Jump to content

What's with the ads?


Photo

Desks vs table...wwyd? New school room to design!


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
35 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 09:57 AM

We just moved into our new house. :) I'm making what would be a formal living room into our school room/office. I'd like a nook in one corner with bean bags or their soft chairs for reading. I have a kid height table for the computer, and a big deep cabinet for some supplies. What would you do for desks? I'm torn between one large table made kid-height, either round or square (since 4 of us will use it) or separate desks that can be pushed together or apart. By desk, I'm thinking something simple like this http://www.childrens...writingdesk.cfm but they have a really cute school style one that I love too that stores stuff inside....but I think it's too schooly for me http://www.childrens...andchairset.cfm I'm in love with the Pottery Barn craft table, but it's too costly so I would have DH build me something similar...either cutting down a full-size table and adding a spindle for art paper or making something from scratch for me. I also found an awesome one a mama here made that I like too, her post is below. What do you all think??? What does everyone prefer and why?

#2 eternalknot

eternalknot

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3274 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:07 AM

What do you all think??? What does everyone prefer and why?


I prefer a table because it fits better with our personality style.

We like to spread out and are a bit scattered "in the moment" whether it is academics, crafts, or just family time doing puzzles or playing games. We are a large family and my kids are accustomed to not having personal space; they prefer to work nearby others, and I like that the table gives them added shared time together (even if it means distractions like shooting spitballs at each other when my back is turned!)

I'd go with independent desks if any of my children tended towards a more orderly personality, or if they had a real need for alone time or personal space. Maybe also if their were personality clashes between the kids that interferred with learning.

My youngest will just be starting kindergarten work in the Fall, but has wanted to sit at the table and "do school" for the past few years. That's easier to accommodate, giving her Montessori-type work or puzzles to do while I'm instructing my older student, at the table. My older student does a fair amount of independent work, but still likes being in our very near vicinity. I have fold-out wooden tv-tray type of tables that we sometimes use for independent desks when the need or desire arises.

#3 Snickerdoodle

Snickerdoodle

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5801 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:20 AM

We are going to have a extra dining table in our living room as I think that would work best overall for us.

I *really* like the second link you posted. That might be nice too.

#4 mamaofblessings

mamaofblessings

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2253 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:24 AM

Sounds kinda funny now but last year I'd say 100% desk! BUT now that I've got 2 I'm hs'ing and soon to be 3...I'm 100% TABLE! It's more space. Gives them room to grow.

We started out with a small toddler table and now my soon to be 2nd grader has outgrown this table BIG time, BUT my kindergartener fits in it perfectly still. So I'm so glad that we have a desk I use for sewing that I'll be having my older child use. Also we're big into the kitchen table too!! Never thought I'd say this!

#5 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:32 AM

LOL BTDT with the kitchen table, our old house was TINY so this time I want my kitchen to be...my kitchen. ;) I know we'll still use other spaces, but I like the idea of a place we can work on stuff and *gasp* leave it out for a while. ;)

If I go with desks...I would get/make enough for the toddler to join in for sure!

So hard to make these decisions!!!

#6 Satori

Satori

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3280 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:40 AM

I'd say a table, more space!

Those desks are cute, but think of the things that would be rolling off the slanted top all the time.

We got a rectangular table that you can adjust the height (that fits just 2 people comfortably), we love it and now I want to get a huge one just like it.

#7 Teachin'Mine

Teachin'Mine

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9109 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 10:50 AM

Since your husband can build what you want, why not go for four separate desks which can be pushed together. I'd also go for adjustable height - could be a simple pin through holes in the top of the leg set up - so they won't outgrow them. Make them oversized too, so there's lots of room for the books to be spread out. I would think he could add a shelf underneath the top easily enough. Then if you find that you need to separate someone - or give everyone their own space, it's easy enough to do.

#8 Tabrett

Tabrett

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2407 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:10 AM

I would love to try a Chabudai table. That way my dc could sit on the floor and the table would always be the correct height.

Anyone every tried to use one of the for homeschooling?

Some thing like this, but with a larger surface sized table? Maybe cushions instead of the little chairs?

