Our learning area and my new desk space.

Welcome to our learning area aka part of the kitchen. ūüôā Ignore the ugly red…as soon as I have a spare minute, that color will be gone.¬†
So this is where we do all of our groupwork and the littles do their *sit down* work {math, spelling, handwriting etc}. 
A close up of part of our school storage. The brown storage bins contain craft supplies, puzzles, calendar pieces, small education games, etc. Notebooks, journals, empty {YAY!} storage space on the 2nd row, and the 3rd row holds all of our school supplies {pencils, crayons, glue, scissors, etc} in labeled storage tubs.
All group work printables¬†and Drake’s work for the year are stored here.¬†¬†I love having all of those papers just waiting for me to pull them out for the kiddos.¬† Saves a LOT of time!
Right through the white doors
in top picture is old pantry turned library/school storage/office entryway. ¬†One side contains most of our home library, some math and language arts workbooks and file folder games {blue and green magazine holders}. Then a corner of¬†things that still¬†a home. ūüôā¬† This is definitely a work in progress.¬† Someday soon I’d like to take everything out of this area and repaint the shelves, finish off the sheet rock where we tore down the back wall {entrance into my desk area}, and then paint the walls to match the future color of the kitchen.
This is the other side of the old pantry. From top to bottom: paints, flashcards, and items I don’t want in the hands of my littlest littles {gorilla glue!! armor etch glue!! etc}. Some of my teacher manuals, some small storage tubs {more things I don’t want the littlest littles to have….glitter, stamps, bingo markers, magnets}, and all of our math manipulatives.¬† Blue storage tub full of various math games, binders of curriculum, and some of our group work books.¬† Our Ikea paper roll that I LOVE and a couple of¬†storage tubs with office supplies.¬†Below that are some of our workboxes.¬† We don’t really use the workbox system like¬†it’s intended. ¬†I like the idea of the workbox system but I think a couple of the boys are just too young yet.¬† Really they don’t have much *independent* work anyway.¬† I pretty much have to work one-on-one with them on the majority of their work.¬† I’m not sure how we’re going to use these in the future but for¬†now we just have individual work and some group work books stored in them.
These last two pictures show my new desk area.¬† I was standing in the middle of the old pantry {with the library on one side and school storage on the other}, looking at what used to be the back wall of the pantry.¬† We knocked it out to expose a small storage area that previously was only accessible from the garage and back yard {yes, there are TWO¬†doors in my desk area…lol}.¬† I love this space SO much and try to only allow pretty girly things in it…..you know, since I’m the boy mama of FIVE, there isn’t a whole lot of room in the house for pink and sparkles. The desk is actually a 10 ft countertop.¬† I have space to plan for school, run our business, AND do some paper scrapbooking!¬†¬† It’s still a work in progress too. I need to find some kind of flooring. The cabinets need to be painted.¬† I need to find a home for a few more things. And to the far right of the bottom picture is a hidden space around the¬†corner¬†that needs a lot of work. There is a set of shelves that hide all of the things I don’t want out in the open yet, a couple rolling storage carts that I haven’t put to use yet….and one of our water heaters. ūüôā¬† That’s why I didn’t take a picture of that space…it’s ugly still. BUT nobody can see it unless they walk around there so for now it stays hidden. Ha!
¬†So that’s it! Our learning area and my desk space!!¬† For now anyway….¬† We have plans of turning our garage into a family room so that ugly red wall with our calendar stuff on it may end up being a huge pass-thru/bar soon.
Until then, it’s where we do school!!
Oh the joys of remodeling an older house!! ūüôā
Thanks for taking a tour of our learning area!  Hope you enjoyed it!

Not Back to School Blog Hop

Our *school room space*

I am SO excited that before this school year is over we will have a room completely dedicated to school!  We are going to start building our new house *hopefully* next month.  We are really looking forward to having lots of storage for our school supplies and a nice quiet place to learn.

In the meantime, we are using the dining area as school space.¬† It isn’t a big space and we still have to use the¬†table¬†for meals¬†so I spent a good part of July getting every bit of school stuff organized and in its very own place.¬†

My totally awesome bookcase find from last year’s yard saling has made my life SO much easier…..even though I still need to finish painting it.¬† It’s actually more organized than this now too.¬† My current goal is to make sure whatever comes into my house has its own space……or it doesn’t get to stay!¬† This sits between the back wall and our dining table.¬†

