School and Play

One of the things that I love about our house is the play/school room- not necessarily because of what we’ve done with it, but because it is spacious and bright. We spend a lot of time in here, all five of us, learning, playing, working, creating. I sat at the table the other day, watching the kids just wreck it. They were playing, mind you, but there was a lot of dumping and stacking and rearranging of furniture to accommodate wars and trenches. My anxiety started to rise, scanning the room and estimating when to pull the plug to begin the clean up process. But then I really saw what was going on. All my kids were there, with me. For hours on end. And yes, it is frustrating and chaotic at times, but I am so thankful for the space to be able to be together. They forget I am there and I evesdrop on their conversations, their imaginations, their creativity, and I am so glad they are home. With me.

This is my usual view- I sit in the chair that is visible at the bottom of the picture. Light fixture is from Ikea, banner from The Land of Nod, letters from Anthropologie, pillow from Target. I don’t have any information about the picture above the couch, we picked it up here.

We store the majority of our toys in these bins. Each bin (is supposed to but they are rarely super organized)  has a different toy in it: Big Legos, Little Legos, Playmobiles, Zoobs, Tinkertoys, cars, animals, small wooden blocks, alphabet blocks, people, trains, magnet rods and balls, and some miscellaneous items. I rotate them with various things from time to time.

Reading corner… August spends a lot of time on this little chair.

This painting used to hang in our living room, but the colors are so perfect for this space!

These are the boys’ desks. The orange basket holds their backpacks. Because we go back and forth from home to school I have them keep everything in their backpacks to make sure all their work returns to school. The cubbies under their chairs hold coloring books.

This is the business center. The bookshelf holds all my teacher manuals, a shelf for each child. The kids put all their work from school in the blue basket and I look at it and sort it into bins as time allows. The little plastic bins hold flash cards. I spray painted an old bookshelf and the basket is from The Land of Nod. I painted and covered a bulletin board with this fabric.

Antonella and I sit at the table. I  had the binding cut off on all her workbooks and put them in this binder. This has helped our days so much by eliminating all the digging in her backpack and finding the right page. She has everything in front of her and keeps her place bookmarked.

Neil’s parents bought this table when they were first married from an antique store. They brought it up to Chicago for us when we bought our first house and Neil re-finished it. It is one of my favorite pieces of furniture we own!

You can see the huge whiteboard that Neil salvaged from his previous school’s garbage. He cleaned it and adjusted it good as new… unfortunately some permanent markers got confused for for dry-erase…

And now for some glimpses of color around the room…

15 thoughts on “School and Play

  1. what a gorgeous homeschool room. right now we do our school work in our office and dinning room. I so desire a larger room with lots of natural light.

  2. I love this room. My soon to be husband and I talk about creating a space just like this for our future family. We want 5 kids, so the more organized we can be the better! 🙂 Love your blog!

  3. Your school room is amazing!

    I was online today looking for inspiration for ours.. we have to move our school room from an open den into our childrens bedroom.. our kids keep waking up super early, like 3am and 5am – because theres toys in their room to play with… so we think we want to move their toys out into the current school room (thats in the den) – any thoughts? 🙂

    Our boys are 6, 4 and 10 months. Our 10 mo old tho has his own room as of now.

    So schooling and naps wouldnt be an issue.

    Adding you to my blog roll!! 😀

    • We used to have school in the dining room because all of our art/school supplies are downstairs (on the tile floor…)- we moved into the school room half way through the year last year because I actually found it beneficial to have school and toys in the same room. When teaching multiple kids, especially young ones, it’s hard for me to have them all “on task” at the same time, for the same amount of time. So we were hauling toys up and down the stairs to entertain the little ones. Once we moved in to the playroom, the older kids can sit and do work while the little ones play and everybody’s happy! Most of the time…:) I do like your idea of having school in their bedroom though, and it really depends on how your children work- maybe the toys would be too big of a distraction. You really have to try it out to see what works best for you!

      • hi, what a wonderful family and home you have. The painting is great. It made me think of looking at paintings in my parents house when i was little. So often they just became part of my everyday imagination…..often unspoken. You have such a nice relationship going with your kiddos, it could be fun to ask them if they imagine anything about the painting……who lives in the barn? The doorway and windows are dark, is it scary in there? Could they make little people to peek out the door or windows? interactive art, you might say! My kids ….one is in college and one works at Twitter! If i had little ones at home on a rainy day, i’d go around the house and hear their thoughts and feeling about the artwork!!
        thanks for indulging my imagination!

  4. Just wanted to let you know that if you draw over the marks left by the permanent marker with a dry erase marker and then wipe it off, the marks will usually disappear. I’m a high school English teacher and have occasionally forgotten to check to see which markers I’m using on my boards. This trick usually works. What a beautiful room to learn with your children in. I’m enjoying your blog. Blessings!

  5. so excited to find your blog. I found you through “a soft place to land”….she linked to your bunk beds. i have 3 boys and another baby on the way. we are planning to put all 3 boys together in a room, so this caught my eye. And then i saw that you do university model school as well! i always love to find others who do this type of schooling. we love it!! I love your school room. You have inspired me! thank you. blessings,

  6. I stumbled upon your blog this past week and have thoroughly enjoyed browsing it. I too have three boys and one girl. Mine are 9,7(daughter), 5 & 3.

    About your school room – where did you find the bookcase that holds the toy bins? I could really use this in my boys’ room!

  7. Love everything about your blog! We’re expecting our second boy in May (they’ll be exactly 2 years apart) and are looking forward to all of sibling fun… more babies to follow 😉 Can’t get enough of your boy room!

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