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Back to School: Homework Stations

girls room desk Talk of the HouseWe have looked at classrooms and back-to-school parties in our last few posts.  Now let’s take a look at some very pretty spaces for getting the dreaded homework done.  When I was a young student, I seem to remember doing my homework at the kitchen table, but now there are entire rooms devoted to that chore.  I like how the desk spaces are back to back in the room below.

bhg homework

The beadboard ceiling and  wall treatment add so much texture and detail in the next one.  Be sure you also note how the cubbies are labelled – small chalkboards!

birmingham homework

A good homework place should have great lighting. Each desk below has its own light, and there are sconces by the window seat (not to mention all the wonderful natural light pouring in from the window there.)

colorful homework

And a homework space should have plenty of storage.  (You know I couldn’t resist that map with the gingham continents!:))

homework area with gingham

Even the youngest of children can appreciate a table and chair for their work.

red and gray homework

There is a lot to love in this one…the bright colors, the bookshelves with contrasting back,  and that cute striped rug.

Trevor Tondro

The next one can easily accomodate three people. Don’t you like the bookshelves built in there and those glass doors?

homework station for several

Storage baskets help to keep things organized.

kid cave homework

How about a closet turned into a homework space?

closet homework

All the homework supplies – from crayons to markers to scissors – are smartly stored in cans at the clever desk below.

homework station with

The lamp in the next one is beautiful! Wish I could find one like that for myself.:)

homework station with double

I like the idea of the homework area being separate from but close by the kitchen like in the one shown here.

homework station off

Now let’s take a look at a few commericial ones.

rhbaby and child homework area with

pbkids homework

pbteen homework

I loved this bedroom with its soothing neutral color scheme.

childrens bedroom study space in

If our children had been seated side by side when doing their homework, it would have never gotten finished.  It would have been too easy to just talk, play, and generally be distracted by the other siblings.  So this separated work station unit would have certainly helped.

homework area with divided

Without some kind of separation, I am sure our house would have been like this!


Do you have a favorite from all of these cute and clever spaces? (Mine was the one with the tan plaid and the black and white photography.:))

I’ll have more back to school eye candy for you soon.

Hope you are having a great week!

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Martha - August 27, 2014 - 7:17 am

These are all great. I like them, but wonder how many get used. Like you, I did my homework at the kitchen table and so did my children. The nice study areas we created in their rooms were rarely used to study. My middle child had the best desk, it was a built in 6 feet long, with lots of storage and book shelves that he kept a huge mess all the time. When he was about 13 and had ignored repeated warnings to clean it I had a “Mommy Dearest” moment and shoved it all on the floor. That was 25 years ago and my kids still talk about it. I was not a neat freak, but enough is enough…….
Anyway, sorry to inject a bit of realism in an otherwise lovely post about beautiful study areas.We can all dream…have a great day!
Sometimes it takes drastic to measures to get someone’s attention…especially the attention of a 13 year old boy!(unless, of course you are a 13 year old girl. :) )

Kathy - August 27, 2014 - 7:57 am

I like the room with the Tomy clock. (Isn’t that what they are called?) But I love the chairs/stools in the Restoration Hardware ad. I like a little of that industrial look. Will you tell Martha (comment above) that we are forgiven for those “PMS Mommy moments”. I had a similar one with spilled glitter that my kids still talk about. I miss the time when my children were young but I don’t miss homework time.
There are Tomy clocks, but I believe these are Judy clocks. I think all the Tomy ones that I have seen look like owls. :) Spilled glitter? Ohhhh…that would be one big mess! Our custodians hate when we use glitter because it gets e v e r y w h e r e. And yes, homework time IS a chore.

Arlene@Nanaland - August 27, 2014 - 8:55 am

I love all those homework spaces but it did bring to mind my own homework space in our small country house! It was on the sofa and as I worked on my homework i had one eye out for Gilligan’s Island as it played on the tv! My mom could never understand how I could do homework and watch tv at the same time but it worked for…
I believe Gilligan accompanied a lot my my homework too!

Louvina - August 27, 2014 - 8:59 am

I enjoyed looking at all the study areas but to be honest I truly like your daughter’s the best! My kids had desk areas but always liked the dining table to do their HW. I remember I got a metal desk and chair as a child and I loved it AND used it! Later I received a portable typewriter and it was the best thing ever. We lived in a really small place so I was delighted to have my own special area to really study. I am so amazed how far technology has brought us! How did we ever make it without computers!!? My greatest wish was to have a set of World Books–my parents couldn’t afford them– so my very first job -that was the first thing I bought my children– just donated them to the after school ” Gramma’s House” at church. It really pulled my heart strings to part with them– even though I allowed my granddaughter to cut out pictures and maps for reports. Oh how I loved those books! Remember Child Craft? Sweet memories for book lovers!
Gosh, thank you Louvina. I don’t know how in the world me made it before computer, and yes, I do remember Child Craft!