Still the best thing in our homeschool…..workboxes.¬† I changed from the hanging file folder boxes to this storage over the summer.¬† I like this set up a lot better.¬† The 12 inch length allows all those notebooks to lie flat and not crease.¬† Each of the older two boys have 9 drawers which is all we can fit under the bar in front of the table.¬† When we get the new school room, they will have 12 each and I will start adding a few for the younger boys.
Our workbox grids.¬† The blue and red are Nathan’s and Kaleb’s grids.¬† I decided not to use Gabriel’s and Drake’s yet since we don’t have room for their workboxes.¬† Instead I printed up a simple daily chart for them.¬† Each day has four spaces for activities.¬† Basically the idea is to just make sure I do at least four educational activities with each little one every day.¬† They do more than this on any given day because they like to participate with the older boys but I needed this kind of OCD organization mostly to pacify myself.¬†
This is the front of our morning board.  I made a new one for this year.  Their grids and schedules fit perfectly on the outside.  This is mounted on the wall between the back wall window and our big closed storage.
The inside of our morning board.
The top of our closed storage.¬† All of the calendar stuff is in that green storage box, puzzles, fingerpaints, LF dvds….mostly stuff I don’t want the littles to reach! ūüôā¬† I usually use the front for showcasing art projects.¬† You can see part of our morning board to the right.
I finally organized the inside…..and look at that room to spare!!!¬† {no worries…I’m sure I’ll have that filled up in no time!}¬† Top two shelves are for art and office supplies that we are currently using.¬† Bottom has a box of books for future use (deals I find on curricula).¬†
¬†This is above the washer and dryer (the w&d closet is in the dining area as well).¬† Photo boxes hold extra supplies.¬† I scored about 30 bottles of glue one day at Office Depot for NINE CENTS each!¬† Stamp set above that.¬† The file boxes used to be our workboxes.¬† Now I keep all kind of paperwork for school (mostly pre-school) in them….one has ABC/123¬†stuff; another has holiday activities, ideas and more; and honestly I can’t remember what is in the other two. lol¬† I really need to organize them better.¬† This is actually all above the dryer.¬† To the left, above the dryer are a TON of¬†board games.
I realized as I started this post that I didn’t take a full picture of the area.¬† That would probably helped a lot in seeing where everything is.¬† Oh well….the next time I post homeschool room pics, you’ll get every single little detail.¬† {and hopefully that will be BEFORE Christmas….lol}
Go to Mama to 3 Blessings blog to see more classrooms!

Week 3–August 17-21

Cleaned and organized our homeschool room. This pic is our our main storage. Look how neat and organized….with room to spare!! Can’t see the bottom shelf…but it’s BARE!! lol

The boys have been playing with these guys lately. It does freak me out a bit but boys will be boys…. Catawba worms aka Catalpa worms aka prized fish bait. My boys don’t want to fish with them. They want to make them pets!!

Working on a base 10 game. (The math is book is NOT his btw! It belongs to his brother.)
I have been working on putting together some storage boxes for each of the younger three with fun activities that they can choose throughout the day. I have a little slip of paper that says “FUN BOX ACTIVITY” that I will put in a workbox file or two each day. All of the games/activities are educational and most free printables I found online. The top box is for Drake, middle for Gabriel, and the bottom box for Kaleb. I have discovered that I will be quickly upgrading the shoe boxes for bigger boxes soon.

I originally thought to list each week what went into their workboxes, but so much of it is the same anyway. =) No reason to repeat that over and over. Instead we’ll just have a lot of pictures and a list of accomplishments. Really everyone mostly likes looking at the pictures anyway, right?

We took Wednesday off to have a fun day since all the public school kids were back in school. The boys enjoyed it. Between the fun day and the storms all day Wednesday, we were a little lazy and out of the groove. Still accomplished some schoolwork, but not what I expected. I let Kaleb play fun math and phonics games most of the day instead of doing some of his math and phonics lessons. Still learning, though!!

What did we accomplish??

R&S English lessons 5-7 plus worksheets
Saxon math lessons 14-17
MEP math lessons 1-2

OPGTR lessons 36-38 (we had to break up some of the bigger lessons into 2 days)
ETC lessons-taking a small break as we make some “books” using the sentences in th OPG books. I’ll share those next week.
MEP math lessons 6-9
Saxon math-we’re just doing some fun hands-on activities from the book now. Nothing formal…just fun.
ABC bible lessons-letter Cc

MOH-finished week 2, started week 3.
Apologia finished lesson 2
Memory verse-Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God. Isaiah 41:10a

Yesterday we took it easy. Nathan and I worked on his writing assignment from R&S English. He is really needing some hand-holding in this area. I may need to look for a very simple writing program to go along with the English assignments. I can’t believe how little (if any really) writing instruction was given to him in public school. Kaleb spent the day playing some math and phonics games, and working on his handwriting with fun activity.

Last night Kaleb and I had this conversation:

Last night–Kaleb “MOM! We did do any schoolwork today!” Yes we did. You did two math games, a phonics game, and a handwriting activity. “That’s not real schoolwork! Please can we do REAL schoolwork tomorrow?” Yes, Kaleb. “Promise?” Promise.

