School-At-Home: Laura’s Study Nook For Her Second-Grader


Y’all, I’m writing this on the first day of virtual school here. My girlie is so excited to see her classmates, even if it’s just online. She definitely needed a space that wasn’t the kitchen table (like last spring’s locale) so we set off to figure out how we could make that happen in her room!

Her teacher sent out a survey last week for us to fill out. It went like this: What are your child’s strengths? She’s social! What is your child’s learning style? Social. What are your child’s weaknesses? She’s social. Haha. It’s definitely not a weakness, but when it comes to paying attention, um…. She’d rather talk. She’d rather talk than do just about anything else, besides sing. All day. And dance. I love her. It’s also exhausting…especially right now when I know how much she gets out of actually being with her friends at school! Whew. Girlie. We’ll make it. We recently decided to bubble with her bestie this fall and winter, and that will save us all. 

School-At-Home For Our Second Grader

We live in an old house. Like, 1896 old. It’s been remodeled on the inside, but the rooms are still quite small. We love our high ceilings and the open feeling, but the footprint of each room is quite limited. We are not minimalists, as much as I try to be. This makes things challenging.

The Study Nook

But, thank goodness, this little desk tucked in perfectly at the end of Sienna’s bunkbed, also giving her a window to look out of for screen time breaks. The little basket is supposed to be serving as a footrest for her so she can be all ergo and correct, but I failed to mention that so she’s probably wondering “why did mom put a basket under here?” This is not a magazine shoot post. This is a First Week of School Snap Some Cute Photos post or else I’d never get it to happen. Keeping it real. Haha. Shana wanted to see all of our kids’ schooling at home set-ups, so this is for you, S. 

Homeschool organization in a 19th-century house? We're there. Study nooks for kids' desks & reading corners are a start. Come see.

Homeschool organization in a 19th-century house? We're there. Study nooks for kids' desks & reading corners are a start. Come see.

Homeschool organization in a 19th-century house? We're there. Study nooks for kids' desks & reading corners are a start. Come see.

desk or similar  | chair (similar, would prefer that one) | jacket (or similar on sale!) | headphones | kitty cat pencil case | balloons (similar and so cute!)

The Reading Nook

My main goal for Sienna’s school year is to help her develop a reading habit. She can read well, but hasn’t quite moved to that level of wanting to do it on her own. (See above: social.) Recently though, she picked up and started reading one of her Ramona books DURING a movie with us… I was trying not to freak out and just be cool. I know she’ll come to her love of reading in her own time.

We’ve honestly been lax on screen time during this summer because #quarantine and she’s usually doing a craft while watching anything, so I’ve felt OK about that. We definitely limit the screen time during the school year, but that’s tricky right now, too. I thought if we set up this cute teepee she’d have a cozy spot to enjoy, away from her desk, that she could comfortably develop her reading habit in. Fingers crossed! (Baby Mouse books are also a current favorite!)

Homeschool organization in a 19th-century house? We're there. Study nooks for kids' desks & reading corners are a start. Come see.

Homeschool organization in a 19th-century house? We're there. Study nooks for kids' desks & reading corners are a start. Come see.

teepee | indigo blanket (similar or this cute rainbow option) | basket (similar) | Baby Mouse books | crown pillow (similar)

Shop Sienna’s Room



The art/supply cart still needs an overhaul, the rest of her bedroom is only slightly more picked up than it was all summer, and there are paint stains on the desk you can’t see that are driving me nuts. Haha. Keeping it real? I’m pretty much just wanting summer to last all year this year, so we’re doing the slow-roll into this school thing. And, as I said in my recent Amazon finds post, thank goodness we are. She just interrupted the writing of the post with a big whining sesh about having to read. #timely Godspeed, fellow at-home-school-managing parents. Godspeed. 

Homeschool organization in a 19th-century house? We're there. Study nooks for kids' desks & reading corners are a start. Come see.



