Heard of a she shed? How about a she shed schoolhouse?
Just ask Jen Underwood.
When Jen learned her young sons, seven and five, would be placed on distance learning for the foreseeable future, she wondered, “where should we set up our school space?” After months of being shut in by the pandemic she knew that the house was not ideal for concentration.
Then she looked out the back window and had her answer. The she shed would become their one-room schoolhouse!
The she shed had just been built from scratch by she and her husband. Measuring about 10 x 12 the shed is five-sided and shaped like a diamond in order to fit snugly into the corner of the yard. Jen was just basking in the delight of a gorgeous herringbone-pattered wood floor and pictured herself dreaming up her next art project while gazing at it. (Look at her Instagram feed to see how her husband painstakingly put it together, just because she asked.)
There was no time to lose and so Jen sprang into action. She cleared out an entire side of the shed for her pupils’ classroom. (Reliable wifi? Check.) The first thing she did was design a large stand-up table that pulled down from the wall, with plenty of space for the students to keep their laptops, school books, and supplies. Shelves along the wall hold supplies within reach and a small wood cubby is perfect for books. Magazine holders from Ikea are earmarked for homework assignments.
Handy chalkboard placemats let the boys practice spelling, add things up and personalize their area.
See that handy peg board on the left? It lets Jen adjust and move the small shelves as needed. Teacher’s purse hangs there, too. Oh, and that’s also the principal’s purse … and the lunch lady’s purse … and the I.T. girl’s purse …
“The she shed is a perfect environment for study and imagination is its lack of other distractions,” Jen says. “My boys are still young and need an area where they can freely focus without interference. There is TV, no toys, no video games or iPads … just books, their laptops for distance learning and a quiet space for them to focus, learn, read and listen to their teachers.”
Someday, when in-class learning comes back, Jen will have her shed back full time. “I’ll be working on unique art, my jewelry making and my retail sales on Poshmark,” Jen says. For now, though, her boys are happy to have a comfortable and quiet room of their own.