Schoolhouse design week three is in the books. As with most things, week three of the schoolhouse design did not go exactly as planned, but I learned so much! Read on to understand all of my adventures in week three of the schoolhouse design project.
In a post a while back I talked about how A One-Room Schoolhouse is making old things new. I wrote, “To modernize the past. To add in the future. To create A One-Room Schoolhouse.” With the basement design work this week, I have thought a lot about that idea.
So much of our society is disposable. Newer seems to be better: shiny, innovative, faster, bigger, and better.
But is this always true? Is newer always better?
I say no.
Making the Old New
As I have worked sanding and staining this week, I have fallen in love with these little desks. They have told me a story. They have a history. Indulge me for a minute and read the words I have heard.
The Story of The Desks
To begin, I must back up to the helpful man at Home Depot who assisted me in finding some wood putty and sanding belts. He was most likely in his sixties and when he saw the desk in my cart (yes, I brought it with me!) he waxed reminiscent.
The man said the desks looked just like the ones he had used in elementary school. It was sweet, as he touched the desk like an old friend. Rubbed the worn top and the grooved pencil holder.
He smiled and thought out loud about the happy school memories the desk brought back to his mind. As we departed, he thanked me for taking the time to restore this old desk and its “classmates”.
TRUTH: Take time with the generation before you, they can teach and share with you so much joy.
After getting back home I started sanding. Like, really sanding. These sweet little desks had soooooo many layers of paint and stain. It needed to come off. These desks were worn and wounded.
It has been taking me about two hours to get a desk completely sanded. But with this hard work, beauty appears.
With time, persistence, and a whole lot of grit, a shabby desk starts to look new.
TRUTH: Life will wear you down and leave wounds of hurt, but with time, persistence, and grit, beauty will emerge.
As I saw how long each desk and chair set was going to take, I knew it was time to ask for help. Do you remember my friend’s son from rock week? Well guys, he was still willing and wanting to work!
Just today, as we were working together, we commented that we were getting into a groove. Both of us really have no idea what we are doing, but with practice and experience, we are getting better.
TRUTH: We learn by doing. When we keep doing, we get better.
After working every spare moment this past week…even to the point for putting off this post…the desks are not done.
But that’s okay. Remember how I put that slush week in the schedule. Well, guess what, it is time to use it!
Truth: Give yourself margin!
One of my favorite books of all time, Teaching From Rest, talks about planning in extra time when you are doing a schedule. Add in some cushion, some margin.
Along with this, give yourself a little grace. Just keep at it. As my husband reminded me this week as I complained about feeling like I was moving two steps forward and one step back…
At least you are moving forward.
Truth: Give yourself grace and margin. Just keep moving forward.
So with these truths the desks taught me this week, here is the weekly report and my new and improved design schedule:
Desk week. This week will be all about refinishing the desks and chairs. I am really excited about this project! These desks are so super cute and I can’t wait to bring them back to life again.
Week Three Report: As noted above, the desks are a work in progress. More than half the desks are sanded (that is the hard part) and ready for stain. After that, the chairs will come next. Then some minor hardware repair will need to be done.
The other thing that got done this week is that the toys for the rock play area FINALLY arrived.
The New Plan
The first priority will be to keep working on the desk project. I am setting a goal to get everything sanded by the end of the week. I am also going to get the basement completely cleared out and ready for the new schoolhouse furniture. Finally, I am also going to get all the furniture pieces ordered so they are ready to be placed in the schoolhouse.
Well, this is news to you… I am going camping this week. I sorta forgot about this week when I was making my original plan. Every summer, a group of families (including us) gets together for a week-long campout. I will write more about this later, but from June 6th to June 13th, we will be enjoying the great outdoors and racking up outside hours for our #1000hoursoutside challenge and checking off items from the #100daysofsummer2020 challenge!
During this week, my faithful young friend who has been helping out will finish up any of the desks that don’t get done the week before!
This week is no longer a slush week. While I am gone camping with my kids, my husband will be back and forth to the house working from home and taking care of our pets. (This is just how camp week works, we camp locally and the guys still go into the office and don’t take vacation time. It really has worked out great over the years!)
Since my husband will be around the house, he will have the joy of receiving the stuff I order in week four. So during week six, I will work as fast as I can at getting everything set up. Blackboards hung, bulletin boards up, desks and tables positioned, bookshelves set up, and supplies put away.
It will be a big job that I am sure will never be totally done. But, my goal will be to get enough done this week to start our summer open houses!
Here is the end goal: start hosting our summer open houses before the start of the 2020-2021 school year! I can’t wait to start welcoming our new students into A One-Room Schoolhouse! Over the summer we will host regular open house nights to help students get comfortable with their surroundings and invite new families into our group.
During the summer, students that are enrolled at A One-Room Schoolhouse will do placement testing for the next school year. Since we use The Good and the Beautiful curriculum, students will use their short placement tests for both math and language arts. This will allow parents ample time to get the curriculum ordered before the first day of the school year!
Follow Our Progress
Watch our progress unfold as the Schoolhouse takes shape. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for daily updates! Do you have any renovation suggestions? Favorite paint color? Desk refinishing tips? Drop them in the comments below!