure they make managing home and school much easier, but I realized today, that for me, having a school room would be all about me.

I'm the one who doesn't want a world map on my dining room wall.  I'm the one who doesn't want science projects growing on my kitchen counter.

But it's not about me.

Kind of like all those baby nurseries I never got to decorate, and my babies never missed.

No, this is our home, and in our home we learn.  It may not be pretty, but we make it work and we are having fun.  And that...is a thing of beauty.


  1. I, for one, thank you for posting this. And for not having a schoolroom. I'm just starting this fall, and for me, getting a "schoolroom" meant my in-laws had to move out. Not that we made them, but that they would need to leave before school started. (We knew they would leave...eventually...but had no idea when.) I was trying to convince myself that it would be okay to do school at my kitchen table (even though we can't get "around" our kitchen table, only "up to it"). Turns out we do have the room, but it will be doubling as a study, playroom, sleepover room, library, music room, etc.... I like your philosophy, and I think it matches mine. Homeschooling means you want to make your home be the center of learning. It doesn't always fit nicely away in a room. It infiltrates every part of your day.
    Good for you. I love the map on the wall, and I love your honesty about your "all about me"-ness, but I AM sorry you have to pack it up every day. I know that can get old.

  2. we have school time at the table, or if we're reading, on the couch. at first I was hesitant to put up the maps, calendars, and timelines, but now I love them! the kids look at them while we eat dinner and it sparks more conversations. And it's nice when family comes over to eat and they show them things they learned :) I feel like having things right there by the table encourages them to keep thinking even when "school" is over!

  3. I was where you were. I wanted so badly for the kids to have the experience of school without being in a school building. It made no sense! I've come to the same realizationyou did last year when the kids were so bored of doing school at the same table and wanting to go outside. We compromised that if they did their best and stayed focused on the task at hand, we could have school that day on the trampoline. So the first half was done laying on our tummies on the trampoline, the second was laying in the cool shade under it! Afterwards they played their little hearts out,lol. I don't think we were inside all day, from 9am til 8pm!

  4. I do not home school because right now the school that my children are at is a fabulous one with very caring teachers whom I just love. And they are having a wonderful experience. But I like the thought of home schooling and might even do it someday depending on where life takes us. This was a great post and you make a great point about having a house of learning.

    I try to take every opportunity for learning here at home, though. So it's important to have a house of learning.

    And I never decorated any baby nurseries either. The closest I got to decorating was buying a set of matching crib bedding.

  5. What a beautiful thought to share. Thank you... I don't even have kids, so I certainly don't have a schoolroom or a need for one. However, a reminder that life is not about me is usually a good thing. Having an opportunity to hear it in such a gentle way is always nice. Thank you! See you again soon.

    Your cousin, brittany

  6. Hi Crystal! Haven't stopped by in a while...we've been so busy. This year is our first year of homeschooling. And...we have a school room. For me, it wasn't JUST about me and my desire to have a pretty room to teach in. It was mostly because I know what motivates me...I knew that being surrounded by SCHOOL stuff and making it fun for the kids would motivate me to teach well. That is just how I'm made...and it works. Teaching at the kitchen table definitely works but for me, I needed the space to say "school". We are all very different families with very different needs. But I don't feel selfish in wanting a pretty school room. I worked hard to provide my kids with a space that would feel like school to them. Their faces lit up like it was Christmas morning on the first day of school (first time they saw the room as well). It made it all worth it. They are LOVING their space and it's made our first homeschool experience a special one for us. :) I think that both philosophies are good ones...yours and mine...all families and individuals have different needs and wants (and yes, I am one that doesn't want a map on my dining room wall...sorry, that's just me!). :) Best of luck this school year! I can't wait to read more about it. I get lots of inspiration from my homeschool mom friends - we all need to support each other! This is not a journey for the faint of heart. ;)

  7. Absolutely Jennifer! I would LOVE to have a schoolroom, and I do think that it would be a wonderful motivation, as well as hide a lot of distractions...we just simply don't have the room. Instead of throwing myself a pity party about it I had to think of why I really wanted one so badly...and for me it probably was mostly selfish. But I don't feel that is the reason for everyone at all and I am so inspired when my friends share their spaces with me because it gives me inspiration in finding little things that I can fit into my home. I am so excited for you and this new journey you are on! You are so right, it is not for the faint of heart! :)


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