Garden, Home and Party - August 27, 2014 - 9:05 am

I would love more than one of these spaces for myself! Both of our sons had desks in their rooms and actually used them most of the time. They never looked as orderly as these unless mom tidied up for visitors. :-)
The little white desk with the monogrammed lamp shade is particularly charming. Oh, and my desk, which I rarely use, is in a converted closet in our study. Mr. B. uses the built-in desk along the wall opposite the closet desk set up.
Your daughters desk (the image on top was your daughters, wasn’t it?) is so pretty and I love the bulletin board.
Fun images.
Karen, I am with you in wanting one of these for myself. Thank you for the compliments on our daughters’homework area.

Jayne - August 27, 2014 - 10:09 am

I also noticed all the red! We also did homework at the kitchen table. When they got older, they did homework in their rooms. One thing did stay consistent, though. Homework was done as soon as they got home from school. They started this habit themselves when the twins were in second grade. Whew ‘Cause it never would have happened had I set that rule.
I think my favorite was the second one. I love the twister floor! Back to back keeps their eyes off of each other and their attention a little more focused.
Of course there is red! What else would I be attracted to? LOL It sounds like your children have great study habits.

Becky in 'Bama - August 27, 2014 - 1:44 pm

I’ve commented before that currently my daughter and SIL are between churches, and living close to my home – where my daughter homeschools the FIVE children…yes five. Needless to say I covet (sorry) any these spaces that could be used by the grands. One of my upstairs bedrooms is the school room and to say it is a bit of a mess would be laughable. There is a desk in the room which the oldest uses, with the others at a card table and a child’s table. Though they are beautiful to look at, I scratch my head at all the “white” furniture in these pics because my experience is that ALL my grands will write on a surface in a New York minute (particularly the 3 year old). The commercial setup would be the only reasonable one in my situation. Yes as a child we did homework at the kitchen table, but as a teen I progressed to a small desk in my bedroom which I loved – because I could shut the door to my three rowdy brothers. ~grins~
If you had 3 rowdy brothers, you probably had to LOCK your door as well, Becky!

Vicki - August 27, 2014 - 3:29 pm

I like your top image the best, with the lamp inside the cabinet. Very quiet and cozy space to work- reminds me a little of a library study carrel. The jar of drinks probably also helps keep a student motivated! My daughter has a desk in her room, but ends up doing homework wherever the spirit moves her- the noisier the spot, the better. Go figure.
I had never thought about our daughter’s desk being like a study carrel, but you are right. Your daughter’s study habits sound a lot like my husband’s. In college, I would go study in the quiet library, while he would go study in the very noisy student center. To each his own!

Debra - August 27, 2014 - 9:36 pm

Ok, I have to say my favorites in your post are first the cute closet work station. I have seen that picture before. How convenient and cool is it that you would only have to just close the doors to hide the messy desk. My second is the tan plaid that you favor as well. I think though, it is a bit bland. How about a pop of color to spice it up? Maybe like our favorite red or green?? Well, I have to say, though we have desks in the kids bedrooms, I have too often caught them with their computers on their laps sitting on their beds. How’s that for a comfortable work station! :) Something about lap tops, I am sitting in my chair by the French door right now. Eek! Oh, work stations…. P. S. I really love your little kitchen work station, chalkboard and all! :)

Thank you Debra. I do think some red with all those neutrals would be great. I am glad you like our kitchen desk. It is really best suited to a laptop because it is so very small.

Dawn - August 28, 2014 - 5:28 pm


I really like these homework stations. The first one is my favorite and I think it might be in your daughters room? My second favorite is the separated stations by It would work nicely in any home and could even transition for work/office space for grown kids or adults. The mix of cabinetry, hard woods and counter tops is what draws me in.
Yes, the first one IS our daughter’s desk area. So thank you Dawn! I agree with you that the cabinetry one would be great for grown kids or adults. I would certainly use it!

Katrina Cantler - September 3, 2014 - 9:02 am

Hands down … The painted child’s table and two sweet chairs with the cute little red cushions tied on with ribbon is my favorite!!! I liked it so much that I had my husband paint our granddaughter’s table and chairs white and then distress it a little. I am going to make red gingham cushions with ribbon ties for the chairs! Thanks for the inspiration .
Katrina that sounds precious! And you know I love anything with red gingham! Love it. :)

Back to School: The Parties

back to school partiesHappy Weekend! In all my back-to-school perusing on the web, I have run across a zillion cute cute parties that I want to share with you today.  I stole the photo above from our school themed Valentine’s dinner because all the decorations fit these celebrations so well.  If you didn’t see it back in February, you can check it out here.  Our daughter’s graduation party a couple of years ago, also fits with it nicely.  You can see it here.

school theme centerpiecesource

And here are some that I have run across this week that you might like.  Enjoy!

back to school party with apple

back to school party with school

(Here is the school supply favor table for the party above.)

back to school party with school supplies favor

back to school party and printables

back to school party with Lauren Haddox

back to school party with crayon box

Junie B. party would work for a back to school party

back to school party with tree decoration

back to school with cake

back to school party with yellow

Back to school

back to school party

If you need a few ideas for food for a back to school dinner, how about these?

food for party

 foods for

And if you are doing the back to school theme for older kids, here are an couple of centerpieces more fitting for them.

