Friday, July 26, 2013

the classroom grows up

As I mentioned not long ago, I've been puzzling out where to move my brother's big rolltop desk that has, for the past couple of years, been taking up valuable real estate in my living room.  (Since he lives in Ireland, and shipping would be out of this world expensive, I store some of his things here.) The plan I finally came up with was to move the rolltop desk to the classroom, to replace our regular classroom desk. We rarely do school in the classroom anyway these days (preferring the dining room for sit down work), and it was truly the only place where the desk would fit... and not block any doors, windows, etc.

Before I could move anything though, I had to totally empty both desks... the rolltop wasn't hard to empty, it wasn't full of things... but there was some gift wrap in there, and some CD's had found their way into the drawers. The classroom desk was incredible! I just kept pulling stuff out of that desk until the whole classroom and adjoining bedroom were full of piles of books, papers, file folders, and countless little odds and ends (a set of test tubes and slides for the microscope, for example).

With both desks emptied I called R for help... She and I moved the old desk out of the classroom and started moving the roll top upstairs (it had to go up two flights to get to the classroom!). The rolltop is a bear to move, and we'd moved the two base pieces up into the classroom when a horrible thought came to me... What if the top of the desk, the huge roll top (which doesn't come apart), wouldn't fit through the small doorway into the classroom?! That led to a quick, panicky trip back downstairs where we decided yes, it would fit, but only if we carried it sideways. I can tell you that was a fun trip up two flights of stairs... my arms really are not quite long enough for that kind of craziness.

I was sad at first at having to get rid of the classroom desk... I really liked that desk and thought it looked great in the classroom (plus is held a TON of stuff!). But after getting the roll top moved in and set up I'm thinking having to get rid of the old desk was a blessing in disguise. The rolltop looks amazing in the classroom... somehow it doesn't look as big and hulking as it did in the living room... and while it doesn't hold as much "stuff" that's good... because it forced me to go through everything and get rid of the things we will never use.

(As an aside, I'm selling both the old classroom desk and hutch, pictured below, and all these homeschool materials at a yard sale on August 3, any locals who would like to take a look at what we have and take their pick before the sale let me know...)


I'm thrilled with how the classroom turned out! It's like the room grew up... Just for fun, here's a progression of the room over the past 8 years:

This is how the classroom looked shortly after we moved in (2005)... still very young child oriented (note the vinyl covering the wood on the table!)


And check out that ancient computer monitor... remember how heavy those things were? (I love my little laptop!)


Here's how the classroom looked a few years later (2009?), right after we got a new desk from E (dd#1). The desk looks half empty here, but it filled up quickly! ;) (This is the desk I'm selling, if anyone's interested...)


The computer area was gone by then (moved when we redid the classroom here) so the room wasn't quite so crowded.


Drumroll please?

Here is the classroom now, with the rolltop in place...

it looks all grown up, doesn't it?


I'm keeping the chalkboard for now, but the rocker is going into the garage sale, as is all the construction paper in the upper right hand corner of the giant steps behind the desk. (Those steps cover up the part of the porch roof that was enclosed when they made this room.)

Here's the desk with the rolltop open...


The bookcase moved couple of years ago to the other side of the room...(I really need to replace that old original-to-the-house porch light!)


I really like how the top of the rolltop looks with the family pictures and all my little "chicks" scattered through. (The mama bird and chicks were a Mother's Day present one year... there are five chicks, one for each of my "chicks".)

When I took these pictures, the adjoining bedroom was still a mess of papers, files, and odds and ends, but I'm slowly getting it picked up and either throwing away or finding new homes for all the "overflow".

It is fun to change things around though... it's just too bad it's SO much work!

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