July 17, 2010 8:34 PM
Early on in our homeschooling years, because of our number of kids, we turned our family room into a classroom. The best investment I ever made was this table:
The table is made by Virco - which has been manufacturing school equipment for decades. It used to be available only through school supply houses, but now is carried by Amazon.
It is a little pricey - free shipping! - but let me tell you something: I've had this table for 20 years and there is not a mark or dent on it. It is an investment that will last you through your grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well.
The legs adjust, so you can start out with toddlers and just keep raising the table as your kids grow. Since I had a bunch of little kids, I found the shape very helpful, as I would sit in the small curve and have up to six kids spread out across from me - and sometimes one on either side. It really helped me be able to take care of all their needs at once.
Even during years we weren't homeschooling, we have kept the family room set up the same. Our 12 and unders love working at the table and when our grandchildren come over on Sunday everything is really put to good use. In fact, we were so running out of room I just invested in a small round table with legs adjusted lower to accommodate the youngest grandchildren.
My first school furniture purchase was definitely a splurge, but worth it. I think having a big family makes it seem more sensible too. And I never dreamed 20 years ago that someday my grandchildren would be crowding around that table while my 18 and 21 year olds commented on the memories they have of the lessons we shared there.
Fifteen years ago I also bought this library rack to display books for the kids:
As I said - unless you have money to spare, this might not be an investment you want to make with only a couple kids. But if you have a big family, you know the wear and tear routine. There aren't too many things that can handle 20 years of kid-use and still look like new. This has made these memory-filled items a few of my favorite things.
Ooooh....I love that bookshelf!
I'm wondering....do you have any suggestions for incorporating Montessori principles into Sunday school for preschoolers? Aside from incorporating some of the tray activities. Basically, what would a Montessori Sunday school look like for you?
Posted by: Debra | July 19, 2010 10:52 AM
Hmm - hubby & I were just talking today about buying a table for homeschooling that would adjust in height. Did you get the chairs from the same company? Good child-size chairs are pricey too & I'm not sure what size to get as they are not adjustable.
Posted by: Karen | July 19, 2010 8:44 PM
You can find a chair height table and guidelines here:
You do have to buy taller chairs as children grow. These Virco chairs are about 45. or so, but like the tables they are INDESTRUCTIBLE. Because we had a big family, there were always small children to use the chairs the older brothers and sisters grew out of. Now my grandchildren use them. Like the tables, I've had them for 20 years and they look as good as new.
Posted by: Barbara | July 19, 2010 9:00 PM
Thank you! That chart was very helpul.
Posted by: Karen | July 20, 2010 8:26 AM