Homeschool Makeover the Frugal Way: The Family Room

Today I am away at the Apologia Live Retreat here in Atlanta. I’m tweeting live from the event for Heart of the Matter. Just follow HOTMonline and the hashtag #apologialive for updates! While I’m away, I’m sharing the last part of our family room makeover. The family room being one of the rooms where much of our homeschooling takes place. Watch for more in the homeschool makeover series next Friday at Heart of the Matter…

How to redo your home – the frugal way – to make it simple and easy for homeschool?

In the past weeks of our homeschool makeover series, I’ve shared with you all the various storage for our school books, quiet time resources and more. Our learning centers. But I haven’t shared the very first IKEA piece that started it all. The 5×5 expedit, pictured above before it was loaded, houses our tv, blocks, Bookhouse books and more. Remotes in one basket. CDs for composer studies in one cubby. The bottom, middle basket hides cords.

And, I’ve only hinted at our red couches. We looked and we looked at couches. The ones that seemed sturdy enough for our crowd – as these little people grow into large people – were all twice the cost of one IKEA couch. So, going with IKEA, we were able to get two red couches for the price of one couch from another store.

Build it yourself for a good price – that’s IKEA! One couch purchased one month and the other another month. All of the IKEA purchases made over the months from December until now.

red couch, already all comfy and broken in

See, my husband and I have been blessed with hand me down furniture all almost-seventeen years of our married lives. As newlyweds, we purchased a futon type denim couch for our first apartment. But that is the only couch we’ve ever bought. Well, five children later, our hand me down couches had seen the love. They’d been used hundreds of times as a scratching post for the cat. Their cushions were flat and their springs sprung.

So, one day Hodgepodgedad took the family van. On the way home from work he swung by the IKEA store. He lowered all the seats and loaded in a couch. Then he put it together that night! (pictured above)

So, two red couches in our family room (the real Hodgepodge lodge photo, above, complete with our stacks on the ‘coffee’ table, block tower, etc.) You can see the history shelf at the bottom of the steps – the one I talked about last week. The magazine rack is above the red couch on the left. The most used bookshelf is tucked in the right hand corner – the other end of the red couch on the right.

See the red kitchen chair? Our kitchen table is right there – in view of the tv and listening shot of the CD player. We can turn on our Visual Latin right here. Listen to Tapestry Pop Quiz as an intro to our week. Turn on the music of our current composer we are studying. Plus watch Leap Frog learning DVDs. :)

…and one hand-me-down chair from Nana. The chair, a favorite, sunny reading spot. We are blessed.

**Update regarding a question asked on Facebook: These sofas do come in other colors than red – and they are separate slipcovers – which we love! (can be washed) The couches are half the price of anything we’re found anywhere: the extorp. And remember, we’ve been eating beans and rice (cutting back on groceries) and paying cash for each piece. Along and along since the fall of last year.

For our weekly wrap it seemed fitting to share the learning – in the spots it took place:

Outside – First Day of Spring and more the rest of the week!

Around the kitchen table 1. Teddy bear counters find their seats at the movie. | 2. Littlest Girl is drawing the movie screen for the teddies | 3. Afternoon painting – watercolors | 4. Eldest Girl painting in her journal | 5. First Day of Spring notebooking pages – thanks Handbook of Nature Study! | 6. Reading The Beginner’s Bible | 7. Harmony Fine Arts Medieval/Renaissance plans – Composer and Artist study – Mozart and Bottticelli | 8. Accompanying Draw Squad Lesson

In the family room 1. Playing fashion show dress up when our friend was over | 2. Spontaneous, before lunch piano lesson (in the music room) | 3. English lesson for 8th grader | 4. 4th grader’s English lesson and spring poem

Just for fun – in celebration of the release of the Angry Birds Space version app: 1. The stuffed angry birds were invited to a mid-morning party, complete with snacks | 2. Angry Birds pizza – thanks Pinterest via Erin Chase | 3. Pizza party!

Many thanks to our Friday hostesses…

Camera Phone Friday hostess Dawn Camp @ My Home Sweet Home ,

Weekly Wrap-Up hostess Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and


Mary at Home Grown Learners

and Jamerrill at Holy Spirit-Led Homeschooling.




So, is your family room a relaxing place of learning for you too? Or – do you love red couches like me?


  1. 3


    Maureen – We have our eye on your IKEA expedit – 5 x 5 without the insert for the tv – for our school room! Rachel – and we’d love to come school with you! Thanks for stopping by friends :)

  2. 4


    “Raising children is a God-given privilege and, folks, the time is short.” I know this statement is true although I don’t want to believe it. It makes me thank God that I am homeschooling and spending as much time with my little ones as I possibly can! OMG!

    • 5


      Yes, Stephy. I’ve heard it explained this way. That we should have the urgency with our children that Moses’ mother did. When she knew he would be going to the palace, she taught him all she could about the Lord and His ways. Yes, very thankful that we can homeschool. :)

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