Tuesday, September 9, 2008

School Room Rehab

When we first moved in to this gigantic house (3500 square feet, not including the basement that has two big rooms and a kitchen), I knew that this room HAD to be the school room. I had to look past paneling, past the harvest gold and brown (peeling!) wallpaper and past the cedar that lined the wall from the picture rail to the ceiling.

It's a fairly large room that was once used for a beauty parlor (I believe in the sixties) and has half linoleum flooring and half carpeting, split right down the middle. I thought that would be ideal for a range of activities from art projects to sitting on the floor with a book. It has a bank of southern facing windows and another window that faces the west, letting in loads of natural light. There is an air conditioner (need that around here!) It has a small half bath too, so even if you have to go potty, you are staying right where mom wants you. There is a large closet that works great for all of our games and puzzles. Perfect.

This is our third year of school in this room. I knew that someday we'd have to deal with the walls... you can see here where I'd pulled the wallpaper off (it came off in big sheets) and just threw up a bulletin board. It was just rough plaster so posters wouldn't stay up with just tape and my husband starts to sweat every time I have a nail in my hand because (did you know this?) you can't actually put nails in plaster lest you have huge cracks down the side of your wall... ask me how I know this little piece of information...

Here is a wonderful view of the former wallpaper choice.

Here is one of the types of wood paneling in this room...

And here is another.

One day I got fed up.

It all started with an innocent thought. Maybe I should change my books around??? Maybe it's important to have the non-fiction books separate from the fiction just so there is no confusion on what is real and what isn't?

So I started dumping books off of shelves. Then I thought that maybe I should move shelves around. While I was at it and had all the books off why didn't I move everything around? If all of the shelves are away from the walls... well...

So then you get the idea, don't you? Pretty soon I had the whole family peeling, stripping and scraping. Once my husband was involved, I knew something was going to get done.

As you know from my previous post, things began to look slightly chaotic. I was secretly worried that it would never get done. Each night after my little ones went to bed, I would immediately get my painting clothes on and get to work. After I spent a couple of hours, I'd go to bed. My husband would get home around midnight and he'd work until about 2 am. We did these back to back shifts for what seemed like forever.
Finally things came together. I did decide to take most of the books out... my husband graciously spent a whole morning moving book shelves and my children and I hauled them up the stairs to the new library, but that's a whole 'nother post.
Anyway, I was able to take some pictures of the finished product yesterday, our first day of school. Before that everything was a big secret, no kids in our out of that room so that it would be a surprise on the big day.
Here's a little tour:

I really love that you can see right in to our school room. It's nice to be able to see all of the art work and fun stuff hanging up from the hallway.

A book area for my little ones, this is one of the areas that I will have a rotating assortment of books. I have vowed to better use the books we have in combination with the public library. I just need to keep up on ordering the books I want online.
What do you think of the blue color I picked? I was thinking along the lines of calm... so naturally it was blue.

Art and classroom supplies at our finger tips. I want to have a variety of art activities for all of my children, so this is important to me.

This alcove, where the desk is now, was where there was a (weirdly placed) sink was. My husband ripped that out and has promised to put in floor to ceiling, built in shelves for me here, I can't wait!
I finally have a computer in this room. My older children are taking Spanish with Rosetta Stone and Macho Man is going to learn to type with Mavis.
Here is my preschool circle time corner. My little ones sit with me every day and do calendar, weather and Bible verses. I think I like this time more than they do!
I did end up using those desks. My three oldest each have one.
Then I added this area for the last desk. Right now it's a science center with posters, books and activities on bones and muscles. I plan to have it rotate for different holiday, science, social studies and history topics. I think the next one will be on the government and electoral process. I want it to be a place they can sit and learn in their free time without feeling like they have to be there. So far, it's been popular.
Ok, it really is time for me to get out from in front of this computer and make those cookies I promised my husband. Thanks for touring my room with me!

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Wow, Jennifer. That is awesome. You all did a great job!