You asked: What happened to the Learning Room?


I’ve shared with all of you that we are pursuing some remodeling plans. It’s exciting…and daunting.

As I planned our booklists this summer, I kept in mind that our year would need to be flexible and I began to consider ways to stretch outside of comfortable routines and spaces. Earlier this summer, I shared with you that I had to let go of this….

learning room BEFORE

Challenging?  Yep.  But completely doable, and I enjoyed the challenge!  Everything in this space was emptied.  Everything…

remodel learning room BEFORE

And our entire learning room was distilled into the most useful, most needed books and things that I planned for us to use for the year upcoming and it all landed….here…

Learning On Wheels

Yes, that’s the picture book cart!  Initially, when I emptied the learning room, I moved our few needed books to a small bookshelf in my bedroom, thinking that would be a good transitional solution. However, it only took one day of living our plans out {we began our lessons last week! :) } to realize that while workable, it wasn’t the most intuitive place for those books to live. We grabbed stacks of books and brought them to the table, finished half by lunch, then had to shift and move books for lunch, then bring books back, then re-shelve them…I knew there was a better way. So, I called my Mom to brainstorm, explained my challenge, and within seconds she suggested repurposing the picture book cart!!!! Eureka! So the hat tip for this fantastic solution goes to my Mom!

I know you’re squinting to see the titles of those books {in the above picture}…because I know that’s what I would be doing!  :)  Here’s a picture for you without all those busy little words and arrows. {Not all our books have arrived yet – so a few books didn’t arrive in time for the photo op.}



Behind the cart (but still attached and a part of the cart) is a perfect place for some of our oversized things…like our Holling C. Holling maps (we’re finishing up Minn of the Mississippi – see Minn up there in the top left?), bluetooth keyboard for the iPad, and a small container of pens, pencils and things we want to keep out of sight and out of reach of little Octo-baby!


I challenged myself to keep only those things that were truly needful on a daily basis and I was determined to contain ALL of those things, like our clipboards, on the cart. I found a place for them on the far right of the cart!  We can see them, grab them, grab needed books…and go!


Repurposing the picture book cart works great! {Thanks, Mom!!!!} Living out the rest of the week went so smoothly. Our entire school week can live on the cart, which rolls next to the table, the couch, out of the way in the hall at the end of a day, into another room, or in a closet if needed.


Each new year brings its own set of challenges and blessings.  And remodeling our home…during a school year…while we live in it…ouch! That’s definitely going to challenge! Stretching and brainstorming to meet the challenges for this year helps me see spaces and tools in new ways, helps me simplify in considering those things that are essential…needful.


Warning…this post will now be briefly interrupted to share gratuitous and adorable baby shots…


 So…what happened to the learning room?


It is now our dining space, awaiting it’s full transformation and connection to the kitchen…


…which will include the removal of a wall, pretty new chairs for my kitchen table, and perhaps a couple more functional and pretty furniture pieces for serving.


Now, I’m brainstorming kitchen function – and specifically – I’ve been brainstorming my menus with an eye toward losing my entire kitchen space for a time. And you know what?  I think I can do it!  I’ve been collecting recipes for my slow cooker and introducing them to my family, knowing that I’ll rely on my slow cooker a lot during this time!  The family LOVED French Dip Sandwiches {which I tweaked just a tad}. So…on to brainstorming my menus more! PLEASE let me know if you have some good remodeling-and-living-without-a-kitchen tips! {Fortunately, the builders we’re interviewing are willing to brainstorm creative solutions to keep my washer/dryer working throughout the remodel – HUGE sigh of relief — WHEW!!!!}

Whatever your space challenges might be this year, I hope your planning and new year bring great joy and contentment in living out the ordinary of your day!  Those ordinary and small moments are lifesavers and sanity savers in the midst of physical upheaval and turmoil!