Turn a Play Room into an Ideal Study Place
By Ann Zeise
Is it time to convert your preschooler’s playroom into a space for an older child to have all their educational resources handy in one space? Yes, many still will use the whole house, yard, neighborhood and town for home education, but sometimes it is neat, if you can afford it, to have one room where you know you can always let the kids make a mess and hang out. Here are suggestions from our Yahoo Group members.
While homeschooling can be done in any room, indoors or out, some families want to makeover the playroom into a place for learning and projects. Here are some ideas I saw on Pinterest, and I comment about the pros and cons of each room design.
Kim started the thread with this query:
I am wondering if any of you have a homeschool room. My husband just finished the garage and I am getting ready to paint and decorate and was wondering if any of you had any ideas or pictures of your area that you school in. Or even a website. I have done some searching on the web for ideas and I either can’t word it right or whatever, but I am getting nothing. So let me know. I am going to go buy the paint in the next day or so, so let me know. Thanks!
We have found that since we have a very small house, the best room for us to use for Home-Schooling is our Dining-Room. We have an oblong table which is very efficient for our children to do their work on. I purchased a bamboo china closet. Guess what? No china is in there, but instead half of it is used to place all text books or videos that pertain to each subject on one side for the youngest and the oldest one uses the right side of the china closet.
Kerry Kantor pointed out that white laminate can make a huge white board:
We did have a homeschool room when we first started homeschooling about 17 years ago and it quickly grew until it took over the whole house. 🙂 But the most valuable thing I had was a HUGE blackboard and lots of chalk. Today we have a HUGE white board and stock in Expo CO. Our white board only cost me 10 dollars. We went to the local home improvement store and bought a 4′ x8′ sheet of white laminate paneling.
Nicole wants more book shelves!
You might find some ideas by looking at playrooms. I love kids’ furniture from Pottery Barn Kids.
Or look at scrapbook or craft rooms they always have great organization ideas. Try the Scrapbook Furniture site.
Rebecca piped in:
I have an idea! How about a big round table that is covered in the dry-erase like material so that you can take notes right on the table or draw pictures right on the table! Maybe chalkboard material for the table top would look better? But I wouldn’t want the dust by the electrical thingees.
Aloettemom2 has big dreams:
Since I only have an only child, I would just use a big rectangle or square table. Hmm, now we could make it to where there are different sections in the table (without any real inconvence or notice of them) to where one just lifts up the top layer (the dry erase) and flips it over to a regular table materials. There could be drawers in them to where one can put their drawing materials in; a big drawer on one side for laptop storage, cd storage, books, paper, and library bag storage, and then something for cords. For the laptop, I say just have it wireless with the big router in another room with the parents PC. Now, if one knew that they would never move the table to a different area, once could design the room (before being built) to where it has little slots within the floor to put the cables. These slots would have covers that could be removed/opened as needed.
The TV would be on the laptops and a nice, big, flat panel TV on a main wall. There would be couch for everyone to sit and enjoy the shows. For taking notes, one would take out their portable laptop desk for note taking. Yes, these portable desks would have a drawer for paper and writing and art utensils (excluding paint, since we don’t want to get pain on the couch).
Oh, I think, I am starting to go overboard into dreamland, since there is no way I could afford that. Buy, hey, we can all dream, right?!?!
Now for something that doesn’t cost a fortune. Go to Office Depot file’s section. Look for a plastic, hanging file folder that has 10 sections within it. They come in 4 colors, I believe. They cost about $10 in SC. It saves space in a file drawer as compared to the regular file folders and is enclosed on all sides, so nothing falls out. I asked for lots of them for Xmas presents, but did not get any. It saves you on space restraints.
Roslynn points out:
Sorry, we don’t do a “room” in the house, makes me feel like I am saying we only learn here… YKWIM?
But if you would like a spot set aside, have you thought about what brings out the inspiration in your kids? If they like geography you can do a big globe mural around the room, or if it’s the Africa area just that (insert other spots). How about for little math whizzes writing a bunch of free floating math problems w/o the answers. For your budding writer you can write some writing topics, they can use them for journal prompts. 🙂
Since you have 4 children you can do one wall for each child. Back when my boys were toddlers we painted each wall a primary color, and threw in a green wall. 🙂 Remember, it’s only paint, you can always do it over again when they grow out of it.
Rebecca has really started dreaming now!
I wish I had a BIG round table-desk with a hole in the middle of the table cut out for cords and wires. I would put the kid’s computers on the table, their keyboard (which is on the floor), their tape recorder, DVD player. These things would be plugged in at all times. I would like this table to have storage under it and to be lower than most tables. Storage for their books, crayons, and cassette tapes; storage for all of the items that are ON the table. This would be like a media – discovery – creative center with easy access.
