After months of waiting, the orders finally came. In only a few short months we would be moving. We immediately began to search for our new home.
We spent hours and hours searching online, made multiple phone calls to realtors, and took a couple of road trips to look at the homes in person. Finally, we found the one we knew would be a perfect fit for our family!
That was nearly a year ago now. It probably sounds unreal to most of you, but this house is our 6th home in 4 years. Military life is crazy like that.
This newest house is much larger than other places we have previously lived. It is an older home with lots of charm and it has the most beautiful back porch my husband and I fell in love with as soon as we saw it.
One of my favorite features of the house, the one I dreamed about as we packed and prepared for the move, was the fact that it had a large, finished attic space that I imagined I could transform into the cutest little homeschool classroom.
I spent my free time searching Pinterest, gaining inspiration and ideas. This space would be a place that invited you to come and learn. It was going to be an amazing classroom!
And then…we moved in.
As we started to unpack and get settled in, it was then I realized how the attic felt so removed from the rest of the house.
Too far from the kitchen, because you know the littlest one will need a snack. Too far from the laundry room, because you know I need to change loads while the kiddos work. Too far from the bathroom, because you know a 4-year-old takes long enough already without navigating up-and-down a staircase.
And it was more than that. The space felt disconnected from the rest of the house not just physically, but mentally as well.
The attic was so separate from the rest of the areas where we lived, where we did life. Although I wanted there to be an explicit teaching time and place, I also wanted our learning to occur naturally out of our daily experiences. I wanted it to become a part of our everyday, regular lives. I didn’t want our learning to feel contained to only one room, regardless of how adorable and Pinterest-worthy it was going to be!
And so after much praying and rearranging, I adapted our dining room to also serve as our school room.
The dining room is much more centrally located to the rest of the house. It is a place where we’re already gathered 3 times almost every day. And it is a place that is already so much a part of our daily lives that our learning time has easily become intertwined with real life.
When we sit down to a meal, my daughter’s sight words and memory verse are posted right there for her to recite. While my little ones eat lunch, I can easily grab one of our books to read to them.
Also, because I walk by it multiple times a day, it helps me to keep the things we’re learning in the forefront of my mind which enables me to better incorporate them into our day-to-day activities.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of having our school room in the dining room is that it allows my husband to be more involved in our learning. Even though he’s at work during our technical school time, because all of the materials are right there he’s easily able to tell what we’re working on. I love hearing him quiz my daughter before dinner and she loves showing off what she’s learned!
Even though our classroom might not be as cute or impressive as some of those others on Pinterest, I’m so thankful for the decision I made to use our dining room as our schoolroom. It has been absolutely perfect for our family’s needs and educational philosophy. And isn’t having the flexibility to do whatever works best for our family what we all love about homeschooling anywayto everyone who is eating dinner in their classroom tonight!
Cheers to everyone who is eating dinner in their classroom tonight!
What classroom setting works best for your family? Comment below, I’d love to know!