Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Learning Room


After four garage sales to raise money, many coats of paint, and several trips to Ikea, the Learning Room is complete. As JayBird would say, "First it was an office. Then it was an office and a bedroom. Now it is the Learning Room!"

DSC00717.resized We made these bookshelves out of rain gutters from Lowes. They are completely customizable so you can size them exactly how you'd like. They make a great place to put books facing out so that your children can see them better.

DSC00625.resized Covers of books are much more attractive than the spines of books.

DSC00624.resizedBelow the bookshelves are two woven baskets to keep library books in or to easily move book around the house. Above the bookshelves is a curtain wire from Ikea to hang the kids' artwork. 

                  
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The little desks are actually
side tables from Ikea. They are only $7.99 and come in 8 different colors! We looked at several children's desks and decided to go with this inexpensive option that works even better for us. They can each have their separate space, which is needed right now since JellyBean is a toddler and wants to grab everything, but then we can also pull the desks out and put them together if we want a joint space. We then added children's chairs from the children's dept.


DSC00633.resized My desk (which is no longer available in white) is in the middle which, as you can tell, hides my computer when closed (and any junk and clutter that may accumulate!) It also has three spacious drawers. One drawer houses our current home school books and curriculum. The other two are not yet being utilized. The bins on the top are also from Ikea, though I can not find a link for them. We also have this corner basket organizer, however it is not up yet because I have not decided where to put it and sort of forgot about it as we designed the room and put up the bookshelves.

                   
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This is JellyBean's
Tot School cubby area from Target which hold her Tot Trays. Tot Trays hold fun activities that toddlers can do on their own or with others. These activities expose tots to early learning skills in a fun way. They can easily take a tray down all by themselves, do the activity, and ideally they learn to then put the activity back on the tray and back into the cubby. I will rotate the activities that go in the cubbies, especially as I build up my activity stash. Activities can be anything like drawing, gluing, stacking, pouring, sorting, and so much more. Anything that teaches some sort of early learning concept or fine motor skill works! And later, activities can coordinate with learning numbers and the alphabet. Have a fun activity idea? Please share! To read more about Tot School and Tot Trays, click the linked phrases above.

DSC00634.resizedSince homeschooling mamas are always interested in storage, here is a picture of my closet. A little more than half of it has shelves. I also added some plastic drawers. My closet filled up fast! I really could use even more space! I must keep pretty organized (although it is not as organized as I would like) otherwise it starts to overflow with things and then I feel like I really don’t have enough room in their! I store things in a variety ways, but mainly in storage totes or in cardboard magazine files.

DSC00630.resized Now this wall, although it looks quite barren, has a pretty neat function. Did you notice my kid's "names" on there? The wall is magnetic! This is so much fun for all of us! JayBird enjoys spelling out words with magnetic letters. JellyBean enjoys forcefully pushing them off the wall. (She's sort of in a destructive mode these days.) It is only magnetic half way up the wall. I will probably hang learning posters on the upper half as needed.

DSC00628.resized I have even more pockets of storage hanging on our door. Not all of the pockets are in use yet, but I am sure I will find things for to occupy them. This happened to be on clearance at Joann's a while back. Below is our calendar purchased from the Dollar Tree. It is a good starter calendar, but I don't think it will hold up very well. I'm already in the market for a more durable one.

We are so happy about this room! In fact, it is my favorite room in the house because it is so bright! The intention of this room is to be a learning room and not a play room, although I can't seem to keep the kids out of it! I often find toys from their bedroom have wandered in. The room definitely has the new and fresh feel to it for them. We all end up spending a lot of time in this room, whether it is for focused learning ("school") time or for learning through lots of play.

Now we all know...looks can be deceiving! Our Learning Room might make me seem creative and such, but really, I can't take the credit. My inspiration came from another home schooling mama's
Reading Room. She was my inspiration and now I have a truly inspiring room! I just love it in there with the bright colors. And thankfully, so do the kids!

Into my readers' hearts:
~ Do you have any Tot School activity ideas to share?
~ Do you have a calendar that you love to use with your children to teach them the month, days, etc? If so, send me a link if it can be purchased online!
~ Do you have a designated "school room" or area? Feel free to share information about what is working for you or share a link to your blog with pictures of your school room.



















