Creating a Hands on School room

Welcome to The Homeschool Village’s first ever Tour of Home{schools}!  We are so excited that you stopped in. We hope that you will find encouragement and ideas for all types of spaces, styles and personalities.


creating a hands on school room


When I was first presented with the challenge of describing my school area, my first thought was “Oh no, then you’ll see the mess I teach in!”  This is what my room looked like before I started getting it back in shape.

school room

messy school room

You see, we’d been creating all sorts of great projects.  We’d made squirrel nests, the dust on the tables is from a dinosaur excavation, the basket in the middle of the floor is fabric scraps we’d used to create dolls.  It’s been lived in, but it hasn’t been cleaned, and I’ve been lazy and not enforced cleaning, because I didn’t want to.


So, I set to cleaning, and cleaning, and evaluating what needed to stay, and what should go.  It’s not done yet.  A mess like that isn’t fixed overnight, or in a month of random cleaning sprees.


hand on classroom

Here’s the main shelf the kids have access too.  The top shelf they can’t reach, so I keep the extra glue, markers, crayons, colored pencils and such that I don’t want them getting out.  In addition is the shells we got at Galveston a few years ago, and extra stationary for our writing center.

The next shelf and below they are allowed to use if they’ve asked me first, sometimes I don’t want them starting a project (we’re leaving in 10 minutes, or the supplies will be used for something else soon).  They have yarn, paper, various craft supplies, wood craft supplies (popsicle sticks, corks, various stuff), and content area stuff (which is still being defined, right now it’s magnifying glasses and geo boards).

art supplies in the school room

readily accessible art supplies

This is our easel, originally it was primarily used for painting, but now we use it for spelling words, drawing on the dry erase board, and sharing ideas.  The cans work great for holding art supplies, I have a clean edge can opener, so there are no sharp edges, if the can gets crushed or something else, it goes in the recycling and I grab another next time I’m making dinner and using canned food.  In those cans are my go to art supplies, primarily colored pencils and markers.


hands on learning desk

Each of my kids has their own desk, I’ve discovered they work better if they can’t poke each other and say “He’s touching me, he’s in my space.”  The desks were built by my father-in-law when my husband was a kid, and we inherited them.  Which means I can use it to teach my kids about valuing their heritage.  At the same time we don’t worship it, so Princess put stickers on hers, and there’s a bit of a paint smear on the desk.  It’s not ideal, but it does make it hers, and we talked about not adding further stickers without approval.  In the drawers are their notebooks and lapbooks for the year and for past years.  On top is a black index card holder with their name, we put vocabulary cards in there from time to time.  I remember as a kid loving the lamp on my desk and the ability to turn it on when I wanted to, so I made sure the kids each had their own lamps.  It adds a bit of character.


I also have a bookshelf that is still in horrible disarray that holds my craft supplies which they can’t use without me being present (our rules on the glue gun, my small paper cutter, my GOOD stamps), and our textbooks, but that’s not ready to share with the public yet, so you will have to wait in suspense.  I really had let my room get into horrible disarray.


What do you let your kids have access to for learning?

A special thank you to our series sponsor, See The Light.

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  1. Looking good my friend! I just started on mine some yesterday.. it is in our family room so it doesn’t get too messy because I have to look at it all the time.. but now that “school is out” it has collected several non-school items.. like a 1,000 piece almost finished Christmas puzzle 😉

    • It still has so much work to do. I keep getting started on new projects. Curse my ADD nature…..

      And I so know what you mean about collecting extra items.

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