back to school

back to school theme decor

Hope these photos have given you a few ideas for your own back to school celebration (or maybe just some fun eye candy for your weekend!:))  Our Saturday is cuh-razy today with a yard sale for my mom, our oldest coming in from training in Dallas and packing to move to Seattle, our middle son coming in either tonight or tomorrow from finishing his summer job in Atlanta and packing to move to Seattle with brother, daughter home to attend a bridal shower with me for the fiance of my nephew…and somewhere in there we need to fit in a belated birthday party for middle child.  I will need to remember this hectic weekend in a couple of weeks when the house is super duper silent.

apple table

Our internet provider is doing some MAJOR upgrading this weekend, so I will be without internet service here until Sunday evening (and no, I do not have a smartphone.)  I hope to be back with either details on a back to school dinner here or some home decorating soon. Have a wonderful weekend!

Until next time…

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Judy - August 23, 2014 - 6:30 pm

all of these have some great take away ideas kelly….you should have added to this list a photo of your classroom door from a couple of years back that you featured….you do/did an outstanding job of welcoming your students to school!

sounds like you have an overflowing plate this weekend…i hope you find a few minutes of time for yourself and a good book!
Thank you Judy! Check out the post before this one for some of our classroom doors. Can’t wait to read the Jan Karon book (and Ina has a new one out in October I believe.)

L J - August 23, 2014 - 6:34 pm

Hi Kelly
Love the ideas especially the display with the sunflowers. I’m on faculty at a local community college and I’m thinking I’m going to “borrow” that idea and use it in the lobby near my office.
I’m an empty-nester and I agree it is important to treasure those times when everyone was home. Enjoy the family time!
Go right ahead and borrow away! Ideas are meant to be shared. :)

Louvina - August 23, 2014 - 8:04 pm

Enjoyed it so much! Love the lunch box ideas and your tablescapes are right up there with the best of them –for me!! My goodness girl how do you catch your breath on weekends like this?! But sounds like so much fun!! My gang is off to Disney for the weekend and I was invited but in this heat, I declined. But when I saw the Wilderness Lodge Hotel lobby pictures — what was I thinking! I could have had a great time there hanging out!! Will be watching for the next update.
Gosh thank you Louvina! I think I would have passed on Disney in the heat as well. (Even though I do think the Wilderness Lodge architecture and interior design are all out amazing!)

Debra - August 23, 2014 - 8:06 pm

Love…Love those DIY apple party plates. So cute. I have those red polka dot napkins and white dot paper. Hmm, that would be fun for a casual fall dinner after going apple picking, maybe? Fall will be here sooner than we think. The end of August and early September are always hot for the kids at school. Never fails. These temps lately of 90’s with heavy humidity, can leave please. Still love those number plates. Wish they were current. Boo hoo. Well, enjoy your busy, busy weekend with your children. Birthday wishes to your son. Ok, now I have to go back and check out a few of the links Kelly, as I am sure there is more eye candy to enjoy. :) Thanks.
Debra, that would be a great idea for an apple picking party! I am with you on wishing the humidity and high temps would go away, but I know they are here for several more weeks. Target could make a nice profit if they would bring out those number plates again, wouldn’t they?

Katrina - August 23, 2014 - 8:07 pm

Oops…. you got another post out before I had time to comment on the last one!
I love,love,loved all the pictures of your classroom and the doors on your hall! I am with Kathy…. It ALMOST made me miss teaching with the key word being “almost”….LOL! I would be so excited if I was a student and walked onto a hallway with all that cuteness!
My granddaughter’s 4th birthday party was today. The theme was pinwheels! My daughter’s due date is in 16 days so she was happy it was a success and can be marked off her list!
A friend and I are thinking about going to the Cashier’s Designer house next weekend. You aren’t going, are you?
Loved this post too… You know I always love all of them!
Almost…but not quite, right? If I were retired, it would not make me miss it. Happy 4th bday to your granddaughter! What a clever theme for a party. I bet it was precious! We did not make it to the Designer house this year. My husband has been with with boys on their road trip across the country, so no trip for me for awhile. boo hoo.

Dawn - August 23, 2014 - 8:07 pm


This is all too cute! I love the back to school party idea. Thanks for sharing it all with us. Good luck with your internet.
So happy you liked the ideas Dawn! Thank you for reading!

Arlene@Nanaland - August 23, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Love all those cute party ideas Kelly. I will be thinking of you as you adjust to all those life changes with the children moving away from home. At least you will have a new place to visit!!
I’m so glad you liked the ideas Arlene. :) Thank you for thinking of me and the empty nest here. We will have a new place to visit, but boy is it a long way away!