Posted Image

#9 Lara in Colo

Lara in Colo

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4642 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:12 AM

Here is a picture of my table classroom. I converted the entire living room to a classroom. We have a couch and a large table. The lamp in the middle gives everyone good light, I get to see everyone (and if they are actually working or not) I can store lots of stuff under the table and two children can work together on something. They have lots of room to stretch out. I think smaller desks limit the room to use a couple of reference books and write the paper.


For the littles I use a bench that I can add stuff to for height, and they can share and draw together that way.

Edited by Lara in Colo, 28 June 2010 - 11:14 AM.


#10 Tap

Tap

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13088 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:12 AM

We like a table for most work and then the kids had individual desks in their rooms for the rest.

If you have a table, a quick way to avoid the 'shes in my space' is to use masking tape to divide it up. No one is allowed to have anything touching the masking tape. Our rule....the masking tape is MOMS Space. So, if someones book is touching the tape, only mom can comment on it. If someones possessions are in the child;s space then they can ask the other child to move the material. The tape gives a 1" no-mans land and helped my orderly kid work with my spread out kid.

DD11 used to love having her tri-fold presentation board 'learning center' to hide behind when she was in the early grades. It was a colored presentation board, cut in half (so it wasn't so tall) with clear page protectors for pockets. She had her 100s board, penmanship letters, numbers or whatever she was working on at the time. It was nice for her to have the visuals that you would expect on a classroom wall, that wasn't on the wall IYKWIM.

The kids also have the desks in their rooms. This was nice for as they got older and wanted privacy or quiet.

#11 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 11:57 AM

Loving everyone's thoughts and ideas, thank you!!!!

I think I'm leaning towards some sort of separate desk-like tables that I can push together OR separate, depending on the mood of the day (lol). I need a design though....standard desk? Shelves underneath? I really like this table here so I wonder if we could modify it a bit to be an oversized personal space...but wow DH might have a heart attack if I ask for 4 of them!!!!

ETA What do you think if we made 3, sized such that the third fit at the end of the other two, so the kids sit at 3 sides of the larger table created? The shelves underneath just seem like a great way to use "wasted" space. So almost like making each of them their own separate table but they fit together nicely to make a big one?

Edited by truebluexf, 28 June 2010 - 12:03 PM.


#12 74Heaven

74Heaven

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1046 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:14 PM

Remember, those kids will grow... And grow... And grow...

My 16yo is only abut 5'7" but as already outgrown all the desk we have except my fullsize one!

I have had a school room for about 7 years. For quite a few years it was an unfinished basement room with lots of light and a woodstove at the beginning. Now the room is finished - a slow process - and I have done every conceivable combination. But I have to say, I like tables because of the flexibility of redoing the room arrangement a few times a year. The kids like to help make a "new" look and sometimes certain kids are being too distracting of the others and need to move.

Right now two of my kids do have awesome desks with credenzas. The reason they are awesome is because they are smaller than usual desk/credenze arrangments. They have a built in fluorescent light, cubbies in the credenza and a shelf at the top of the credenza and a bulletin board built in all the way across the credenza vertical surface. Then they have drawers on one side. Because they are small - about 3-1/2' wide by 20" deep, the kids have a good surface, but they don't take up the whole room. By far, this is the "neatest" appearing option we have. The kids like the desks because they are "grown-up looking" and their own "space". The ones with these desks are 10yo and 13yo. The 15 and 18yos have desks in their rooms. The one drawback is these desks have a real "70's" cheap look. But they make up for that in sturdiness and durability.

Ok, one other neat idea I stumbled across - we are using hotel microwave stands as computer and DVD/TV centers. We do some classes on DVD and so I have these 2 stands that are about 18" wide and have two horizontal surfaces. The bottom one has the keyboard (or the DVD player) and the top one (about 45" high???) has the computer screen or TV on it. The kids sit on a round barstool to use them. I got these (great looking faux cherrywood) at a thrift for $5 each. They were trying to get rid of them because apparently they had a huge donation from a hotel....

lisaj

#13 74Heaven

74Heaven

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1046 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:18 PM

[quote name='truebluexf']Loving everyone's thoughts and ideas, thank you!!!!

