Our Learning Spaces (well, some of it!)

We have a room that is set up for all the homeschooley stuff.  We call it the sunroom, because that’s what you often call a room with big windows that gets a lot of sun, right?  Or it’s called the sumroom, in a lame reference to schoolwork. Although I’ve named my photos ‘learning room’, I don’t really call it that either because learning is done everywhere, both indoors and out!  Most of the time, Arthur and DeeW are wherever Husband or I happen to be and a lot of stuff gets done at the kitchen table.  I haven’t snapped a photo of that learning space, because right now it’s covered with non-kitchen table stuff: My Little Ponies, two little sewing baskets, heaps of books, board shorts, a t-shirt, Christmas decorations, my hat, my sunglasses, a basket, the radio and a couple of fruit bowls which are the only kitchen-tabley things there.

Okay, so I’ve been busy setting up the homeschool/sunroom and cleaning so I thought I’d get some photos while it’s all looking mostly nice.  Except for all those cables lying around, urgh.  I haven’t finished setting up because I’m still deciding what posters to put up on the walls. I don’t like bare walls, but I don’t like posters that are too high above a child’s eye level.  For Arthur it’s not much of a problem seeing as he’s nearly as tall as I am (he’s 151cm (about 5ft.), I’m about 164cm and he is nine years old.  My mum is 5’1″ and Arthur wears the same shoe size as her, so when mum is buying him a pair of shoes she tries them on for fit.  Handy!)  But for DeeW, I don’t want her to have to look up too high.

Before I begin my little tour, please let me stress that this is *not* what a homeschooler needs to do!  Some people have larger learning spaces that look like a classroom, others have none whatsoever.  It really doesn’t matter in my opinion, because as I said, learning happens everywhere, for all of us.  Arthur has zoomed through his maths work sitting in bed late at night. Or he’ll be in the lounge room building something.  DeeW is often at the kitchen table or sitting on the playroom floor. But I wanted one central room where I could store everything, especially our books.  And although we have this somewhat dedicated space, I still have other maths and literacy resources strewn around the other rooms so the kids don’t have to go to the sunroom all the time to get games and whatnot.

Tour time!  As you walk towards the back of our home, this is what you see:

learning room

I love these book racks.  I fill them with books on things we’re currently studying (both our own books and library books).  I haven’t finished setting up yet.  I just move the rack on to the floor when we need the posters ;)

learning room

I use up every available bit of wall.  I can’t help it, I love posters:

learning room

Main view.  Ignore messy computer cables:

learningroom1

View from the other side.  I really need to fancy up those bare walls.  And mow my lawn:

learning room
I have a little table suited to DeeW’s size, and a small table from a church to act as a writing station:

learning room

All our reference/non fiction books are in these white folders that I bought from Ikea.  They’re $2.99 for a five pack according to the website.  I had to cut them a bit to fit in the shelves (two Ikea ‘Billy’ shelves my sister didn’t need anymore) and I printed up labels for the fronts:

learningroom5

learningroom15

I’ve set up our geography centre by the back door:

learning room

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Not even the back door is spared:

learningroom17

We have Montessori puzzle maps I bought years ago.  These are the cheapy imitation ones, not the million dollar baby ones made by official Montessori suppliers:
learningroom11

We use the Workbox System, though I’ve made some modifications.  Arthur’s boxes are numbered 1 through 8 and DeeW has the bottom four.  The large white tub on the floor is called the finish box.  Their work gets divided up and sorted in to their workboxes (the numbered boxes).  When box 1 is complete, they put their completed work in the finish box and the empty tubs are stacked up.  This way, they get to see how much work they have done and how much they have to go.  We found this was a good motivator for Arthur when he was younger:
learningroom13

Some maths stuff:

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All the texts and notebooks we will use all the time get put in these baskets so they’re always easy for us to access:
learningroom16

And that’s it for the Sumroom!  Now I should get on to cleaning the rest of the house, post-Christmas.

Are you a homeschooler?  Please say hi in the comments and leave a link to any learning space photos you have!  I’m such a sticky beak when it comes to seeing other learning spaces :D

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14 thoughts on “Our Learning Spaces (well, some of it!)

  1. I’m not a home schooler, but I am a school teacher (found your blog as a Melbourne vegan :) ) and I find home schooling really interesting- I love your learning space, especially the geography corner.

      • I’ve seen you mention it before that you try and separate the vegan and homeschool posts. I figure if your kids are getting rich learning experiences (which it sounds like they are) and are loving learning (which I bet they are) and are still having opportunities to learn how to act in social situations (I’m sure they are) then I don’t see what the problem is. I think any ‘alternative’ decision to the norm is fraught with people objecting though — like how I almost fear telling people I’m vegan because of the backlash! It doesn’t affect them at all, so who cares? Anyway, good stuff. ;)

  2. Wow! I now have poster-envy! Except we don’t really have wall space to stick posters up on….and I love your $2.99 magazine stands from Ikea (except most of our books are too big to fit in them). I was organised once upon a time….but it has lost it’s shiny now. Maybe in the new year?

    • I have books that are too big to fit in the Ikea magazine files which really annoys me, I’m quite obsessive about having things fit in nicely and then the too-big books have to go in another section of bookshelves where I feel they get relegated to ‘out of sight out of mind’ status! I looove posters, especially these ones I got cheap from a teacher supply store that was closing down. Which reminds me, I have these really awesome old school physics posters– I better stick them up and blog about them!

  3. Veganopoulous, I am so impressed! The learning space that you created for your children is simply amazing, and I want some of those posters. I love geography posters. You are so organized, and that alone makes a difference. The space is bright and cheery, which is so important.

    I don’t see any problem with posting about home schooling from time to time. If some people are not interested they can simply skip over those posts. I think that it actually ties in well with your organic eating habits.

    Do you have set hours each day that you are home schooling?

    • Thanks! I love the posters too :P Nope we don’t have set hours, though I do prefer to get things out of the way early so the rest of the day is free as I also need to cook etc. We take the learning opportunities whenever they arise, for eg when my son’s computer time ends for the day before dinner, he does more work then too. Or after dinner when he and his dad watch geek videos, my son has to write a couple of paragraphs in his record book about what he watched and they also look up links and stuff. So it just depends :)

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