Kathy - August 23, 2014 - 10:24 pm

I just had to get rid of my teaching materials. I don’t know why I was hanging onto them…but our hardware store building (where they were stored) sold and I had to decide whether to toss or keep and with all of that is going on, I had to toss. Now, I am seeing your cute ideas and thinking….I could have used that for…Oh, well! (I did try to give my materials to younger teachers but I guess they wanted their own new stuff.)
I hope you are planning trips to Seattle. I think it looks like a fun place to visit…all of the antique markets, etc.
If you can, look at Katrina’s facebook page. She has the cutest photos of her granddaughter’s pinwheel party.
This post reminds me of the first day of kindergarten for our daughter. I had a Barbie cake made for her. (The doll was actually in the cake and her dress was the cake.) I see the influence of scrapbooking in the decorating above and in your previous post. Take it easy, Kelly!
Oh dear! You got rid of all of it? There are some things I will hang onto when I retire, but there are several people who want my job and my room, so a lot may just stay as is. :) I know we will visit Seattle, but I don’t have any idea when that will be. Our sons will have more money than we do, so it may be that they have to fly here to visit instead of us going there. LOL
I think I had a Barbie in the cake when I was a little girl. I will check out Katrina’s facebook page to see her cute granddaughter.

Martha - August 24, 2014 - 8:35 am

You always come up with the best table decorations. I have laughed at the back to school parties….I think they would have to be for moms, not kids. Although as happy as I was for school to start, about a month later when we were bogged down with homework and after school activities, I longed for the long days of summer.

I hope you don’t have withdrawal pains with your internet down. I just got mine back this morning after 24 hours and I feel like a junkie with a fix. I hate I am addicted to it and I’m like you, no smart phone (yet).
Thank you Martha. You are probably right about the moms wanting more of a celebration that the children do with going back to school! Glad to know that I am not the only soul on the planet who does not have a smartphone. :)

Paula B. - August 24, 2014 - 9:03 am

Such cute ideas, very festive. I was thinking, though, of all my teacher pals and how sad they are to see summer coming to an end. However, most are eagerly decorating their rooms and getting set to get into a routine as Fall comes our way. I still (six years out) feel the nostalgic pull of the school bell as each September rolls around. Hope you have tons of fun this weekend despite the hectic pace. Good luck to daughter returning to college and to the boys heading out to Seattle. Yay for new adventures!
It is a big change from summer to Sept. school. Thank you for all the good wishes for everyone’s new ventures, Paula. They certainly are new adventures!

Amanda @ Dixie Delights - August 24, 2014 - 9:11 am

very cute ideas!! I love every single one you chose!!!
Thanks Amanda! You are a theme party queen!!

DiAnne - August 24, 2014 - 10:50 am

Love these school decorating posts. Like others mentioned, these posts make me ALMOST miss school. You must be a fabulous teacher.
I hope you visit Seattle. It is beautiful. Our daughter has been there the past three years on business and each time she discovers something new. I hear there is a train ride up the Pacific. Coast from Seattle that is breathtakingly beautiful and reasonable in price.
Take care,
Yes, almost. I hope we get to visit Seattle too. A train ride along the coast would be gorgeous. Thank you for letting me know about it DiAnne!

Barbara (WA) - August 24, 2014 - 11:11 am

I see trips to Seattle in your future! I grew up in Renton (south Seattle) but now live across Elliot Bay from downtown. When it is beautiful here, it is gorgeous! Just curious if your sons are attending college here or working. My son works at Microsoft.
I hope you are right Barbara! Both of our sons will be working in Bellevue in computer work (but not with Microsoft), the other is not sure yet exactly what he will be doing. He is hoping to be tutoring students who will be taking the LSAT, and then he plans to go to law school himself in a year.

Garden, Home and Party - August 25, 2014 - 9:38 am

There are some cute ideas. By far my favorite tables and clever accessories are those you created! I’d want to hire you as a party planner every time. :-) I really like the sunflower table too.
I’m thrilled for the new adventure your sons are about to embark on…as a blog friend and “MOM” I’d give you a hug and invite you to lunch to help with the transition. These transitions are always a little difficult for us parents.
Aw you are too sweet, Karen! I could use a hug, and lunch with you would be so much fun. :) It has become VERY quiet around here!

Design Chic - August 25, 2014 - 3:24 pm

You are one busy lady – don’t know how you keep the comings and goings straight. Love the idea of a back to school party and so many cute ideas. Your daughter’s graduation party was amazing – wonderful attention to detail!!
A calendar helps tremendously! So glad you liked all the parties – including ours!

Jayne - August 26, 2014 - 9:30 am

All of these are super cute ideas! How easy to incorporate into the classroom as well. Like the one from Instead of the food, the teacher could put out some school supplies. (Found for cheap of course! Or maybe even donated from stores, churches.)There are always those parents who struggle buy even the basic supplies. I see labels for supplies and cabinets, bulletin board ideas, door decorations. Almost makes me wish I were back in the classroom. Almost! Thanks for the inspiration! Hope you have your best year yet!
Great idea Jayne! Thank you for the well wishes!