I think I'm leaning towards some sort of separate desk-like tables that I can push together OR separate, depending on the mood of the day (lol). I need a design though....standard desk? Shelves underneath? I really like this table here so I wonder if we could modify it a bit to be an oversized personal space...but wow DH might have a heart attack if I ask for 4 of them!!!QUOTE]

My kids would have their feet all over the baskets or any other material underneath. I can just see them using the shelves as footstools!

Some kids aren't as active as mine tho!. I think a design I would like better (I've never seen such a thing) would be a plain table with a 6" divider that could be popped up across the vertical length of the table. Of course a husband could easily make a nice piece of pine or oak that size that could be slid across a table! The 6" divider would help my children not get so distracted or get into someone's stuff across the table.

Lisaj

#14 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 12:42 PM

Hmmmmm. Feet in the shelves. Crud. My son would be all over it!!!! See, this is why I need to brainstorm this "out loud" with all of you! :)

This room is the front room in our house...it should be the "living room", it is to the left of the front door and the first thing seen when entering the house. We plan on putting up french doors eventually, but even those will be glass, so I should add that appearance will be moderately important for this room. I'm trying to use Craig's List and my DH's carpentry skill to do this inexpensively however. LOVE getting stuff cheap second hand lol.

Maybe I should go back to my desks with a drawer or little shelf idea. I think I'm stuck on separate desks that make up the table so it is modular and flexible. If DH makes them, he would do the legs in such a way that he can put on taller ones later on (I've got a tall DS, but it seems like the girls will be tiny forever lol).

What else do you all wish you had or love that you do have? I'm going to need bookshelves too....tall bookcase? Short and long?

#15 74Heaven

74Heaven

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1046 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:05 PM

[quote name='Tap, tap, tap'] DD11 used to love having her tri-fold presentation board 'learning center' to hide behind when she was in the early grades. It was a colored presentation board, cut in half (so it wasn't so tall) with clear page protectors for pockets. She had her 100s board, penmanship letters, numbers or whatever she was working on at the time. It was nice for her to have the visuals that you would expect on a classroom wall, that wasn't on the wall IYKWIM. QUOTE]

What an awesome idea!!!
Lisaj

#16 Mrs Mungo

Mrs Mungo

    Cupcake Executive Officer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 27441 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:31 PM

I like to have desks and a table. We bought used school desks and chairs from the thrift store.

When my kids were younger we bought this table and cut the legs down to make it shorter. It worked great! My middle dd uses it in her room now.

Now that they are older and taller, we've switched to a folding table.

#17 Teachin'Mine

Teachin'Mine

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9109 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:47 PM

Loving everyone's thoughts and ideas, thank you!!!!

I think I'm leaning towards some sort of separate desk-like tables that I can push together OR separate, depending on the mood of the day (lol). I need a design though....standard desk? Shelves underneath? I really like this table here so I wonder if we could modify it a bit to be an oversized personal space...but wow DH might have a heart attack if I ask for 4 of them!!!!

ETA What do you think if we made 3, sized such that the third fit at the end of the other two, so the kids sit at 3 sides of the larger table created? The shelves underneath just seem like a great way to use "wasted" space. So almost like making each of them their own separate table but they fit together nicely to make a big one?


Sounds great! Just make sure the width is half of the length, and the three together will make one large table. It might be easy enough to have the place where the table top joins the shelves below be something that can be screwed, or in some way made so it can be "lifted" down the road when they need a higher "desk".

Just a thought, if you're fitting the three together with two facing each other and one more at the ends of those, then the "other" side of each of their shelves doesn't need to be accessed. You may want a back on the shelves so things don't get pushed through to the other side and then are hard to reach. Also, since you don't need to access the shelves from both sides - which is a huge benefit of the design to begin with - you may want to do something with shelves down one side, or both sides, of the table instead.

#18 Doodle

Doodle

    Queen Bunny

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1093 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 01:54 PM

I found that I prefer a large table. I like being able to spread things out. I also use a bench instead of chairs.

