For a variety of reasons, this school year has found me without an office or homeschool space. To complicate matters, it has become apparent that Dora has some sensory issues, so we wanted some space to set up some sensory equipment for her. So over winter break, I finally decided to get rid of our formal living room and dining room (we never had set up the formal dining room anyway). We moved the living room furniture to the family room, which now looks much nicer and really is more comfortable to watch TV or sit by the fire in.
I thought I’d show off our new arrangement. I’m also adding a link-up at the bottom of this post for others to show off their homeschool spaces. Our space is not 100% complete, Secunda and I plan to paint the walls, but haven’t decided on a color. Also, one thing to keep in mind, if this seems over the top, is that Dora currently does not have a bedroom – she sleeps in our room and has a very few toys in our room, but for the most part, this is all of her toys. Dora has definitely been playing, exploring, and learning much more with this new arrangement. Even Gohan has taken to doing all of his bookwork in the room, because of the comfy bean bag chairs!
This first photo is of what I consider the most important change, it’s a Haba Piratos Swing Seat. It is hammock swing that mounts in the ceiling. Dora loves to swing and when she gets stressed out, swinging can be the best way to calm her down. This indoor swing spares us from going outside in all sorts of nasty weather, but also, the hammock style of swing can be very soothing to kids with any sort of sensory issues.
My second favorite change is this rug, it is a Hands Around the World Rug. I love the bright colors, the peaceful theme, and that the continents are colored by the Montessori coloring system. This means that the rug colors will match all continent mapping activities that we do.
The third and final product that we bought specifically for this room change, was two Jaxx Cocoon Jr.chairs. These chairs are filled with foam, not beans. They are extremely comfortable and make for a great place to cozy up and read books with Dora. They are also fun to lay on. I bought them specifically for Dora to have a place to crash into, literally. Thus far, she still favors crashing into me instead.
Next are some of our bookcases, that we already owned. The top shelves of these bookcases house all of my homeschooling supplies on top (i.e. teacher guides, materials for future use, idea books, etc.). The lower shelves have our sensorial and practical life materials (oh yeah, that is the chicken butt on the floor!).
This set of bookcases is home to Dora’s language arts and math materials. The big black thing on the right is a desk apprentice from Staples. It stores most of Gohan’s materials. The window ledge above these shelves also has some of his science materials (safely out of Dora’s reach).
These buckets hold all of Dora’s blocks and Haba Ball Track Construction Set pieces (otherwise known as a marble run).
This is Dora’s kitchen/grocery store area with her little play table, which is used for a variety of activities. The phone on the wall is actually a bank that Secunda bought a long time ago and was going to donate to Goodwill. Dora uses that phone to “call” people so much, I can’t tell you how much use it has gotten!
This area needs the most to be improved upon. On the sides are various indoor physical activity materials, which are a must in the Pacific Northwest. I have not found a good way to corral all of these things, so they are stacked kind of willy-nilly. If anyone knows of any good storage for these types of things, please comment below. The shelves contain all of our art supplies, Dora’s musical instruments, and her science materials. I believe that I will add more wall shelves above all of the physical activity materials in order to get more storage for science materials, which we definitely need. I don’t think we will be keeping that bouncy horse for long, I feel bad, as it was a Christmas present, intended to replace her rocking horse that she had outgrown (and was in danger of hurting herself on by falling backwards while rocking). This horse plays sounds and is like a giant stuffed animal, but has yet to garner more than a few minutes of her attention. The trampoline also takes up a lot of space and is used very little, but sometimes when she is
being super hyper feeling very energetic, I get her to jump on it and set a “record” for the most number of jumps ever. In general, she does not use much of the physical activity equipment, except the balls, which are technically stored in the purple bucket, but usually are located all over the house.
And that is our new homeschool space/play room. As Dora grows older, I’m sure it will eventually morph back into a living room, but for the time being, this is the best use of our space. What about you, do you have a special room for homeschooling? I know a lot of homeschoolers have blogged about their learning/playing spaces, but I don’t think there has ever been a link up for it. So I thought I’d host a one-time link up for people to share their homeschooling spaces. So, if you have posted about your homeschooling space, please add your link below (please be sure to link to the actual post and not just your home page).
Ironically, I am linking my link up to another link up from Chestnut Grove Academy, Brag Time Thursday. Our new space is something I really feel like bragging about, it took a lot of thought and time to put together. If you are interested in reading about other homeschooler’s brag-worthy activities, check out the link-up at:
Disclosure: Some item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.