Today I wanted to give you a quick look around our homeschool room. Our homeschool room is a stand-alone outdoor studio in our backyard. My husband and I (with a little painting help from the kids) built it over the course of about a year and we moved in at the beginning of this year.
Just to give you an idea of size, it’s rectangular shaped, about 6m (19ft) long by 3.4m (11ft) wide with a 1m (3ft) verandah at the front.
When I was thinking about how I wanted to arrange the studio, I needed to make space for quite a bit of storage. Our home is small (comfortable, but small), with almost no storage, so the studio needed to have enough storage for not only our learning materials but everything else; spare art materials, baskets, trays, loose parts, paper, my planning stuff, everything.
I’d already gone through all of our things and donated a lot of stuff that we’d finished with and so was happy that what was going into the studio were things that we used regularly. It’s so great having a spot for everything now, before I had things crammed in all over the place; in the laundry broom cupboard, under beds, next to sheets in the linen press, anywhere I could spare a few inches. It was really hard to know what we had and where to find things when we needed them.
I’ll talk more about how I’ve organised our learning materials in another post (my friends like to make fun of my ahem completely justifiable, and not at all OCD-esque organisational tendencies…) but seriously, being able to find things quickly and pack them away again at the end of the day just makes things so much easier. Anyway, that’s for another post.
For today though, just a quick walk around….
Our Reggio-inspired Homeschool Room
The room is divided into two main areas; the art/work table on the left and the open play area on the right. Here’s a short Instagram video panning around the room.
Here’s the work table and art cart.
You can see more of the art materials we have in this post. I wrote this post before we had the studio, so if you’re thinking you don’t have space for art shelves, this was when we used a low cupboard in the kitchen.
The nature shelf is always evolving as the kids add and take things away. We have some beautiful sunflowers on the shelf at the moment which the kids are investigating. You can read about setting up a nature shelf in this post.
On to the other side of the room
Into the open play area, there’s our light panel in the corner. You can read more about our light panel in this post.
Shelves with blocks and play materials
I’ve moved our block area into the middle of the room recently and added this old shelf from inside. On top of the shelf, Sarah has some cabbage moth caterpillars which she is observing.
Maths & literacy shelf
A shelf with Jack (7 years) and Sarah’s (5 years) maths and literacy work. They have a tub each for maths and literacy. I’ll talk more about how we use these in another post. The top shelf is also for their project work. We’re in between projects at the moment – waiting for inspiration to strike again – so there are some other play materials out instead.
I’ll go into a bit more detail of each area in other posts – with a closer look at what’s on the shelves as well as talk a little about my thinking behind the layout. For the most part, I wanted the studio to speak to us, inspire us, invite Jack and Sarah in to explore their interests as well as discover new things.
I wanted the space to be a yes space. Yes, you can paint, yes you can sculpt with clay, yes you can tape blocks together with masking tape, yes, you can grow plants, read books, watch caterpillars form a cocoon, test theories, make plans, tinker, create and invent.
I wanted the environment to be their teacher, their inspiration, their motivator. Not just a beautiful place where things were too pretty to play with, but a space that belonged to them, reflected who they are and their passions.
I hope you liked this quick tour around our homeschool studio. I’d love to hear about your homeschool spaces. How do you think they are working for you and your children? What’s working really well, what do you think needs a little reorganising so it’s more inspiring and inviting?