Right now we have an extra living room with no furniture that serves as a KID room, but I really really wish my husband could build me a table like I described above! That way, they could sit at whatever item they wanted to use – if they wanted to use the keyboard it would always be plugged in ready to go. If they wanted to play a computer game they could select a CD-rom and move to the side of the table with the computer..
One thing we have in our dining room are some pretty square baskets that books fit in perfectly and can stand as if they are on a shelf. These baskets hold our every day books and look nice. We have a dry erase board in our dining room which always has the date or our Greek or Latin root of the week. When the kids want to do math, we take the dry erase board down and let them work out some math problems. The younger kids like to do this because they have seen my son and I use the dry erase board to work out algebra problems.
I like the idea of a kid’s camcorder! The kids could make movies – how creative!! Maybe I could have a TV – VCR and they could put their movies on VCR tapes. All this on my fantasy BIG round table. I’m talking a table MUCH bigger and lower than a regular table.
Wouldn’t it be cool to paint one wall in the chalk paint or to have a room hat you could pain a HUGE replica of the solar system?? I would LOVE to do something like that. Maybe you could paint the walls like a jungle and have some zebra, leopard, lion, or monkey plush toys.
My aunt has a room like that. She calls it the ‘jungle room’ and it has all of the kids’ toys, books, games. It is painted like a jungle, has furniture than can’t be destroyed, and even has lights around the ceiling! It’s just a FUN room to be in! What a great place to go WILD with learning!
If you have the $$, you can probably get this kind of table from a school supply service.
Of course, I had to pipe up:
And if you don’t, maybe you can find someone recycling one of those gigantic spools that utility wiring is shipped on. I’ve seen them cut in half to make tables that look like huge spools… hole in the middle, too!
Shannon makes a point to plan ahead:
My “office” is a total mess!! My suggestion by default is that you plan all your electrical outlets and natural lighting,(for art purposes), artificial lighting( for rainy days and night work), phone jacks etc. around your furniture placement plan, if I had it to do again i would definitely plan my wiring better!! We have 4 desks SHOVED into a small extra bedroom, we usually have our interests material spread all over our house, but when it is time to tidy up, we put it all back in this one location, it does really keep me sane. otherwise it is EVERYWHERE!! I loved the chalkboard idea, I also have dry erase and a floor to ceiling bookshelf that spans 6 feet wide, make sure to fasten it to the studs in the wall for little climbers. I must say I am envious, enjoy your children’s ideas as well. Maybe look for decorator magazines and see what the kids say- if nothing else that will keep it fun. My children would probably want some sword master or something wild like that, which would end up distracting!! But at least they would keep me laughing:-) Good Luck to you.
Kathleen like Rebecca’s ideas:
Dear Rebecca, I thought the erasable round table was a great idea. You could even make an oblong or library table as well. Math problems would be great to do on the table as well as spelling words. Children could really learn on this table in a fun way using different colored markers. I also thought of table art using the children’s or teenagers’ free expression of art. Take a picture of the art when they are done and frame it. Great idea.
Kristi has already create a dream room:
Our room that we use for our homeschool room was my daughters playroom before. I painted the entire room like an giant aquarium, from the ceiling to the floor. They have all kinds of giant fish and turtles all over the wall and the bottom of the wall is sand. We love the room! Come see the photos!
Rebecca found she didn’t need to run out and buy any special table:
Yesterday we caught Christian drawing on the dining room table with markers! At first I got mad and said, “Christian, what are you doing??” We use these markers for our dry-erase board – not the table!
“It’s ok, it comes off,” he assured me. He erased the green scribble with his fingers and sure enough it came off! I never thought of using our dining room table as a big dry-erase board! It’s glass, after all.
I told a friend about how the kids were drawing on our glass dining room table with dry-erase markers. She told me that she knew of someone who would slide a workbook behind a plexi-glass book holder and let her child fill in the answers using crayons or dry erase markers! The worksheets could be filled out without any marks ever being made in the book! I thought that if we taped a picture under the glass table that the image could be traced – an image from a coloring book.
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So today as Matthan works out Algebra problems with a black dry erase marker on the dining room table, Christian draws pictures and makes us guess what they are. Kelsey is making up some math problems and solving them on her own. When Matthan needs help with Algebra I can grab a dry erase marker and work out a problem right there on the dining room table with him!
So we use our dining room table for school…
Isn’t that fun? I never thought of using the dining room table this way! I guess we could do math on windows too! Just so the marker doesn’t slip and hit the wall!
More Homeschool Rooms
Is it time to convert your preschooler’s play room into a space for an older child to have all their educational resources handy in one space?