#19 vonfirmath

vonfirmath

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2915 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:03 PM

DD11 used to love having her tri-fold presentation board 'learning center' to hide behind when she was in the early grades. It was a colored presentation board, cut in half (so it wasn't so tall) with clear page protectors for pockets. She had her 100s board, penmanship letters, numbers or whatever she was working on at the time. It was nice for her to have the visuals that you would expect on a classroom wall, that wasn't on the wall IYKWIM.


I'm trying to picture this and having a hard time. Do you have links to pictures/how to make?

#20 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 05:59 PM

So if I plan right, I can have desks that fit together like this....just wish I could afford these ones LOL!!! http://www.potteryba...pkey=rromstusch

#21 Tap

Tap

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13088 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 06:11 PM

I'm trying to picture this and having a hard time. Do you have links to pictures/how to make?


Here is a picture of an undecorated one. These are pretty inexpensive but if you want, you can just cut a presentation board in half. I used the page protectors that have 3 sealed sides, turned with the open side up, for pockets for her to put things in. She also decorated it with educational stickers like addition/subtraction facts. She had a desk strip with penmanship letters on it and various other things she wanted on there. When she was done with it, it got set behind a piece of furniture, out of the way. She liked the privacy and that she could decorate the inside how ever she wanted to.

#22 Evergreen State Sue

Evergreen State Sue

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1186 posts

Posted 28 June 2010 - 06:23 PM

I say both desks and a table. My kids use the pine desks my sister and I had as kids. I've seen them around for probably $50. They have a drawer in the middle and 3 down the side. They use that for individual work. We also use a regular table for group work and to spread out.

It's all how you design the room. I've moved mine around in different configurations. Sometimes the desks are off in corners for privacy. Sometimes they are butted up against my desk or table so I can be closer to them. Sometimes they are in their bedrooms. Flexibility is the key as they grow.

#23 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:26 PM

I feel like I have MPD. Last night I wanted desks, now I'm thinking a table...LOL!!!! I better just get the last screws in my shelf and get the books unpacked...maybe when it's cleaned up I'll find some clarity!!!

#24 Carol in Cal.

Carol in Cal.

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9785 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:32 PM

But for your 8yo, I would set up a desk somewhere else--maybe in her room? It would start her on organizing her work, and having a quiet spot to concentrate will be increasingly important as she gets older. You will want her to be able to study or write while you are talking at the table with the other children.

You could make the desk a reward for learning write to a certain level--something for each child to look forward to.

Functionally I'm all about big, flat, open spaces to work on. So I think that the table would be more versatile thing you could buy. I would suggest getting an oval drop leaf table with leaves. That way you can extend or compress it, depending on what you're doing and whether it's in the way. My table like that can be small enough for just two people, or big enough for 14, or anything in between. You can imagine how nice it is to be able to make those adjustments whenever I need them.

#25 Paintedlady

Paintedlady

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2136 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

I don't like desks b/c it looks too much like school. I prefer all of us sitting at a table together. I also like that the table can double as an extra eating table (kid's table) if we have guests.

#26 Mom-ninja.

Mom-ninja.

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11180 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 12:44 PM

I bought desks from IKEA. I was able to pick all the components separately for custom desks. I love them. Some day I'll take pictures.

So we have desks in our school room, and when we need a big space we go to the kitchen table.

#27 Oak Knoll Mom

Oak Knoll Mom

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1777 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 01:04 PM

I bought desks from IKEA. I was able to pick all the components separately for custom desks. I love them. Some day I'll take pictures.


I did this too. I bought the smallest table top they have and added adjustable legs. I wanted every boy to have a desk that is the right size for him. I used to use the kitchen table, but I hated not being able to separate them if needed. I was constantly telling them to be quiet, stop bothering each other, etc.

I don't do a lot of group work because of differing abilities.

My sister-in-law has to use her dining room for school. She needs to keep a dining room table in there (their only place to eat!), but wanted to be able to separate her girls when needed. She bought two tables like this and keeps them side by side most of the time for a squarish dining table, but she can pull them apart for separate workspaces. As an added bonus, she can put them end to end and seat even more people when they have company.

#28 35dn

35dn

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2070 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 01:28 PM

..

