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What’s in the basement?

June 27, 2011

If you’re interested in what a homeschool classroom looks like, this may not be a great post for you. To be honest, each of the two rooms in our basement school is larger than Buddy’s kindergarten classroom in the sweet Charlotte Mason school he’ll be attending this fall. It just worked out that we finished out this above-grade basement with a full kitchen and then decided to use it as our learning headquarters. I really hate blogs and posts that say “how to do homeschooling,” because everything looks great and it looks nothing like what you are doing or could do. Be assured that many folks use their kitchen table as their school headquarters with great success.  OK, with that disclaimer out of the way, if you’re curious about what OUR homeschool space looks like, here are some pictures.

The Main Classroom:

This is our main classroom. It has a Virco adjustable height table in the middle of it, a small folding table with a laptop computer in one corner, a row of medium-height bookshelves on the wall opposite the computer table, a small flat panel TV mounted on the wall above the bookshelves, two chairs and a lamp in the corner opposite the computer table, and a small plastic “science” table on the same wall as the computer table.

Here is our main work table, the wall of bookshelves, and our TV, which we use for watching Math U See DVD’s and other DVD’s.

Here you can see one of the French doors by the computer table. Along the top of the wall are Grip-A-Strip holders. These let you stick papers in them and them remove them without tape or pins.

Still in our main classroom, these are the chairs where we usually read aloud from our language arts books. We use the Michael Clay Thompson books available from Royal Fireworks Press.

The Art/Science Room:

We are just really fortunate to have two whole rooms dedicated to our learning adventures. This room has a complete kitchen tucked into a corner.  It also serves as a den and guest room, with a sleeper sofa opposite a wall of bookshelves. It has an old kindergarten table that I found at an antique store and some chairs that were thrift store finds, and we use the table for all kinds of arts and crafts projects.

We try to keep the work table in the main classroom clear of ongoing projects so we can focus on the lesson at hand, so it's really nice to have this table in our art/science room where the kids can leave projects out. The oven in the background gets used to bake projects made of Sculpy, the microwave is in frequent use to make popcorn, the freezer contains popsicles, the front of the fridge often serves as a dry erase board, and in general the area is a nifty science lab. We also have random supplies (laminator, paper cutter, acrylic paint, Montessori puzzle map of Europe) stashed in the kitchen drawers and cabinets.

We picked up this little adjustable-height desk from a friend's yard sale and have it stashed in the corner of our art/science room as an additional work station. The chair is our ancient Egyptian throne, a project from last year's history study.

For lack of a better term, I'm calling the second room in the basement, which has a kitchen tucked into one corner, the "science/art room." You can never have too many bookshelves or books.

Just a cheapo plastic shelf full of other cheapo plastic organizing devices full of art supplies, flash cards, pencils, rulers, and other stuff. You can't really make out the labels, but labels are the key to having stuff. We have lots of stuff, but thanks to the label maker, we can usually find the stuff when we need it. 🙂

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