Thursday, August 13, 2015

Eeny Meeny Miney Moe - where should the next student go?

For day four of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, I thought I'd share a little about our ElCloud Schoolhouse. 

We have a large family in a somewhat small space. At the moment, we have 9 family members living in 1800 square feet. (Before our oldest two daughters left home, we had 11 people living here.) We don't have any extra space for a designated school room, so we use the whole house. With each new student, we have to re-think our plan.

Our main school area has a secret identity. It occasionally serves as our dining room.  You can see how it's arranged in the following picture, complete with maps on our wall.  My 9th grade son sits in front of the window. Doing his schoolwork in his bedroom last year was NOT a good idea, so he took over the end of the table after our 2nd daughter graduated.

The 1st and 4th graders sit at the other end of the table, and sometimes the preschooler sits here, as well. It's a narrow space, so there is only room to walk around our big table. It's far from perfect, and definitely not a formal dining room, but it serves our family well.

This room is open to our living room, with only a built-in buffet dividing them. The nice thing is that the buffet has built-in bookshelves that we use to hold school books and supplies. The bad thing is that the sound of the television or younger siblings playing can be a huge distraction.

Those clear dish pans on top of the buffet have been replaced with colorful milk crates.  The milk crates hold the schoolwork for each student, as well as my grading books.

Behind the table, under the window, we have a long, narrow table that holds more files and school supplies.  And by the way, the plants on the table are dead now.  This picture was taken a few years ago.

A few years ago, my oldest daughter started doing her schoolwork in the kitchen.  We set up a table beside the fridge where she could work away from the play areas, the TV, and other students. Now she has graduated and our 11th grade daughter uses the same table.


My 6th grade son has been doing his schoolwork at a table on the other side of the living room for 2 years now. He has to share the table with our printer, so he keeps his books in a milk crate under the table. It gives him a little more distraction-free space than the dining room table. It has been working well for him, especially if he listens to music with earbuds. (Most of my kids do during school.) Yes, his table is in front of a bookshelf.

We do read our history aloud on the couch (in the adjoining living room) fairly often, though reading and spelling lessons sometimes take place in my bedroom if the rest of the house is too noisy.  And of course, all of my kids take their literature and history books with them as they scatter all over the house to read in quiet cozy corners.

In other words, we do school here, there, and everywhere! It's just a part of our life and our home.

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop is brought to you courtesy of the Schoolhouse Review Crew and Homeschool Blogging Connection. You can view all the hosts for this week's Back to Homeschool Blog Hop at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog, or here on my blog. If you'd like a shortcut, you can visit these sixteen bloggers today and stop by tomorrow to visit some more great blogs for some back to homeschool encouragement:

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May your new school year be greatly blessed!
April E.


  1. What age did you start letting them listen with headphones or ear buds? I'm curious when that might as mine get older. We've got a bit more space, but it's still all open to each other with no real separate rooms for the rooms (library, living room, dining room).

  2. We have usually bought the kids basic mp3 players somewhere between age 8 and 10. Our 9 year old has one, but doesn't use it for her schoolwork. The 11 year old does, and so do the 14 and 16 year olds.


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