Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Our New Learning Room

After years of using our dining room for our homeschool, I decided to turn our den into a “learning room.”

What prompted the move was the fact that our old dinosaur t.v. (which was only being used for playing on the Wii, dvds, and Netflix) finally gave up the ghost. I had planned on moving that ancient, outdated entertainment center, along with some of the other den furniture, into the land of Yardsale.

Until I looked around at the price of (the cheapest) desks times…five kids? Oh, my.
Then I looked harder at that entertainment center. And the end tables. And what else did I have hanging around that I could use?

I started taking off doors, pulling out boards, grabbed a can of cheap paint, and…voila. The old entertainment center and end tables become new desks and cubbies.

The kids even talked me into painting the closet doors blue with the leftover paint. And then I decided to clean out the closet and use it to store our homeschooling books/materials that aren’t being used this year, musical instruments (we have, I dunno, more than ten), and karate bags and uniforms.IMG_1680IMG_1612
There’s a space for the little ones. (Pants are not required at our pre-K.)
The older ones now have a place to put their things out of reach of the babies. They don’t have to sit within reach of each other or look at each other. Maybe this will cut down on arguments? 
IMG_1581        IMG_1682
These old broken chairs from Greg’s grandma’s set, which were being stored in our shed, got a makeover. One of these days, maybe the whole set will get restored back to their original condition, but until then, I picked the two that were in the worst shape to be put to use now.
Altogether, with the paint, fabric, corkboards, and little plastic chairs for the tots, I spent maybe $45 on this project.

I appreciate being able to see our fenced in side yard from our learning room. I also appreciate being able to sit down and get a little practice while watching the kids play in the sprinkler!IMG_1632

I also appreciate having all the “creative overflow” contained in one room. Now when visitors knock on our front door, my house has the illusion of cleanliness. (Ha!)
And our dining room table is for eating as a family again.

I have more ideas for our learning room, and of course, I will be posting pictures as I go.

Finally Finished Our Family Dojo

I posted this on my other blog, but I’ll share it here, too, since it’s a family thing and all.
Two years ago, we finally got around to cleaning out our shed and hanging our bag and makiwara so we could work out at home. This year, I got the bright idea to spruce it up a little more. Since my husband and three of our children are now also practicing martial arts, I thought a little decorating would encourage the kids to practice at home more.

I used paint that was left over from a couple years ago, and I found different items around the shed that I repurposed. For example, some old straw mats made neat curtains, and some old white folding doors became a partition (Hubby and I agreed to split the shed—half for my dojo and half for his tools and stuff.)
Anyway, I thought these old white doors would look cool painted black and red.
We finally got a weight bench. I put up some cork boards for whatever weights or drills we are currently working on. The Wavemaster (and the Everlast bag below) were given to me by my former instructor when he closed down the old dojo. The Everlast bag was meant to hold water, but the plastic bladder inside had holes. I duct taped it, filled it with 75lbs of sand, and I’ve been using it that way for the last two years. He also gave me the big pad and muay thai pads on the shelf.

We had bought a dorm refrigerator a couple years ago for our oldest daughter, but since she is still living at home with us, it holds water bottles. (And beer.)

I made this Bruce Lee collage for my son. He loves it. OK, maybe I like it a little bit, too.

This week, we finally put down some floor pads, thanks to the money I had in paypal from my Pact app. (Yes, this app really does work, and you really can get paid for exercising and logging your meals on MyFitnessPal. I use the money I earn to buy fitness-related goodies. Next, I’ll buy some more weights for the barbell.)
Anyway, the floor pads make it much more comfortable to do push-ups and planks.
It is great to have a space that we can all enjoy!
IMG_0943  IMG_0962