Back to School – The Classroom (and 10 Ideas for Teacher Gifts!)

back to school

Welcome to Back to School season! Although our back to school time started here almost a month ago, I think this week is a more traditional time for it in many states. There are so many readers here who work in education (or are retired from education) that I thought it might be fun to devote a few posts at this time in the year to all things school.  Today I wanted to share some classroom decor, but there will be parties and school themed home decorating coming for you later.:) So come on in…

math books

Since I spent several weeks of the previous summer working to get my classroom (a math room) in shape, I did not change it any for this year. (You can read about the before-and-after by clicking here.)  There have been a large number of requests to see more of the room so this is a bit more detailed view of it.class room

The wicker loveseat (above) is the coordinating piece to the wicker sofa that currently lives on our back porch.  You can see that the set was a stained natural wicker before I painted it.

classroom storage and display

classroom shelf display

The black “chalkboards” are boxes wrapped in black bulletin board paper and written on with chalk. The dolls are my old Holly Hobbie dolls from my childhood dressed in more contemporary clothing than their previous prarie dresses, petticoats, and bonnets.  Did any of you have Holly Hobbie dolls when you were young?

closet display

I made the 3-D pencil from an old wrapping paper roll, and all the cutout things around the board were made from art paper found at Michaels and Hobby Lobby. The small folding chair there came from Target, and I spray painted it black. (The bulletin boards are empty because we had not done any “art” projects at the time I took these photos.)

bulletin boardThe child’s black chair on top of the storage cabinets came from Pottery Barn Kids (and I painted it.)  And yes, just like in our home,  there are several jars in the room.:)

math room

(You can see I definitely need to refill my candy jar!)top of file cabinets

That wooden teacher’s desk sat in a glass doored display cabinet in our school lobby for a long time.  One day they decided they wanted to get rid of it, and I was very lucky to nab it before it was sent out of the building into storage! (Wish I had been fast enough to get the old card catalog from the library before it escaped.:()

teacher desk

I thought you might also want to see the doorway.  I did tweak it a bit.  Here is last year’s…

math doorway

And now here is this year’s with the addition of the red “rulers.”  All the teachers on our hallway did the “around the door” thing, so I joined in.

math doorway with rulers

Would you like to see a few more of the classroom doors in our building with “the around the door thing”? (I don’t know what to call it! LOL)  The door from my 3rd grade classroom a couple of years ago is on the left in the next photo, and the same door done by the sweet teacher in there now is on the right.  Her colors are so cheerful!

classroom doors rulers

And here are a few more on our hall.

classroom doors pencils and crayons

classroom door colored pencils and crayons

classroom doors colored pencils and rulersAnd while we are on the subject of back to school, let’s talk about gifts for teachers.  Here are a few ideas for some things that teachers would totally love if you wanted to send any of them in with your child for the first day.

Anything to eat is very much appreciated:)These first two include links to recipes for yummy treats, and they have free printables, and the third one has a caramel dip that sounds yummy!

first day of school

back to school mix recipe and free

apple and caramel dip

mints for

While we don’t really need any more “stuff,” I think anyone would love these cute jars!

Vintage Ball Jar Teacher Gift with free 

jars for teacher

Plants or a bouquet of flowers are thoughtful gifts.

plants for

flowers for

These thank you notes are a great (and useful) idea that all teachers can use, and the link has them as free printables.:)

free printables for thank you notes for

And finally, I think most teachers absolutely love gift cards.  (I know I do!)  So these for Starbucks – or any coffee shop for that matter- are always fun to get.

thanks a latte

That brings us to the end of part 1 for our Back to School posts.  I hope you found an idea or two that you could use as we crank up this new school year.  As always, thank you for stopping by!  I’ll have more back to school goodies coming to you soon.:)

Until next time…

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Lori Lucas - August 21, 2014 - 1:20 am

I am one of those that has been hoping you would show us your classroom. I knew it would be that cute. Who wouldn’t want to learn in it? Our school started today and I am teaching in a new town. I decorated my classroom with everything letters (I teach high school English), and brought in many things from our home too. You can be sure I will be studying your pictures for ideas I can steal! Thanks for sharing with us. Have a great year. (Sorry you had to start so early!) Lori Lucas
I think your letters theme would be perfect for your classroom, Lori. You may steal away any idea you get here. I think teachers are like sponges – soaking up every little idea we can find for our classes. :) Hope you have a wonderful school year!

Lisa - August 21, 2014 - 5:17 am

Your classroom is the cutest I’ve ever seen, and all of the bridged door decorations are great! It looks like a very happy place to be educated. School started August 4th for us. :)
Bridged doors! That’s a great way to describe it. Thanks for the term! It sounds like you weren’t far behind us with your early start. Whatever happened to school starting after Labor Day?

Gail - August 21, 2014 - 7:36 am

Teacher Kelly: How adorable. Your students and those of your colleagues must feel so blessed to be taught by such imaginative teachers. Just to walk in your class must give your students much incentive to do as well as they can possibly do. How important you all are in the instructive part of their
young lives. I pray that everything your hand sets to do will succeed and prosper in your student’s lives. Blessings!
So sweet! Thank you Gail! We do have some imaginative overworked teachers on our staff. Education is not for the faint of heart!

