Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

September 10, 2006

Appropriate homeschool envirionments

Filed under: education reporting, Homeschooling — texased @ 10:52 am

Home becomes school with a few tricks:

As Rosanne Dillon reaches the second-story landing of her new home near Missouri City, she announces in an ambiguous tone, “Here’s the home-school room.”Built-in shelves are filled with books and puzzles for her 4-year-old daughter Madison. Another area now has side-by-side built-in computer desks — one for mom and one for daughter — with a filing cabinet and pull-out shelf to use as a writing surface. Overhead cabinets offer storage space and undercabinet lights illuminate the area perfectly.

It’s a well-organized work space built with home-school in mind, but this isn’t the home-school room.

Dillon puts her hand on a shelf and slowly pushes it back. The entire unit swings on its hinges like something straight out of a Sherlock Holmes novel and opens up to what is the Dillons’ “secret” home-school room, a colorful and welcoming learning environment.

While designing her home, Dillon made sure the floor plan would make the spaces for home and school feel distinctly separate.

Can you imagine how many homeschooling families the reporter had to go through to find this one!

Home becomes school with a few tricks:

Dillon said she wants to keep her setup flexible until she figures out Madison’s learning style. This is Madison’s first year of school.

As if I couldn’t have guessed. Actually, I know realize that the reporter didn’t contact homeschoolers but architects or interior designers to find out if they have done any work for homeschoolers or if they were homeschoolers.

Home becomes school with a few tricks:

Lorraine Maxwell, an associate professor at Cornell University’s Design and Environmental Analysis Department, said it’s probably best that the school and living spaces are kept separate to help children distinguish school and play time.

And in which setting is education supposed to occur?

Home becomes school with a few tricks:

Still, most of their home-school area is in the family’s loft. One wall has a cork board and white erase board for posting sample work and teaching. There’s a big working table and a day bed and glider chair for the kids to cozy up in while they read.

I don’t know, this is getting dangerously close to mixing home and school environments.

Home becomes school with a few tricks:

Above the kitchen area is a loft which serves as the home-school area for the couple’s 7-year-old son Luke. Judy designed the loft to take advantage of the extra ceiling space.

So now everyone thinks that you have to have a special place/environment to homeschool. I guess the reporter didn’t manage to interview any unschoolers or homeschoolers who don’t have any other options than the kitchen table at which to do their “school work.” I can see it now, all these professional designers marketing their services to homeschoolers. At least the homeschoolers in River Oaks will have someone to consult on their design decisions.



  1. Ha! I read this article too, and couldn’t bring myself to even make a comment. This is my favorite bit:

    “Lorraine Maxwell, an associate professor at Cornell University’s Design and Environmental Analysis Department, said it’s probably best that the school and living spaces are kept separate to help children distinguish school and play time.”

    What the heck is a design professor making any kind of statement about what’s best for how little kids learn? If they were doing an article about how she built a preschool, would they interview HER about the best design for how kids learn?


    Thanks for having the will and patience to comment on this article. Someone had to do it 🙂

    Comment by Tammy — September 10, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  2. With the growing “popularity” of homeschooling, I foresee a variety of these kinds of articles in the future. Think about it, the food section will be able to do articles on the best recipes for homeschooling. Lifestyle could do something on appropriate fitness plan for homeschoolers or how to dress for maximum learning potential. The business column could say which are the best investments for homeschooling and the auto section could discuss the ideal car. Imagine the travel section, should your first trip be to London or should you thoroughly explore the United States before leaving the country? All so that we can homeschool in the most effective, and educationally sound manner as possible.

    Comment by texased — September 11, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

  3. Geez..can you imagine the market for car-schooling?

    Comment by nicole — September 12, 2006 @ 8:27 am

  4. Thank you for opening a wonderfully new sight..I wish you the best of luck with your new venture.

    Comment by healthcare or medical — February 1, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

  5. Hello, I’m a regular visitor to your site so i finally decided its time to sign your guestbook, so here i sign !

    Comment by click here — May 20, 2009 @ 4:35 am

  6. Imagine my surprise when I decided to Google my name just to see what would come up, and this link was at the top of the list. I clicked on it expecting to take a trip down memory lane and reread the article written. Imagine my surprise to find it comments on the the article written.
    I was very sad to read what all of you had written. You are all off base, as the reporter did none of the things you suggest. Nor do I live in River Oaks.

    Thank you for showing me how hatred and jealousy begin. My faith taught me tolerance and not to covet my neighbor’s goods or successes. You may want to review these principles.

    Shame on Jube from G-HAH (I’m sure you know who that is, being the veterans that you are) for posting a request from that reporter for submissions to an obscure email asking for input if you specifically planned a homeschool room in your home.

    Shame on me for responding, thinking it was some national study–not knowing it was the local media inquiring–and then agreeing to let them come into my home and take pictures.

    Shame on me for sharing my simple plan, that could duplicate itself in just about any home–even yours, if you can build or pay someone to install a piano hinge on a door frame and change out a door for a bookcase.

    Shame on me for having the foresight to ask my builder to tweak a few things in my upstairs foyer to accommodate a dual computer station so I could SEE everything my child was doing at the computer while I got some computer work done as well.

    Shame on me for using garage sale school desks and folding tables to decorate my secret homeschool room–I didn’t have the funds to hire that River Oaks designer you mentioned.

    Shame on my builder for not making me aware of this request by the reporter.

    Shame on me for not mentioning to the reporter to print that I spent 4 years prior to commencing formal homeschooling soaking up info from veteran homeschoolers like you so that that I could avoid the common pitfalls you veterans so often mention. I’ve seen your kitchens, need I say more?

    Shame on me for wanting to share with the public what I did during a relocation that provided me an unexpected creative window of opportunity.

    Shame on me for working tirelessly for 24 years and waiting to have a family to save money so that I can have the American dream: a new home to raise a family.

    Shame on me for allowing myself to get caught up in the replies in this blog and deciding to post a reply, rather than turning the other cheek.

    There’s one other “shame on…” that should be written here. But my faith in God has taught me to treat my fellow man with respect. So I’ll leave that one for you, who cast the first stone, to figure out.

    I’ll pray that our TX laws never change so that one day my lucky child can meet your lucky child in college and they can compare notes about how they acquired their educations–albeit at home or in public school.

    Oh, and I’m sorry to disappoint you because my home is a far cry from some River Oaks design diva’s dream. No decorator has ever stepped foot into my home, and it shows. I’m a former working mom, just like you, who wants nothing but the best for my child–hence the decision to homeschool. And those who’ve met me over the countless homeschool paths I’ve crossed, are always amazed at the things I’ve done and shared with others in the homeschool community. I suppose this was one share gone too far, in YOUR humble opinion. Sorry for helping portray such a slanted view of current day homeschoolers. I won’t mention some of the homeschool rooms I’ve seen that made me salivate since this article. I’m happy with what I’ve got. And I hope you’re happy with what you’ve got. God won’t give you more until you show him you used what he gave you well.

    Rosanne Dillon

    Comment by Rosanne Dillon — September 19, 2009 @ 9:34 am

  7. .

    Comment by Rosanne Dillon — September 19, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  8. obviously like your web-site but you have to test the spelling on several
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    Comment by Imp Source — February 8, 2013 @ 11:02 am

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