In preparing for the new school year, I've been thinking about where we are going to 'do' school. We have a dedicated school room for this purpose, but for the past two years we have gotten out of the habit of using it for anything but glorified book storage. It was too difficult for me to go up and down the stairs when I was pregnant with the babies, so we spent a lot of time in the kitchen. And then when the babies were tiny, all the baby stuff was in the kitchen, so we continued to work there. But now the babies are not so tiny and very mobile. While I love my borrowed play yard, I'm thinking I can't keep them inside of it their every waking hour, so I need a plan B. And Plan B is looking more and more as though we will actually be using the school room for school, mainly because it has a door that closes and we can keep G. and L. inside with us. Which brings me to my dilemma, which I will share with you after a brief tour. Without further ado, welcome to our school room. Come on in, we'll move around counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise, if like me you read too much British fiction):
Yes, I'm a bit over-organized, and our non-fiction books are sorted and labelled by topic. It was the only way we could find anything and the stickers help the non-readers put them back (insert light chuckling here) in the correct spot.
The "wall-'o-books" and the computer which our children use for doing Rosetta Stone French and for writing:
The futon for reading together and for use as a second guest room when necessary. Through the double doors is the former sleeping porch which we use for craft storage.
The second, smaller "wall-'o-books" which contains the rest of our non-fiction books, the storage cubbies for each of the children, and paper and pencil supplies.
And finally, some of the shelves in our craft storage room. Through selective photography, I can make it look as though the entire room is all nice and organized. You can just go ahead and think that, OK?
It has just about anything one could want in a school room. Plenty of storage, a large table, a place to sit and read, a computer... but I just don't find it a pleasant room to be in and I can't figure out why. The windows are south facing so it gets enough sun. It is not too crowded, though it does have a tendency to get messy; it is a room I need to check on multiple times a day to control the chaos. But still, I don't enjoy it. Here are some of the reasons I think this could be:
You can't see it in the photo, but the futon cover is grayish, dingy, covered with pencil and marker, and just plain ugly. I need to find some fabric and make a new cover. I'm thinking maybe in a bright, happy print.
The windows have the same type of problem as the futon. The mini-blinds are broken, dingy, and ugly. They desperately need to be replaced. Plus, maybe if I made some curtains to coordinate with the new futon cover it would brighten things up.
Yucky, peeling paint. The green wall is new and was done when we redid the kitchen because there was a closet in the school room which had to be removed. I like the green wall, but I don't like the other walls, especially in comparison. I'm just not sure we can get to painting the room, though.
I worry I sound just a tad bit ungrateful because really, it is a wonderful thing to have space like this. And I do appreciate it, I do! I just know that there must be something I can do to make it a place in which we want to spend time. So now I'm asking you dear readers, what are your thoughts? I'm open to just about any suggestions.