Kathy - August 21, 2014 - 7:50 am

Your school must be a fun place to work and a happy place for children to learn. I love the decorating. (I had a white wicker rocker in my classroom and loved decorating for “back to school”.) I am always on the lookout for a card catalog and those pull down maps. The teacher gift ideas are fun. I especially like the cookie and succulent. This post ALMOST makes me miss it. LOL! (And, I really mean LOL!)
I had a white wicker rocker in my dorm room long ago. You and I will probably be fighting over some card catalog we both find. LOL And I am on the lookout for a pull down map too – although I am picky about the colors in it…so it is probably going to be impossible to find one exactly like I want.
Almost made you miss school??? Pinocchio your nose is growing! :)

Arlene@Nanaland - August 21, 2014 - 8:09 am

Okay, Kelly, I am busy pinning these back to school happies for the teachers. I sent candy along with sharpies to my grands teachers. I added the tag, I hope you have a year of Snickers and joy with your Sharpies! I did a gift bag, adding Snickers and Almond Joys along with a package of Sharpie Markers. I know when I taught preschool, I loved to get little happies from my students. And I love your class room…how different school is today from when I was in school in the Dark Ages.:)
Thank you for sharing the blog love on your pinterest boards Arlene! I am glad you can use the ideas for teacher gifts. YOUR teacher gift sounds great!! I love Almond Joys, and they are also one of my mother’s favorites. So I would definitely have loved to receive your gift on the first day. :)

Lauren - August 21, 2014 - 8:50 am

Oh my goodness Kelly you have the cutest classroom I have ever seen, I just love all of your decorating ideas! Your students, parents and school are so lucky to have a teacher that puts so much effort into creating such a wonderful classroom that is overflowing with creativity! The children must have the biggest smiles when they walk into your class for the first time!
Goodness Lauren! Thank you for your very sweet comment. Everyone at our school works to make it a home-y and caring environment for our students, and most spend a lot of their summer vacation to do it. (Which makes our short summer break even shorter!) I do think the children like it, and I know the parents appreciate it. I was a greeter at our school’s Sneak Peek the night before we opened for the first day. I overheard numerous parents saying that they just loved our school – and they were talking with other parents – not staff members. So they do notice. :)

Anne from Atlanta - August 21, 2014 - 10:25 am

Golly, Kelly! You must be the best teacher ever! I wish that I had had a math teacher like you. Thanks for sharing your clever ideas. Your gift ideas will work for teachers and lots of other folks as well.~Anne
No.. I am not the best teacher ever, Anne. :) We all work very hard, and everyone shares their ideas. I am probably the oldest teacher there though! LOL (and the one with the most years of teaching.) I am glad you liked the gift ideas and can hopefully use them.

Jackie Caruso - August 21, 2014 - 11:04 am

Hi Kelly, I love your classroom and happy you did a post about it. Your students are lucky to walk in such a cheerful classroom. My daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and I help her with her classroom decorations. Can I ask what you used for your pencil points? Also, I love all the cut outs – scissors, banners, apples, hands, numbers, etc. Does your school have dies for these shapes, or do you cut these out with scissors? I’m always looking for ideas for my daughter’s classroom. The décor above the shelves made me smile, especially the wagon and tricycle. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Jackie! How sweet of you to help with classroom decorating. :) The pencil points are simply semi-circles of manila tagboard rolled into a cone with the tip colored black using a marker. Then I glued the cone into the opening of the cylinder that forms the main body of the “pencil.” The shapes are not die cuts. Everything around my door and bulletin board are things I just drew and cut out with scissors – except for the hands. I did purchase a pack of them in a multicolor pack years ago. I also drew the numbers using a ruler to help guide me. I am glad you liked the wagon and tricycle. Those belonged to my children when they were young. The students who come into the classroom for the first time always ask me if they can ride the bike!

Jill - August 21, 2014 - 11:20 am

I am not a teacher, but I love seeing your fun classroom Kelly! I thought about being a teacher for a while when I was in high school. I would’ve loved all that back to school decorating of my door, room, and bulletin boards. But then school would’ve started and all those little eyes would’ve been looking back at me and I would’ve been like,”Okay, what should we do NOW?” Hahahahaha! Is there a job for people who just like to do the decorating part?
You must work in a building full of creative people. All those doors look fantastic!
Too funny! If there WAS a job like that, I would most definitely apply for it! That would be so much fun. :)
Yes, there are a lot of creative teachers in our school!

Scribbler Unfocused - August 21, 2014 - 11:53 am

This wonderful post makes me wish I could go back in time and have you for math! I might have actually learned something!