We will be out of town with Daddy again next week. Should be interesting!! We have plans to visit the zoo and the science center.

Our homeschool room *slash* play room.


We currently live in a rent house while we decide what we want to do (build or buy). It has this ugly paneling that I can’t stand so I decided I would try to cover as much of it as I can! lol Just a warning in advance of the *ugly wall situation*….

Our homeschool room was our playroom but I decided to use it for both. Actually when it was just the playroom, the boys never played *in* it. They would go get the toys they wanted to play with and bring them into the living room. We also keep a few of their favorite toys and the train table in our living room anyway. I like to have them in the same room as me anyway so the playroom could actually be called the toy storage room!

I started converting it over this summer. I’m not completely finished with it but wanted to share. This is the monkey wall!! I just put this up today. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. Maybe a word wall as I have tons of bananas left AND a printable to make more. Maybe an art wall, although the older three have their own bulletin boards for things like that and you can see a bit of their art on the wall anyway. Maybe just a pretty to brighten the room? I don’t know. Any ideas??
I am not sharing the desk area right now. lol It’s a bit messy as I redo the bookcase, storage thing, and closet. BUT it is a 6 ft table and you can see the top of the computer in this picture. Also you can see our ABC border. More for pretty than anything else. We are going to add our ABC bible verses to the bottom of the border as we go each week. The bulletin board on the left is Kaleb’s and the one on the right is Nathan’s. I don’t have Nathan and Gabriel’s names on their boards yet…I need to get on that. I have their workbox schedules on their bulletin boards instead of on strips. I thought this might be easier for us. The red and blue sheets in between are their workbox grids. Then you can see the world and USA maps on the wall with the Minnesota Vikings calendar. Under the calendar is one of our storage bins. There are two shorter ones under the table. I want to add some corner shelves for more storage space but we haven’t gotten there yet.

On the same wall as the maps and calendar, there is our main homeschool storage. There is a window in between that I didn’t get in the picture. On the wall next to the bookcase is a 100 chart, ABC manuscript poster, and K and G’s math art that they did last year. I just like it so much that it had to stay! =) Under the 100 chart is a little toddler table that right now has books piled on it. Soon it will be where K and G sit for circle time and do their little tactile letter craft every Monday morning.

On the far left in the pic, you can see Gabriel’s board. The bookcase is currently under construction which is why it is so messy right now. All of the beginning/phonics readers are in the white storage on top of the bookcase and on the first shelf. I still have more to put up there. Thanks to my obsession with buying Nathan tons of readers when he was learning to read in public school and my desire to keep everything and anything remotely educational, we have plenty for Kaleb to read. lol Our globe and a mess of things that need to be put away also are hanging out on the top of the bookcase. The rest of the shelves are full of various books and activity books we’ve bought over the years. The bottom couple of shelves house Gabriel and Drake’s books and a few toys. The *toy* part of the room starts below G’s board with the toy bin that needs to be overhauled and extends under the monkey wall.

My plan is to move more of their toys to a toy box behind our couch in the living room to make more room in this room. It’s the plan anyway! =D I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Nathan has a bookcase in his bedroom that houses all of his personal books and other personal items. We have two library book baskets in the living room and a book basket in each bedroom including ours. We also have books stored in a (suppose to be decorative not functional) bookcase in the living room. My *goal* is to get all of the children’s books into the school room eventually….or at least close. I’m going to get another bookcase for right outside the schoolroom which is at the end of the hallway to add more storage.

I will be so happy when we finally get a bigger house!! lol Until then our little school/play room is nice to have and we enjoy it!!

Getting ready for the first day of SCHOOL!!

Our first day of school is August 3rd! I have been working on getting our schedule completely and printed, organizing and decorating the school/play room (one half of the room is for school and the other is for play), and putting together little gift *baskets* of goodies for each boy.

Here is a look at some progress in our school/playroom: I decided to do individual bulletin boards for each boy so they will have their own personal space to show off their own achievements and such. I still have to make the names for each board. The camo board is Kaleb’s, the space board is Nathan’s, and the animal print board is Gabriel. I let each of them pick out their own border/theme on our last trip to Mardels. You can see part of the ABC border and just a bit of the sun poster on the ceiling. Since we’re studying astronomy this year, I thought we’d do our own solar system on the ceiling. I put the sun poster up already so it wouldn’t get torn up by the littles. It shows the different layers of the sun and has a little solar system on the bottom part of the poster. I’m going to have the boys draw and color the planets (along with the moon, astroids, coments, etc) to be added to the ceiling as we study them. Kaleb and Nathan’s board are above the table and their workbox grids are in between the boards.

Right now we live in a rent house so we can’t do anything with the walls. I seriously do not like paneling so my plan is to cover as much as I can with posters and other school related things. =)

Our school sign that will go above Nathan and Kaleb’s workbox grids after I cut out and laminate it.