Hey, hey from Portland, OR. Would love for you to follow me over on Instagram for all things casual mom-wear, lots of foodie pics and donuts, some kitchen dance parties and some social justice. xo


  1. Is Sienna in 2nd grade? That’s when my now 7th grade son discovered his true love and joy of reading. Between reading and too many video games (ahem) he’s good to go. Still doesn’t like to write, but that’s okay. That will come. For now, he reads well, reads fast, and I’m happy to buy him as many books as he can handle… thankfully there’s some killer book subscriptions out there (Emily has plugged one that is amazing and close to my house). Go Sienna! Go Reading!

    • She is! Oh that’s so good to know. I’ve heard that from another friend saying 2nd grade is the year! I sure hope so. And I think you may be talking about Literati? I did a review on it a year or so ago and we love it, too! Like me, she’s slowly starting to love a series which is so fun to stick with similar characters for a while. Thanks so much for the encouraging words!

  2. Oh, I was talking about the Reading Bug Box: with personally curated books and gifts. It glad you found another one that works.

  3. Aw, I read this right before I get ready to teach my first day of second grade. I hope some of my students are lucky enough to have such an amazing set up! Wishing your daughter a wonderful year of second grade!

  4. Laura,
    Our daughters are the same age. I love Siennas room. I want everything in there!! Bright and happy!! My daughter does the same thing -craft and watch YouTube kids at the same time!… I tell myself it doesn’t count then for screen time🤣🤣! Great post. Thanks!

  5. I’ve got a second grader starting hybrid model learning next week. I love this space And we are contemplating adding a small desk to his room to replace the IKEA art table he’s basically outgrown. He did his online learning this past spring either at the bar in the kitchen or the dining room table. But I feel like there’s no way for the remote parts I can leave him alone in his room (in the spring I had to be nearby to facilitate) so I’m not sure a set up like this would actually get utilized? How has it worked for you so far? But maybe your girl is more independent (and focused) than my guy?

    Also, my son really fell in love with reading during quarantine (thank the lord!). He’s obsessed with the Dogman series and Diary of a Wimpy kid. Thank goodness both have multiple books and he doesn’t seem to mind re-reading them.

    • YES Sienna was at the kitchen table this spring mostly and my office is right off the kitchen & dining room with no doors. SO we needed to figure something else out. My husband is up in our guest room as his office now, right next to Sienna’s room. So he can assist with logins and whatnot but yeah, she does better when we’re not around (especially me…that seems to trigger the constant whining reflex, so fun) so this is working SO FAR. We’ve only had morning meetings for the first week of school though and then we’re moving to a couple of days a week at a friend’s house. It’s so touch and go these days, but this seems like it’ll be OK and more doable than the kitchen. :smiling sweat emoji here: Good luck to y’all. Ooh and yes those book series are so great, too!

  6. Has Sienna read “Ways to Make Sunshine” by Renee Watson? It’s also set in Portland and written by an author who grew up there. I was a huge Ramona Quimby fan when I was a kid and I loved it.

    I would try not to worry too much about her “loving” to read. My daughter has been a huge bookworm for pretty much her whole life, but my son has more of a “love/hate” relationship with reading. He goes from avoiding books like the plague to tearing through an entire series in a few days. I’m a children’s librarian and I’ll bring home stacks of books that I think might appeal to him, but more often than not he won’t be interested in more than one or two of them, if at all. I refuse to give up though, and it’s totally worth the effort when he does get caught up in a book. (I still struggle to just be cool when I see him reading on his own.) 🙂 Keep in mind that she might also be more of a non-fiction reader than fiction, I don’t think my son really read anything other than non-fiction books by choice until later in elementary school (he’s in middle school now.)

    One last bit of advice in case you haven’t already heard it- some parents stop reading aloud to their kids once they can read for themselves, which is a missed opportunity. We kept our bedtime story routine going all throughout elementary school, and (fingers crossed) my son will still let me read to him at night. Unfortunately my days of getting snuggles while we read are long over, but after a day of “whatever mom” and rolled eyes in my direction being able to share a great story with him is a pretty awesome way to end the day on a good note.

Leave a Reply