I have no young children in my life any more, and I had no idea that classrooms looked so friendly and homey. This is a certainly a vast improvement over the old beat – up rows of desks and a crabby old teacher up front droning on. No wonder I didn’t learn anything in math class!
It is very different from the way it was years ago. I haven’t seen rows of desks in a room in an elementary school here in decades. But I do love my old fashioned desk! I don’t want to part with it even for the big new ones that house the computer pieces. :)

Garden, Home and Party - August 21, 2014 - 12:18 pm

What a great classroom and school. I love elementary school, especially when they are staffed with such caring and creative teachers. Our children went to such a school. I wish I had had some of these back to school gift ideas back in the day.
How clever and fun.
Thank you Karen. I work with some very hardworking and creative ladies. What in the world did we do back in the day when we did not have Pinterest?! I don’t know how we even survived! LOL

Debra - August 21, 2014 - 12:29 pm

Just the other morning I was in the back yard and heard the all too familiar rumble of the big yellow school bus. We built our home the summer our eldest daughter was five and just starting kindergarten. She’s 32. Sweet memories. Going through your post today was like an “I SPY” book. The wicker sofa (I want) and a wicker lamp too I spotted on the top of the cabinet, your touches of red, pottery barn influence and of course your “signature” jars. Your room truly reflects you Kelly. You are not only an influence to we blog readers, but at the look things with those doors, maybe your fellow teachers as well? The doorways are so welcoming. Thanks for the shares of the teachers gifts. Though a little late for me. My favorites are the yellow ball jar, pencil vase with sunflowers and of course that yummy green apple with dip. I will need to try that dip. I love Heath bars. Well Kelly, may you have a wonderful school year ahead and thanks for stirring good school day memories.

You sneaky thing you Debra! You spied way too much! LOL I work with some very creative folks, but yes some of my patterns did make their way around the hallway at school. Wasn’t that yellow jar super cute? I really need to make a few of those to use around here. (And I want to try out that dip too!)
Thank you for the good wishes for our school year. :)

Barbara (WA) - August 21, 2014 - 12:49 pm

Well, I am so not surprised your classroom is as wonderful as your home! Have a great school year, Kelly :)

PS: I just bought another jar, heh.
Aw you are too sweet Barbara. :) Another jar???? Oh my! Perhaps you will use it for all the gorgeous flowers that are blooming in your yard. (On your blog I saw you were selling some of the bouquets of freshly cut ones. Great idea!)

Martha - August 21, 2014 - 3:07 pm

Your classroom is wonderful, I love all the happy, joyful and creative touches. It has to make learning a fun job when you get to do it in a place like that.
I really enjoyed seeing the doors…..I just helped my daughter get the door to her kindergarten classroom done with a chicken coop theme. All of her co-workers work hard on a new theme for their back to school doors every year. I always look forward to seeing what great ideas they come up with.
Your gift ideas were great too. Several years ago one of my daughter’s students brought a pretty bucket filled with practical and fun things as an early thank you from her mom on the first day of school. It meant so much to her that she has done that with her children’s teachers. It is easy to forget all the time, sweat, love (and personal money) that teachers give your child. Being appreciated is always nice.
A chicken coop! What a creative theme for a classroom! A bucket full of needed items is always a wonderful gift for a teacher to receive.:) I hope your daughter has a great year with her little kindergarteners!

Joan - August 21, 2014 - 4:14 pm

Kelly, I don’t know who would have more fun in your classroom; you or your students…. It reminds me of visiting a kindergarten teacher friend so she could show me what she had done before school began. She created a huge multidemential apple for the children to walk into/through. All through the year for various seasons and holidays she did this. Sometimes it was tunnels, palaces, forts, even various trees. With the trees the door was the trunk and all around and above it were the
branches, leaves and fruit or blossoms. Her things made Me want
to go to her classes. Yours, too.
I’ll bet you students love coming to school because it is obivious you love what you do.
Blessings to you as you seek to help them on their way.
Wow, your friend’s doorway sounds amazing!! That would take an incredible amount of energy and time, I know. I used to work with a teacher loooong ago in first grade (who also taught both of our sons) who did something similar. She would have her father come help her “build” her seasonal displays. Everyone loved her! (Now she homeschools her own 6 or 7 children – can’t keep up with how many she has now. LOL)
Thank you for your very sweet comments Joan!

Donnamae - August 21, 2014 - 5:27 pm

Don’t have kids in school anymore…but so enjoyed this post! I used to work in an elementary school, that my kids attended, and have many fond memories! ;)
So glad you enjoyed it and that you have fond elementary school memories! There is nothing like the excitement of all the little ones, is there?

Dawn - August 21, 2014 - 7:04 pm


You classroom is adorable as usual! I just love all of the bright colors (especially the green)! I had a Holly Hobby watch growing up. You teacher gift ideas are spot on! I always love those sweet gifts the students bring me. I am exactly one week in now (we started last Thursday). I hope all is going well for you in your school year. Thanks for sharing!
Glad you liked it Dawn! I can’t remember seeing a Holly Hobbie watch years ago, but I bet yours was cute. :) Happy back to school to you. Hope your year is off to a great start!

