Slow Living

Our Homeschool Room and Play Room Tour

We’ve lived in our 1880s farmhouse for about two and a half years now, and in that time, I’ve rearranged the bedrooms about fifty bazillion times. Seriously. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my sewing room shift from room to room. It had become pretty clear that while I wanted to have my own sewing space, it just isn’t the season for it. Our family needed and would get much more use from a playroom/school room. So my sewing space is once again shared with our master bedroom, like in our previous home. And the brightest room in the house is now our playroom/school room. It’s probably the best room swap we’ve done yet, and I’m excited to show it to you!

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

We recently got an IKEA, making all my organizational dreams come true. ;) I knew I wanted to have one wall with books, toys, and learning materials. We have other books throughout the house (because I’m a firm believer that reading needs to be part of your family culture), but here we’re housing our non-fiction reference books, my teacher’s manuals, and some picture books.

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

Since we have a toddler in the house, I put the learning materials that have small pieces up on the higher shelves. We used to have a lot of these items in bins, but I love having most of them in baskets now – they’re a little more open and easier to access. I kept some of the choking hazards in bins with lids, because of aforementioned toddler. ;)Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

This is nearly all the toys we have in our house. We have legos and a few Star Wars toys upstairs, since they have small pieces. Our play kitchen is in our family room, where we tend to do our Morning Time and read alouds. It’s nice to have some toys nearby for the littles who get easily distracted. We also keep board games in a closet and bring them out only when we’re playing them. I’ve been working hard to declutter and keep our home more minimal. To be honest, this isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but it’s definitely better for my mental health and for our family in general.

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

I knew I wanted some ALEX drawers from IKEA, and this size was perfect for all of our craft supplies, papers, coloring books, and blank books for story writing. Storage for papers and art supplies was the biggest problem I needed to solve. I love that this gives us a confined space for it (meaning, we can’t go crazy and buy all the things – we can only fit so much!) and it’s so nicely organized. Remember that storage cushion?? It’s currently filled with the boys’ sweatshirts, which makes it nice and comfy. :)

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

This room had some little shelves in this random spot when we moved in, and since we haven’t done anything to change this room (including the wallpaper… which I have mixed feelings about) they seemed like the perfect spot for our Nature Shelf. We spend a LOT of time outside and in nature study, so this was a must have. And yep…. those are skulls. Life with boys!

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

The other corner of the room has a table we found in our basement when we moved in, plus the rest of our art supplies and school books. In this smaller set of ALEX drawers, the boys each have a drawer for their personal school books. The top drawer houses things like rulers, erasers, tape, etc. The baskets hold chalkboards, extra paper rolls, dry erase boards, and clip boards. The shelf on the wall is my toddler proofing… markers, scissors, glue, and pencil sharpener. Basically a mom’s worst nightmare if a toddler gets their hands on them. ;) Having this dedicated creative space is awesome for my kids – they’re always creating, drawing, and writing. We tend to “do school” all over the house, so this won’t necessarily be used primarily for formal lessons, but it’s nice to have some options. I’m searching for some new kitchen chairs, and when I find ones I like, our current chairs will move in here to replace the hodge podge of stools. But hodge podge works well enough!

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

This sweet little spot is one of my favorites. I recently found a little vintage table and chairs, and it’s PERFECT for my youngest. The other kids actually like it too. I keep my vintage sewing machine here (next to my sad attempts at having a green thumb), mostly because I don’t have another place for it right now, and I hate to keep it hidden away.

