I’m finally ready to show you where we learn! I haven’t finished yet, to tell the truth (and you’ll notice), but it is SO much better than in the picture I shared five days ago!
Let’s get started! We’ll start in the living room. This is what you see when you enter the front door:
When our first son was born, I considered one of my missions to be organizing his and future children’s things so well in their rooms that I would never have to see them in the adult spaces…in other words, the rest of the house. But now there are more children than adults in the house, and it seems fair to me that they have space for themselves in the whole house, not just in their rooms.
I built these bookshelves using Ana White’s plans…they cost me about thirty dollars total and a few hours of work. They are super strong and so useful. Each child has their own shelf, too! If I want them to read a particular book, I can put it here, and I will almost always find them with their nose in that book within a day. This way I get them to read some books they might not choose for themselves, without starting a battle.
And this shelf is for my two-year-old, Miss Braveheart. I have materials for her here so that she can work while I’m reading with another child, or while I’m doing an activity with someone else. She’s able to choose her own work, take it off the shelf herself, and put it back when she’s finished. I change out the materials every once in a while, when she loses interest or when a material isn’t helpful for her anymore.
And now, to the classroom! The girls share a room, and Mr. Scientist has a room that is actually a tiny little office, and that left us with a room to use as a classroom. Mr. Scientist prefers his little room over this that used to be his room, because he can clean it much faster. And since he has space for himself in other rooms in the house, he doesn’t need a big bedroom. He just has a bed, a cabinet for clothes, and (soon, I’m in process of building it) a desk, and that makes him very happy. And we don’t have to do school in the basement!
From the door:
To the left in the closet are the geometry materials and the microscope.
In the center of the closet are the children’s cubbies, where they store their notebooks and binders with their box of special pencils and scissors.
On top of the cubbies is a three-drawer organizer with white paper, lined paper, index cards, envelopes, and graph paper.
To the right in the closet are our math materials:
In the chest under the window we keep more materials: chemistry and physics sets, skeleton models, robots, more manipulatives…
To the right of the chest is our reading rug with a pillow,and one of the many bookshelves full of books you’ll find in our house:
Continuing the the right you find a shelf of sensorial and practical life materials:
And then the science shelves. On top are habitats for various creatures the children capture and observe. Perhaps you noticed we had an aquarium with tadpoles in the living room right now, too! We’re not lacking pets. 🙂
And then there are language, botany and geography materials that are currently without shelves…but I’m going to the hardware store tomorrow to buy what I need to make them! I hope to have the new shelves in the classroom by Monday, and I’ll share pictures then.
You’ll also note that I have a mobile to hang, and I have some other art and decorations, but organizing the learning materials has been my priority for the last few weeks.
And there is one more shelf between the classroom door and the closet. This one has more of Miss Braveheart’s materials, as well as books.
I also have a closet in the basement where I store more educational materials. And I have chemicals in boxes labeled flammable, reactant, and corrosive in the tops of our clothes closets. I’ve almost finished organizing the closet downstairs, and I’ll show it to you when it’s finished, too. For the moment, everything is in piles on the floor. 🙂 There’s always another project around here…
And those are our learning spaces…at least while we’re inside the house! We spend a lot of time outdoors, too, and on field trips! We are always learning, wherever we are.
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