ye olde schoolhouse

Franny told me it was high time to post up some pictures of ye olde school house, or the 'lair' as Maddi likes to call it.  The definition of lair, however, is 'a den or resting place of a wild animal' so I don't think it means what she thinks it means . . . but that definition actually fits quite well!

The schoolroom is in our half-finished basement, hence the concrete floors that resemble a cow hide.  (previous carpet and glued-down black pad left quite the interesting pattern)

This is the computer station, complete with re purposed comfy chair, printing station and a new addition: our Bamboo computer sketch tablet.  You use as fine point stylus and draw/sketch right on the pad . . . . bada-bing-bada-boom . . . your fine work of art appears on the computer screen for further manipulation.  I haven't played with it much, but the girls really love it and are spending quite a bit of time figuring out what all it can do.

Here is an example of Blue, one of the dogs at Blue Gate Farm . . . our CSA.  Ellie drew him on the Bamboo after coming home from an afternoon spent on the farm.

Next up is our note-taking whiteboard where all matters of truth are written.  The 3 clipboards are for reference sheets and daily assignments waiting to be completed.  Oh!  And see the yellow timer on the board?  It's a magnetic kitchen timer that doubles as our math drill timer.  I love dual purpose tools!

Above the computer desk and just to the right of the Whiteboard-of-Truth (wait . . . . someone erased the truth!) is a large map of the world.  We use this during our 'of the day' studies and the kids take turns using a laser pointer (mounted just below the map) to locate the countries mentioned in the articles.  Total cost for this map was $3 since I already had the spray adhesive and the 3M Command tabs.  My most frugal project to date!

To the left of the hanging clipboards is one of the greatest ideas I ever had . . . to convert our old entertainment center into our main school supply cabinet.  Brilliance over-floweths!  Although it looks like things are placed haphazardly, I can assure you everything has a place and there is a place for everything. 

Even though the kids do not have 'assigned seating', Maddi has claimed this workspace (to the left of the supply cabinet) since day one and spreads her things so thick on the surface that no one dare move it.  Here you can see her in-the-process sculpting of a clay bust for her research on Ancient Greece.

Moving along in our little tour, this is our . . . . well . . . um . . . . bookshelf.  Exciting, eh?  I do have to point out our lovely black flowerpot resting on top.  It was a gift from Sweet Bean and her Mama when we traveled to Alaska and they met us in Denali for a little dinner and chat.  Don't you love the decorated Omnipods?  It spells out A-L-A-S-K-A.  Makes me smile every time I look at it.

And here we make it around to where Ben likes to study/wiggle/jump/sing/bounce/tap/dance/hop/write/be.  He is close enough to my desk (you can see my chair on the left side) that I can correct him when he is being too disruptive and also close enough that I can throw small objects at him with ease.  Our spinny supply wheel is working beautifully and Ben only spins it 759 times an hour.  Oh how I love my busy-bodied boy.

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for, m-y  d-e-s-k.  As in my personal space.  As in DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ON THIS DESK IF YOUR NAME IS NOT AMY.  Yep . . . . all mine.  Notice the clutter, the overflowing to-do box, the multiple straws stemming from multiple sources of caffeine, the electrical tape keeping the arm of my chair from shedding . . . . it's homely but I Love, lOve, loVe, lovE this little corner of the room and will never give it up. (5 bonus points for anyone who can read what's on my iPad screen)

This little space just off the left of MY DESK is still kinda-sorta part of my desk, but other people can touch this area without fear of getting their limbs shredded.  Here we have an area on the bottom shelf for scratch paper, and just next to it a recycle box.  We are a green school . . . must save the planet.  On the top shelf sits my fabulous-oh-so-wonderful Gold Canyon pod warmer and scent pod.  Currently scenting our lair is Coconut Lime Verbena . . . very thought inspiring.  And the sketches?  Yeah, my students created those for me.  They also gifted me that lovely apple-holding raccoon for Teacher Appreciation Day. 

Finally, rounding up the left hand turns, we come to Ellie's space.  She loves to create and hoard scissors and drop glue dots all over the place in order to avoid working on math.  I do have to say, however, she was the only one still down here working while I was snapping away with the camera.  Either she really enjoyed her worksheets today or she played the avoidance game too long . .  . either way it was nice to see her tapping her foot away as she hummed a little tune.  (For 5 bonus points, can anyone spot Ellie's pod?)

Thank you for joining me on the tour of our classroom.  Even though we are in this space quite a bit, our 'classroom' extends beyond the basement to the upstairs, in bedrooms, out back on the trampoline, local parks, museums and even in the car.  Yep . . . homeschooling is the life for us!


Holly said...

I love it, Amy! Love that they can recycle without getting limbs shredded. You are so nice! ; ) haha!

Love that they all have their own little comfy areas, and you are certainly organized, no doubt about it! : )
ps-one: haikus are easy, but sometimes they don't make sense. Refrigerators.
two: her arm!
I'm rocking the quiz! haha : )
and your classroom is the world! And I *love* the maps you made!! You are so cool! : )
Ps-can't wait to see you in...a week and a half!

Football and Fried Rice said...

I would have thought you would have moved the TASSIMO downstairs! That and an iHome so you guys can rock out :) at least you've got the iPad now - you need some awesome tunes on there for "break" time!

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Oh my goodness, I got to read 2 posts in one day from you!! I'm so excited!!!

I love your wonderful homeschooling space! The thing that really got my attention was the hoarding of scissors. I got to the point where I have a special box of just "my" office supplies and my scissors STILL end up missing. It's the daughter, she's my little thief.LOL

I'm so glad that you are all adapting so beautifully to your new schedules.

FeltFinland said...

What a great little school Amy and you can never have enough maps!!

Wendy said...



I'd like to take a field trip to your schoolhouse ;)

Reyna said...

Ahhhh...HOLY WOW-NESS!!!! Your schoolhouse ROCKS girl. This life-style seems to be suiting you and the fam well. xo

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

I love Fanny. She has such great blogging ideas.

We actually had a conversation in high school once about how refrigerator would be the perfect word to use in a Haiku.

I love that they all have their own "office". When I was in elementary, I always imagined my desk to be my office.

You are very organized! You would have to be to keep up with 3 different levels and requirements. I loved seeing each child's clip board.

It is pretty cool that Ellie can finish her assignments whenever she finally decides to.

I've never been one to want to take on homeschooling, but you make it look fun and easy.

Heidi / D-Tales said...

I like our new friend, Franny!

That Bamboo sketch pad uber cool! I want one!

You are super duper clever with all the repurposing going on in that there school house...er, lair...of yours.

The haiku was fun. Refrigerators! :)

So I'm wondering whether you and the kids ever "go to school" in your pajamas. I think if I were to homeschool, I might have a wee problem with getting dressed on some days.

Sarah said...

is it weird that I am a tad bit green with envy reading this post? hmmmm...I truly wasn't ready for all the missing of my dear son when he went to school, nor was I ready for the excess behavior that he has learned thus far or the language...oye. So, thanks a million for showing this to us. I love knowing that there is an amazing mama out there making homeschooling such an important task to her children and enjoying it all, too.

Football and Fried Rice said...

AND I meant to say that i love Ellie's sig on her artwork!!

Karen said...

Wow! This is awesome...it makes me want to homeschool too!