Homeschool Room Inspiration and Organization

Someday I’ll have my own sewing room again, but for today, I’m happy to have this beautiful space where my kids can learn and play. I know this room will evolve as we use it, and I have some plans for some wall decor that will come eventually. But I really love how it turned out, and it’s actually becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house. When it’s clean, anyway. ;)

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Five Tips for Sewing with Young Kids Underfoot

I’ve been in a season of slow, simple sewing. Have you been in a season like this? I’m a homeschool mama with five young kids, including a toddler whose favorite pastime is coloring on the walls and climbing onto everything he shouldn’t.. some days I barely have time to go to the bathroom, let alone sew an entire handmade wardrobe. Most of the projects I’m sewing lately are things I can complete in one sitting, generally a pattern I’ve sewn a dozen times, with slight variations here and there. I’ve sewn a bunch of garments recently that haven’t made it to the blog, for myself and the kids. None of them earth shattering in their execution, but all of them well-loved and well-worn.

I’m learning a lot these days about taking seasons as they come. I’ve had years and months where my sewing machine has been in constant use, and others where carving out time seems a bit trickier. Recently I was talking with some friends about how disappointed I was that I hadn’t been able to find the time to sew myself jeans, so I had to buy them instead. At first, it felt a little like a failure. I know how to sew jeans – I’ve done it several times, and before I got pregnant with my youngest, I had drafted and sewn a pair that I’ve been dying to tweak to the point of perfection. But my jean-sewing season will come back, I just need to give it time.

If you’re in a season like this, here are my best tips and encouragement for you:

1. Find a way to sew alongside your kiddos: For me right now, this means a shared space. I have my sewing tables set up in a corner of the room, the kiddos have an art table on the other side, and there are toys for my toddler and younger kids to play with as well. This could mean that you have a special bin of toys for your kids to play with only while you sew or that you give them a bucket or art supplies and let them create something alongside you. There’s something beautiful about creating together!

2. Use pockets of time: five minutes here and there to put a pattern together, cut it out, and prepare your fabric. When you need longer stretches of time, sew during nap time or after they’ve gone to bed. During some seasons, late night sewing isn’t an option, though (hello middle of the night feedings and teething toddler, I’m looking at you!), so make use of times when your kiddos are content to play.

3. Keep it simple when needed: What I’ve found is that small, simple sews can be deeply satisfying in a season where it’s hard to accomplish much. Pillow covers, simple tees, and pajamas are the way to go if you need to keep it simple, but still feel accomplished. When you start sleeping through the night or your toddler is more content to play alone and not demand every second of your attention, more complicated projects will return to your table.

4. Babywear, Pack ‘n Play, or highchair: find a way to safely contain your baby or toddler nearby. I’ve definitely worn my babies and toddlers in a sling or Ergo while sewing or put up a Pack ‘n Play next to my sewing machine. I had a “duh” moment recently when my friend Jodi shared an Instagram story with her toddler eating in a high chair while she sewed – brilliant!

5. Give yourself grace and remember it’s a season: this has been a constant mantra in my mind lately, and I’ve been so encouraged by friends reminding me of this. It won’t always be like this, and I don’t want to wish away these years when my kids are at home with me. Whether you’re a homeschool mama like me or you volunteer daily in your kids classroom or you work in or outside of the home, it can be hard to fit in time for hobbies and passions when you have littles! Embrace the season you’re in and prioritize the things you love, even for just a few minutes at a time.

Whatever season you’re in, whether you’re cranking out projects or looking longingly at your serger when you pass it by, remind yourself that each season has it’s time. Be present. Remind yourself that seasons change and kids get older. Let yourself be okay with whatever sewing time life has for you right now. And be intentional to carve out more time when you can.

Some nitty gritty sewing notes: this is my go-to sewing pattern (quick and easy!) – the Alex and Anna pajamas from Peekaboo Pattern Shop. I did make a matching pair for my six-year-old (mostly because he desperately needed pajamas, and I found a pattern in that size already cut and ready to go), but he refused to comply with my adorable matching jammie photo shoot that I had in mind, so I have proof of his pajamas over on Instagram too. These are jammies are the ultimate in comfort, since they’re sewn with jersey from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. All the RCF love and heart eyes over here, y’all.

Speaking of heart eyes….

Gah!! I can’t handle the cuteness of this age, even if he does color on all my walls.

Happy slow sewing, friends. :)