Our Antique School Desks and Books


Lately, I’ve been putting time into some things I can’t speak much of, yet.  Well, I could. But there has been too many time in my life, when I have spoken too soon, about many things, that never really came to be, in the end. So I am finally starting to remember to keep my mouth shut about some things, until they are a little more certain! How about that, huh? I’m only in my 40’s.  Anyway, just so you know, I’ve been more creatively productive than it has seemed lately. ; ) Doesn’t it bug you when people speak so vaguely? Me too. I’m sorry. I do hope to share  more with you all, soon.

But today, I wanted to show you a couple of home treasures of ours, that I love.  They are some old little school desks. If you like antiques, and/or you like old school things, you may find these pieces interesting.


This first school desk is one my husband, Michael, picked up at a yard sale he stopped at.  He saw it, and knew I would love it.  Because I not only love antiques, but love all things ‘old school days’ related! He paid $15 for it, and once he did, the seller told him it was made around 1932.   It’s all solid wood, and pretty small, as it seems most school desks were back then.  As you can see, I just have it set tucked in under a wall table.  



Just inside the desk, are these two really old books.


This book, Twelve Ways to Build a Vocabulary, is by Archibald Hart, with a foreword by Johnson O’Connor.   I came across it at a tag sale, on a table with a lot of other books, and bought it for $1.00!  The kids and I love vocabulary, and this book is just interesting to read through.  Printed in 1939, it has an old worn linen cover, fragile binding, and yellowed pages throughout.


This one, titled The Complete Home Handyman’s Guide, was Michael’s grandmother’s.   I couldn’t tell you if she ever read it, but I did have the blessing of getting to know her in the years before she passed, so I can tell you this much; she was as good as any handyman around!  She did all of the work of the greatest of handymen, and well into her 70’s!   Michael said he grabbed this book out of a box of others his parents had. It was printed in 1948.

We have other wonderful old books in our home as well. Some more meaningful than others. But all of them make my nose tingle, when I flip through them. What’s up with that?


Our second desk is a little more sentimental.  Michael used this desk as a little boy.  He tells me that it originally came from his aunt’s home, who had 5 girls.  He recalls when he was little, that they had about 3 of these little desks, as well as teacher’s desk.  They did not home school, but just used all of the school furniture in the playroom, to pretend with.   At some point, one of them ended up coming to Michael’s family’s home, and he used it in his bedroom, while he was in early elementary school.


Through the years Michael and I were dating, Ido recall seeing it in his parent’s basement. It was of no interest to me at the time. When his parents sold their home and moved away, Michael took the desk, and it then sat in our own basement for years. Eventually, I fell in love with home schooling, all things from old schooling days, and antiques in general. When I remembered we had this old school desk of Michael’s in the basement, I couldn’t wait to bring it upstairs!


Although I have to admit, we truly have no room for it in our school room, and it is constantly in the way! It’s far too small for any of our kid’s to really use. And believe it or not, it’s heavy! Still, I love to see it.  It’s charming, isn’t it?

Well, most of it. There is a reason I have only showed you the desk on this angle, so far.

Here, let me show you the other sides……


Can you believe this mess? Guess who did this? Michael! When he was little, and the desk was his in his bedroom, he put all of these stickers on it. He says they were the stickers he got in school from the teachers, and when he came home, he would put them on his desk. 


I think for the years this desk was in the basements at his old home and ours, the stickers is all I saw when I looked at it. It’s pretty much baffling to me. I have always told my kids, “We only put stickers on paper! Never on walls or furniture!”. Guess Michael never got that memo.  Even the kids were like, “DADDY did that? Oh my……gosh!”.


I told Michael, “Guess who’s cleaning them off? I don’t care if you’re 43 now.” ; )  Of course, they are still on there, so far.  He’s not that afraid of me, much. But I haven’t really put my foot down yet either.  In a way, I find it endearing to know he did all of this as a little boy. I bet he was so cute. And now we have the whole piece in our home, with 4 of his own little children.  But then, did you really look at all of the stickers closely?…..


What-in-the . . . . . .  Really?  A teacher was passing these out in school?  Lord have mercy. That’s a little disturbing. Don’t you think?  I don’t even get it. What does it mean?  I do know, that every time I look at it, I look for the woman’s arms. Where are her arms? Further disturbing.  Yeah, he needs to clean these off.  It would be nice cleaned up and refinished to it’s natural state anyway. Meanwhile, I keep this side turned to the wall.


Another feature about this desk, is that it’s on boards.  I guess they used to screw the desks to the floor, so the kids weren’t moving them all over the place.  Or something.  I just tell mine to sit still. Anyway, this desk is so different than our other one we showed you, that is all wooden. Isn’t it?


I have no real year of this desk, but we can see on the base that it was made by Kenney Bros. and Wolkins, a manufacturer in Boston.  I did some research online and looked at hundreds of photos of old desks, but never found any just like the two we have. Still, I don’t imagine they are anything that unique or valuable in worth.  They are kind of special to us though, and that makes them worth something.

Could you tell us anything about the two desks we have here?  Do you enjoy antiques, or love old school pieces too? I really do. I bet there are other home schoolers who do, too.  If not, we hope you at least enjoyed seeing ours, today.  Thanks so much for coming by, and visiting us.


