We have all been faced with a lot of difficult decisions in this crazy season. Things seem to constantly be changing. Nothing seems to be certain. One thing that I have learned during this time is the importance of making the best decision for myself and my family.
So, mamas... whether you sent them to school, are learning virtually or doing homeschool, I am on your side and am rooting for you! You have to make the best decision for your family and I'm willing to bet that none of you made your decision lightly. We are in this thing TOGETHER even if it looks a bit different for everyone.
As I'm sure you can tell from the title of this post... smarty pants!... we opted to homeschool our three kids. We had actually been thinking about doing it long before the pandemic happened, so now is a great opportunity to give it a go! Having an orderly and functioning space is very important to me (and my mental health!), so I knew that we were going to have to create a school space. We discovered during the spring distance learning that our tiny round dining table was not enough space to allow for a peaceful and enjoyable learning experience. Thankfully we are lucky enough to have a bonus room downstairs of our rental home. Since we moved in it has been set up as our family room with TV, game systems, toys, mess, etc. and the upstairs living room was more..."formal"?... (If you know me at all you know how "unformal" I really am). I guess a better way to describe it is a basic living room with no TV. Anyway... now it has the TV and games and all the toys and "mess" got reorganized and put in the kids' rooms.
My main priority was to have enough work space for everyone. I originally looked at individual desks for each kid, but opted for a dining table instead. The thought being #1 it was bigger and #2 for art and science projects, puzzles, etc., it would be much more functional to have a large work surface.
The computer area for the kids turned out pretty good. Not my exact vision, but my vision was slightly higher than the budget allowed. Me and my husband are not claiming to be some amazing finish carpenters or anything... but honestly its not that bad. And it does what we need it to do for a fraction of the cost of anything we could buy in a store!
Next mission was to reclaim my desk for myself and create a separate computer desk area for the kids. My grandpa built me a desk years ago and like the young, naive, cotton-headed-ninny-muggins I was, I stained it a dark walnut. No shade for dark walnut, but for some reason it had more of an orange tint to it. I never liked it so I painted it... well, I tried to. It looked good for about 2 days then it was scuffed and scratched and... ugh, it was bad. And it remained that way for longer than I'd like to admit to because I knew it was going to be a lot of work to fix my mistake. So, I was finally motivated enough to take on the project. It took layers of stripping and scraping and hours of sanding. But the finished product made it totally worth it! Lesson learned: don't paint beautifully crafted wood furniture. And if you do make sure you do it the right way and prep, prep, prep! Sorry gramps, please forgive me!
The other storage is this super cute cabinet I bought off of Facebook Marketplace for $20. All I did was clean it up and wallpaper the back. The paper was more expensive than the cabinet... HA! But, it was totally worth it because it turned out super cute. And I've been wanting to buy this wallpaper for like a year and finally had a reason to!
For other book storage I got these two picture ledges from Ikea. I personally like using picture ledges for book storage because you can see the cover and makes it much easier for kids to find what they're looking for. Yes, it doesn't hold as much as a bookshelf, but I plan on using it to store the seasonal and/or subject books so they will get swapped out regularly.
Aside from my desk overhaul, this custom hand-lettered piece done by a friend of mine is my favorite thing in the space. I bought the frame at a thrift store for $1. I think it was a vanity mirror frame, but I'm not certain. I sanded it down, painted it and passed it along to the real professional. It is one of my favorite quotes and is a great reminder to my kiddos that they have been created with purpose and by them being confident in that they can inspire others to walk in their purpose! Love it!
Here is the full quote:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
This homeschool journey will definitely be an adventure, but we are so excited to learn and grow together. Praying for protection, health, flexibility and peace for all of us!