27 comments:

Catherine said...

Ooo, I'm loving the magnetic wall! How fun! Did you just use magnetic paint for that?

~Into Their Hearts~ said...

TONS of coats of magnetic paint. Then the colored paint over it.

Amber@ClassicHousewife said...

I. LOVE. THIS. I love the colors. I love the rain gutters. I love the magnetic wall. I love the giant closet of supplies and the pockets on the back of the door. Love, love, love!

~Into Their Hearts~ said...

The funny thing is that my "giant" closet of supplies is not giant enough!!! :-)

Angela said...

It looks great! Yeah, those magnetic walls took me quite a few thick layers of paint too. I was surprised it doesn't show through the color.

This reminds me that I should clean out the closet in that room to use for more space!

~Into Their Hearts~ said...

Hi Angela! Glad you happened upon my blog! And thank you so much for your inspiration!

~Robin~ said...

Love the magnetic wall! Great idea, especially for little ones. Nice color scheme, too!

TheRockerMom said...

There are so many wonderful things to comment on: the colors, the shelves, the side tables as desks, the magnetic wall... I wish I could go to school there! Thanks for sharing! I'm going to start following your blog, since I have a little guy, as well.

Rebecca (me!) said...

I LOVE your bright/cheery room...and the magnetic walls!! What a great idea!

Yunia said...

the magnetic wall idea is really cool

Giggly Girls said...

It looks fabulous! Love the magnetic wall. If I had more wall space I'd love to do that.

IKEA is the best. We just redid our room with all their goodies. I'm kicking myself for not buying one of those little tables for my tot. She so needs her own workspace.

http://prncsstefy.blogspot.com/2010/05/weekly-wrap-up-story-of-school-room.html

Shawon said...

Great room! I wish I'd thought about the magnetic paint before painting our walls. Nice!!

See Jamie blog said...

Magnetic wall = awesome fun.
And gutters for bookshelves? Brilliant! Don't think I ever would have thought of that myself. Especially great for younger ones so they can actually SEE the books!

~Into Their Hearts~ said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!We do love our room! The inspiration and brilliance of it all truly came from another homeschooling blogging mom. I link to her blog in the description of my room, so be sure to check out her blog too! She has several homeshcooling rooms and areas that are all wonderful ideas!

Amy said...

How bright and FUN! Love the magnetic wall!

Brooke said...

Love the colorful room! Thanks for the link on the IKEA side tables. We are currently redecorating for a reading room and those might be the perfect, affordable, option! :)

Theresa said...

Just stopping by from the Blog Hop! I love how bright and colorful your space is! This is our first year homeschooling and we are very excited. I am learning so much reading the blogs of other homeschooling moms! I look forward to reading your blog!

Sheri said...

I too will have those sweet rain gutter shelves. Wish I knew of em sooner, when the kiddos were younger. Guess I will have to decorate future grandkids' rooms with em. LOL
Yes, I see you too love IKEA. I saw those tables and wondered just what I could do with em-but my kids are much to big for em....but maybe for our co-op....hmmms, now that is an idea!
Have a great year and thanks for sharing your ideas.

Amanda said...

Oh, I remember seeing this room before -- it is FANTASTIC! I got to make my very first Ikea trip this summer to spruce up our schoolroom, too. :)

kenan said...

Love the room. We are also looking for tot school ideas. As for your calendar question, you may want to look at www.refinedmetalsacademy/blogspot.com
I have used a number of her ideas. We love the way the calendar works for my little ones.

MissMOE said...

I love it all! The gutter wall and the magnetic wall are great. Enjoy it with your family.

sarahssweeties said...

That looks so great! I love all the fun color!

Terra said...

I love the color on the wall. So much fun! The magnetic wall is amazing!!! How did you do that?

Sarah said...

Wonderful room! You did a great job. Love the magnetic wall.

~Into Their Hearts~ said...

Terra - Lots of magnetic paint...many many coats...and then the colored paint over it.

rawbanana said...

What a fun, clean learning space! i love the kids desks and how yours is all closed in-I NEED that! =)
Now off to go learn more about this tot school.....
=)

Robin said...

Absolutely gorgeous!!! LOVE the colors. What a great place to learn. The magnetic wall is awesome!