Ah, the expected back-to-school post!
School may have already begun for some, and it may just be beginning for others, or maybe it’s still a while away! My first day of actual school is August 30th, when I start Algebra II, in 11th grade. Wow, that means eight years of homeschooling- about two-thirds of my life!
My homeschooling sure has changed a lot over the years, and this year I realized that my homeschool classroom hadn’t changed as much over the years.
Here is a little history on the place that I spend most of my time during the school year- my classroom. Ever since we started homeschooling, we had one room in our house dedicated towards school. (Now, I have been to known to do school work all over the house, but the classroom has always been where all the stuff was contained.)
The room has a wall bed/desk, a large whiteboard, and a supply closet. Over the years we decorated the walls with number lines, a list of US Presidents, pages and pages of Greek and Latin root words, and mathematics and grammar posters.
…And it had been that way since we started the 4th grade.
Seeing as I’m going into 11th grade now, I thought it was about time we sat down and completely revamped the classroom.
First order of business; remove everything so we can place back only what we want, where we want. It took multiple hours and a lot of oohing and awing
at old memories, but we got it done. We went through all my school supplies, my books, pencils, art supplies (I never knew I had so many!), old papers, and miscellaneous things that didn’t even belong in the classroom. The table under the whiteboard was once so cluttered that we couldn’t see even an inch of the surface. Now, the only things that are on that table are a keyboard, post-it-notes, and dry-erase markers. What a vast improvement from the conglomerate of books, papers, pencils, and who knows what else!
Second step; Organize everything as we brought it back in. All my books that I’m planning to use for this school year are in my closet, along with a surprising amount of notebooks, graph paper notebooks, binders, and Washi tape, (which is a new concept I have introduced into my life.) All my writing resource books and materials went into what used to be a rolling art caddy, and all of those art supplies either went onto the newly designated art bookshelf or into the actual art rolling suitcase. All Non-Textbooks went back to my room, while I organized textbooks in another bookshelf. We dug through files, discarding ones we didn’t need, organizing ones we did, and reminiscing over memories.
Third step; Redecorating! We hit the Dollar Store and Michael’s for some supplies. Once we got back, from our shopping spree, we put up some wall decals, which changed the entire look and feel of the room. Having this array of motivational quotes in my workspace has given me a reason to just smile at any moment. We divided the whiteboard into sections with washi tape for creative writing and story plotting purposes, (more on washi tape later!)
With twine, we created a sort of web between two walls, to hang quotes, inspiration, pictures of family, events, or friends. Basically, an inspiration web.
Washi tape is so strangely beautiful; my mom and I stood for at least 20 minutes at Michael’s, undecided about which we should buy! Even worse, once we had decided and put the choices in our cart, we encountered more and more washi tape at every turn, taunting us with good deals and gorgeous colors and designs. By the time we were checking out, I had had a mental overload from the washi tape, art books, art supplies, and the pure feeling of, “I want it but don’t need it!”
Overall, I’m delighted with how the classroom turned out, and I’m glad to say I’ve spent quite a bit of time in it, and can imagine spending a lot more in the future. It’s much more fitting for me now, and it honestly feels more like an office than a traditional classroom. I really enjoy that feeling.