Louvina - August 21, 2014 - 10:59 pm

Thank you for a “seasonal back to school” posting! Oh how I enjoyed the beginning of each school year. Planning a new theme each year and creating new bulletin boards– thought about it ALL summer!! Loved seeing all your special touches. My 3rd grade teacher’s room so inspired me to want to be a teacher — she had a play store, a Bird Club with hikes and nature crafts, a canary in a cage that sang so sweetly and a huge wasp nest in a tree branch on top of the cabinet!! I can still remember all those things to this day!! As teachers, we never know how we influence those young minds. Thank you once again for sharing your school and looking forward to seeing more inside your special world! Just thinking– that first week of ” teacher tiredness” is a mixture of exhaustion and euphoria! Don’t you agree? After going barefoot — getting used to shoes again!!:)
You are more than welcome! Your 3rd grade teacher sounds like she was one in a million. What a great way to teach children to appreciate all that nature has to offer! That first week of teacher tiredness had some euphoria in it (mostly euphoria that we made it through it! LOL) but mostly tiredness here. I go from a lot of sitting at a computer in the summer to running around like crazy and standing for VERY long periods of time at school – so it is both physically and mentally exhausting. I’m getting old!
p.s. Hope you found a beach house!

Marianne Skarupa - August 22, 2014 - 8:49 am

Oh, your students are truly blessed! What a wonderful, wonderful classroom. There really is nothing quite like a clutch of new yellow pencils – sigh. I’ll be passing this on to my sister who finally has her own classroom after moving from room to room during the day and a friends daughter who just graduated from college and is decorating her very first second grade classroom. A very happy school year to you! Marianne
Thank you for sharing the ideas Marianne. I know your sister and friend’s daughter will be happy to decorate their classrooms. It is such a fun way to start the year! :)

Amanda @ Dixie Delights - August 22, 2014 - 9:19 am

Your classroom is just as wonderful as your home!! I love every detail and know that your students must feel so welcome and loved just walking into that space. And all of the “around the door” things are incredible. What a great school!!! xo
You are too sweet Amanda! Our teachers are all very creative, and we work hard to give both our classrooms and our school a home-like atmosphere. I am glad that you liked it! :) Happy back to school to you!

cindy hattersley - August 22, 2014 - 9:52 am

You must have the most darling classroom in the USA. What lucky kids to have such a inspiring learning environment. I am going to post this on my facebook page!!
Thank you Cindy, but I am sure it is not. It is just as much fun (maybe even more so!) to decorate a space that children use as it is to decorate a home. Thank you for sharing it on Facebook!

Amy Mac - August 22, 2014 - 11:26 am

This is such perfect timing! I posted on my blog today (before I even saw this post!) my Back to School entryway at our house … inspired by you! Love your blog, love your impeccable taste! Zip over for a visit if you have a minute!
Thank you for the blog love, Amy! And your tetanus lunch box is to die for – well not actually die…you know what I mean. :) Very cute decorating at your place for back to school!

Sue - August 22, 2014 - 11:22 pm

Thank you so much for sharing the details of your classroom. It is perfect in every detail and so are the rest of your colleagues’ doors. Fun! My daughter taught kindergarten and I always loved helping with her “back to school” decor. Her last name starts with H so she had Mrs. H’s hive with a giant beehive around her door. Her class newsletter was “What’s the buzz” or something cute like that. That was a pre pinterest too:-)
I don’t know if everyone realizes just how much LOVE goes into all that planning and cutting! Your students are fortunate.
Love the bee hive theme! I bet the color scheme was yellow and black – love that too! You are so right about how much love goes into all that work. How wonderful that you helped your daughter ready her schoolroom for the year.

Pat @ Life At Lydias House - August 22, 2014 - 11:43 pm

I love seeing your classroom. I haven’t taught in many years and I love seeing all of the creativity out there in the classrooms now. I can’t believe you have Holly Hobbie dolls!! I still have 3 HH dolls in a plastic tub in my attic because I just can’t let them go! They are more than 3 feet tall and my mother made them for me for Christmas one year. I even had an accent wall of Holly Hobbie wallpaper and my HH tea set is in my china cabinet today!
I think you must be my sister Pat!! Our Holly Hobbie dolls are about 3 feet tall. When I was a little girl, I covered our closet wall, with Holly Hobbie gift wrap, and I also had the HH tea set! That is just too funny!! Do you remember The Betsy Clark line that was out at about the same time? It was “country girls” but they had kind of pointed heads? I loved them too.

Paula B. - August 24, 2014 - 5:28 pm

Amazing room, the kids must love it. Elementary teachers have all the fun of an “audience” that appreciates the décor. I always loved to do what I could with the cinderblock walls of my high school classroom. And, too, we were restricted by fire codes for what we could do – nothing on hallway walls. Loved what the other teachers had too, that must be one colorfully decorated school. Pinning this on my “Fall” board, hmmm, maybe I should have a teacher board! You’re right about so many going back this week – just finished wishing many friends in several different districts, best wishes for a successful school year. Here’s wishing all the teachers, here, a wonderful year ahead!
Our walls are that beautiful cinderblock too, Paula. The fire codes limit creativity quite a bit, don’t they? The kids do enjoy the rooms, but I think they think of it more as “fun” rather than “pretty.” YES you should do a teacher board!

Tessa - August 24, 2014 - 6:37 pm

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I’ve never in all my life seen such a darling classroom!!!!! Math was the one subject in school I didn’t like, but I think if I’d been in your class I might have changed my mind. What LUCKY kids!!
Thank you Tessa! I am so sorry you didn’t like math. I was always such a geek. :( It was science and social studies that were never appealing to me…too much to memorize!

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