It’s just about time for our new school year to start. I haven’t made many changes to our learning space since I last posted a couple years ago, but I am forever reorganizing and the room is just about ready to go!
We are blessed to have a finished attic space that we use as a schoolroom and playroom. It’s one long open space. The stairs come up in the middle of the room. As you walk up the steps, the school area is on the left and the play area is on the right. The stairs have a landing that is an awesome space for bookshelves, as well as hanging posters or schoolwork.
Where better to start than with my book nook? The tall shelf holds book resources: 1st shelf – language, 2nd shelf: Bible and character training, 3rd shelf – math and high school electives, 4th shelf – science and history. The filing cabinet holds excess book resources and file folders of resources I’ve collected over the years. I keep everything organized by subject and grade. For instance, in the history drawer all the ancient resources are together, followed by middle ages…
The shelf to the left holds our science related books.
I also have a planning table that’s supposed to stay this clean all the time. Um, usually you can’t see the surface. At any rate, it’s where I do most of my planning for the weeks ahead, where I work with the kiddos when they are struggling with a lesson, and where I pile endless stacks of stuff.
The Work Spaces
Each of the big kids have a desk in front of a window. And, beside each of their desks is a bookshelf that holds various resources – like artist study books and cards, history themed literature, or reference books. On top of each bookshelf sits a crate that will hold the week’s necessary materials. The books to the side of the crate are the various books that will be used during the year.
Trying to be Organized
Since we are studying early American history this year, I have gathered all related literature and organized it in the order it will be studied. This will make lesson planning so much easier – and help me know whether or not I need to check at the library for a certain title. (You can’t imagine how many times I checked something out at the library, only to realize I already had it sitting on my shelf!)
These are the bookshelves on the landing. I used them to house our art supplies, many of the math manipulatives, most of the science kits and excess notebooks and folders.
The school supplies on top of this bookshelf are for everyone. The supplies out at all times include a box of colored pencils, a box of markers, a box of crayons, scrap paper and a box that holds glue sticks, liquid glue, pens, pencils, erasers, bookmarks, scissors and rulers.
The books on the shelves are high-interest living literature for Eli’s kindergarten age. Once he begins reading, I’ll place a special basket of easy readers in that open space on the bottom shelf.
This bookshelf holds all the early elementary manipulatives (as well as chapter books.) I like to have the manipulatives out so I can grab them easily during a lesson, but more importantly so they are accessible for Eli if he gets the urge to “play” with them.
This is Eli’s toy shelf. I try to change out toys every so often to keep them fresh and try to make them as educational as possible most of the time. The purple basket on the left holds several bagged activities ready to grab to put in his daily work box.
Oops, the kindergarten game shelf is still a little messy! All the “big kid” games are in a downstairs coat closet, but I wanted the early learning games to be in the school/playroom so they could easily become part of the daily work box.
One More Cool Thing – Landing Posters
While visiting a local science museum, I was very lucky to stumble across an entire series of nature posters showing plants and animals specific to our state of KY. I think there are eight or nine posters lining the walls of the landing – which seems to have become our new nature nook.
The school room organization only lasts for a moment, but it’s a nice moment. Now we can start school.
This post has been linked to the 2012 Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop. Go check out all the wonderful school room ideas!
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