10 Educational Games for Grade School Kids

     Games can be such great fun!  Whether just your kids are playing one together, with their friends, or the whole family is having a game night, it’s time well spent together!  Most every game calls for everyone to bring their skills to the table, while having a good time, usually laughing a lot, getting competitive, and just enjoying the fun.

     But many, many games are actually a great way for our children to learn as well!  At the grade school ages, many of the classic games us adults grew up with, and others that have come out since, can really aid in building up our kids’ academic skills, and re-enforcing many as well. All while they think they are just playing!  I say it all of the time…..LEARNING SHOULD BE FUN!!  When learning is fun, kids want to learn more, and usually what they learned while having fun, tends to ‘stick’ better.

     There are more kids’ games on the market than can even be counted.  No doubt, most all of them can be educational on some level, when you really break it down. In this post, we’re taking a look at just 10 (mostly) classic games, that are known to be really fun games, but also offer valuable learning skills for our kids.  Whether you are a homeschooling family or not, none of us can ever learn too much, or have too much fun!!  So here’s 10 fun games we thought of suggesting for you, and why we think they are educational too:



“The anagram game that will drive you bananas!”

Ages: 7 and up   Players: 2-8

Bananas is similar to Scrabble, with the letter tiles. The concept of this game is to race your opponents to build your own crossword grids.  The first to use all of their letters shouts “Bananas!”

Teaches: Spelling, new Vocabulary, Math skills, and Sportsmanship Skills


scrabble game SCRABBLE

“Every word’s a WINNER!”

Ages: 8 and up     Players: 2-4

Scrabble is a word game in which players score points by forming words from individual lettered tiles, on a game board marked with a grid. The words are formed across and down, crossword style, and must appear in a standard dictionary.

Teaches: Spelling, new Vocabulary words, Math skills, critical thinking, and sportsmanship skills 


boggle game


“The 3-minute word search game.”

Ages: 8 and up  Players: 2-4

The game is played using a plastic grid of lettered dice, in which players attempt to find words in sequences of adjacent letters.

Teaches: basic Spelling, basic Math, critical thinking, and sportsmanship skills


yahtzee game YAHTZEE

“The Classic Shake & Score Dice Game.”

Ages: 8 and up   Players: 2+

This is a 5 dice game, where the object is to score the most points by rolling the dice to make certain combinations. The dice can be rolled up to three times in a turn to try to make one of the many combinations.  Once a combination has been used in the game, it cannot be used again. Rolling 5 matching dice gives you a Yahtzee! Highest score wins.

Teaches: Operations of Math,critical thinking, and sportsmanship skills



Parker Brothers’ Classic “Where Does All The Money Go?” Game

Ages: 7 and up   Players: 2-4

In Payday kids learn to have a job, lend money, pay bills and interest, and deal with unexpected expenses.  (Dang, we need to get this one! lol)

Teaches: Math, Money Management, Personal Finances, Life skills, Responsibility



“The Fast-Dealing Property Trading Game”

Ages: 8 and up   Players: 2-8

As the players move around the board, they buy and sell properties, build houses and collect rent. Monopoly is a great money game for kids learning how to count money and make decisions.

Teaches: Math, Money Management, Life skills


all around the usa ALL AROUND THE USA

“The Ten Minute Memory Recall Game.”

Ages: 8 and up      Players: 1 or more

This game gives players 10 seconds to study an illustrated card and memorize as many details as possible. The players then roll the dice to determine which question they’ll be asked what was on the card. This clever memory game teaches players little-known facts about the 50 states while boosting visual perception and recall skills.

Teaches:  Geography, State Facts, Reading, Visual Perception, Concentration, Memory




“The Game of Crazy Comparisons!”

Ages: 9 and up    Players: 4 or more

Players will delight in the crazy comparisons while expanding their vocabulary and thinking skills. The 576 cards provide hours and hours of fun! The kids and junior card sets contain no duplicate cards. The sets may be combined for thousands of new comparisons.

Teaches: Language, Reading, Vocabulary, Critical Thinking, Comparing, Convincing Skills



stare game


Ages: *10 and up   Players: 2-10

(*Our triplets have been playing it since they were age 6, no problem.)

From the box:

“Quickly – you have 20 seconds to stare at the image on the card. It might be a movie poster, an old advert, a comic, a funny photo, or maybe even a work of art. When the timer runs out, you’ll be asked a series of questions about the image – What color is the woman’s hat? How man teddy bears do you see? In which hand is the man holding the gun?

“How much can you recall? Don’t worry, wild guesses count. Answer correctly and you keep going – unless your luck runs out first! Will your powers of concentration hold, even as you burst out laughing?”

Teaches: Observation skills, Concentration, Visual Perception, Memory, Reading



“Mix, Match, Score, and Win!”

Qwirkle consists of 108 wooden blocks with six different shapes in six colors. Using the blocks, players attempt to score the most points by building lines that share the same shape or color. The simple setup makes this an instant winner for younger kids, while adults will enjoy strategizing to win.

Ages: 6 and up    Players: 2-4

Teaches: Sequencing, Colors, Shapes, Strategy

* * * * * *

That’s our 10 for this post!!  So tell us…..Which games of these listed does your family have? Which ones do your kids love to play?  Are there any you’d like to get, now that you’ve read a little about them?  I’ll be chiming in the comments to give you our own answers, too. We’d love to hear what you have to say,  and we’d also really LOVE it if you added any educational games for this age group, that you think are great!  We know there are lots, so give us the scoop!