Dad Builds Backyard Schoolhouse To Help 8-Yr-Old Thrive In Virtual Classes.

Students around the world are doing their best to adapt to virtual learning amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, but some are struggling to focus outside the classroom.

For John McInitre and Ixi Blandón’s daughter Ixel, working at the kitchen table hasn’t been ideal. The 8-year-old has special needs and can’t concentrate on schoolwork with her toys nearby, so her awesome dad decided to build her a study space to call her own!

The family’s home in Arlington, Virginia, didn’t have much extra room, so John opted to build Ixel a tiny schoolhouse in the backyard. Hoping to avoid spending a ton on materials, he posted in a local Facebook group asking for scrap wood — and their community’s generosity blew him away!

“Eighty percent of the shed ended up coming from recycled material or someone just giving me material they had laying around their own house,” he told GMA.


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He spent two months working on the project, and Ixel helped every step of the way, carrying tools and painting the interior walls.

Even their neighbors pitched in! Lucia Lemu saved a secondhand chair for Ixel to use at her desk, while Susan Thompson-Gaines created adorable custom cups for “Rainbow Elementary.”

But Ixel’s favorite part of the schoolhouse? The roofing panels her dad spray-painted into a rainbow!

rainbow schoolhouse
YouTube

The interior, on the other hand, was painted all white to help Ixel focus on her work. According to her parents, it has all made a huge difference!

“There’s been progress, like she has her books here, her markers, her pencils,” Ixi said. “And she can be a little bit more independent on her learning always with somebody here.”

Thanks to her dad and their community, Ixel couldn’t be happier with the way her schoolhouse turned out. Not only has it made virtual learning easier, but it has also been more fun!

What a lucky girl! We’re glad Ixel has the environment she needs to do well in school. It’s so important to give every child the tools for success, and clearly, her dad has that covered!

Share this project to inspire other parents who would love to make an at-home study space.

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