#29 AuntieM

AuntieM

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5354 posts

Posted 29 June 2010 - 01:42 PM

Didn't read all the replies, but this is MHO:

Table = room to spread out
Desk = drawers to stuff with junk

Go with the table!!!

ETA I am talking about for a work surface. Add a bookcase (or 2 or 3 or...), a file cabinet and a pencil cup, and your school room is complete.

#30 truebluexf

truebluexf

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1115 posts

Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:30 PM

Thought I'd update and let everyone know that while I was all set to get 2 table-like desks....I found a pottery barn kids craft table on craig's list, brand new, for less than half price...so I got that instead! :) I've been wanting it forever and it suits everyone in some perfect way. :) And fulfills my dream for a pottery barn table LOL. It's beautiful and big enough for everyone!!! I will have to post pics when I get the room all done in the next couple weeks. Thanks for you're help!!!

#31 Frontier Mom

Frontier Mom

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2517 posts

Posted 10 July 2010 - 08:52 PM

I bought desks from IKEA. I was able to pick all the components separately for custom desks. I love them. Some day I'll take pictures.

So we have desks in our school room, and when we need a big space we go to the kitchen table.


This is what we do. I don't have the IKEA desks but the Pottery Barn look alike that Staples sold several years ago. We move around constantly and use both our desks and the kitchen table. I have school tables and folding tables too that we bring out for special projects. We are just very versatile around here.

However, if I were starting from scratch I would go to IKEA!! They have so many great options at great prices!!

#32 Mommyof4ks

Mommyof4ks

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4966 posts

Posted 10 July 2010 - 09:29 PM

I prefer tables, because they are flat. It looks like the school desk has a slope, and paper and books might slide off if kiddos don't hold onto them.

#33 RobinF

RobinF

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 660 posts

Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:03 PM

Glad you found a table you loved! We just redid our school (photos on my blog) and we bought these desks from Ikea http://www.ikea.com/...oducts/70176519 I love them! They are small enough for the boys to be comfortable. They didn't cost a fortune. They are sturdy and I can put them together similar to the PB style if I want to at a later date. We are actually going next week when dh gets paid to get another desk and the matching bookcase.

#34 Pink Fairy

Pink Fairy

    Nobody puts Baby in a corner

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3952 posts

Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:34 PM

I bought desks from IKEA. I was able to pick all the components separately for custom desks. I love them. Some day I'll take pictures.

So we have desks in our school room, and when we need a big space we go to the kitchen table.


We've got Ikea desks too! If you click on my name, you can see pictures in my school room album. We've pushed ours together to form a large table, but each section still belongs to a particular child, iykwim.

For privacy, Lakeshore Learning sells partitions that are cheap and easy to use. Someday I plan on making ours into "mini offices," if I ever find the time/motivation, lol.

#35 rafiki

rafiki

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7537 posts

Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:16 AM

.

#36 southcarolinamom

southcarolinamom

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 962 posts

Posted 11 July 2010 - 06:33 AM

I prefer a table because it fits better with our personality style.

We like to spread out and are a bit scattered "in the moment" whether it is academics, crafts, or just family time doing puzzles or playing games. We are a large family and my kids are accustomed to not having personal space; they prefer to work nearby others, and I like that the table gives them added shared time together (even if it means distractions like shooting spitballs at each other when my back is turned!)

I'd go with independent desks if any of my children tended towards a more orderly personality, or if they had a real need for alone time or personal space. Maybe also if their were personality clashes between the kids that interferred with learning.

My youngest will just be starting kindergarten work in the Fall, but has wanted to sit at the table and "do school" for the past few years. That's easier to accommodate, giving her Montessori-type work or puzzles to do while I'm instructing my older student, at the table. My older student does a fair amount of independent work, but still likes being in our very near vicinity. I have fold-out wooden tv-tray type of tables that we sometimes use for independent desks when the need or desire arises.


Excellent advice! My kids started off working at opposite ends of our dining room table, but when they hit 4th or 5th grade they started getting into fights over who had more space.. they built little dividers across the table so they couldn't see each other! Now my daughter works at the dining room table and my son and his mounds of schoolbooks have taken over the coffee table in the living room.


What's with the ads?